QP: Bardish Chagger, ad nauseam

While the prime minister was off to Winnipeg, the desks in the Chamber were full, MPs ready for another scintillating round of accountability. Or talking points at the very least. Andrew Scheer led off, mini-lectern on desk, and today decided to use the moving expenses of senior PMO staff as his cudgel to demand the PM repay his expenses for that infamous vacation. Bardish Chagger reminded him that the PM accepted the report, took responsibility, and made changes going forward. Scheer switched to English to try again, getting breathy in his punctuation, and Chagger reiterated her response. Scheer insisted that an apology is no good without an attempt to make amends — apparently financially — but got the same response. Lisa Raitt was up next to assert that there were no recommendations in the report, just facts and an assertion of guilt, before she too demanded repayment. Chagger reiterated her points, including stating that he accepted recommendations. Raitt tried a second time more forcefully, and Chagger spelled out that the recommendations came from the former Commissioner at committee. Ruth Ellen Brosseau led for the NDP, demanding to know what the government was doing to get more women elected. Karina Gould said that they were doing more recruit more women, and wanted to ensure that they could thrive once elected. Brosseau tried again in French, got the same answer, and Karine Trudel and Shiela Malcolmson demanded pay equity legislation in both French and English. Scott Brison said they were working with the public sector unions and other unions on the topic, and that they remained committed to a proactive pay equity system.

Round two, and Alain Rayes, Candice Bergen, and Mark Strahl continued to bay about repaying the vacation (Chagger: Same responses, ad nauseam). Sheri Benson decried the lack of public intercity transit in Saskatchewan (Bains: We are working on this situation), and Niki Ashton demanded safe transport on the “Highway of Tears” (Sohi: We want safe public transportation but that was a provincial decision). Gérard Deltell and Peter Kent continued the demands for repayment (Chagger: Same points). Brigitte Sansoucy and Rachel Blaney demanded automatic registration of seniors for GIS, and a national strategy (Duclos: We have increased the GIS, and are working for seniors).

Round three saw questions on unknown cannabis investors (Petitpas Taylor: We have ensured that there are security protocols in place), injured veterans taking the government to the Supreme Court (O’Regan: Here is everything we’ve delivered), Canadian arms exports (DeCourcey: We expect the end user to abide by the terms of their permits, and we have directly engaged Saudi Arabia), sexual assault cases in the military (Sajjan: The military is working with the Privacy Commissioner to ensure the review respects the law), pipelines (Rudd: We stand by our decision to approve the TransMountain expansion), women candidates, and a Chinese takeover (Bains: We take reviews and national security seriously).

Overall, it remained unedifying, and started to border on boorish when the chanting began. The only really remarkable exchange was when Bardish Chagger had decided that she was done with the insults hurled at her, and the insistence that she was “forced” to recite talking points, and she let into Peter Kent about how she wasn’t forced to do anything, and how proud she was to serve this government, and so on. It was at least a break in the monotony of her usual responses. As for the NDP, they asked repeatedly for the government to produce some kind of plan for electing more women to the Commons, which is certainly not the responsibility of the government. Rather, it’s the responsibility of individual parties to ensure a nomination process that will get them more women. That the NDP don’t seem to understand this, or more likely are trying to be concern trolls with the number of Liberal nominations necessary to achieve parity. It’s not a good look either way.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Shannon Stubbs for a burgundy dress with a black jacket with three-quarter sleeves, and to Raj Grewal for a navy three-piece suit with a white shirt and a red turban and tie. Style citations go out to Bob Zimmer for a taupe suit with a light shirt and a light blue tie, and to Candice Bergen for a black blouse with wizard sleeves and a taupe skirt.