Politics of Canada
2 min

Can Harper change the channel?

Apparently it’s National Victims of Crime Awareness Week. And you know what that means, right? If you guessed an attempt to play the tough-on-crime card to change the channel from Helena Guergis and the latest damning round of allegations in the Afghan detainee saga, you’d be right. I can hardly wait for all of the upcoming tough-on-crime rhetoric. Can we get Shelly Glover to give us a bunch more fictional statistics about how bad crime is in this country, even though the crime rate continues to fall? Because that would be awesome.

During Members’ Statements on Friday, Libby Davis spoke about her participation in the 2010 Homelessness relay.

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the honour to participate in the 2010 homelessness hunger strike relay to raise awareness about this crisis in Canada.
The relay will conclude in June with a delegation to Ottawa by train to mark the 75th anniversary of the On to Ottawa Trek, when thousands of unemployed men road the trains to demand fair work and wages.
I collected pages and pages of messages from people who know only too well the reality of homelessness. One person wrote, “Homelessness exists because society allows it to.“ Another wrote, “No homes, no life.”
Bill C-304 for a national housing strategy is currently before Parliament and is finding strong support across Canada. In Vancouver, we are on the verge of losing hundreds of shelter beds because of lack of funding and lack of federal leadership. The need for a national strategy could not be more apparent.
Many MPs have heard from their constituents on this bill, and I hope those voices will be reflected with all-party support for a national housing strategy when it comes to a vote.

Liberal Kirsty Duncan also spoke on the 25th anniversary of the enactment of Section 15 of the Charter.

Davies also took the NDP’s lead question during Friday’s Question Period and focused on the aspects of the Guergis affair as relating to the Ethics Commissioner. Davies has made a formal request that the Ethics Commissioner look into the Guergis affair.

While in Senegal, Her Excellency raised the issue that slavery still happens in Africa today. Much of it, as reported by Human Rights Watch, takes place in religious schools where children are beaten if they don’t return with enough cash from a day of begging. Later, she arrived in the Congo, where she will address the country’s rape epidemic in a speech to parliamentarians.

The Liberals unveiled part of their new rural engagement strategy in Nova Scotia and talked about debt forgiveness for students who want to work in rural health care, where there is a demonstrated need.

And fallout from the Guergis affair could mean a harder time at the polls for Conservatives with women voters, not that they had a great deal of success to begin with.

Up today – Harper is going to be marking the opening of the aforementioned National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, which I guess is the consolation prize for not getting to go to Poland for the President’s funeral.
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