2 min

Fire alarms, fossil awards and Fantino obsessing

It’s World AIDS Day, so we’ll see how many MPs wear red ribbons or make statements about it, considering it’s no longer considered a cause célèbre.

Michael Ignatieff kicked off question period yesterday with questions about seniors and the Nortel pensioners, and why they wouldn’t support Bill S-216 in the Senate, which was there to help those pensioners out. Harper dismissed it as “false hope.” But just as Mark Holland began his own question, the fire alarms went off, and the Centre Block was evacuated for the next half hour, and we got to stand in the cold rain outside. When QP resumed, Holland restarted his question on that suspicious trading with the mining stock and a possible cabinet leak, which Baird dismissed. Gilles Duceppe and Carole Lavallée asked after Bill C-32 (on reforming copyright), while Jack Layton asked about the issue of child detainees in Afghanistan.

Round two started off with Denis Coderre asking about the mine stock issue, while Judy Sgro returned to the issue of Nortel pensioners. Daniel Paillé asked about taxing books (in the context of harmonized taxation), and Jean Dorion returned to the issue of child detainees. Larry Bagnell asked after problems with aboriginal broadcasters, and Bob Rae got up to take on Lawrence Cannon on the child detainee issue, which Cannon continued to not really answer.

From here, questions turned to the WikiLeaks revelations of comments by former CSIS head Jim Judd, the number of Fossil Awards we’ve already won at the Cancun climate conference, a West Coast tanker ban, the dredging of Sydney Harbour, and whether the Coast Guard is prepared for oil spills in Canadian waters.

Sartorially speaking, there were several of the bright-blue striped ties for prostate cancer research in the House (given that it was the end of Movember). Snaps go out to Sylvie Boucher for a nicely tailored black-and-white dress with a black-and-white jacket. The style citation goes to Cheryl Gallant for an unfortunate sparkling-blue top with a reddish-orange jacket. Eep. The Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a light-grey top with a wide pink belt, over dark-grey trousers.

Later in the day, the Conservatives and the Liberals voted down the Bloc motion to condemn the government’s extending the Afghan mission without a vote. So it was actually a good day for our system of Responsible Government.

The government denies that it's trying to get policies that protect the oil sands. Naturally.

Michael Ignatieff says this week’s by-elections show that the next election is a two-way race between the Conservatives and the Liberals. I’m not sure that the NDP, the Bloc or the Green Party would necessarily agree with him on that one. Ignatieff also says that he’s glad that our courts place limits on CSIS and other anti-terrorism measures, despite the grousing of American officials uncovered in the aforementioned WikiLeaks documents. (He also has musings about the “perverse” effects of social media on democracy, if you’re interested.)

Here’s a great look at the complexity of child detainees in Afghanistan – and in places like Haiti.

There are fights over who should be considered an expert witness in the BC polygamy trial.

And here is a great video to end Movember, courtesy of Jennifer Ditchburn of The Canadian Press. She also has a great story about new mothers in Parliament, given that Helena Guergis will soon be one.
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