Roundup: Just take the minister’s word

While the issue of missing regulations on EI changes dominates the debate in the Commons right now, it seems that department of Human Resources and Skills Development did conduct a focus group study on what it would take to encourage people from high-unemployment areas to those regions with better opportunities. The minister has tried to distance herself from this study and her comments have consistently been about finding work within one’s region, but without any regulations on offer, we are left to take her word for it.

Seeing as political parties and voter databases exist outside of privacy legislation in this country, you would expect that this might lead to problems. Well indeed it has, with the voters’ list being abused with fraudulent robo-calls, and people being added to databases after contacting their MPs on policy concerns or case files. Who would have guessed?

Three ministers showed up virtually unannounced at the special Finance subcommittee on the environmental portions of the omnibus budget bill yesterday, and stayed for only an hour, most of which was used up with lengthy opening speeches. It was really an egregious breach of decorum and good faith. Of course, it didn’t help that the NDP’s environment critic wasn’t at the meeting either, but was rather at the Potemkin committee that her party has set up in parallel to provide an echo chamber of anti-government sentiment. Meanwhile, here are the terms of reference for said subcommittee, which states that if they don’t complete clause-by-clause study of those portions of the bill they’re responsible for by June 4th, they’ll be deemed adopted.

In case you hadn’t guessed, Alberta premier Alison Redford is not impressed by Thomas Mulcair’s characterisation of the province’s environmental regime, or the fact that he called her a messenger of Stephen Harper.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer reaffirms that OAS is affordable without changing the date of eligibility – which is good to know considering the government refuses to give the numbers of how much those changes will save the treasury.

Philippe Lagassé suggests that Canada take another look at NATO’s “smart defence” initiative in light of our overly ambitious CF revitalisation plans, and not enough resources to do it in. Meanwhile, the Forces’ Military Ombudsman is under fire for inappropriate behaviour and has an office with high turnover, and that in turn bogs down the cases he’s supposed to be overseeing.

The Ottawa Citizen reminds us that James Moore’s opinion about the Museum of Science and Technology’s sex show mirrors the very same action as what happened during the National Gallery’s Pop Life exhibit, when he was similarly outraged by the titillating materials therein. Meanwhile, Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth thinks Moore is off the mark, and that the show is something every family should see.

Conrad Black denies seeking special treatment, and would love to sue Thomas Mulcair for defamation if he should repeat his “notorious British criminal” characterisation outside of the House.

And Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott has now officially reached the desperation phase of his anti-abortion crusade, as he now wants to protect foetuses from the “bullying” of abortion. No, seriously, he said that.