News that economic recovery stalled in the month of July led-off Ignatieff’s round in Question Period, which had Harper to tout the numbers for June. But that’s June. He also brought up the softwood lumber issue (which the Conservatives deny they’ll engineer a confidence vote over), and divisions in the Conservative caucus over the flavoured tobacco bill.
Both Duceppe and Layton both talked about the HST plans, but from different perspectives. (Duceppe wants retroactive compensation for Quebec’s conversion to a quasi-harmonised tax, Layton thinks the HST is a “tax grab’), but Harper told them respectively that they were negotiating with Québec, and that Layton opposed lowering the GST so he had now room to talk.
When Bonnie Crombie asked where were the numbers that the Parliamentary Budget Officer had asked for regarding the stimulus spending, John Baird accused her of being unpatriotic because of how she carried a UN flag outside of Stephen Harper’s Tim Horton’s press conference last week. What is this – America circa late 2001? When Anita Neville pointed out that the Health Minister had not taken responsibility for the body bags issue (as all ministers should), Aglukkaq said that she was meeting with First Nations leaders – thereby sidestepping the question.
Sartorially speaking, there were a lot of leather jackets in the House – Bonnie Crombie in red, Marlene Jennings in caramel, Nicole Demers in a goldish crème, Paule Brunelle in a chocolate brown, and Francine Lalonde in forest green. Snaps go to Navdeep Bains for his pink turban and matching tie. I’m a little uncertain about Rona Ambrose’s ensemble – a fitted dark grey suit and skirt (which at least didn’t look like maternity wear), but she paired it with gaudy silver-beaded necklaces, fishnets and leopard-print shoes. It worked but didn’t. But there were a couple of hideous offences – Mark Warawa’s dark orange and teal blue striped shirt, with a bright teal tie – not so good. But worse was Linda Duncan’s dark blue smock dress paired with orange tights and heels. I think she’s been raiding Megan Leslie’s closet – especially as Leslie was actually fairly well dressed in a nice scoop-necked black dress. That said, she accessorised with a gold belt and greige shoes, which needed a bit of a rethink.
Elsewhere, it looks like there may be an exemption for Canada coming to the Buy America provisions – and you can bet that if it happens, Harper is going to take all the credit for it. Also, Gerard Kennedy has new numbers that he says proves that the infrastructure allocations in BC are really going to Conservative ridings.
Jack Layton is putting out ads of his own to assure Canadians that he’s really doing a good job and not rolling over for the Conservatives.
And finally, Maclean’s satirist Scott Feschuk imagines the Denis Coderre hissy fit as a soap opera. Fantastic!