Happy Canada Day! While I settle in to wait for the noon show to begin, here are some things to ponder.
After the Oscar Peterson statue unveiling at the NAC yesterday – which drew an estimated crowd of 8000 to 10,000 – the Queen had an audience with the Prime Minister and held a garden party in the rain. Here’s the pool report:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had an audience with the Queen in the large drawing room at Rideau Hall that began about 4:40 pm. A photo-op was held at the start of Harper’s audience, which lasted about 30 minutes. The Queen had changed attire from the robin's egg blue dress she wore for her earlier public appearances. She was wearing a light summer dress with a large green and blue flower print, three strings of pearls, black purse and black shoes. The prime minister wore a dark suit, white shirt with red tie. They sat in armchairs side by side in front of a fireplace and single Canadian flag, the Queen chatting animatedly. After the meeting, the Queen went to an adjacent hall to unveil a stained glass window that will go in the Senate, along with the maquette of a bust of Her Majesty that will also be placed on the Senate side of parliament’s Centre Block. “We’re going to have to come up with something for the Commons’ side,” Harper joked. The Queen appeared quite interested in the maquette in her likeness. The prime minister asked the sculpture what kind of stone would be used for the bust and was told limestone. Laureen Harper was also in attendance, with about two dozen other guests including several senators.
And the menu, if you’re interested. Her Majesty will meet with Ignatieff on Friday before he heads to China, even though it’s normally her “rest day” at this juncture of the tour. Apparently she really wanted to meet him, after she saw him on British television for all those years.
Suzanne Legault has been confirmed as the Information Commissioner. Hopefully she’ll crack the whip a little more with this government when it comes to Access to Information requests than her predecessor did.
The former Chief Statistician of Canada says he would have quit if he were still around after learning of the government’s plans to abandon the census long-form in favour of the “voluntary survey.” Tony Clement claims it’s just the government being responsive to all the complaints people had, even though it was all about having a scentifically represenative sample. I say that’s just a nice cover for their real agenda of compromising any data that can be used to formulate good policy that would otherwise contradict their ideology.
And finally, Jason Kenney wants the queer community to pony up and privately sponsor more queer refugees. What hasn’t been largely talked about is the fact that in Bill C-11 is the capacity for more refugees to come to Canada – but only 500 of the 2500 or so spaces will be for government-sponsored refugees. Apparently this was done without consulting those private refugee-sponsoring organisations (shocking, I know). Helen Kennedy of Egale Canada says that she’d be happy to talk to Kenney about the issue.