QP: All sound and fury

Caucus day, and all of the leaders were present, and just a few minutes before things got underway, Andrew Scheer went to the microphones in the Foyer to demand Bill Morneau’s resignation. So there’s that. Scheer led off, mini-lectern on desk, and he read some condemnation about Bill Morneau’s numeracy and economic prowess. Justin Trudeau offered a correction in return — lowered taxes, economic growth, more money for the vulnerable, and so on. Scheer switched to English to repeat the accusations, wondering why Morneau was still in cabinet, while Trudeau reminded him that the point of Prime Minister’s Questions was supposed to be about backbenchers asking the PM questions. Scheer the went into the disingenuous questions about the supposed ethical lapses, including the insinuation of insider trading, and Morneau got up to say that everything has been reported in the press, and if the opposition wants to make any clear accusations, they should do so in the House, and in the Foyer. Scheer tried twice more, and Morneau reiterated his counter demand. Guy Caron was up next, repeating the same insinuations and wondering why the PM wasn’t demanding a clear answer. Trudeau said that Caron obviously wasn’t listening, as he just answered. Caron tried again in English, with an added dollop of sanctimony, and Trudeau assured him that everyone was answering questions and then praised their economic growth record. Alexandre Boulerice listed all of the supposed ethical lapses, only louder and angrier, and Trudeau invited them to make their clear allegations outside of the Chamber. Nathan Cullen said that they had repeated the questions outside, and repeated the allegations, and Trudeau mocked the response with some added jabs at how badly they lost in the last election.

Round two, and Alain Rayes returned to the insinuations of insider trading along with the disingenuous representations of previous allegations (Trudeau: This is a smear campaign by an opposition that has nothing more to say), Scheer got back up to claim that Poilievre repeated his accusations outside (Trudeau: He did not make accusations), and Scheer, wide-eyed, insisted that they were making no accusations, just asking questions, and back and forth it went for several more rounds. Hélène Laverdière and Randall Garrison demanded the adoption of two more bills affecting the LGBT community before the Christmas break (Trudeau: We have a great deal of work ahead of us). Pierre Poilievre got up next to repeat his insinuations of insider trading (Trudeau: You have not repeated your clear allegations and are hiding behind parliamentary privilege. You know you went too far and that this is bluster). Brigitte Sansoucy asked about the social security tribunal (Trudeau: We are still investing in EI, and will continue to do so), and Karine Trudel demanded support for local print media (Trudeau: We will invest millions in advertising support for newspapers).

Round three, and Poilievre was back up to demand Morneau’s resignation, boreal woodland caribou protection (Trudeau: We will continue to work with provinces and partners to fulfil our obligations), the St. Anne’s residential school litigation (Trudeau: We are working with survivors and communities), Canadians being detained in China (Trudeau: I always raise human rights when I travel, and their plight is of great concern to us), a woman whose husband died before her immigration paperwork was completed (Trudeau: This case is being carefully reviewed), female genital mutilation (Trudeau: We take this seriously and I personally raised this in Liberia), and an accusation about campaign finances (Trudeau: That’s why we have Elections Canada).

Overall, it was far more dramatic, with plenty of genuine back-and-forth exchanges, and normally that’s great! We need more of that! That being said, the amateur theatrics continue to roll along, to their most ridiculous extremes. While we didn’t get another Poilievre walkout, we got this wide-eyed naif act from Scheer (and later Poilievre on Power & Politics) when they insist that they’re not making allegations – they’re just asking questions! But as Trudeau pointed out repeatedly, they did make specific allegations on Monday, with the use of the term “inside knowledge,” which they’ve refused to since repeat either in the Foyer or in the Commons, and in the time since, they’ve been very careful with the language they’re using, to the point of being too-cute-by-half. But amidst this, we got a feistier Trudeau and Morneau, who were far more eager to push back and take challenge the Conservatives to put up or shut up, which if you ask me is far better than the usual pabulum that they respond to the various disingenuous and mendacious questions with. But now that we have reached the point of demanding Morneau’s resignation – which is so rote and formulaic at this point in any faux-scandal – that it might mean that we are finally reaching the apex of this threadbare wannabe outrage.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Bill Morneau for a tailored navy suit with a white shirt and a purple tie, and to Kate Young for a dark grey suit with a white collared shirt. Style citations go out to Rachael Harder for a burgundy long-sleeved top with a black vest-like dress, and to Charlie Angus for a black suit with a burgundy waistcoat, grey shirt and light teal tie.

One thought on “QP: All sound and fury

  1. One of the dumbest punditry out there is that this would all end if Min. Morneau resigned form Cabinet, right?

    During the Harper years, it was pretty easy for the Opposition Parties to win over the punditry compared to the general public? For two years all the Ottawa talking heads have said that Thomas Mulcair was AMAZING in QP and yet all meant nothing at the ballot box. Agree or disagree, that was just treated as fact in so many examples. Now Bill Morneau is ‘bloodied’ or whatever for nothing beyond not being best at the “performance art” of QP compared to Pierre Poilievre, regardless of thinness of the allegations or how disingenuous Mr. Poilievre has been as you’ve point out?

    Seems inconsistent, no?

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