Following a number of statements on the great Polish tragedy of last week, Question Period got off to a better start than it has all week as the Liberals – this time led off by Bob Rae – didn’t ask about Helena Guergis. Finally! Instead, they turned to all those new damning allegations about Afghan detainees. And no matter how many times they asked – and how many times Jack Layton or the Bloc’s Claude Bachand asked – Peter MacKay gave the same answer: 1) There is no substantial evidence, and 2) Why do you hate the troops? No, seriously. Oh, and sure to crop up tomorrow – a Canadian Forces officer telling the Military Police Complaints Commission investigation that looking into torture allegations wasn’t his job. But I’m sure that this revelation means he hates the troops too.
And it’s not that the Guergis affair didn’t creep up in Question Period – complete with new allegations about tax havens and shell corporations in Belize! John Baird repeated, by rote, that the Prime Minister did the right thing in calling in the Mounties. (Incidentally, the Toronto Star is now reporting that Guergis’s sister says the former minister had a miscarriage days before her Charlottetown meltdown).
Other questions included Access to Information (which the government is totally working on fixing – really!), why Kevin Page can’t get the information he needs to do his job out of this government (apparently it’s the Speaker’s fault because funding Page’s office is under his jurisdiction – huh?), Judy Wasylycia-Leis asking about those cuts to the CHVI facility and the research job losses this means for Canada (the money, we are assured, is still on the table), and a suck-up question about the so-called “iPod tax,” but when James Moore tried to cast himself as a tax fighter, the opposition benches shouted out all of the various tax increases that have happened under this government.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Marc Garneau for a very striking ensemble of a nice grey suit with a very pale pink shirt and a gorgeous, shiny pink tie. The style citation again goes out to Chris Charlton because of her insistence on wearing fluorescent colours despite the fact it’s no longer the '80s – today’s bright shade was green. And the Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a lovely grey suit with a coral pink top of a flattering cut and green heels that didn’t clash with anything else. Good job!
The opposition has officially rejected the choice of Gerard Latulippe to head up the embattled Rights and Democracy agency because of his past views on capital punishment, same-sex marriage and immigration when he was a Canadian Alliance candidate. Latulippe says he was exercising his democratic right, which makes him perfect to lead the organisation. Oh, boy…
The Heritage Minister says he has no interest in going to see the new Pop Life exhibit at the National Gallery, saying he saw enough at the preview. Do you think maybe it has something to do with those two rooms of “adult” content? Obviously too much for the pure minister. But don’t feel bad for him – he’ll be too busy totally watching TV on his iPod, yo!
Because he’s totally not trying to re-open the abortion debate, Conservative MP – and current chair of the all-party pro-life caucus – Rob Bruinooge introduced a Private Members’ Bill to penalize anyone who would “coerce” a woman to have an abortion against her will. Um, right – because that totally won’t flare tempers and get that party started up again…
In Senegal, Her Excellency was treading a fine line between being coy about her future political ambitions and not offending the country’s president, who said that they had no lessons to learn about democracy.
This weekend – Harper, Ignatieff and Layton are all off to Poland for the state funeral of the country’s late president. But are they taking the same plane? If so, did they learn nothing from that tragedy?