2 min

Not living up to ministerial accountability

Friday’s Question Period saw a lot of questions about Christian Paradis being accountable for his staffer, given how they touted Ministerial Responsibility. Paradis said that the individual offered his resignation, and he transferred the file to the information commissioner. But when pressed about following ministerial responsibility, they stonewalled.

Also, Rob Oliphant tried to ask about the eerie similarities between the Mike Harris years in Ontario and the current government situation but was shouted down during his initial question. Libby Davies also rose to ask a question on the impact of the HST in BC.

One of Michaëlle Jean’s constitutional advisors has broken his silence and said that with the first great prorogation crisis in 2008, Jean got pledges from Harper that he would bring the House back in short order and have a budget ready then (which is a real test of confidence in the government). These particular conditions ensured that she was not simply being treated “as a clerk” to do what he told her to do. There were also concerns about Harper’s ability to wage a PR campaign focused on the notion of a “coup d’état” – even though it would have been no such thing. No word, however, on why she accepted a phoned-in request at the end of 2009…. (Don’t forget to check out Aaron Wherry’s conversation with Jean here.)In the event that you haven’t seen it, the binary code at the bottom of His Excellency’s new heraldic crest has sparked all kinds of speculation as to what it might mean. One exploration is posted here.

Jack Layton is calling on the government to cut the GST on home heating before the winter. Err, except that he’s not exactly clear on how that works, given that there are many different variations, from heating oil, to natural gas, to electricity, and in the case of the latter, how does one separate the GST on the portion used for heating from that used for general purposes? Meanwhile, over in the Liberal camp, they are facing the imminent corporate tax cuts, which will blow a $1.8 billion hole in their election platform. One possibility is rolling back said tax cuts, which may make businesses complain, but some Liberals say the appearance of being on the side of the common public may help their fortunes. Scott Brison also suspects that the deficit picture may be worse than the Conservatives are saying, similar to what happened in Ontario during their reign (where Jim Flaherty was also finance minister, curiously enough).

Hedy Fry writes to the Vancouver Sun about the Ontario decision on prostitution laws.

Controversial former British politician George Galloway is now on our shores and promises to sue the government and Jason Kenney for keeping him out the last time he tried to enter the country. He’s also challenging Kenney to a public debate, but I guess we’ll have to see if Kenney will accept the challenge.

And Harper has quietly issued directives for his cabinet ministers to clean up their fundraising activities, after a series of missteps and accusations of impropriety that have gone to the Ethics Commissioner.

Up today – the government looks like they’re making it a “tough on crime” week, so lots of ridiculous rhetoric ahead.

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