Getting ahead of Question Period, the Liberals fanned out and had a coordinated series of coordinated speeches on the economy, laying out the semblance of a fiscal plan. During his speech, Ralph Goodale reiterated that he is not a pirate. Nor is he an alien transformer, a vampire or a werewolf. But is he a witch? (Brison’s speech can also be found here.) And yes, there were some partisan jabs, but it wasn’t quite so ridiculously partisan as Flaherty’s speech, which is at least a good start.
I would have thought that Goodale would then head straight into the Commons to follow up on his economic sentiments there. But no, instead it was Bob Rae up first, slamming the government on its failed foreign policy, which resulted in the loss of the UN Security Council seat, and its subsequent refusal to take responsibility. John Baird responded that his government had taken a “principled stand” and would do what was right instead of what was popular, but I think he meant to say they would do what was *on the* right instead of what was popular. But maybe I’m reading too much into it. Martha Hall Findlay followed up with questions about the deficit and the government’s priorities, to which Jim Flaherty responded that their priority was the Economic Action Plan, and that hey, the deficit was lower than expected. Really?
Gilles Duceppe also asked about the UN debacle, while Pierre Paquette asked about Omar Khadr, making a UN-related segue. (Incidentally – Peter Kent doesn’t quite deliver the Omar Khadr talking points with the same conviction as Deepak Obhrai.) Thomas Mulcair brought up the latest allegations around Christian Paradis and let Pat Martin cap off the NDP’s first round with his usual bombast. Marcel Proulx then picked up where the NDP left off, and predictably, the calls for Paradis’ resignation went out (though the doomsday clock on his cabinet career must be ticking).
Ujjal Dosanjh asked if Maxime Bernier’s comments about cutting transfer payments were but a trial balloon, and what would that mean for the Canada Health Act? Leona Aglukkaq dutifully read out a scripted answer about the government increasing transfer payments to the provinces. A couple of questions later, when Rob Nicholson was asked about the decision about niqabs and court testimony, he congratulated Brother André’s canonization. Seriously?
Dominic LeBlanc and Geoff Regan asked about F-35 fighter jets, to which Peter MacKay made plenty of grandiose statements about our men and women in uniform. (On a related note, having been called out about the F-35 fighter contract and the no-penalty cancellation clause in it, Tony Clement still tries to say it’ll hurt our industry if we pull out – despite having been told repeatedly that there’s nothing in the contract that says that anywhere.) And QP finished off with some questions about the UAE (to which Peter Kent intimated that the deal they offered Canada was not in our best interests – huh?), the middle-class economic recovery, recreational infrastructure proposals that were turned down, the national securities regulator and organic farmers versus big industry.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Alexandra Mendes for her turquoise top and dark grey suit and skirt, as well as Hedy Fry’s tailored greige suit and skirt, along with fantastic brown boots. Also, Mark Eyking had an eye-catching bright pink and fuchsia striped tie with a dark suit. Style citations go out to Linda Duncan for a tight black sweater with green panels right around the bust area, which wasn’t the most flattering ensemble. Also, Lise Zarac’s huge pink and red scarf nearly swallowed her entire head. The Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a loose beige top with grey trousers, which looked fairly nice.
QMI’s Brian Lilley moans about how Michael Ignatieff spoke to a group of Christian fundamentalists, and about how his messaging is alienating the party from these kinds of evangelicals and Catholics. It’s too bad Lilley doesn’t understand the abortion debate and why it’s part of maternal and child health goals, and even more unfortunate that he felt the need to take shots at Marci McDonald while he was at it.
Speaking of economic speeches, it seems that Scott Brison gave a speech to the Construction Association of Nova Scotia a couple of weeks ago that gave some cold, hard truths about the province’s economy.