2 min

Asking Toews’ permission

Remember how every time a question about
the RCMP came up in QP, Vic Toews would insist that they’re arm’s length.
Except, it seems, if another parliamentarian wants to meet with the commissioner.
You see, when Senator Colin Kenny, a man with a deep understanding of national security
issues, asked to meet with the new commissioner over dinner to discuss the
issues facing the Mounties, something he’s done with the last nine commissioners,
he was told that Paulson needed permission from Toews first. Seriously. Recall
that last year it was revealed that RCMP communications were now being routed through the PMO? How does this new move show that the RCMP is really arm’s
length from the government? It’s a worrying trend.

A legal expert says that tinkering with the
Civil Marriage Act as the government intends to do will be disastrous, as there’s
nothing currently wrong with it, and if they actually believe that, then they seem
to be unaware of how to read the act legally. Which wouldn’t
surprise me, since this is really all for show anyway.

The CBC looks at the Employment Insurance
Financing Board, an office that has spent millions of dollars but has
accomplished nothing because the government keeps stepping in and capping EI
rates (which the board is supposed to determine) and the program is running a
deficit (when the board is supposed to invest any surpluses). But it’s totally
a valuable service. What else does this remind you of? If you said the Public
Service Appointments Commission, you’d be correct, seeing as the office was set
up and is spending money, but there’s no commissioner to do the appointments since
Harper is still pouting about the opposition's refusal to sign off on his putting
his personal bagman into the job.

Here’s a look at the way the government is
using the same messaging tactics against environmentalists and provincial premiers as were used against the last two Liberal leaders.

Here’s a very interesting piece on possible
future plans
 for making sure the Northern Gateway pipeline happens in the face
of provincial and First Nations objections.

Paul Wells dissects Leona Aglukkaq’s letter
to the provincial health ministers and finds it to be mostly white noise and
bafflegab that proposes to do very little about health innovation or working
together with the provinces as a whole.

Here’s a fairly comprehensive primer on the prime minister’s meeting with the First Nations chiefs next week. Harper,
however, is warning that there may not be any concrete outcomes – as if that is really a surprise.

Kady O’Malley examines the relationship between the National Citizens Coalition and the Conservatives – despite their claim that there isn’t one. Glen McGregor pokes into more of
those connections, as well as their top donors.

A group of sex workers was before the
Supreme Court yesterday to ask about the validity of a constitutional challenge
to prostitution laws in this country.

And here are five things that we’ve learned about Peter MacKay from his Hello Canada! magazine interview, courtesy of iPolitics (possible paywall).

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