2 min

Harper’s 33rd Senate Appointment

Following the retirement of a Conservative senator, Prime Minister Harper appointed the owner of the BC Lions and Toronto Argonauts to the Upper Chamber to replace him. I guess he’s trying to branch out from his hockey credentials to add in some CFL in there, seeing as he’s such an athletic and sporty kinda guy. When he’s not inviting Bryan Adams or Chad Kroeger over to 24 Sussex, that is. Funny thing, though – apparently this new Senate appointee said he had no interest in political life and says that his frank way of speaking would disqualify him from the job. Not that frankness has disqualified other Senators, mind you, but it does make it an odd choice, and perhaps not the most thought-out one. What is especially odious, however, is their insistence that they needed to fill the vacancy right away so they can pass crime bills like the one on limiting pardons – especially before Karla Homolka is eligible to apply for one. Except that bill hasn’t even reached Second Reading in the House, and is unlikely to even reach the Senate before the summer break – let alone be rejected by Liberal senators.

Progressive Conservative senator Elaine McCoy (who is made of awesome) has a guest editorial on her website by Political Science professor Doreen Barrie, who explodes some of the myths about the supposed popularity of Senate reform in the west. I pointed out some of these discrepancies in an editorial to another outlet back when Senator Bert Brown was first appointed to the Senate, and he wrote his own response a week later to basically equate my skepticism with Nazism (which is a tactic he often uses to try to silence his critics). I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who has noticed these things.

Apparently Stephen Harper – in his bid to totally not reopen the abortion debate – is going to “recommend” the defeat of the Conservative Private Members’ Bill on criminalizing people who “coerce” women into abortions.

Marc Emery is now officially extradited to the States. Apparently this government is sending a message about how tough on crime it really is.

Tony Clement’s little look into why it was that no women managed to snag one of the 19 Canada Excellence Research Chairs has come back, and it’s all kinds of institutional factors that are all completely innocent – except for the fact that no one bothered to even look at the gender balance during the process. Meanwhile, the Canadian Association of University Teachers calls out the government for the shenanigans behind the scenes of these new chairs – such as the fact that many of the universities receiving these chairs are going to have to pull funding from other places to get necessary matching funds.

The CBC’s David McKie put the whole issue of the Auditor General and her proposed performance audit of the House of Commons into greater perspective, and it’s not really about MPs' expenses at all.

And Maclean’s speaks to Gilles Duceppe on the advent of the 20th anniversary of the Bloc Québécois.
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