You’ve probably all heard the news – Danny Williams has decided he’ll step down as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. I’m sure that Senator Mike Duffy is breathing a sigh of relief, given his particular panic around what he perceived to be Williams’ sexual prowess.
Before question period, Rob Oliphant gave a statement on Julian Fantino and a petition signed by Diane Finley about him, but as I’m trying to discourage this by-election proxy war, I won’t reprint it here (sorry).
With Michael Ignatieff off in Halifax for an Open Mike event, it was Mark Holland who kicked off question period with allegations of a cabinet leak and insider trading of mining stocks – pretty serious stuff, which John Baird was put in charge of obfuscating over. Marcel Proulx followed up on it, while Gilles Duceppe and Michel Guimond were interested in questions on the deadlines for stimulus funding for infrastructure projects. Jack Layton asked about Afghanistan and comments the prime minister made about corruption in that country.
Marlene Jennings kicked off round two with questions about the West Block contracts and the possible kickback scheme; Maria Minna and Vic Toews sniped at one another in the Vaughn by-election proxy war; Christian Gagnon asked about contamination in Shannon; Carole Lavallée about cuts to tour funding for Canadian artists; and then Roger Cuzner started the first of many questions on the topic of seniors and poverty – an issue picked up on by Raymonde Folco, Josée Beaudin, Tony Martin and Wayne Marston.
The remainder of QP dealt with the topics of the Senate being poised to kill Bill S-216 (which will kill any remaining hope for Nortel pensioners), the aforementioned allegations of insider trading (with bonus links to Jim Prentice), climate change science (which John Baird hilariously claimed to value), Canadian food labelling regulations, and the cholera outbreak in Haiti.
Sartorially speaking, it was a pretty dull day, but I will award snaps to Alexandra Mendes for one of my favourite jackets (the black one with the white triangular patterns), while I will also give snaps to Siobhan Coady for her fierce leopard-print heels (worn with an otherwise solid black suit-and-skirt ensemble). The style citation goes out to Mike Wallace for an awful yellow shirt that was just offensive to look at. It was paired with a grey suit (thankfully not black), but it was still a terrible shade and should be burned immediately.
After all the overheated rhetoric, the government may be backing down a little on its plans to make pardons more difficult to get – except in the case of sex offenders, which was never a contentious issue for the opposition anyway.
After months and months of decrying the so-called iPod tax, suddenly James Moore says he’s open to the idea if he sees a detailed proposal for how it can work. This, coincidentally I’m sure, after Chad Kroeger of Nickelback joined the lobby of artists calling for the levy on digital devices. Very interesting coincidence, I’m sure.
No surprise here, but the government is going to have to spend millions of dollars a year to get the milk for federal penitentiaries that prison farms used to supply for them. Because this is the age of fiscal austerity, don’t you know?
A minister in the South African government is questioning the direction of the Conservative government’s foreign policy, with its shift away from Africa and so on.
And in other shocking news, fundamentalist Mormons from Bountiful, BC, oppose the ban on polygamy. You don’t say! Meanwhile, the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association told the court that he sees a difference between what happens in Bountiful and “polyamorous relationships involving consenting adults who choose to be in relationships with multiple partners.”