QP: Demands for disassociations

While Justin Trudeau was present today, post-trip to Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, Andrew Scheer was not. This left Peter Kent to lead off, railing about the “peoplekind” remark and the fact that Trudeau’s principle secretary, Gerald Butts, called out people who crictised it as Nazis. (He didn’t really, but made reference to specific alt-right characters doing the criticizing). Trudeau noted that he didn’t hear a question in that statement, and sat back down. Kent got up to rail about real Nazis and demanded that the PM disassociate himself from Butts, but Trudeau stood up to talk about how they recognise the horrors of the holocaust and that they took that history seriously. Alain Rayes got up next, and railed about the lack of action on the Trans Mountain pipeline, and Trudeau noted that he had committed that the pipeline would get built. Shannon Stubbs returned to the “Nazi” issue, and while Trudeau first dissembled about town halls, on a supplemental, he told the opposition that they shouldn’t let Rebel Media quite their  questions for them, and suggested that they are the ones who should disassociate themselves. Guy Caron was up next for the NDP, concerned about anonymised data requested by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and Trudeau noted that they have concluded an agreement with the PBO to get them the information that they need. After a round of the same in French, Charlie Angus got up to demand action on cases like the death of Colten Boushie, Trudeau noted that their hearts went out to the family, and while they couldn’t comment on the specific case, they were working to address the inequities in the system. Angus demanded more action on Indigenous justice, and Trudeau listed areas that they need to fix, and noted that they were at work on it.

Round two, and Rayes was back up, and he, Candice Bergen, and Stubbs carrying on his concern trolling about the Trans Mountain pipeline (Carr: We approved this, it’s in the national interest, and we have been unequivocal in our support). Georgina Jolibois and Murray Rankin returned to concerns of the Boushie family regarding jury selection (Wilson-Raybould: We have to do more, and we are having conversations on this issue; We are undertaking a broad-based review of the criminal justice system, including the use of peremptory challenges). Joël Godin, Robert Sopuck, and Ed Fast concern trolled over the new environmental assessment legislation (McKenna: Our new legislation is to rebuild trust in the system). Gord Johns asked about homelessness among veterans (O’Regan: We have identified it as a priority and have invested $2.2 million), and Karine Trudel worried about public servants refusing promotion and not taking mat leave because of fears of Phoenix pay problems (Qualtrough: We are doing everything we can to fix the technology and working with unions).

Round three saw questions on interprovincial trade vis-à-vis Alberta blocking BC wines (Bains: There is a dispute resolution process; Carr: Why won’t you take yes for an answer?), demands to repay the Bahamas trip (Chagger: Greatest hits talking points), infrastructure payments going to Liberal ridings (Sohi: Provinces and territories select the projects), Sears Canada pensions (Bains: We continue to monitor the situation), veterans going to court (O’Regan: We delivered on a pension-for life option), visits from Liberal ministers to Irving instead of Davie shipyards (Qualtrough: We are in discussion with Davie about interim icebreakers), ad buys in local media (Joly: Thanks to investments, journalists are working in places where they didn’t before, and we are working on a targeted approach to help the press), Iran killing a Canadian in custody (Alghabra: We are concerned about this death and are calling for an independent investigation), tax havens (Lebouthillier: We are making investments and new agreements give us more information), and an increased Department of Fisheries presence in Nunavut (LeBlanc: We are co-designing programs with the territory).

Overall, it was an utterly mystifying day, where the choice of leading off with that particular question was without any particular sense of common sense, and it came off as playing very narrowly to the kind of alt-right base that they probably don’t want to cozy up to too much if they’re trying to get the multicultural suburban ridings that they need to win an election. It was also utterly disingenuous, unsurprisingly, as Butts was making specific reference to people making an issue out of the “peoplekind” clip who were alt-right darlings (hence where the “Nazi” reference came from), and was not in fact referring to all of the PM’s critics as “Nazis.” To even suggest that is staggeringly in its mendacity, but that’s what this particular opposition party under its current leadership does time and again. It was also curious that the Conservatives changed their lineup mid-leaders round to give Shannon Stubbs the ability to ask about this same question another two times, before she was up a second time in the second round on another topic was strange and probably of note. This all having been said, I will note that Jody Wilson-Raybould’s remarks on reforming jury selection rules as part of the ongoing criminal justice review was a welcome, specific answer to one of the most pertinent questions of the day, and that was welcome to see.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Ginette Petitpas Taylor for a short-sleeved grey and black houndstooth patterned dress, and to Scott Brison for a dark grey three-piece suit with a white shirt and a dark blue tie. Style citations go out to Nicola Di Iorio for a milk chocolate suit and tie with a light blue shirt and pocket square, and to Catherine McKenna for a blue floral wrap dress. Dishonourable mention goes out to Cathy Wagantall for a mustard sweater with a black slacks.