2 min

More doubt on the drug bill

It’s not just Mark Holland who is now casting doubt that the Liberal Party will support the Conservative drug bill, which would introduce mandatory minimums for certain marijuana possession. Others, including the deputy-chair of the justice committee, are now casting their own doubt, and while acknowledging that they supported it the first time around, they’re now seeing the bigger picture, and that perhaps it’s not really as good a plan as they first thought. Should we start screaming “flip-flop”? Or just be glad that they’re finally coming to their senses, and realizing that the Conservative “tough on crime” agenda is really misguided and detrimental?

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is now signalling that he’s willing to re-open the issue of having the auditor general look at the MPs' books for a performance audit, which doesn’t mean looking “at every receipt.” But doesn’t this mean that it’s another flip-flop?

All of the researchers named to the government’s recent round of Canada Excellence Research Chairs were men. Tony Clement says he noticed that was odd, sent a memo around to look into it, but left it at that. Some say it’s because there are too few women in the fields they were covering – environmental sciences and technologies; natural resources and energy; health and life sciences and information and communication. Apparently they’re too focused on the “squishy subjects” like the humanities, which this government has little use for.

Progressive Conservative Senator Lowell Murray is adding his voice to the calls to have the budget implementation bill split into its constituent parts, given the broad scope of the bill that passed the Commons finance committee with little scrutiny, even though half of the bill would affect different pieces of legislation in other areas than just finance. And no matter that the Conservatives say that the Liberals did it in 2005 so that makes it okay, it’s not okay. At least Liberal Senator Pierrette Ringuette is calling out her party for allowing it to pass unmolested. Let’s hope other Liberal senators – and the other independents in the Upper Chamber – follow suit.

Jim Prentice is totally going to “get tough” on Arctic drilling regulations. Really! At least until the news cycle shifts away from the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I’m sure.

The Quebec legislature voted unanimously to rebuke the federal government over its abortion position.

Aaron Wherry reminds us that Harper derisively said that meeting celebrities like Bono wasn’t “his schtick.” But having Bryan Adams, Chad Kroeger and Jann Arden over to 24 Sussex, and chatting with Gene Simmons is apparently a-okay!

And finally, the cities where the Queen will be visiting were unveiled yesterday, and they are Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo. I’m quite excited to see Her Majesty here for Canada Day.

PS – OMG! On last night’s The Hour, George Stroumboulopoulos asked Heritage Minister James Moore more substantive and informed questions than I’ve seen most political news shows in Ottawa (not mentioning any names) ask any cabinet minister. Moore, of course, waffled and reverted to his doublespeak and talking points all night, but at least he didn’t go on about totally watching TV on his iPod, yo!
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