Xtra
2 min

Nearing the final debate

The final official NDP leadership debate
takes place tomorrow, coming from Vancouver. As part of that, people are
wondering if Martin Singh is acting as Thomas Mulcair’s attack dog as he
continues to go after Brian Topp. Mulcair’s people, of course, deny this.
Meanwhile, here’s the Maclean’s interview with Niki Ashton, and it’s only slightly less awkward and painful than her
interview on CBC last week.

The Robocon investigation in Guelph has
turned up evidence that most of those targeted by polling station calls were elderly (ie – those who actually vote), and that robo-calls did go out to Conservative supporters – except they were warning about the Conservative candidate’s views on abortions, not directing
them to a false or fictional polling station. Where they’re wrong, however, is
that they didn’t identify who made them. Oops. Meanwhile, Andrew Prescott, the
campaign worker who took to the Twitter Machine to complain about those calls,
and whose contracting of RackNine wasn’t in the riding’s paperwork, has cancelled his face-to-face meeting with Elections Canada investigators and hired a
lawyer. And in case you were worried, Conservative patriarch Preston Manning
thinks that voter suppression is deplorable and wants campaign workers to have
ethics training.

Uh oh – the M-4 Unit – err, Julian Fantino
– looks like he might be up to his duotronic circuits in trouble! It seems that
three of his former riding staff have resigned over some allegations of
campaign finance irregularities, such as secret bank accounts. Very interesting
indeed.

The Conservatives are laying the groundwork
for an overhaul of the “social economy” not unlike David Cameron’s “Big
Society” reforms in the UK, aimed at getting more charities and private
interests into doing the work that government social programs currently have
been doing.

The government looks like it’s going to introduce more back-to-work legislation for that potentially looming Air Canada
strike. But why not just amend the bill they’ve already tabled for the previous
strike threat, since it’s just sitting on the Order Paper, abandoned.

There are concerns that the Canadian Forces
may be cutting the Post Living Differential program – to help with living costs in
certain postings – in half. MacKay defended any possible cuts in QP
by saying that base salaries were increased this year. Meanwhile,
opposition MPs say they may think twice about accepting invitations to
observe the Forces in training missions to get a better understanding of their work after
MacKay tried to use the trips as cover for his own.

And there are some questions as to why the
Speaker is calling out certain robo-call questions in QP as being out of bounds
for not being related to the administration of government, but not others.

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