Roundup: The MP pension agreement

With a bit of negotiation, the portion of Omnibus Budget Bill 2: The Revenge that deals with MP pensions was hived off and passed unanimously yesterday morning, and it’s now on its way to the Senate for consideration. This after a brief hiccup where it seems that the original Liberal motion would have included RCMP and public sector pensions in there as well, despite meaning to only pass MP pensions. Oops. One can imagine that this will likely be law before the end of next week, even if the Senate does want to actually study it, but seeing as it’s two clauses, I can’t imagine it’ll be that much. Now the opposition parties want other sections hived off, but fat chance of that happening – the government talking points seem to be that by agreeing to this deal, the opposition agreed that the rest of the bill should be able to stand intact. Sigh.

But wait! Former Conservative and now “Independent Conservative” MP Peter Goldring calls this pension move “cowardly” because it appeals to base populism and further distances MPs from fair compensation. Not that I don’t necessarily disagree, however we’ve so poisoned the discourse around political compensation that we may soon expect sackcloth and ashes for the privilege of service.

It has been announced that the Supreme Court’s decision on the Etobicoke Centre election will be released on Thursday morning, as one of the participants, current MP Ted Opitz, is on his way to the Ukraine as an election observer. His participation was announced before the date of the court ruling, and already there was controversy over the way the other delegates were selected.

It seems that the Canadian Forces is finding itself in a bit of a bind over the maintenance contracts for the not-yet-built Arctic patrol ships – if they put the maintenance contracts up for tender, it’ll likely drive the costs way up because of the intellectual property rights, but if they don’t, they get lambasted for being anti-competitive.

Just before midnight, the government announced that it was turning down the takeover of an oil company by a Malaysian company – no explanation, nothing. But remember, the country remains open for foreign investment.

Colin Horgan looks at the kind of information that the Parliamentary Budget Officer is looking for, and how the lack of information coming from Treasury Board and the kinds of changes that Tony Clement has been talking about could mean that the estimates that Parliament voted on in the spring are irrelevant – which makes the PBO’s quest for information all the more worthwhile.

Maclean’s has a lengthy look at Dalton McGuinty’s departure.

Lincoln Alexander, Canada’s first black MP, cabinet minister and Lieutenant Governor, passed away yesterday at the age of 91.

Here is your recap of last night’s politics shows.

And Susan Delacourt looks at the Travers Debates, and laments the contrasting state of political discourse.