QP: Playing coy during negotiations

Despite the fact that negotiations are apparently ongoing, Thomas Mulcair nevertheless opened QP today with a pair of questions about whether the government would split the omnibus budget implementation bill. Harper, however, played coy and spoke instead about the strong mandate that his party received and their desire to move forward. Mulcair then turned to the Environment Commissioner’s report and how the list of failures there would be compounded with the aforementioned budget bill, but Harper rebutted that his government had made record investments in environmental remediation. Megan Leslie picked up the torch and asked about the hidden costs of not having strict environmental legislation, but Peter Kent assured her that when the costing data was available they’d share it. Marc Garneau led off for the Liberals and demanded that Kent account for his “money laundering” accusations, but rather than Kent speaking up, both Harper and Gail Shea got up instead – Harper to tout Responsible Resource Development™ and the responsible use of charitable dollars, and Shea to insist those budget measures were about greater education and transparency for charities. Kirsty Duncan took the last slot to also ask after the Environment Commissioner’s report, and Kent assured her that they would “take note” of the recommendations.

Round two started off with Libby Davies asking about the Mental Health Commission’s report, released just hours prior (Aglukkaq: We’re working with the provinces and we’ve assured them stable funding transfers – translation being that it’s not her responsibility), Peggy Nash asked about the “Trojan Horse” budget bill – even though it has nothing to do with a Trojan Horse (Flaherty: We’re putting our fiscal house in order), Peter Julian asked about the 22,000 contaminated sites identified in the Environment Commissioner’s report and the funding shortfall to clean them up (Kent: Yes it’s a challenge but we’ve cleaned 42 percent of these sites so far), Hoang Mai asked about the government attacking Tides Canada (Shea: The CRA enforces the Act free of political direction), and Anne Minh-Thu Quach asked about the fact that only two greenhouse gas regulations have been imposed since 2006 (Kent: We’re about to bring down new regulations). Sean Casey asked about how much Peter MacKay knew about the suicide of a particular soldier (MacKay: Don’t politicise this sad event), and Hedy Fry asked where the government’s national suicide prevention strategy was, eight months after they agreed to implement it (Aglukkaq: We welcome the Commission report and are working with the provinces by providing stable funding…). Christine Moore and Matthew Kellway asked about DND’s fanboy-style letter to Public Works on the F-35s  (MacKay: We now have independent oversight!), and Jack Harris asked about cuts to mental health services for the Canadian Forces (MacKay: We’re working to increase those services).

Round three saw questions on the “Pierre Poutine” IP address, the travel junkets made by former Conservative/”fisheries ambassador” Loyola Sullivan, credit card fee regulations, a Quebec group trying to get a meeting with the parliamentary secretary for official languages, a request to eliminate the Veterans’ Review and Appeal Board, and consultations on a local project.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Christine Moore for a grey plaid dress with a black sweater, and to Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for a grey pinstripe suit with a white shirt and a black tie with a black patterned tie. Style citations go out to Jim Flaherty for a dark grey suit with a medium blue shirt and too-pale green tie, and Cathy McLeod for a black turtleneck with a bright blue jacket.