By now you’ve probably heard that the Ontario Superior Court made its ruling to stay the lower court decision on striking down prostitution laws until the end of April next year. Walking out of the courthouse, dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford called Stephen Harper out, telling him to fight like a man rather than behind the courts. When pressed with this, Harper laughed it off – and then said that prostitution was bad. Because that’s fighting like a man, apparently.
Back in Ottawa, question period was a bit lacklustre with the two main leaders absent, as were many of the heavy-hitters. Ralph Goodale kicked things off with a question about support for seniors, and Marlene Jennings followed up with a question about home care. Gilles Duceppe asked about the investigation into the activities of our JTF2 special operations soldiers, and Jean Dorion asked about child detainees. (Macleans' Aaron Wherry tried emailing Cannon’s office about the number of juvenile detainees and got this response.) Jack Layton first asked whether the government would invite Aung San Suu Kyi to visit Canada, since we have made her an honorary citizen, after all. He then moved on to the comments made by Ambassador Crosbie that have been leaked to the media, and asked why, if things are so corrupt in Afghanistan, we don’t just pull out our troops?
Round two saw Irwin Cotler ask about comments that Cheryl Gallant made about the Charter, and moved on to similar comments made by Julian Fantino. Rob Nicholson had the gall to stand up and proclaim that no other party respected human rights more than the Conservatives. Really? I guess that queers don’t count. Dan McTeague followed up with questions about comments made by Tom Flanagan and Ezra Levant about the founder of WikiLeaks, and were these comments endorsed by the government (seeing as both figures are important in the party). Pierre Paquette asked about Afghan documents, Carole Lavallée about Bill C-32 on copyright, Siobhan Coady asked about the parliamentary budget officer’s report on stimulus, and Gerard Kennedy asked why the government cancelled the EcoEnergy program, seeing as it was the one environmental program that got results. (That would seem to be your answer right there.)The rest of QP saw questions about job numbers, Bagotville military base, the allegations of insider trading with that mining stock, rumours of an amnesty for tax evasion, compensation for victims of Agent Orange spraying at Gagetown, risk management for farmers, cell phones and the DND ombudsman’s comments.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Marlene Jennings for a great green jacket with a blue collared shirt that had the cuffs turned out over the jacket in a rather stylish fashion. I was also intrigued by Lois Brown’s brown velvet jacket, and a red jacket on Candice Hoeppner that could have been either satin or velvet (it was hard to tell at that distance in the light). The style citation goes to Joy Smith for an unfortunate dusky-rose jacket with a black top. And the Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a great black dress that was tailored and fit perfectly.
It appears that the government is shelving its bill to increase the number of seats in the House of Commons – with the cooperation of the Liberals and the NDP, likely because of fears that Quebec would throw a tantrum that their influence in the House would be in decline.
Months before the government decided to scrap the long-form census, the bureaucracy was already worried about the loss of data should the census be replaced with a voluntary survey (as it has been).
Paul Martin has weighed in on the G20 in Toronto, and says that the figure of 10,000 delegates is “absurd” and unnecessary. But I still suspect there was a concerted effort on the part of some to make the process expensive and unwieldy so as to poison the well, so to speak, and bury the G20 process.
Newsweek named Green Party Leader Elizabeth May one of the most influential women in the world.
And amidst the talk about reforming QP, Maclean’s satirist Scott Feschuk feels we should leave the MPs to bicker in peace.