QP: In the best interests of Canada

After yesterday’s insanity, the House was still a bit raucous for QP, even with Harper gone. Thomas Mulcair read off a trio of questions about the Nexen takeover, for which James Moore – the back-up Prime Minister du jour – recited that while they haven’t made a decision yet, all decisions they do take are in the best interests of Canada. Well, that’s a relief. Malcolm Allen asked about another beef recall and four cases of E. Coli in Edmonton, to which Gerry Ritz told him that it was two separate incidents that he was confusing. Bob Rae was up next, and hammered away at the question of the food recalls, and reminded the House that members of the Ontario cabinet responsible for Walkerton were now sitting in the Federal cabinet. Amidst the clamour on the government benches protesting this, James Moore first responded with a bland statement that said nothing, before Ritz replied to the two follow-ups, praising the procedures that “bracketed” the contaminated product and ensured it was pulled. Err, except for those four cases, one assumes.

Round two kicked off with another series of EI questions – Anne-Marie Day and Claude Patry on seasonal workers, and Robert Chisholm and Chris Charlton on clawbacks – but Finley’s responses throughout were that they were helping people find jobs. Gone was the talking point about people being better off working more hours. Mylène Freeman and Jinny Sims then recited their thundering outrage that racists had been invited to the Immigration committee (before their invitation withdrawn), to which Jason Kenney explained that the MP who invited them had received a suggestion from a constituent that he followed up on, not realising – and then he bashed away at the NDP for associating with the “anarchist group” No One Is Illegal. Roger Cuzner offered Finley a true or false question on EI clawbacks (not that she answered, but just listed off the day’s talking point instead), Dominic LeBlanc had similar luck on a clawback question of his own, and when Lawrence MacAulay asked if the Fishers’ EI programme would still be available, Finley assured him that it would be. Libby Davies and Djaouida Sellah asked about cuts to health transfers (Carrie: We’ve actually increased funding), and Jean Crowder and Jonathan Genest-Jourdain asked about the failing Nutrition North programme (John Duncan: It’s passed on savings to Northerners, and it’s incorporating traditional foods).

Round three saw questions on consultations around changing environmental assessment regulations, Canada’s ranking with scientific research, the Experimental Lakes Area, missing “black assets” with the Canadian Special Forces, the rejection of a request to study the cuts to refugee health benefits, children in poverty, cuts to the Montreal Biosphere, and why Rona Ambrose voted for M-312 last night. Ambrose noted that this was the first question she’d been asked on Status of Women this year, and when she gave a rhetorical “why is that?” someone in the back rows shouted “because you’re useless.” Unfazed, she touted her government’s track record for standing up for women.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Cathy McLeod for a black dress with a blue jacket, and to Greg Rickford for a dark grey suit with a lavender shirt and pocket square, with a purple tie. Style citations go out to Raymond Côté for another fluorescent blue shirt/black suit violation, and to Anne Minh-Thu Quach for a goldish-yellow jacket – with rolled sleeves – and a black dress.