Xtra
1 min

Mulcair’s momentum is building

In the NDP leadership race, Thomas Mulcair declares that things have turned around for him and that momentum is building. Brian
Topp is promising major reform if he is made leader (and subsequently becomes prime minister). Those reforms will be a constitution-opening package he
dubs a “Parliament Act,” which will a) abolish the Senate, b) introduce
proportional representation, and c) limit the power of the prime minister to
prorogue Parliament. All of which are, of course, a) pretty much impossible and
actually a bad move, b) will create more problems than it solves, and c) is
using a sledgehammer to fix a problem for which a scalpel would serve better. But good luck with that. Also, Romeo Saganash says he won’t be defined
by his aboriginal heritage and will fight for all Canadians.

Bob Rae talks about his trip to Kabul over
Christmas here.

Paul Wells takes note of Harper’s rather
deferential year-end interview with Chinese-language Fairchild TV and what it
says about Harper’s media strategy.

What’s that? All those boutique tax cuts
don’t actually shrink government (aka “starting the beast”) but rather swell deficits as they feed the machine? You don’t say!

Here’s a look at the At Home program – a massive
government-sponsored housing project for the homeless that gets people into
housing before addressing their mental health or addictions issues,
and it’s showing great success. The danger now is that its funding won’t be
renewed by the government, even though it is saving costs on prisons, hospitals and other social programs.

And here’s a look at the work being done to restore the historic mosaic in the Wellington Building just across from
Parliament Hill, as the building is currently being gutted and retrofitted to house the
East Block and Centre Block offices when those buildings are closed for their
own refurbishment.

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