The big story out of Ottawa yesterday was the first of two days of the conference on combating anti-Semitism. Stephen Harper delivered opening remarks in which he patted himself on the back for taking such a strong hand in supporting Israel and claimed the loss of a Security Council seat was a moral victory. Ignatieff, not surprisingly, disagreed with that assessment. (Meanwhile, there were concerns raised about freedom of speech.)
The other story was the apparent decision by the government to extend our mission in Afghanistan into a training role. Michael Ignatieff scoffs at the NDP and Bloc charge that this was some secret deal cooked up with the Conservatives, considering it was a late Friday call from Lawrence Cannon, and they still have no details. He also calls it “amateur hour” as the government is scrambling before the NATO meeting in Lisbon.
Also, Susan Delacourt wonders why no one is raising a fuss about the fact that Harper has not only completely reversed his position on Afghanistan, but that it’s been done on a break week outside of the House, with his spokesperson left to fill in what scant details are being offered.
Meanwhile, Harper’s diplomatic triumph with the UAE means that Canadians will now need visas to travel there. Because he was doing what was in the best interest of Canada.
The Ottawa Citizen looks at some new figures on who is lobbying whom on Parliament Hill.
And Michaëlle Jean officially began her new job as the special UNESCO envoy for Haiti yesterday.