Roundup: A thousand omnibudget amendments

The next steps in the fight against the omnibus budget bill are heating up. After getting their interns to camp out, the Liberals deposited 503 deletion amendments to be considered. Moments later, the NDP deposited 506 deletion amendments of their own. (I’m informed that the number was just a coincidences and not a juvenile game of one-upmanship). This on top of Elizabeth May’s 200 or so substantive amendments. The Speaker is due to rule on Monday as to what is going to be admissible and how those amendments will be grouped together. Pity his poor staff, who will have to spend their weekend going through all of it.

Court documents are undermining what Dean Del Mastro was claiming yesterday regarding his innocence with those allegedly improper payments that Elections Canada is now investigating.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer is preparing to go to Federal Court to get the information on the budget cuts that he is entitled to get, but that the government is withholding.

It appears that the NDP are holding a filibuster behind closed doors in order to keep the Public Accounts committee from shutting down the F-35 investigation without at least hearing from the deputy minister of DND at least one more time in order to have him explain his contradictory testimony.

Vic Toews insists that prison closures are not an issue and there is no spike in prison populations from new legislation. The correctional workers union warns that double bunking is on the way, that it’s more dangerous, and that there is still no plan for the inmates at the mental health facility being closed as part of Kingston Penitentiary.

The race for Chief of the Assembly of First Nations is heating up, and may wind up in an anyone-but-Atleo contest as many accuse him of being too cosy with the Harper government.

The Aboriginal Affairs committee met with the minister the other day in order to discuss the supplementary estimates, but when they tried to ask questions that weren’t on said estimates, the minister wouldn’t answer. The NDP are now accusing the government of muzzling him.

Stephen Harper’s former environment critic, from his opposition days, is now joining the fray in calling out the government’s gutting of environmental legislation. I’m sure they’ll order his excommunication shortly.

As it happens, federal bureaucrats wanted a celebration for the 30th anniversary of the Charter, and had a bunch of suggested plans, which James Moore nixed in favour of a press release – despite the fact that it would have also dovetailed nicely with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. They did, however, at least acknowledge that it was going to be a tough sell.

Here’s an interview with Preston Manning about parliament, training, and the perception of politicians as dishonest.

And sources are indicating that the Liberal party executives are going to clear the way for Bob Rae to run for permanent leader next week. Rae insists he hasn’t made a decision yet, but for people who argue that they couldn’t really prevent it in the first place, they are missing the point – Rae promised he wouldn’t run. I was there at that press conference. It was a promise to the pubic and his wife. That should be something they hold him to, period.