2 min

Establishing the ground rules

The NDP will hold its leadership convention on March 24 in Toronto. The entry fee for the contest
is $15,000, with a maximum spending cap of $500,000. I have to wonder, of
course, whether this leadership contest will dampen the enthusiasm of New
Democrats for the current regime of campaign finance laws now that they have to
deal with them, rather than simply passing them to punish the Liberals.

It also appears that the assistant of new
Quebec gay NDP MP Philip Toone is going to be running for the sovereigntist Québec
Solidaire party in the province’s upcoming provincial election. Oops. But hey, they’re
all committed federalists, right? Even if they’re not committed to upholding
the Clarity Act and are in favour of greater devolved powers to the province? Yeah, this might get a bit awkward.

Remember that plan about how Canada was
going to resettle all those Afghan interpreters who’d put their lives on the
line and families in danger by working for us? Yeah, it seems that we’ve turned two thirds of them away. Promises? Did you check the fine print? Canada’s Back™,

The parliamentary secretary for the
foreign affairs minister has been caught having a “flirtatious” email
relationship with a reporter from the Chinese state news agency (which has ties to
Chinese intelligence services). He claims it was nothing more than flirtatious
(and there’s a bit more about that here). And yes, of course he’s married. This
is probably not something that Harper wanted to deal with, and one has to
wonder how much longer Bob Dechert will keep his current post before he’s shuffled
out (for some other excuse entirely, no doubt, since Harper is never wrong
about his appointment choices, with the sole exception of Maxime Bernier).

That new Shared Services Canada agency
the government set up to start doing things like consolidating data centres for
cost savings? A report commissioned on the subject showed no business plan,
no human resources plan, and said the agency was likely going to cost more money than
it saved. Oops. I guess that’s one of the inevitable side effects of governing
by press release rather than policy based on evidence, right?

And in one of those stories that keeps
coming up, yes, Michaëlle Jean had to use government jets when she went on
holiday during her term as governor general, because the RCMP insisted on it
for security reasons. And no matter how many times Sun Media starts off on this crusade, the answer will never change. The difference here, however,
between when Jean did it and when Harper does it is that she didn’t use said government
jets to go to a hockey game and then insist on paying back economy fares, which
is just insulting (whereas when Paul Martin used the aforementioned government jet
on a family holiday, he paid back the top commercial fare and then doubled it).
Just saying.

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