Martin Cauchon
5 min

Contempt for the Commons

It’s time for the Conservatives to table their third economic “report card” today, but don’t expect Harper to do it in the House. No, he’s off to do it in St. John, New Brunswick. You know, a place where he won’t have to face the House, the national media, or any of those pesky means of accountability in a Parliamentary democracy. Okay, okay – it will simultaneously be tabled in the House, but for Harper to do his big speech outside of the Commons demonstrates his contempt for Parliament, if you ask me. John Baird can claim that it’s to “get out of the Ottawa bubble” all he wants – the fact is, the Commons exists for a reason, and for Harper and company to make their announcements outside of it is a demonstration of their desire to make our legislative body irrelevant in the political discourse of the nation. This is all about Harper trying to look and sound more presidential, and we should remind him that this isn’t America, and that in Canada, these kinds of things happen in the House of Commons.

On the subject of those partisan ads, there appears to be an advertising department in the PMO, but no one knows what they do. And PCO hasn’t really spent money on advertising in the past, and now they’re suddenly handling a $34 million dollar advertising campaign on the Economic Action Plan? It all does start to sound even more suspicious.

There’s been some resolution to the Liberal feud brewing in Outremont. Ignatieff ended up reversing his previous decision and allowed Martin Cauchon to run in his old riding once again. And that female candidate that Ignatieff wanted to install as the candidate? She offered to run in Jeanne-Le Ber, a riding currently held by the Bloc. While both want open nomination races in those respective ridings, it looks like everything has worked out in the end.

The Conservatives are getting set to finally table their bill to add new seats to the Commons based on a new distribution formula. While this new formula is fairer to fast-growing Ontario, Quebec is worried that they’re going to lose influence, as their population isn’t growing enough to keep pace. Nevertheless, these new seats (going to Alberta, BC and Ontario) will be reflective of the urban, multicultural growth in those provinces, which could reshape the way that the Commons is made up, finally wresting away some of the control that the rural ridings have over the urban population.

There’s talk of plans to possibly grow poppies in Alberta for pharmaceutical reasons, which immediately begs the question of why we don’t just get them from Afghanistan and make a legitimate cash crop to starve out the drug lords there, rather than pursue the failing policy of burning poppy fields there without compensating farmers (thus driving the push for militancy). Makes you want to shake your head.

Heritage Minister James Moore says the Portrait Gallery isn’t dead – but they have no plans to deal with it any time soon. Naturally.

 And finally, a little bit of patriotic acrobatics (and eye candy). He performed on the Hill for Canada Day and was amazing, and this still blows me away.