What’s that sound? It’s the Leader of the Opposition’s Office tearing up all those prepared questions on Helena Guergis for Question Period on Monday. Three busty hookers was apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back, as Guergis has not only resigned, but has apparently been kicked out of caucus as well. (And that sound you’re hearing now is me tearing up my seating chart, because yet another one will be out later today). Add to that, the allegations against her turned over to both the Ethics Commissioner and the RCMP. Um, what? Which allegations, exactly? That's the question now, as Harper won’t say. And the Opposition is going to be all over that. I just hope that they won’t be so… crass about it. Ignatieff did express a certain amount of distaste for this kind of thing, so maybe – just maybe – we’ll see some more substantive questions rather than the pile-on of late. (But maybe I shouldn’t hold my breath).
After all, these new allegations of Hell’s Angels connections may just add gasoline to the fire. Or the fact that her expenses are also under investigation by Elections Canada. Or that the problems in her office are leaking out…
In case you were wondering, Harper gave Rona Ambrose the Status of Women portfolio, on top of Public Works. Which I’m guessing means he’s not only completely devalued the Status of Women portfolio, but he’s also completely devalued Public Works, which should be a pretty hefty file on its own, let alone having to share it with Status of Women. But hey – this is a ministry of one anyway, so we shouldn’t be surprised that they’re being used in this way. And we really should be glad that he didn’t decide to replace her with Shelly Glover.
Speaking of Shelly Glover, Canada’s Most Intellectually Bankrupt MP was on Power & Politics yet again on Friday, and defended this “tough on terror” government’s cut to the subsidy for policing at major airports. Oh, it’s just going to the pre-9/11 model, she says, except that gee, costs and the level of policing required in the age of paranoid security theatre has increased exponentially. Just don’t mention that this is another tax on air travellers, because Glover will only trot out the carbon tax and supposed GST hike the Liberals are secretly plotting. Seriously? I’ll side with NDP’s public safety critic Don Davies at the end of the segment: “George Orwell is alive.”
Meanwhile, regarding the moral panic of the week (sex offenders getting pardons), it seems that the government’s own “best practices” guide for screening volunteers makes no mention of identifying pardoned sex offenders. And how much do you want to bet that the Conservatives (and most certainly Shelly Glover) will try to blame this on the Liberals and their “vested interest” in being soft on crime?
I don’t know about you, but the tone of the emails that were sent to the Prime Minister’s office about the possibility of restoring the lyrics of O Canada to the more inclusive 1908 version – complaining about “insecure women” and minority groups – disturbs me just a little bit.
And for a little something else to ponder, my friend Philippe Lagassé writes that Parliament shouldn’t have a say in Canada deploying troops, because doing so is actually less accountable. Definitely something to ponder.