QP: Emerging from the fog of repayment demands

Thursday, and with the PM off to Edmonton, and Andrew Scheer giving his first major economic policy plank in a nearby hotel, it was a bit odd that Scheer didn’t bother to show up since he was in town. Alain Rayes led off, reading some heroic praise about how the Conservatives insisted the prime minister be investigated for his vacation, and demanded repayment for it. Once again. Bardish Chagger dutifully stood up to read the approved talking points about the PM taking responsibility and making changes going forward. Rayes tried again, got the same answer, and on his third attempt, Rayes tried in vain to link it to previous repayments, and Chagger reiterated her points a third time. Candice Bergen got up to try the same again in English, and with added indignation, and Chagger added praise for the PM’s town hall in her talking points. Bergen tried another tortured analogy with Trudeau saying that harassment codes apply to him so why not repayment, and while Chagger reiterated her previous points. Guy Caron led off for the NDP, noting how much other countries have recovered from the Panama Papers, while Diane Lebouthillier responded that they were investigating. Caron raised the bonuses that CRA executives were getting, but Lebouthillier stuck with stats on how combatting evasion. Ruth Ellen Brosseau stood up to sound the alarm about investment funds being involved with the Infrastructure Bank. Marc Garneau praised the fact that the Bank was now in operation and had a diverse board, and after another round of the same in French, Garneau responded in English about what a great optional tool the Bank could be for communities.

Round two, and Peter Kent, Jacques Gourde, and John Brassard returned to the same demands for repayment (Chagger: Same as before). Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet and Don Davies worried about funding renewals for programmes combatting the opioid crisis (Petitpas Taylor: We are investing heavily, and we will work with provinces and territories). Kelly Block, Cathy McLeod and Mark Strahl returned to yet the same demands for repayments, Strahl trying to drag Seamus O’Regan into it (Chagger: As I have said…) Nathan Cullen offered some sour grapes on the first anniversary of the death of electoral reform (Gould: Canadians want us to work on priorities that unite us, not divide us), and Pierre Nantel railed about Netflix and redacted documents related to the agreement (Joly: Canadian productions are being seen around the world, and there are commercially sensitive items in the documents).

Round three saw questions on transparency in marijuana investments (Goodale: Our proposed regulations will ensure that security clearances will be mandatory), a Chinese takeover of a Canadian company (Lametti: There will be a review including a security review), funding for official language minority communities (Joly: We will have a new action plan over the next 18 months), systemic discrimination against First Nations children (Philpott: We will fund going back two years), the Trans Mountain pipeline (Carr: We approved the pipeline), Supply Management under TPP (Champagne: I met with producers), the case of VADM Mark Norman (Sajjan: This matter is under investigation and it would be inappropriate for me to comment), greenhouse gas levels (McKenna: We believe the economy and the environment go together), our ambassador comparing Canada with China (DeCourcey: We always raise human rights issues with Chinese officials).

Overall, while the first half of QP was much the same as it has been all week, tediously so, the latter half started to get into topics that have been neglected for the rest of the week. So there’s that. It’s almost as if QP gets to be a bit more useful when the leaders aren’t actually around and the other team isn’t trying to get a media clip of them saying something that they can then use in an attack ad. Shocking!

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Mark Holland for a navy suit with a light blue gingham shirt and a pink bow tie, and to Candice Bergen for a grey dress with a black windowpane pattern. Style citations go out to Rachel Blaney for a black dress with busy red, white and grey patterned panels, and to Dave Van Kesteren for a grey-brown jacket with a light green shirt and a burgundy and blue plaid tie.