2 min

Mutual admiration society

British Prime Minister David Cameron came
to town yesterday and addressed a “joint session” of Parliament, but with
eight or so senators in attendance, it might have been just as easy for him to
address the Commons with those senators sitting in their designated gallery. After
Cameron praised Canada – specifically the legacies of Jean Chrétien and Paul
Martin, with their banking regulations and debt reduction, while not naming
them – he proceeded with his talk about the world debt crisis and the importance
of trade. Conservative MPs clapped, Liberals clapped selectively, and NDP members
largely sat there. (It should also be noted that there were several staffers
sitting in the Chamber as room meat in place of absent MPs). Overall, one
journalist described it as a bit of a Harper-Cameron mutual admiration society.
I can’t argue with that assessment.

Oh, and Mr Cameron: while your “two
nations, one Queen” sentiment is nice, it might help for you to note that the
Canadian Monarchy is a separate institution and that to us, Elizabeth II is
the Queen of Canada, not the Queen of Great Britain, and hence, not really the same
Queen (even if they happen to share a body). But thanks for thinking of us.

Speaking of Cameron, here are some thoughts on his “Big Society” initiative, which sounds great on the face of it – who doesn’t
want more empowered local government? But when that comes as a veneer for
service cuts, it’s perhaps not all that it’s cracked up to be. With Harper’s
increasing focus on volunteerism, this could be a path he’s preparing to take
Canada down.

It looks like Planned Parenthood’s
international operations may have some of their Canadian funding restored. Of
course, we’ll wait to see how long it is before the anti-abortion social
conservatives start raising a fuss about this once again.

The mayor of Huntsville confirmed that he hired an acquaintance of Tony Clements during the whole G8 preparation,
as the NDP suggested in question period yesterday. I’m sure we can expect even
more theatrical outrage from Charlie Angus in QP tomorrow.

John Geddes continues his takedown of the
omnibus crime bill.

Oh look – more people using the Challenger
! This is a crisis! Or something.

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