Xtra
1 min

Potential bilateral progress

Stephen Harper is off to Hawaii, where he
was supposed to be attending an APEC summit – only that has been postponed because of the death of a high-ranking Mexican official. That means Harper is
likely to get some bilateral meeting time with President Obama, and maybe we’ll
get an airing about “Buy American,” new border entry fees, port tariffs and, of
course, the Keystone XL pipeline. And no doubt any progress – or lack thereof –
on any of these files will quickly become fodder for question period next week.

Paul Wells gives us an interesting look into the government-of-one that Harper is running, and why the Conservatives are still
operating like they have a minority.

The ever-klassy agriculture minister, Gerry
Ritz, had to retract the accusation that the chair of the Canadian Wheat Board
was “stealing farmers’ money,” lest he face legal action.

As it turns out, the letter that Gilles
Duceppe “wrote” to assure Pauline Marois that he wasn’t after her job – was
written by Marois’s speechwriter. But it was totally on Duceppe’s initiative!
Still – optics and all.

Here’s an interview with former veterans’ ombudsman Pat Stogran, who is not mincing words about the cuts coming to the Veterans’ Affairs department.

And it seems that comments posted on Harper’s
Facebook wall are often scrubbed by staffers if they’re too critical of him or his
government. Because nobody wants anyone to think too poorly of the Dear Leader.

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