Vic Toews
3 min

Afghanistan, and other broken promises

Given the sturm und drang and moral indignation of what happened in the Senate the day before, one would have thought it would achieve a bit more play in the Commons during Question Period – and yet it didn’t.

Michael Ignatieff kicked off QP with questions about F-35 fighters, and Geoff Regan made the unusual move of asking a question of the Liberal chair of the Government Operations Committee about the cost estimates for the G20 summit, before the supplemental was turned over to Vic Toews to not answer. Gilles Duceppe, back from his European tour, asked after the lack of a vote on the Afghan mission extension, while Johanne Deschamps followed up by adding the foreign aid dollar dimension to that extension. Jack Layton then asked after the very same lack of a vote – despite Harper’s promise to hold one – to segue into his furor about the Senate vote on C-311 and all of Harper’s broken promises there.

Alexandra Mendes kicked off round two by asking about government advertising expenditures, which was followed up by Siobhan Coady. Bernard Bigras asked about the upcoming climate change conference in Cancun, while Daniel Paillé once again asked about the discussions with Chinese insurers in relation to the proposed national securities regulator. Gerard Kennedy also asked after the Cancun conference, while Francis Scarpaleggia asked about water in the oil sands.

From here there were more questions on the lack of a vote on Afghanistan, the Bloc’s Bill C-343 and the government’s lack of money for victims of crime, infrastructure spending, Vale closing some of its Manitoba operations, farmers being forced to repay emergency loans before the markets improved, computer contracts with Public Works, and Edmonton’s bid to host the 2017 Expo. Rounding it all off was a hilarious suck-up question by Cheryl Gallant, who wanted to know about the government’s (unconstitutional) plans for Senate Reform.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Marlene Jennings for her fantastic short black dress with knee-high boots and a very cool red belt. As well, Justin Trudeau was wearing a black suit and tie with a white shirt, but he kept the collar and said tie loose, which was a relaxed look for a Wednesday. The style citation goes out to Judy Foote for an awful yellowish-orangeish horrifically cut jacket, which she wore over an otherwise inoffensive black turtleneck and skirt. Burn it. And the Megan Leslie outfit watch reports more yellow and black – a bright yellow top with a black suit, but she did have cute white shoes with a floral-and-butterfly pattern.

Look at that – Michael Ignatieff gives a better explanation for the Afghan mission extension than Harper, or his designated three ministers. Bob Rae also shares his thoughts on the matter. Of course, this has caused a few caucus divisions, which is bringing up the whole bogeyman of “caucus unity.” Because apparently in a democratic system with “big tent” parties you can’t have differences of opinion.

What’s that? Raising the age of sexual consent didn’t do anything the government said it would? You don’t say!

Vic Toews also wants to arbitrarily make it harder to get a pardon – because that’ll be an incentive for people to not reoffend, or to help them get jobs that will lift them out of poverty.

The directors for Assisted Human Reproduction Canada were before the Commons health committee on Monday, and several described a situation that is starting to sound eerily reminiscent of the gong show over at Rights and Democracy.

Maclean’s continues its look into the OECD data on our healthcare system and the way the Fraser Institute has been distorting it.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released a report that shows the Conservative “tough on crime” agenda will only increase crime, as well as the deficit.

And it looks like a spat between Peter MacKay and John Baird may be part of the whole UAE debacle. Because that’s healthy for our foreign relations.
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