Xtra
2 min

Crass committee backdrops

Because nothing is sacred when it comes to
government messaging, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney showed up at a
committee meeting yesterday morning with backdrops for the camera shots.
Seriously. Eventually the chair made him take them down after Liberal Denis
Coderre complained (possibly upon the receipt of tweets from the media), but
nevertheless, Kenney’s tactic was shameless, as was his backbencher’s defence
that “it’s the name of what we’re studying, so it’s fair!” Yeah, no. This kind of
branding exercise on the part of the government is just more spin and message
control that makes politics more about headlines and less about substance – and
it’s an exercise that we should stamp out before it takes over our political
discourse entirely.

Retired Nova Scotia Justice Merlin Nunn,
who authored a report that the Conservatives have been brandishing as proof
that they’re on the right track with the omnibus crime bill, has distanced himself from said bill. He, in fact, favours the Quebec position when it comes
to youth justice. Not that Rob Nicholson will admit Nunn’s reluctance in
public.

The chief justice of the BC Supreme Court
says that chronic underfunding is destroying the court system and that it
could soon be rendered dysfunctional. But hey, we have an omnibus crime bill
soon to be passed that will load courts with even more cases, mandatory minimum
sentences that could tie up cases even longer as any leniency in the system is
stripped out and defendants will have fewer ways to try to keep simple
possession cases from destroying their lives, and no additional resources going
to those courts. Yeah, this is really going to turn out well.

Survivors of the École Polytechnique
massacre were on the Hill yesterday to plead for the preservation of the
long-gun registry.

The president of the CBC was at the ethics committee yesterday to defend the company’s access-to-information issues when
it comes to journalistic sources and protection of its competitive position
in programming.

Paul Dewar wants to outlaw “photo op”
politics – as though he’s never engaged in it, let alone Jack Layton (who was
quite adept at such things).

And here’s the video of the “grumpy old
man” exchange from yesterday’s QP.

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