3 min

Liberals let women lead the day

It was the 40th anniversary of the report on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, and the Liberals marked that by ensuring that only the women in their party stood up during members’ statements and question period (with the exception of the leader).

And on that note, Michael Ignatieff led off by asking about women carrying the burden of home care; Harper assured him that his government’s policies benefit all Canadians. Lise Zarac asked after the Cancun talks, as did Joyce Murray. Gilles Duceppe and Paule Brunelle asked about extending the Kyoto targets and GHGs, while Tomas Mulcair followed up on the same topic. Nathan Cullen brought up the last question: revelations that the government has no plans for the eventuality of an oil spill.

Round two kicked off with Marlene Jennings asking about firearms regulations, while Anita Neville asked about the government’s inaction on the 600 missing and murdered aboriginal women. Raynald Blais asked about severe weather and climate change, while Jean-Yves Laforest asked about why the government was pursuing its free trade agreement with Panama if that country didn’t want to end their status as a tax haven. Siobhan Coady brought up the reports that showed how Jim Flaherty overspent his own office budget last year, while Hedy Fry asked about the Ontario auditor general’s findings that people were staying in hospitals too long because of a lack of available home care.

From there, questions went from wait times and increasing privatization, funding for the festivals in Levis, Quebec, Jason Kenney’s comments about linking tax data to immigrants as a replacement for the long-form census (in gross violation of privacy laws), the other impacts of the loss of census data, EI programs, Agent Orange compensation, and the fact that C-32 would breach international copyright treaties.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Bonnie Crombie for her nice chocolate velvet jacket with the brown dress, while Glenn Thibeault had a great purple tie. Style citations go out to Cathy McLeod – who I will remind you held such promise earlier in the fall – for wearing an unfortunate grey turtleneck along with a poorly matched light purple jacket. Also, Larry Miller for a black suit with a yellow shirt (again with the yellow and black!). And the Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a perfectly lovely black dress, though not a sleek tailored one this time around.

Later in the day, it was the Bloc who voted with the Conservatives on a budget implementation bill, keeping the government afloat. The nerve – having a government propped up by separatists!

The Conservatives finally unveiled their plans on the Air India recommendations regarding counter-terrorism and compensation for the victims. Their counter-terrorism plans are being criticized as too little, too late (given that they took so long to implement so few changes), while the compensation for some is so small as to be insulting. The pilot’s son is furious with the government’s behaviour, its refusal to listen, and how the minister’s office has said that their lawyer was barred from meetings unless he simply sat there and kept quiet. Seriously?

The environment commissioner also came out with his report, which said the federal government lacked leadership on the climate change file. In other news, the sun rose in the east and set in the west, and also water is wet.

After reading this brilliant article on how retail politics has become just that – an exercise in retail marketing of politics rather than engendering a system of participation – reading about how the Conservatives are supposedly climbing in the polls by “narrowcasting” issues to defined areas is thoroughly depressing.

And Senator Nancy Ruth’s infamous STFU advice continues to be taken out of context as she is now being lumped in with Rob Ford and Danny Williams.

Up today – It’s the vote on Bill C-389, which I’ll be covering in the House after QP.
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