3 min

Just another diversionary tactic

You know that the government is really, really trying to change the channel when they make sure that they have MPs, cabinet ministers and even senators out in pretty much every major city in the country to make a series of coordinated announcements to the various local media outlets. And what could be so important to the lives of everyday Canadians that it necessitated such a massive blitz? Their announcement about their plans to introduce changes to the national sexual offender registry in the form of Bill C-34. (Check the Xtra.ca national page for that story).

Just before Question Period began, Liberal MP Marlene Jennings stood up in her Members’ Statement to address the whole incident from Friday’s Question Period where Conservative Pierre Poilievre used the phrase “tar baby” not once, but twice in his oh-so-clever responses, and then refused to apologise for a potentially racist remark, saying the he had no idea it could be construed as such. Seriously?

With Harper off making an announcement about GM, and Ignatieff – well, absent, in any case, the lead questioner was David McGuinty, talking about the Chalk River situation, while Lisa Raitt and Leona Aglukkaq took turns to say that everything was fine, they were sourcing alternative isotopes and producers in other countries, and that they were working with provincial and territorial counterparts – utterly ignoring the fact that they were being asked about the fact that the last time there was an isotope crisis in this country it was a “matter of life and death,” and that drastic measures needed to be taken. Curiously, there doesn’t seem to be the same kind of urgency now.

There also doesn’t seem to be an expiry date on the Conservatives’ ability to blame the previous Liberal government for all of the sins that are happening in the here and now, be it the isotope shortage (err, except for the whole MAPLE reactor project), to the fact that as of yesterday, passports are now required to cross the Canada-US border (but hey, they got extensions granted. Extensions, I tell you!) Seriously, guys – it wasn’t really true on the environment file, and it’s certainly not true with any of the other files you keep hauling that line out for, so grow up, take some responsibility, and pretend like you’re actually in government and not still in opposition. Seriously.

Sartorially speaking, I have to give snaps for Kirsty Duncan’s awesome black leather jacket today, which had these somewhat gothic, ornate fasteners that went all the way to the decorative collar, which paired well with the black shirt (with white floral print) beneath. Granted, she still needs to do something about her hair and learn that she really does need to wear make-up – especially if she’s going to be on camera – but still, it was a fantastic jacket. Conversely, Linda Duncan’s winkled lime green smock – or was it a long jacket that just looked like a smock – was not so good. Also, Lisa Raitt’s glamazon-ness slipped a little today with her black jacket that fastened all the way to the collar. It was one big block of black, which just made her look boxy. That’s the wrong type of jacket for your body shape – I thought we’d learned this lesson by now. And the Megan Leslie outfit watch reports her white-grey pantsuit with grey shoes – looking fairly professional today (for a change). How many days can this last?

Elsewhere, the government continues to reject making any changes to the EI system before the summer break. And while it’s all well and good that the Liberals are making this their line in the sand and will likely vote non-confidence in the government over the issue, the fact that the NDP are no longer eager to trigger an election, this could be an example of the way the pieces on the chessboard are reconfiguring themselves.

And finally, Her Excellency says that the silver lining in her whole seal-eating experience is that it will help to create a better understanding with the North. Her motto is, after all, to break down the solitudes in this country.