Xtra
2 min

Budget day vs Robocon

It’s budget day! To send the signal this
year, Jim Flaherty took reporters out to the Aldo in Rideau Centre for a new
pair of shoes, apparently to say that it’s a “prosperity budget” and not an “austerity
budget.” Um, okay then. One thing this budget could bring is changes to MP
pensions
. MPs are also expected to trim seven percent of their own budgets. Thomas
Mulcair says that Harper will have a fight on his hands if the budget affects
the middle class. To which I’m sure Harper gives a Mr Burns-esque “Excellent”
in reply.

Also up today is the chief electoral officer’s visit to the committee for procedure and house affairs. We’ll have to see
just what he’s able to share, given how things are still under investigation.

Here’s a look at how Mulcair might moderate the party’s language – but not necessarily position – on the Israel question.

Today in Robocon news, Elections Canada
officials have received information about the IP address of “Pierre Poutine” as
given to them by RackNine, which pretty much also tells us that whoever was
behind it didn’t come forward quietly as was hinted weeks ago.

Jason Kenney announced that he wants to
hire an outside company to assess the education credentials of potential
immigrants, since visa offices don’t have the time or expertise to do so. Which
is all well and good, but it actually does nothing about recognizing foreign
credentials – it just tells people that we won’t recognize them as is. Not sure
how that’s going to help in the long term.

After his case of the sleepies, and
subsequent lashing out against those who called him on it, Rob Anders is no
longer
 a member of the veterans' affairs committee.

Here’s a look back at Brian Topp’s campaign.

MPs received more than $400,000 in sponsored travel
junkets
 last year, which raises the question about how else these MPs might visit these countries to look at the issues faced there if
we’ve pretty much denied them an official travel budget in the name of fiscal
prudence ages ago (and are further trimming this year)? It’s a dimension that can’t be overlooked in this kind of story.

And if you’re so inclined, Justin Trudeau
and Senator Patrick Brazeau stripped down for their weigh-off before their
charity boxing match this weekend. Here’s some video, including the trash talk,
and Brazeau asserting that he’s the *ahem* bigger man.

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