Roundup: Rumours with dubious evidence

The Senate is ensuring that three contentious bills get passed before it rises for the summer, fuelling rumours that Harper is planning to prorogue Parliament in the fall and start a new session. The problem with this “evidence” for that theory is that the three bills in question have some external timelines – the budget implementation for obvious reasons (and the Senate traditionally sits until such a bill gets passed regularly, despite this particular bill’s particular circumstances), the refugee reform bill has a deadline of June 30th unless the previously passed refugee reform bill comes into force, which the government is trying to supersede, and the copyright reform bill is at the centre of our negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As far as theories go, the evidence doesn’t actually fit. Nice try, though.

The Military Police Complaints Commission report into the Afghan detainee issue was finally released yesterday, and it absolves the military police of wrongdoing. That said, it was very limited in scope, and it had to devote an entire chapter to the government stonewalling of information and it raised the spectre of the Somalia Inquiry along the way (bonus 1994 CBC video here with Young Stephen Harper again contradicting Prime Minister Stephen Harper).

The Information Commissioner is launching a new process for investigating “national security exemption” claims, despite the involuntary budget cut her office has received.

Uh oh – cheques have now been produced to prove that Dean Del Mastro’s cousin was soliciting improper campaign donations and paying people a bonus for them. Things must be getting awfully uncomfortable at Conservative Party Headquarters, though I’m sure that Del Mastro will personally disavow knowledge of his cousin’s activities.

The federal government was pleased to announce that it is renewing funding to the Canadian Institute for Health Information – at a lower level than it was before.

As was mentioned in Senate QP yesterday, the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Teams across the country are facing budget cuts and may be forced to disband.

Constitutional lawyer and university professor Deborah Coyne has declared her candidacy for the Liberal leadership. Coyne – cousin of columnist Andrew and mother of Pierre Trudeau’s only daughter – has previously run for office (against Jack Layton) but never been elected. She does have a fairly well developed website and a number of policy ideas already in place. John Geddes of Maclean’s talks to her here.

And in light of his recent Twitter outburst, here’s a look back at Senator Brazeau’s history of sexual harassment and office bullying.