2 min

Another update out of the House

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is gearing up
to deliver his fall economic update today. What’s that? No, you’re right – the House
isn’t sitting this week. He’s delivering it in Calgary at a speech to the
Chamber of Commerce there. Away from Parliament, or the national media. Because
apparently Parliament doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, and
delivering these kinds of statements a) in an environment already set up for
it, b) where you can have immediate reaction, and c) where you can face the
scrutiny of the media, is all too much for this government. In fact, it smacks
of contempt just a little bit. Not that they’re losing too much sleep over it,
I’m sure.

The former ombudsman for victims of crimes rips
 the government over the omnibus crime bill, saying that it does nothing to
help victims, despite the government continually proclaiming that it will.

The NDP says that three new seats for Quebec
under the new seat redistribution bill aren’t enough. Seriously. Because stirring up regional resentment and being more Bloc than the Bloc is 
“doing politics differently.

Niki Ashton has thrown her hat into the NDP
leadership race, making her number nine on a now crowded stage. At 29, she’d
be the youngest federal party leader in Canadian history. She’s calling herself
part of the “Jack Layton generation” (err, wasn’t he nearly 70?) and says that
in the “new politics,” age isn’t a barrier. Err, perhaps I’m too “old politics,”
but I didn’t realize that organizational capability, the perspective of life
outside of politics (remember that she grew up in a political family and that
her father is a failed leadership candidate for the Manitoba NDP) and a few
years of life experience were no longer requirements when it came to leading a
political party (let alone a country, as she hopes to).

The Canadian Bar Association wants the
Conservatives to back off on forcing the CBC to reveal its access-to-information data to a committee until the courts have ruled, given that such a
move tramples on an important legal principle.

Kady O’Malley finds that the same headhunting
firm that found us our new unilingual auditor general is now looking to get
former and soon-to-be-former senior public servants to contract their services
back to the government. Strategic operating review FTW!

For those of you who remember the interview
with retired senator Lowell Murray a few weeks ago, here is some of the reaction to it, seeing as it flew a bit under the radar. Funny, some MPs don’t
agree with his assessment of things, but one suspects there are reasons for

The government of China has insisted that
Vancouver not market itself as a gay destination to Chinese tourists as part of
their “approved destination status” agreement. They also don’t want mention of casinos, for the record.

And former governor general Michaëlle Jean has
been named chancellor of the University of Ottawa, commencing Feb 1.

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