It sounds like Kory Teneycke, Stephen Harper’s former press secretary, has been hired by Quebecor (the parent company of Sun Media) to run their Ottawa bureau, and to help them develop a Fox News-like station for Canada. Because that’s exactly what this country needs to help foster an informed public for the enhancement of democracy – hyper-partisanship and ill-informed inflammatory commentary on the news of the day. Because hey, we can’t import enough bad American ideas it seems.
During Members’ Statements, Bill Siksay rose to denounce the forthcoming HST in BC.
Mr. Speaker, Conservatives can still do the right thing on the HST. British Columbians are united in our opposition to the HST. We have mobilized in communities in every corner of the province and are sending a clear message to Conservative and Liberal MPs who supported this tax that they must reverse their position and stop it now. There is time for them to repent.
The Prime Minister and the premiers should sit down immediately, reverse course and stop the HST. The Conservatives thought that they were finished with the HST after they enabled it and rammed it through Parliament back in December, but people in B.C. remember what they have done.
New Democrats continue to stand in solidarity with British Columbians on the HST. We opposed it then, we voted against it at all stages, and we, too, want it stopped now. Conservatives and Liberals imposed the HST on B.C. in perhaps the most notorious action of the only active coalition in this Parliament, the one between Conservatives and Liberals.
In Question Period, Michael Ignatieff started off by bringing up the international ridicule that Canada has opened itself up to with the spiralling costs of the G8 and G20 summits. Harper’s big defence was that they said the same thing about the Olympics, and look how well those turned out. When Mark Holland followed up, Jim Flaherty reminded him that we have the best fiscal situation in the G7. Huh? When Holland then equated the money (mis)spent on G20 security versus the simple changes that could be used to safeguard the stockpiles of ammonium nitrate, Vic Toews stood up to accuse him of denying that Canada has any security problems.
Gilles Duceppe and Pierre Paquette continued with the theme of G20 spending, while Jack Layton stood up to accuse the Liberals and NDP of being in a coalition when they passed C-9 on Tuesday night. Harper wondered how Layton could slam the Liberals when they were apparently in “secret talks” to form a coalition. (More on this later.) Layton also brought up the security costs in light of First Nations poverty in this country, which Harper said they were taking strong action on.
Marlene Jennings demanded the complete budget breakdowns for the G8 and G20 summits. Lawrence Cannon told her the money was spent for security and promoting Canada. Mike Savage asked about those costs given rising levels of poverty in Canada. Lawrence Cannon told her the money was spent for security and promoting Canada. Carole Freeman and Michel Guimond asked after the summons the Prime Minister’s press secretary has been ducking to committees, and wondered if the Prime Minister was opening himself up to charges of contempt of Parliament. Pierre Poilievre gave a disingenuous statement about ministerial accountability.
The rest of Question Period asked after the true costs of Harper’s fight against the global bank tax, the liability of oil companies in off-shore spills, why the Conservatives were using the Federal court to avoid having to turn over Afghan detainee documents, rising rates of TB in aboriginal communities, and the women’s health summit in Washington, DC, (where people are wondering why Canada is being so regressive).
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Bonnie Crombie for her peach-pink dress with the melon-pink sweater. I also liked Hedy Fry’s navy and green-patterned white dress. There were, however, several missteps, which included Chris Charlton’s fluorescent green jacket (please, please, please stop wearing fluorescent colours – the '80s are over!), Marina Minna’s dull yellow jacket with a black top and trousers, and Diane Finley’s gold jacket with a brown top and skirt, which makes her look like an old Century 21 realtor. The Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a short white top with grey cropped pants, which didn’t suit her figure, paired with pinkish heels.
On the subject of these hysterical ramblings about that possible merger of the Liberals and the NDP, the Liberal caucus completely dismissed the very notion. “Get a grip,” Rae told the media. Veteran journalists who have covered the Liberals for years cast their own doubt. But what everything seems to boil down to is the fact that the two people who are coming forward with all the talk of these alleged negotiations are someone who left the Liberal fold on bad terms and his best friend. There really is no story here – and the sooner certain CBC personalities get this through their heads, the sooner we can return to some more substantive issues.
Issues like how Canada’s signature project in Afghanistan, the Dahla Dam, is nearly out of our control thanks to poor decisions when it comes to local security there. But hey, Bev Oda waved majestically from a helicopter in the area, so everything must be a-okay.
And the Conservative party lawyer who fingered Helena Guergis said she was helping her husband, Rahim Jaffer, peddle influence. Guergis will appear before committee next week, to refute all of this I’m sure.