University of Toronto
3 min

Break out the Obama love machine

While the speculation over an election call is starting to die down, what with the Bloc opting to support the government on the upcoming Ways and Means motion and the NDP are making the sounds of concessions, everyone is starting up the Obama love-machine again. After all, Harper is off to meet him in Washington today, apparently for all of 42 minutes. And that fact made it into Michael Ignatieff’s opening salvo for the day, asking how Harper could raise the issues of protectionism, clean energy or advancing other Canadian interests in those 42 minutes, as he has failed to since his first meeting with Obama. Harper shrugged it off, saying he was meeting with other Congressional leaders too, but Ignatieff has a point – does Harper have any credibility left abroad, working relationship with Obama or not?

Layton also brought up the issue of climate change and clean energy for the meeting with Obama, but Harper simply talked up the so-called “clean energy dialogue” that the Minister is having with the Americans, even though we have yet to see any results (and we can be reasonably be assured that it’s just one more Conservative delay tactic).

Scott Brison asked about the Buy American provisions and the Conservative inaction on the file. Stockwell Day said that our Premiers agreed to have an agreement that we can present to the US. Um, okay. And?

The Liberals seem to be taking great joy in taking the reports that EI premiums would increase, and throwing it in the faces of the Conservatives as the very same “job killing payroll tax” that they denounced in May. But will this stick, given that the income trusts decision hasn’t stuck the way some would have thought it might.

During Members’ Statements before QP started, Marlene Jennings gave an amusing speech about the “blooming romance” between Harper and Layton.

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are watching with interest the blooming romance between the Prime Minister and the leader of the NDP. Like many relationships, things started out a bit rocky.
For a long time, the Prime Minister was quite derisive of the NDP leader, calling him a “left-wing ideologue”, and his party “the Bloc anglais”. It might have had something to do with the fact that the NDP tried to kill the government 79 times, but it is all behind them now and the romance is in full bloom.
In retrospect, we all should have suspected something was afoot when the NDP changed its website to blue, featured its leader wearing a sweater vest, and talked about changing the name of the party. But I must say, I have a sad feeling this romance will only end up in heartache for all Canadians.

Sartorially speaking, the Bloc’s Johanne Deschamps deserve snaps for her gorgeous long, black jacket decorated with a tasteful floral pattern. Ève-Marie Thaï Thi Lac also deserves mention for her courageous use of a leopard-print jacket without looking like a cougar. The style citation goes out to Judy Wasylycia-Leis for the rather disastrous plum jacket-and-high-necked-top combination, complete with huge chunky medallion necklace, which clashed with the bright red shade of her hair. Not such a good look. The Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a greige suit over a black top, but the chunky gold necklace was a bit too big and clunky. (I couldn’t tell whether or not her shoes clashed today).

Elsewhere, NDP MPs Bill Siksay and Paul Dewar are calling upon the Prime Minister to support the Obama initiative for nuclear disarmament. The Conservatives are talking tough on white-collar crime, but they seem to be giving the same message again and again. Funnily enough, the Americans seem to be wising up and learning that tougher and longer prison sentences aren’t working and are just chewing up tax resources. Too bad the Conservatives here are still behind the curve on yet another failed American strategy.

Newly minted Senator Jacques Demers outlines his advocacy plans during his time in the Upper Chamber, but he’s not sure how exactly he’ll fit as a Conservative partisan in them.

And finally, Alberta had a provincial by-election, and elected a new MLA from the Wildrose Alliance Party. You know, the one that’s to the right of the Tories? So wait – you’re finally waking up to the fact that your one-party state culture has been rife with incompetence and fiscal mismanagement, so you want to elect an even more right-wing party as a protest? Really? Huh.