QP: Questions arising from the Mansbridge interview

Thomas Mulcair was back in the House today, and led off Question Period with a trio of questions arising from Stephen Harper’s interview with Peter Mansbridge last night, about what kinds of plans he had to stave off another recession if the Europe situation worsened. Seeing as Harper was not there to respond in person, it was Peter Van Loan’s turn to be designated back-up PM du jour, and he responded with praise for the Economic Action Plan™ as the only tool the government needs to head it off. Peggy Nash got up for her turn, and followed up with a pair of questions on whether the government would be focusing on cuts instead of growth and job creation. Ted Menzies stood up to lament that the NDP obviously didn’t want to help people if they wouldn’t vote for the budget. Bob Rae apparently also paid attention to the interview, and wondered if Harper would call a meeting with all of the various premiers upon his return, since he was preaching greater integration in Europe, so why not with Canada. Van Loan simply delivered a talking point about Harper preaching Canada’s fiscal approach to Europe. For his last comment, Rae asked if Conservative foreign policy had sunk so low that MP Larry Miller – he who compared the long-gun registry to Hitler’s actions – was musing that Canada should withdraw from the UN. Van Loan insisted that Canada has a Values-Based Foreign Policy™, and that we were all about freedom and human rights. Okay then.

Round Two kicked off with Anne-Marie Day, Megan Leslie, and Yvon Godin asked why the premiers weren’t consulted on EI changes (Finley: We consulted widely! And we’re ensuring that employers get skilled workers), Robert Chisholm and Ryan Cleary asked about DFO offices being closed in Newfoundland (Ashfield: We’re consolidating for greater efficiencies), and Guy Caron and Linda Duncan asked about why the PBO wasn’t getting the information on the cuts he’s been requesting (Clement: We report to Parliament through the quarterly reports and public accounts). John McKay asked about the PBO’s request for F-35 cost data (Fantino: But we answered questions for four hours in Committee of the Whole!), and Frank Valeriote and Denis Coderre kept up with the questions on the PBO’s request for data on cuts (Clement: Quarterly reports! Public Accounts!). Closing off the round, Jack Harris asked about releasing documents relating to a soldier’s suicide (Fantino: We’re supporting our soldiers), and Christine Moore and Matthew Kellway asked about the long-absent Plan B for the F-35s (Fantino: We’re working diligently to replace the CF-18s, and hey, we have a secretariat!).

Round three saw questions on those cars rented at the Davos summit, changes to the Fisheries Act, cutting those NFB/Telefilm cinemas (Calandra: We’re ensuring all Canadians have online access to these films, not just people in Toronto), a Coast Guard ship being moved from its regular post in Labrador, job losses, and that snuff film website still being in operation.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Cathy McLeod for her moss jacket with an appropriately cut black top, and to Maxime Bernier for a tailored grey pinstripe suit with a white shirt and pocket square, and a patterned blue tie. Style citations go out to Blaine Calkins for a black suit with a bright blue shirt and an orange tie, and to Hedy Fry for her orange top and trousers with a long floral overcoat.