QP: Not holding the minister responsible

With Stephen Harper back in the House, Thomas Mulcair made another attempt at getting answers about the tainted meat issue playing out in Alberta. As he read out his questions on the impact of CFIA budget cuts and whether the government understood the concept of ministerial responsibility, Harper responded by assuring him that food safety was their first priority, that they’d hired new inspectors, and that there was new legislation on the way. Malcolm Allen accused the government of “not connecting the dots” between cuts and the outbreak, but Pierre Lemieux assured him of the new inspectors and funding. Bob Rae noted that the government treated consumers as the first priority but made them the last to know, and he wondered when Harper became aware of the outbreak. Harper told him that responsibility was vested in CFIA, and they found out on September 4th.

Round two kicked off with Ruth Ellen Brosseau and Linda Duncan asking more tainted meat questions (Lemieux: Your guys should stop holding up the new bill in the Senate – um, except there are no NDP Senators), Peggy Nash asked about front-line cuts (Baird and Clement: you voted against increases in the budget), Randal Garrison and Rosane Doré Lefebvre asked about cuts to emergency preparedness (Toews: We’ve been sorting out provincial and federal jurisdiction, and hey, look at the $99 million for flood mitigation), and Anne-Marie Day and Chris Charlton asked about EI clawbacks (Finley; We’re connecting people with jobs!/You turned your backs on the poor!). Lise St-Denis and Hedy Fry wondered why the health minister and Public Health Agency weren’t getting involved in the tainted meat issue (Lemieux: CFIA has increased inspectors!), and Frank Valeriote wondered when CFIA would undergo an independent review per the Weatherall Report (Lemieux: We’ve implemented all of the Report’s recommendations!). Hélène LeBlanc and Peter Julian demanded public consultations for the Nexen takeover (Paradis: Any decision will be made in the best interests of Canada), and Don Davies and Romeo Sanagash lamented the Canada-China FIPA treaty (Fast: It improves access, and the arbitration process is entirely public).

Round three saw questions donations to the Conservatives by a candidate for the Port of Montreal presidency (who never was appointed, for the record), cuts to First Nations, restoring the reputation of our beef industry abroad after this E. Coli outbreak, why they’re cutting red tape but not helping small business, more on EI clawbacks, why the government is going to the Federal Court over First Nations child and family services, stolen cell phones, and closing CRA offices in the regions.

Sartorially speaking, it’s not often that I’ll give snaps to animal print, but Rona Ambrose’s grey snow leopard-print dress with a black jacket worked, and snaps to Peter MacKay for his tailored grey suit with the purple checked shirt and tie. Animal prints, however, are not for everyone, and Lynne Yelich earned a style citation for a burnt cream zebra-print jacket with a black top. Style citations also go out to Andrew Cash for a dark brown suit with an orangey-red shirt and dark blue tie.

It also seems that some MPs have taken notice of my multiple citations for the colour mustard. This was sent to me today:

Mustard protest