University of Toronto
2 min

Battlefield: Upper Chamber

It’s Monday, and the Senate is back to tackle report stage of the omnibus budget bill, and considering the committee amended it by deleting the most contentious sections – also the ones that had nothing to do with budget implementation – and it’s going to be a fight. And part of that fight looks like a motion on keeping the debate to a mere six hours. This could be fun.

Jack Layton is talking tough, calling Michael Ignatieff out on ensuring enough Liberal senators show up this week to vote through the budget amendments, which would send it back to the Commons.

Senator Plett (a former Conservative party president) is complaining about how much more money it’s costing to keep the Senate operating in the summer months – because you know, they’re supposed to just rubber stamp everything this government pushes and not do their jobs. Senator Cowan, however, reminds us that they offered to pre-study the budget, and were turned down, and to break the 800+ page bill into manageable chunks, and were denied, so it’s the government’s own fault.

Harper, meanwhile, filled that Senate vacancy with a failed Conservative candidate. And while yes, it’s good that we have another South Asian woman in the Senate, and yes, she does have some decent social activism credentials, one has to wonder if she would have been an attractive candidate for the Senate if she hadn’t been a Conservative candidate beforehand.

Still on Harper, he remained classy as ever at the Calgary Stampede this weekend when he attacked the fictional “Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition.” Because nothing rallies the troops like a good straw man.

The government looks like it’s ready to roll out an ambitious seniors agenda, which includes eliminating the mandatory retirement age. Not that this is a way to attract the seniors’ vote either.

The select group of MPs are starting to go over those secret Afghan documents this week. Good luck with that summer project.

While we mourn the end of the “rock star” era of Governors General (because we know Harper can’t abide someone more popular than him), Susan Delacourt takes a look back at Michaëlle Jean’s term.

Questions as to just where this supposed public outcry into the census’ privacy violations is coming from aren’t being answered – not that it should be a big surprise to anyone. Funnily enough, it’s the same kind of issue that finds traction with right-of-centre types in the UK and the US. Oh, and how much more will it cost the government to go this route? An extra $30 million, so they can’t even claim cost savings.

Up today – the Commons Public Safety committee is back, and they’ll attempt to tackle the whole G8/G20 security issue – unless the government tries to derail it somehow, such as boycotting meetings, or some other shenanigans.
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