The Thursday before a holiday Friday, the House benches were a little emptier than usual, and QP held in the morning as it would be on a Friday. But unlike a Friday, it wasn’t entirely manned by the B-Teams of any particular party, as both Harper and Rae were present. Mulcair, however, was absent, and it was up to Joe Comartin to demand answers on what cabinet knew with regards to the F-35 fighters. Harper reminded him that they haven’t actually purchased any planes but will do with a new process in the future, before he veered off to new job numbers in order to try to change the channel. Christine Moore continued on demanding ministerial accountability, but Rona Ambrose reminded her that the Auditor General only wanted new cost estimates tabled and that they’re going above and beyond that with the new secretariat. Standing up for the Liberals, Bob Rae asked when Harper knew the proper costs per the AG’s report. Harper dodged and talked instead about how no planes were purchased, and that they have a new process.
Round two started with Matthew Kellway basically repeating Rae’s question – albeit less eloquently (MacKay: new process!), Malcolm Allen and Lysand Blachette-Lamothe continued those questions (Ambrose: Independently validating new cost estimates), Jack Harris and Ryan Cleary asked about the failure of the search and rescue system in Labrador (MacKay: ground search and rescue is a provincial responsibility), Alexandre Boulerice and Peggy Nash asked about Paradis’ staffer taking a trip to Vegas on a government credit card (Van Loan: Costs were recovered and he’s now a former employee). Marc Garneau compared Peter MacKay to the captain of the Costa Concordia on the F-35 file and demanded his head (MacKay: the AG says that we’ve responded appropriately and no money has been spent), Carolyn Bennett wondered what other things the $10 billion nearly misspent on the F-35s could have gone toward (Fantino: No money was misspent so no worries), and Gerry Byrne hammered home the point of the AG’s words (Ambrose: We have a new process!). Dionne Labelle and Craig Scott asked about CBC cuts (James Moore: the CBC has enough funds to fulfil its mandate), and Nycole Turmel and Paul Dewar asked about public service job cuts (Menzies: Look at the new job numbers!).
Round three saw questions on job cuts on military bases – especially in Quebec, a veteran being denied health benefits, old Conservative promises on cutting taxes on gasoline when it reaches a certain price (Paradis: You guys wanted to raise gas taxes), cuts to CMHC, the cuts to Katimavik, the education funds being withheld in Attawapiskat (John Duncan: The money is in the account as of today), and the court challenge on the long-gun registry data.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Greg Rickford for a superbly tailored dark grey suit with a white collared shirt and a purple tie and pocket square, and to Judy Foote for a grey suit jacket and white top. Style citations go out to Jean Rousseau for a fluorescent blue shirt/grey suit violation, and to Lois Brown for a black suit with a bright yellow collared shirt.