If you believe, as one Liberal MP mused during Members’ Statements, that Stephen Harper has missed the digital revolution – what with his ominous mention of all of his “tapes” on Ignatieff on Wednesday – then his government is certainly trying to cash in on the nuclear age.
Yes, nuclear energy is back, and Natural Resources minister Lisa Raitt spent the morning trying to tell the press (and by extension Canadians) that the government’s plan to hive off and sell the portions of AECL that might actually make money was a good thing (never once uttering the word "privatisation"), and would make us competitive in the global market in this era of a “nuclear renaissance.”
(Of course, much of what Raitt was talking about made little sense, like getting private sector management in for the Chalk River reactor, when it’s really mechanical problems relating to an aging reactor that are the issue, not management).
By Question Period, the attention was once again focused largely on the deficit, though there were forays once again into EI reform, with detours into just why it is that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board got some $8 million in bonuses when the fund lost money.
Incidentally, the Toronto Star is becoming Jim Flaherty’s favourite newspaper, in case you were wondering, and Flaherty also enjoys hearing from the “expert on deficits,” Bob Rae. Rae, by the way, claims that when it comes to deficits, he was just the amateur, and that Flaherty is the real expert – possibly expert enough to win a Nobel Prize in deficits.
Near the end of Question Period, Liberal Martha Hall Findlay got in some very interesting questions about testimony before committee the previous day from an official in the Public Works department. Essentially, it was said that there would be no forthcoming sale of government assets, as any such sales in the current market would be a fire sale. (One wonders if the CANDU portion of AECL would count as part of that assessment?) Findlay then asked a very serious question – if they weren’t going to sell assets, then what about that $10 billion line item in the budget? Where was that $10 billion in revenue supposed to come from? Neither Flaherty, nor the Parliamentary Secretary for the minister of Public Works, had an answer other than the fact that they wouldn’t be engaging in any fire sales.
Sartorially speaking, there were a couple of fantastic suits on display, but Lisa Raitt was proving her newfound glamazon credentials with the powder-blue suit and skirt, both tailored to perfection, with the black v-neck top beneath. By George, I think she’s got it! Olivia Chow’s cranberry suit-and-skirt was similarly a good look for her. Marlene Jennings’ exploration of her summer wardrobe continued with a decent green striped shirt under a green linen jacket, which as one of her smarter ensembles of late. But style citations go out to both Diane Ablonczy and Bev Oda for the fact that each was wearing big, boxy, bright red jackets, Ablonczy’s going so far as to having big brass buttons along it. I’ve seen you both do better – shape up! The Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a dark grey pantsuit, paired with dull mossy-green shoes. So close, and yet so far away. And yes, that was Peter MacKay’s right arm in a sling – he broke it Wednesday night in a charity rugby game.
Meanwhile, Her Excellency the Governor General continues to defend her seal-eating, and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has finally made their ruling on CTV’s decision to air the false starts to that infamous Dion interview during the waning days of the election, and they found that the network – and most especially Mike Duffy – violated industry codes and were “discourteous and inconsiderate.” We could have told you that – but it’s nice to see that there’s now some independent validation for that kind of behaviour.