3 min

Potash overtakes questions of civil liberties

It was Take Your Kid to Work Day yesterday, and a number of MPs had their progeny with them, leaving them to watch Question Period from the galleries. Several journalists also brought their adolescent children with them, so the press gallery had a few young observers, and the foyer was just a little more crowded after. But Harper? He didn’t take his own children to work. Instead, he took the winner of a contest, and she got a number of tours of other museums and institutions as well. 

It was another day of Michael Ignatieff kicking off Question Period by taking both slots, rather than just the first one: the first three were on the issue of Potash (which hours later, the government sort of but not really rejected), then he switched tracks and talked about climate change – something that’s been absent for a while, and the F-35 fighter purchase. Gilles Duceppe returned to an old favourite and brought up the National Securities Regulator, and Daniel Paillé returned to his second-favourite topic of HST compensation for Quebec. Jack Layton then returned to the Potash question.

In round two, Scott Brison was asked about Jim Flaherty’s deficit projections (which the parliamentary budget officer didn’t think were likely to be met), and Bonnie Crombie asked about Diane Finley’s comments regarding home care (as in her suggestion that people should take vacation time to care for family). Paule Brunelle asked about Newfoundland and Labrador’s application for funding to expand their hydro grid outside of the province, and Jean-Yves Laforest asked about a cultural exemption in an EU trade agreement.

Questions were asked about Nigel Wright (the prime minister’s incoming chief of staff) and Libby Davies asked about the HST (bringing in Gordon Campbell’s resignation), deadlines for the Quebec City arena plans, previous foreign takeovers, rural broadband, and Haitian immigrants – or rather, the fact that there have been so few despite promises after the earthquake.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Bryon Wilfert for a chocolate brown jacket that looked to be made of crushed velvet, paired with a white shirt and a burgundy striped tie. Also, Ève-Marie Thaï Thi Lac had a fun-looking grey sweater with a faux-fur collar. Style citations go out to Lynne Yelich and Diane Finley who both wore melon-pink jackets with black. Sure, Finley’s was better cut, but it was a little too much colour-with-black (which is tricky to pull off). And the Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a loose grey top and pearls, which looked decent from my vantage.

On the topic of Potash, Kady O’Malley looks at who was lobbying whom on this issue.

The Toronto police chief was before the Commons Public Safety Committee answering questions about the G8/G20 protests. What did he have to say? That they “had to” take people into “preventative detention.” Seriously? But hey, they’re conducting reviews, and sure there were a few individual rule-breakers, but there was no federal interference! And way to go media for burying this story after Potash and Gordon Campbell.

Here is a good story about how Lawrence Cannon’s habit of not talking to ambassadors is doing further harm to our foreign relations.

Apparently the bureaucrats in Veterans Affairs are grousing about being made to take information-training sessions in the wake of the privacy scandals – but they’re grousing because they’re being made to feel like scapegoats while the senior bureaucrats were the problem. But how much do you want to bet this is going to result in another call for a full public inquiry tomorrow?

The Conservative law to take away the two-for-one sentencing credit is being subjected to a court challenge – apparently it infringes on Charter rights. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, and to see how long it’ll be before the Conservatives return to the activist judges meme.

And one of the 491 Tamil refugee claimants who arrived in August may be a war criminal. Remember how that was supposed to be a boat crammed full of terrorists? Yeah, good job on that spin, Vic Toews.
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