The news that the Conservatives were going to bend ever so slightly and make some very minor amendments to their still massively problematic refugee reform bill yesterday may have buoyed NDP spirits that the government was going to agree to split up the omnibus budget bill – but to no avail. The government decided that no, even if they split it up, the NDP would simply delay seven bills instead of one, so they said no. Nathan Cullen responded by saying they were “afraid” of the debate, and that he would be consulting with his critics about their next steps, but one had to wonder why they didn’t already have that in place considering they were fresh out of a caucus meeting. (Marc Garneau, incidentally, described the NDP as having been slapped in the face by the Conservatives, and that perhaps they had been a bit naïve in believing this government would actually negotiate). So what did the NDP decide to do? Procedural delays, forcing votes in the Commons until time for government orders expired, with no actual debate taking place on said bill for the day. That’s fine, Peter Van Loan said – we’ll simply move your opposition day (scheduled for today) until next Wednesday, after the vote. The Liberals, meanwhile, criticised the NDP tactics as “too cute by half,” since they were only denying debate and not actually changing the voting date considering time allocation (though they fought over that bit of procedure). I guess we’ll see how this plays out over the course of today, because it’s going to mean a lot of procedural tactics if they want to try and delay a full day’s worth of debate, or if they’ll try some other kinds of tactics to prove their point.
The other big news yesterday was the decision to further restrict the rights of federal inmates and taking away more of what little disposable income they are able to earn, which could have some fairly serious consequences in the longer term. Memorial University criminologist Justin Piché has a number of questions about what these changes will mean.
There are problems with our planned RADARSAT network, as the government won’t sign a contract with the company to complete the job, and they’re losing the people with the expertise in the interim, which is a big problem not only for the future of the project, but also our entire aerospace industry and the national security implications of that sensitive technology.
Economist Stephen Gordon takes issue with Thomas Mulcair’ s characterisation that we are facing a “Dutch disease” situation in Canada, and walks through the reasons why. Mulcair, meanwhile, insists he’s not attacking the energy sector but simply wants sustainable development.
There are new delays and cost overruns for our planned fleet of Arctic “slushbreaker” patrol vessels. Try to look surprised, everyone!
Passport Canada is looking at updating its regulations when it comes to transgendered Canadians, and how they must identify themselves on travel documents.
The trail of “Pierre Poutine” continues to remain elusive, as Elections Canada investigators were unable to get video of the culprit from the Shoppers Drug Marts where he bought the pre-paid credit cards.
The Canadian Press has looked into the donations made to federal parties by those up on corruption charges in Quebec, and finds donations made in to both Conservative and Liberal parties, largely at fundraising events. Those funds were mostly transferred to other ridings where they could be put to better use.
And the Conservatives are trying to get Helena Guergis’ lawsuit against them dismissed, as they point out that the PM had every right to dismiss her from cabinet.