3 min

Doing as the PMO says, not as it does

Remember how this was supposed to be the age of fiscal austerity? Funny how that doesn’t seem to apply to either the PMO, an expanded cabinet and their mounting travel costs (as cabinet ministers jet across the country to ribbon cuttings and novelty-cheque presentations anywhere they can). Just saying…

Before Question Period, Rob Oliphant rose to speak about Occupational Therapy Month.

October is National Occupational Therapy Month, a chance to celebrate the contribution of occupational therapists as they help people live healthier, more satisfying lives. They provide people-centred solutions that contribute to the overall well-being of all Canadians.

The work that OTs do is varied and constantly evolving. They help people adapt to changing circumstances and abilities.

A woman, who has had a stroke, finds new ways to manage daily activities; an autistic child learns new ways to deal with difficult social situations; a young man has his workplace adapted after a motorcycle accident. He goes back to work. This is occupational therapy.

OTs help family caregivers. When dementia strikes, they tell them about the behaviours to expect, how to make their homes safer, about helpful community resources.

OTs help soldiers return to work, with outcomes that fit the demands and culture of the Canadian Forces. They help veterans cope with post-traumatic stress disorder to live meaningful, productive lives.

OTs change lives. Let's celebrate their contribution.

With Michael Ignatieff off in Thunder Bay, Ralph Goodale kicked off Question Period, bringing up the whole issue of Chinook helicopter versus F-35 procurement policies, to which Harper insisted that he was just following the process the Liberals put into place. (The former deputy minister of procurement, in charge of that process, refutes that absolutely.) Dominic LeBlanc followed up on this, to which Peter MacKay reminded him that he used to be all for the F-35s. The Liberal benches were shouting, “It’s the process!” Not that it mattered.

Pierre Paquette brought up the issue of Omar Khadr, and Claude Bachand asked about how they planned to square planned cuts to the military with their massive purchasing program with no apparent policy in place. Jack Layton brought up the Potash deal, and Harper shrugged and said that the NDP didn’t believe in any foreign investment – so there.

From there, Kirsty Duncan brought up the F-35s, and segued into the story about DND telling the mother of a dead soldier to stop calling them. MacKay said that he was “outraged” by the story and was looking into it. Pablo Rodriguez asked about the G8/G20 costs, Christiane Gagnon asked about infrastructure projects, Diane Bourgeois asked about Christian Paradis (and got the same smart-assed reply about FLQ members – which blew up after QP), and Martha Hall Findlay asked about Potash, and where were the Saskatchewan MPs on the government benches? (Many Saskatchewan Conservatives raised their hands, while other backbenchers pointed them out.)

From there, there were several questions on this week’s revelations about reasons why KAIROS was defunded, the implementation of the HST in BC (including a question from Libby Davies), the cuts to crime prevention funding, pension benefits, a bridge in Quebec City and a tax credit for volunteer fire fighters.

Sartorially speaking, I’m giving snaps to the two best-dressed seatmates in the House – Rob Oliphant (wearing a great purple striped shirt and a purple tie with a navy jacket) and Alexandra Mendes (wearing what appeared to be a milk-chocolate leather jacket, toffee-coloured top and a brown suede skirt). Style citations go out to Stockwell Day for a terrible beige suit worn with a tan shirt with white collar and a brown tie. As well, there were some habitual offenders: Chris Charlton’s fluorescent green jacket and Tilly O’Neill-Gordon’s dusky-rose smock. The Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a very well-coordinated light grey top, darker grey skirt, black jacket and grey boots.

Susan Delacourt talks about Ken Dryden’s new book.

There have been problems with the Chinook helicopter procurement, there is ongoing drama around the F-35 procurement, and now it also looks like there are major problems with procuring replacement search-and-rescue aircraft. This really isn’t the Canadian Forces’ day/month/year, is it?

It’s freedom of expression versus freedom of religion as a case about homophobic leaflets are heading to the Supreme Court of Canada.

And Scott Brison – along with Justin Trudeau and Elizabeth May – showcases his painting skills for charity.
Bookmark and Share