Tuesday's Question Period saw the end of this new era of civility and decorum in the House. Who had Tuesday in the pool? Anyone?
It's funny how logic apparently works in the mind of the Honourable Minister of Finance. One day he's inviting the opposition to bring forward suggestions as to how to get Canada through this economic crisis (now known as a "technical recession"), and the next he's hitting them around the metaphorical face and neck. You see, apparently asking for accountability from the government on their fiscal policies after it has been concluded by the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer that it was said policies and not the global economic slowdown that pushed us into a deficit, is now "badmouthing Canada." Really? Because I don't recall the trash talk being about Canada – just you and your policies.
Scott Brison was up once again for the Liberals for the second question of the day, and when he used his supplementary question to point out the apparent Conservative penchant for luxury travel, Flaherty accused him of having read that report while flying out to his riding in Business Class. Oh no he didn't! But Brison wasn't having any of that. At the end of Question Period, he rose on a point of order, travel itinerary in hand, looking to table it to show that he actually flew Economy. From Hansard:
Mr. Speaker, during question period the Minister of Finance referred to my flight to my riding last Friday. As he said that I was in business class, I would like to table my economy class plane ticket to Halifax last Friday, and perhaps the minister could table his last economy class ticket as well.
Later on in Question Period, it was Hedy Fry versus new Conservative cabinet minister Lisa Raitt on a question of the forestry industry. It wasn't really a fair fight, though. Hedy, honorary drag queen that she is, was resplendent in her ensemble, while Raitt, who may be tall and blonde, was wearing a rather boxy jacket that did her no favours, giving a rather wooden performance. We'll give her some time to perfect her performance, but really – if you want to deliver talking points, you need to say them like you actually believe them. Not just recite them from your briefing binder.
And Brison? He wasn't done with Flaherty yet. In the scrum in the foyer after Question Period was over, this exchange was recorded:
Reporter: It looks like they’re going to announce some kind of a restraint or cutbacks on compensation for senior bureaucrats and members of parliament, politicians. Can you think of something you could give up right now that would help in that?
Scott Brison: The Minister of Finance, clearly. I think the entire country could get along without Jim Flaherty.
I believe the words you're looking for are "oh, snap!"