QP: Listing numbered companies

As the Centre Block was getting all dressed up for the arrival of the President of Colombia, all of the leaders, permanent or “parliamentary,” were in the Chamber and ready to go. Andrew Scheer led off, mini-lectern on desk, leading off with the Globe & Mail story about four other cabinet ministers who apparently own stocks outside of a blind trust — because the Globe is now the opposition research bureau. Justin Trudeau reminded him that everyone worked with the Ethics Commissioner, and that all of the arrangements matched those used by the previous, Conservative finance minister. Scheer demanded to know who they were, and Trudeau tutted that in order to avoid slinging mud, they relied on the Commissioner to offer guidance. Scheer switched to French to ask the same thing, and got the very same response. Scheer tried again in French, and Trudeau praised the advice of the Commissioner. Scheer tried one last time in English, but had a hard time keeping a straight face as he demanded the names. Trudeau instead responded with a lecture about the need for opposition in a healthy democracy, but they had a Commissioner to keep everyone from slinging mud. Guy Caron was up next to lead for the NDP, and offered some added sanctimony with his demands for the names. Trudeau noted that they were willing to go above and beyond the rules, and that the personal attacks were a distraction from the good news about the economy. After another two rounds of the same, in both English and French, Hélène Laverdière raised the nuclear weapon ban treaty and the Nobel Peace Prize, and the government’s refusal to sign it. Trudeau praised the work of the Prize winners, and noted that they were taking leadership with the fissile materials ban, which included nuclear and non-nuclear states.

Round two, and Alain Rayes, Candice Bergen, and Pierre Poilievre started listing off Bill Morneau’s numbered companies and demanding to know their contents (Lightbound: All of the rules have been followed, and yay economy). Laverdière was back up to ask about low peacekeeping commitments (DeCourcey: We are committed to providing $500 million and 600 troops, and are considering the mission), and Randall Garrison asked the same in English (DeCourcey: Same answer). Maxime Bernier and John Brassard raised the Morneau Shepell/Bill C-27 conspiracy theory (Lightbound: Rules! They were followed!). Robert Aubin and Rachel Blaney worried pilot inspection changes (Garneau: We are not eliminating inspections, and we will verify inspections).

Round three saw questions on CRA rejecting disability tax credits (LeBouthillier: There have been no changes), housing on First Nations reserves (Philpott: We committee $550 million over two years, 8800 units are either built or are in the process), Kent Hehr’s use of resources in civic election (Hehr: Yay my dad, and I’ll follow any advice for the Ethics Commissioner), Minister Bibeau campaigning for her husband in a civic election, UNRWA funding and a tunnel found below a school (Bibeau: We are concerned but this is not enough to deprive 30,000 children of an education), open net salmon farms, snow removal at the Holocaust memorial (Joly: This decision was made by the National Holocaust Memorial Council and the NCC), recognition of an independent Catalonia (DeCourcey: We recognise a united Spain), and the Morneau Shepell/Barbados conspiracy theory.

Overall, as these accusations continued to fly, some of the tone of the responses was getting punchier than in previous weeks. While Trudeau tried to rise above by making some lofty pronouncements about the value of opposition to a healthy democracy — which he is right about — he was able to work in dismay about personal attacks and the genesis of why such a Commissioner exists rather than having MPs deal with these matters on their own, it was Joël Lightbound who was really taking on the bulk of the sparring. In particular, Lightbound made a point on several occasions to point out former Conservative ministers who had similar financial arrangements when they were in power, as to demonstrate how hypocritical they were in their criticism. It may be read as the last vestige of someone one the defensive to point out that the other guys did it too, but it certainly beats the bland pabulum that we normally are fed in situations like these.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Maxime Bernier for a slim-cut light brown suit with a pink shirt and pocket square with a darker pink striped tie, and to Celina Caesar-Chavannes for a black long-sleeved, v-necked black dress. Style citations go out to Candice Bergen for a grey drapery-like dress with maroon patterns, and to Seamus O’Regan for a navy jacket with khaki slacks, a white shirt with blue stripes and a yellow tie and pocket square. Dishonourable mention goes out to repeat offender Filomena Tassi for her bright yellow jacket with three-quarter sleeves and a black dress with white patterning.

2 thoughts on “QP: Listing numbered companies

  1. Wasn’t all Mary Dawson said was that there were fewer than 5 which isn’t the same thing as 4. CTV’s Glen McGregor showed on his twitter account it’s mostly likely 2: Bill Morneau and Jody Wilson-Raybould.

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