Quebec
2 min

Locking out expert resources

It’s one of those moments from QP yesterday
that deserves a second mention. Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan asked Peter Kent just
why it was that opposition MPs wouldn’t be accompanying the government’s
climate change negotiators to the Durban conference. Kent said that it may have
been appropriate to take opposition MPs during a minority government, but
given that there was now a “strong, stable, environmentally sensitive majority
government,” it was no longer appropriate. And you could see the looks of
utter disbelief on the faces around the Chamber as he said it. Elizabeth May
later got him to confirm the very same thing – and Kent made a bunch of shrugs
about tough fiscal times. And even if they’re paying their own way – which some
of them will be – Kent still won’t grant them accreditation, so they’ll be
locked out of the meetings.

But here’s the thing: Duncan has a Nobel
Prize for being part of the group that studied climate change. A Nobel Prize.
For real. She is an expert resource at the government’s disposal, and they’re
going to leave her outside the room when she gets on that plane anyway. It’s shortsighted
and a sign of the smarmy arrogance the government has made itself expert in displaying, where they know best based solely on the whims of a
select few in the centre of power, inexpertly communicated by way of a bunch of
neophytes whose only qualifications are their loyalty to their political
masters. And this is what we’re taking to international negotiations that could
determine our economic future (because yes, there will be a huge economic cost
to climate change). Some face we’re presenting.

The Liberals have decided to introduce the amendments that Quebec’s justice minister proposed as part of the amendments
they will be bringing forward in the committee stage of the omnibus crime bill.
Meanwhile, a Quebec senator accuses his own province of being “soft on crime.”
Yes, for real. Perhaps someone needs to step away from the Kool-Aid.

Here’s an interesting piece about the issue
of the provinces being responsible for the administration of justice, and what
that means with the new omnibus crime bill coming barrelling down the track.
The system is already overtaxed, and the new bill will make it worse – and the
provinces are likely to find new ways around it in order to alleviate the
pressure rather than devoting more resources, while both sides continue to
blame each other for the mess.

Bob Paulson has been confirmed as the new
RCMP commissioner, and yes, he pledges to tackle harassment issues within the
Force immediately.

The Conservatives have targeted Liberal MP
Irwin Cotler – and have started telling constituents that he is about to resign
and there will soon be a by-election. The problem? Cotler has zero intention of
resigning – and he’s angry and has called a question of privilege.

The government announced new changes to
make open government more open – better licensing for uses of the data and so
on. Kady O’Malley, meanwhile, looks at access-to-information requests for which
there was no data.

And the government has been conducting a policy
review
 with regard to its relationship with China – so as to avoid any nasty
surprises as we look to do more trade with them in the coming years.

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