QP: Not taking yes for an answer

While Justin Trudeau was present today, Andrew Scheer once again was not. That left Lisa Raitt to lead off, mini-lectern on desk, and she worried about the Trans Mountain pipeline and wanted a plan to ensure that it would begin construction this spring. Trudeau listed the actions they’ve taken on legislation and processes, said that he was meeting with premiers, and asserted that the pipeline would be built. Raitt dismissed this as platitudes and stated that Canada was not open for business, and Trudeau reminded her that the previous government’s leadership never got any projects built. Raitt asserted that the government botched Energy East, and demanded more action. Trudeau reminded her that he pitched Keystone XL to American Democrats while he was in opposition while the current opposition just talks down Canada. Alain Rayes picked up this line of questioning in French, and Trudeau repeated his first response about providing certainty and asserting it would get built. Rayes tried again, and Trudeau simply asserted that they would get the pipeline built. Guy Caron was up next for the NDP, and he concerned trolled about CRA not being accountable to parliament. Trudeau praised the actions they took strengthening the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and that they supported his work. Caron tried again in English, noting the two new tax treaties signed, to which Trudeau reminded him that they put $1 billion into the CRA to go after tax evasion. Peter Julian picked it up in French, demanding immediate action on stock option taxation and tax havens which contrasted with poverty and inequality, and Trudeau took it as an opportunity to praise their social housing investments. Julian tried again in English, and this time Trudeau praised the work of the government to reduce drug prices.

Round two, and Shannon Stubbs, Jamie Schmale, and Mark Strahl returned to demands that the government table a plan to get the Trans Mountain pipeline built (Carr: We will get it built). Ruth Ellen Brosseau demanded a trust for perishables and more protection for Supply Management (MacAulay: We will defend Supply Management, and will have programs to help our fruit and vegetable sectors export). Ed Fast and Bernard Généreux took umbrage with the new environmental assessment bill (McKenna: Your plans never got the job done for science or Indigenous people), and Kelly Block worried that the government didn’t believe in resource development projects (Garneau: We are proud to have strengthened the navigable waters protection the previous government gutted). Linda Duncan and Alexandre Boulerice took their own umbrage with the new environmental assessment bill (McKenna: We think we got it right but we are open to suggestions to strengthen it further).

Round three saw questions on the agriculture sector (MacAulay: He have invested in agricultural science instead of cutting it; Leslie: We will always defend Supply Management, unlike everyone in your party; Petitpas Taylor: Work on the new Canada Food Guide is well underway; Champagne: Thanks to TPP we will have a place in the Asia Pacific), the Doomsday Clock and nuclear disarmament (DeCourcey: We are working toward treaties that will halt production of materials that make nuclear weapons), pulse exports to India (MacAulay: We are concerned and this was part of a recent trade mission to India), veterans (O’Regan: We delivered including on new benefits and services), Indigenous underrepresentation on juries and the judiciary (Wilson-Raybould: We will proposed broad-based reform of the criminal justice system, and will listen to voices on that particular issue), and tax havens (Lebouthillier: We have adopted international standards for information sharing with our OECD partners, and will soon have even more data).

Overall, it was a blessed relief to finally not have to hear another demand that the PM repay his Bahamas vacation, but we got a lot of overwrought questions on the agricultural sector instead, given that it was Agriculture Day and the Conservatives had to play to their rural base. Fair enough. As for the constant questions on the Trans Mountain pipeline, the government can’t put a firm start date on the table — that’s not how things work (and I believe that Kinder Morgan still has some work to do when it comes to meeting the conditions that were demanded of it for full approval), and it’s disingenuous of them to demand it, but then again, that’s how things roll these days. I would say that it was a bit amusing to watch Jim Carr find new ways to agree that yes, they will get the pipeline built, why won’t they take yes for an answer, and why are they pushing through an open door. That he also tried to turn the issue of a chill on investment to the opposition instead of the government was also fairly clever, which was a nice change than simply repeating some anodyne talking points. 

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Celina Caesar-Chavannes for a short-sleeved ivory white dress with a black belt, and to Emmanuel Dubourg for a tailored black suit with a white shirt and a blue and grey tie. Style citations go out to Jim Eglinski for a taupe suit with a beige shirt and green striped tie, and to Candice Bergen for a cream dress with brown lace florals and trim.

2 thoughts on “QP: Not taking yes for an answer

  1. I bet you were seriously pissed off when Michael Den Tandt got the cushy job in the PMO. I mean, he spent 2 years slogging “the dauphin” and gets rewarded? That’s gotta hurt an obvious partisan like yourself.

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