Rumours of a cabinet shuffle abounded, but now it’s going to have to happen – Veterans Affairs minister Greg Thompson has stepped down and says he won’t run in the next election. He says he wants to go out on top, but there is a vacant New Brunswick Senate seat open, so maybe this is his way of indicating that he wants it (or has been promised it, and he’s taking the first steps for accepting it). Either way, we’re going to see a shuffle one way or another in the next few days.
While the Haiti disaster continues to take the heat off of Harper’s decision to prorogue Parliament, it doesn’t help that the PMO continues to stage photo ops and pull stunts. Stunts like how on Friday, they sent out a release saying they were showing “solidarity with the people of Haiti, in a small yet special way, starting tonight, the Parliament buildings will be illuminated in Haitian colours.” Really? That’s the best you can do? And then there’s Jack Layton, taking full credit for getting credit card companies to waive fees for donations to Haiti. Really, Jack? You couldn’t stage a photo op, so this is your way to claim your piece?
Her Excellency, meanwhile, has been touched by the response to the quake, and says that the outpouring of sympathy and solidarity has brought her “back to life.” She has also been refusing interviews from international media, stepping out of the limelight in order to make the story not about her, but about Haiti itself, which I think shows far more class than certain other political leaders in this country.
On the issue of prorogation, the Ottawa Citizen looks at the way it’s handled in other Westminster democracies, and finds that we’re pretty much in a league of our own – and not in a good way.
The good people at The Canadian Press took a deeper look into the editing process of that new citizenship guide (you know – the one that pretty much effaced queers out of Canada), and finds a whole lot of politics in what happened. Not that it should be any great surprise.
Over in China, police cracked down on the Mr. Gay China pageant, hours before it was set to go on. China still has a ways to go before it liberalises – especially for gays.
And finally a war deserter who got deported and did his time wants to return to Canada. I think that says a lot about us as a country that he wants to return to where he was exiled to rather than stay with his family down in the States now that he’s free. It won’t be easy – he now has a criminal record and that may make him ineligible to return – but hopefully his will be a rare case, and that there will be fewer deportations in the long run. Or alternately, hopefully those that are deported will also want to return because of the experiences they had here.