41st Canadian Parliament
2 min

Calling out the justice minister

The NDP’s justice critic, Joe Comartin, is holding a press conference this morning to call on the government to stop their games with their crime bills. Because that’s exactly what they’re doing – but good luck with that. Playing politics is what they do best.

But down the halls of Parliament, the Liberal senate leader, James Cowan, has sent out an open letter to the justice minister to call him on his bullshit regarding the so-called “obstruction” of crime bills in the Senate. Of course, Nicholson knows differently, and many a journalist has looked at all the public information that tracks the progress of bills, and has posted the truth, but that hasn’t slowed the falsehood the government has been spinning. And it is a pretty magnificent letter – laying out the timelines, the bills in question, and most of all, reminding the Minister of the role of the Senate in Parliament.

Honestly – we need a few more letters like these, and a few more journalists to go down the hall to the Senate to get their side of the story, not just the government spin. After all, they are a fiercely independent body who are a vital part of our democratic process. They should have a voice – especially when they are being slandered by the justice minister on a daily basis. More people should be calling him out, and that includes the honourable senators themselves.

Jack Layton held a press conference yesterday about bringing ideas to the table for Harper’s born-again maternal and child health focus, and reminded the country that we still have issues in our own backyard to take care of. Later, on Power & Politics, the topic of contraception and safe abortions for women were brought up. “Education and prevention” but not safe abortions, said Conservative MP Shelly Glover – whom I am starting to consider as one of the more intellectually bankrupt talking heads brought up by the party, as the doublespeak and spin she was reciting was truly galling. Then again, it’s not like anyone expected this government to have a well thought-out, nuanced policy about anything, did they?

The Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt takes a look back to what Parliaments were facing during the ’88 Winter Olympics – and it was a pretty heavy load, including Svend Robinson’s coming out. Apparently Harper’s excuse that MPs need to devote time to the Olympics instead really does give rise to The Economist’s charge that apparently this government can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

Also from the Star, their editorial board thinks that the Liberals calling out newly appointed senator Bob Runciman as a homophobe is a low blow, saying he changed and helped McGuinty to shepherd a bill recognising same-sex marriage through the legislature with little fuss. People can change their views, but I still have my doubts, given the pattern of Harper Senate appointees.

Note to the NDP snark machine – I seem to recall Ignatieff saying that he would work right through to the Olympics, not right through the Olympics. Perhaps you should fact check your “Fact Check.” After all, isn’t it your leader who keeps saying that Canadians are tired of the “old way” of politics?

Up today: The Liberal roundtables du jour are two on the medical isotope shortage – which is about to get a whole lot worse – as well as one about consular affairs, with the rights of Canadians abroad, and the responsibility of the government to take care of them.
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