Bob Rae
2 min

Anticipation of a filibuster

That back-to-work legislation is going ahead next week, although it's only for Canada Post, as Air Canada has come to an agreement with their union. The NDP and the other opposition parties aren't happy about it. According to the House schedule for next week, Monday will be the first NDP opposition day (there's no determined topic of debate as of yet), and the government expects to deal with the back-to-work legislation on Tuesday. If an agreement isn’t reached over the weekend, I doubt the House will deal with the legislation quickly. Yes, we may yet have our first filibuster of the 41st Parliament.

Given that the government deigned to allow the mega-trials bill to head to the justice committee for a cursory couple of hours, Elizabeth May is backing down on her opposition to swift passage of it. Still, a cursory nod in a committee is not proper study of legislation.

A week after the auditor general warned that Parliament is not scrutinizing government spending enough (which is first and foremost their primary job as MPs), the Commons rubber-stamped the spending estimates, worth some $250 billion, in one fell swoop. Seriously guys – why bother having a Parliament at all if this is the way you’re going to discharge your duties?

The government has decided to reintroduce its deeply flawed “human smuggling” bill, despite the fact that this will punish some legitimate refugees, who need to rely on less orthodox methods to reach safety, rather than the actual human smugglers. The Canadian Press's Bruce Cheadle reminds Public Safety Minister Vic Toews of his own Mennonite family’s refugee past.

Although the government claims to want to invest in research and development, it's slashing the budget of the National Research Council by some 20 percent. Because you know, there’s no place for pure research in this country.

Senator Mobina Jaffer gave a statement in the Senate about the Vancouver riots. She found it incomprehensible that people would riot over losing a hockey game when she compared it to her experience of being caught in riots in another country that were protesting for democracy and human rights.

And former Liberal senator Raymond Lavigne was sentenced for his fraud conviction. He received six months in jail, six months' house arrest and was ordered to pay $10,000 to charity.

This weekend, the NDP has its convention in Vancouver. There will be a debate on dropping the word “socialism” from its constitution’s preamble. Bob Rae says that this shouldn't fool us given that the party still refuses to embrace the modern economy. The Liberal Party is also holding its “extraordinary convention” this weekend, by way of the internet. The main focus is to confirm the rules for its interim leadership and the formal delay of an actual leadership process.
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