You may have heard that we had a bit of excitement in Ottawa yesterday – a 5.0 earthquake. As all government buildings, including those on Parliament Hill were evacuated, the Senate’s session was interrupted by the shaking – and the swaying of the massive overhead chandeliers.
And thus was born the unofficial Senate garden party on the lawn of Parliament, where they milled about with staffers, pages and yes, the odd journalist (yours truly among them). Eventually, the Senate Speaker, the Clerk, Black Rod and the Mace Bearer called all honourable senators over to one spot, where they had a quick meeting to officially adjourn the day’s proceedings, and they will return on Monday. (Today wasn’t going to be a sitting day anyway, given it’s St Jean Baptiste in Quebec).
Oh, and it looks like the Air Canada Jazz pilots have reached a tentative agreement, so the House won’t have to be recalled to enact emergency legislation. Alas!
Prime Minister Harper has officially apologized for the Air India bombing and Canada’s inaction that allowed it to happen. Note, however, that this apology took place at a memorial in Toronto, and not in the House of Commons. Make of that what you will.
Harper, incidentally, gave an exclusive interview to the Sun/QMI – something I foresee a lot more of in the future, given that Kory now runs the shop. (This must really brass CTV off, seeing as they will likely no longer be the PMO’s favoured outlet). Some things of note – he basically admits that he only finds the G8 useful (which fits my theory that he’s turned the G20 into the most expensive summit ever in order to poison the well for future summits), and he quite laughably asserts that opposition parties are only concerned with domestic policy. Um, no – when you go onto the world stage to make domestic partisan swipes, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the governing party is only concerned with domestic policy.
An audit of the Canada Firearms Centre – which looks after the licences the government says are the real form of gun control they want to encourage as they attempt to scrap the long-gun registry – found some serious gaps that could compromise public safety. Mind you, the audit was done before a lot of fixes were implemented, and most of those fixes should be coming online any time now, but it does give one pause if this is what the government wants to act as the sole facet of gun control in this country.
Up today – the president of China is in town, and he’ll be meeting with Her Excellency as our de facto head of state, as well as with Harper. It is a state visit, marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and China.