Harm reduction
3 min

Conservative culture of deceit – drink!

There was a new Question Period drinking game yesterday, and this time it was from the Liberals. The “Conservative culture of deceit,” for which every time we heard that, or simply “culture of deceit,” we should have taken a drink. But hey, it’s quite the accompaniment to the Liberal culture of entitlement, don’t you think?

Thankfully, there were few questions on the Guergis/Jaffer Affair, as Michael Ignatieff began by asking Harper to apologise for Garry Breitkreuz’s angry press release. Harper stood up to say that Breitkreuz apologised, his staffer resigned, and isn’t Ignatieff terribly for trying to keep the gun registry alive? Bob Rae then asked about those unavailable documents the Military Police Complaints Commission needs for their investigation of the Afghan detainee issue – being the first to utter, several times, the “Conservative culture of deceit” meme – and was told by Rob Nicholson that the Commission is doing just what it’s mandate says it can – so there.

Gilles Duceppe brought up Rahim Jaffer’s lobbying efforts in relation to a control-freak PMO, and Jack Layton was again asking after foreign takeovers. Anita Neville and Dominic Leblanc were also asking after Jaffer’s lobbying, talking about that “Conservative culture of deceit” (drink!), the Bloc’s Maria Mourani asked why the government was killing the budget of the Victims of Crime Ombudsman if they supposedly cared so much for the victims (Nicholson claims the office was getting a raise), and Thierry St-Cyr asked about the backlog of Haitian family reunification claims (Kenney says that we’re doing an extraordinary job – really!). The drinking game extended into Lise Zarac’s question on Access to Information, and Mark Holland after the Victims of Crime Ombudsman, and how one more watchdog was getting the axe by this government after it dared to criticise them. The remaining questions ranged from the UN mission in the Congo, overhauling EI, the Toyota fine in the US, and the UN Declaration on Aboriginal Rights.

Sartorially speaking, I was prepared to give snaps to Leona Aglukkaq’s white jacket with black Inuit-looking patterns, and Justin Trudeau’s lovely pink shirt and lavender tie that went with his ripped jeans, but then I saw Ève-Marie Thaï Thi Lac walking out of the House in some of the fiercest hot pink heels in the history of ever – complete with Swarovski crystals on the stems (and yes, an outfit that matched). Major snaps! The style citation goes out to Joe Volpe for one of the most awful floral ties I have ever seen, and the Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a nice black suit and grey top, all properly cut, and paired with green shoes that didn’t clash with anything. Nice job!

If you want to know what went down at the big Rahim Jaffer appearance before committee, Kady O’Malley’s liveblog is here.

Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh says “distorted” multiculturalism is allowing Sikh extremism to run amok in Canada.

The House voted overwhelmingly to kill a Bloc Private Member’s Bill on euthanasia.

A new Corrections Canada report shows the severity of the HIV and Hepatitis C situation in our prison system, but that’s not likely to sway this government on the merits of harm reduction. But one has to wonder – for a government that is supposedly so concerned about the bottom line, why would they not invest in harm reduction when the public health costs of having so many infected inmates far outweighs that investment?

In Rwanda, Her Excellency formally apologised for Canada’s inaction with respect to the genocide there.

Up today – The Commons health committee continues their examination of the cancellation of the CHVI vaccine facility, and I will be there to cover it.

Possibly up today – the Speaker’s ruling on the Privilege issue. Susan Delacourt and John Ibbitson remind us that what is at stake is nothing less than the supremacy of Parliament. Delacourt adds “Saying that the military’s interest prevails over the Commons is even more worrisome for those of us who are fans of democracy – if the military trumps the will of the elected, why not just turn over Parliament to the armed forces, as they do in banana republics?” Bravo!
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