Politics
2 min

Clement’s committee shrug

Tony Clement finally appeared before that
Commons committee, and to his credit, actually spoke (whereas I had previously assumed that Baird would do all the talking and try to use procedure to
bully the committee as he has done in the past). Except, of course, Clement
didn’t really say anything useful. Oh, the paperwork could have been “done
better.” Oh, he didn’t make any decisions at all, and his signature on
documents was just “symbolic.” Oh, maybe they shouldn’t have used the border infrastructure fund to use the cash because it was an established delivery
mechanism. Oh, everyone is always barking up the wrong tree and he’s just the
poor innocent victim here. Meanwhile, Stephen Maher notes that Gerry Byrne’s
very apt questions may have reflected Byrne’s own sordid past when it comes to
pork barrel projects.

Opposition MPs have walked out of the ethics committee in protest over the in
camera
hearings, and lo and behold, the Conservative motion on forcing the
CBC to produce the un-redacted access-to-information documents has now passed,
because guess what? They still have quorum. Yeah, and we only have what? A
little under four more years of this? I’m so very overcome with excitement.

Remember how in the last Parliament, the
NDP made a big show about how they worked together in their caucus to come up
with compromises on the long-gun registry issue but still let their MPs have a
free vote? And how they kept reminding us ad nauseum about this fact? Well,
this time around they’ve disciplined the two MPs who voted to scrap it.

The Conservatives have tabled the bill to restrict loans in leadership campaigns. And the New Democrats say they support it in
principle because they want to keep rich people from bankrolling politics, and
apparently, make banks the gatekeepers who decide who should or
shouldn’t run for leaderships. Oh, and NDP – it’s not that the Liberals have
given up trying to pay off their leadership debts; it’s that you decided to
stack the rules against them so they couldn’t hit up the same donors annually
(like you can with regular donations). That is the problem.

The drama over the F-35s continues with new
tales of a spat between Industry Canada and the manufacturer over a previous contract,
which in turn led to holding up signing on to the F-35s. And so this tale gets
even more sordid.

Here’s an interesting piece about what our intolerance for satire means to our political culture, as it reinforces the need
to show deference to those in authority.

And Dean Del Mastro remains the klassy
fellow that he has shown himself to be consistently, complaining that Justin
Trudeau gets invited to speak at a Catholic school, even though Jason Kenney is
a better Catholic. Yeah. But remember, if you comment about Del Mastro’s
weight, he gets all huffy and offended.

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