QP: Turning attention to Lebouthillier

With Justin Trudeau off in Beijing, along with several of his ministers, it appeared that Andrew Scheer decided he had better things to do, and left it up to Lisa Raitt to lead off QP instead. Raitt raised the ethical bar in Bill Morneau’s mandate letter, and with that having been failed by the fine for forgetting to declare the holding company that owned his villa, it was enough for him to resign. Dominic LeBlanc rose to respond, and dismissed the line of questioning as a weeks-long fishing expedition, and that Morneau had worked with the Ethics Commissioner. Raitt tried again, bringing in the fictional compliance requirements around Bill C-27, and LeBlanc dismissed the concerns, and pointed out that Raitt wished that the Conservatives had Morneau’s economic growth record. Raitt tried a third time, raising the share sales as though there was anything to question with them, and LeBlanc shrugged it off a third time. Alain Rayes took over in French, demanding to know about the share sales. LeBlanc reiterated his previous responses in French, and they went one more round of the same. Guy Caron was up next for the NDP, concern trolling over Morneau having to meet with the Ethics Commissioner yet again over share sales, but LeBlanc reiterated that Morneau works with the Commissioner and takes her advice. After Caron tried again in English and got the same response, Alexandre Boulerice got up to decry the competence of the revenue minister regarding either the money hoped for from going after tax avoidance and disability tax credits for diabetics, but Diane Lebouthillier assured him that the restored disability advisory committee was getting to work. Boulerice tried again in French, and Lebouthillier responded that they were getting tough on tax avoidance.

Round two, and Pierre Poilievre tried to parse Morneau’s previous answers about the share sales (Lightbound: Here are some news headlines denouncing your tactics), and then he touched on the disability tax credit, raising the story that an internal memo stated that there was no reason for most type 1 diabetics don’t need to qualify for the credit (Lebouthillier: We restored the disability advisory committee; everyone will get the credits they are entitled to). Hélène Laverdière worried about the small arms treaty (DeCourcey: We are keeping our promise to comply with this trade ban). Maxime Bernier and Gérard Deltell returned to the disingenuous Morneau questions (Lightbound: Look at this economic record). Murray Rankin raised the AFN demands to scrap Bill C-58 on Access to Information (Brison: We did consult and got suggestions about clarifications, and we support amendments to strengthen the bill), and Charlie Angus asked about the legal challenges against survivors of the St. Anne’s residential school (Bennett: We are not blocking this, but are looking for clarity after conflicting definitions of procedural fairness).

Round three saw questions on the disability tax credit, tax credits for disabled children who are institutionalised and no longer considered dependents (Lebouthillier: I would invite people to contact the Agency for help with their cases), a whale and seal-meat chef not being allowed to share those foods for Canada 150 (Joly: We want to work toward reconciliation), foreign fighters (Goodall: Here is a list of tools we use to keep Canadians safe), needing a new naval resupply ship (Garneau: Your government put in place the naval shipbuilding strategy), saving print media (Joly: We will be modernising our approach to supporting print media), a BC court ruling against veterans (O’Regan: We remain committed to bringing back a pension-for-life option), the Davie Shipyard (Qualtrough: We have a shipbuilding strategy), and allegations about fundraising in the PM’s riding (Lamoureux: These allegations are false).

Overall, it was a fairly low-energy day, and the attacks on Bill Morneau felt far more half-hearted than they did just days ago, and it was fairly expected that Joël Lightbound would start quoting the headlines from the weekend that declared this whole faux-outrage to be just that. As for Diane Lebouthillier, when faced with the accusations that she misled the House when saying that the criteria to receive the disability tax credit hasn’t changed when there is a news story citing an internal memo stating otherwise, she stuck to her points. Normally Lebouthillier is fairly candid in her responses, so we’ll see if her lines change tomorrow after she and her staff have had a chance to absorb the news story and come up with new lines (which seems to be the way these things play out these days), but the target may finally start moving off of Morneau and onto her for the remaining few days of the sitting.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Anju Dhillon for a short-sleeved black dress with a dragon pattern across it, and to Scott Brison for a medium grey three-piece suit with a white shirt and dark blue tie. Style citations go out to Larry Bagnell for a black suit with a bright orange shirt and orange and black striped tie, and to Cathy McLeod for a black a suit with a bright red turtleneck.

One thought on “QP: Turning attention to Lebouthillier

  1. No one in Canada is much bothered about Morneau, the story now is about some woman Liberal MP accusing in the House a Conservative MP of inappropriate behaviour and comment. Let’s see how Scheer handles this one.

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