Toews
2 min

QP: A bit of unnecessary repetition

Without either Harper or Baird in the
House, one might have expected a more sedate question period, but that
wasn’t necessarily the case. Restless may have been a better descriptor, as certain
backbenchers were a bit more prone to heckling. And so, Nycole Turmel kicked
off with a pro forma gimme question about the situation in Turkey following the earthquake there, and then asked two questions on the F-35 procurement, given
the latest revelation that its communication system wouldn’t work in the
Arctic. Peter Van Loan was the designated government heavy hitter for the day,
and he dismissed Turmel’s concerns, and then Peter MacKay got a turn at being
dismissive when Matthew Kellway asked the same questions. Bob Rae picked up on
the topic, but from the angle that the government did a very good job on the
shipyard procurement contracts, so why not do so with the F-35s, given the many
problems that have shown that such a process needs to take place. Van Loan repeated
the bogus narrative that such a process took place under the Liberals (which it
didn’t – that was a completely separate process that we participated in), and
back and forth they went.

Round two kicked off with David
Christopherson angrily demanding to know if the reports were true that the
government was planning on selling off military land (MacKay: We’ve made
historic investments in the Canadian Forces!). And then Dany Morin, Élaine
Michaud, Randall Garrison and Jack Harris – each of them MPs with military
bases in their ridings – asked the very same question, and MacKay gave them the
very same answer. Over and over and over again. Denis Blanchette and Annick
Papillon then asked about the remaining shipbuilding contracts going to Davie
Shipyard (Ambrose: They’re welcome to bid on them). Ralph Goodale asked about
the loss of the Canadian Wheat Board as a loss of the Canadian brand abroad
with our wheat (Ritz: Go marketing freedom!), where the new foreign takeover
rules were in the post-potash decision area as promised (Ritz: You didn’t elect
any farmers in your party!), and Lawrence MacAulay asked about that salmon
virus (Ashfield: We’ve made huge investments in science!). Robert Chisholm
asked about the new $5.50 US border surcharge now being charged to Canadians
for air and sea entries (Keddy: We’re disappointed in this move), and Irene
Mathyssen and Lysane Blanchette-Lamonthe asked about poor seniors and abused tax-free savings accounts (Flaherty: TFSAs are great!).

Round three saw questions on the lack of
the government’s promised democratic development institute; the WTO challenge
to the EU for saying mean things about the oil sands; sharia law and the role of
women in post-Gadhafi Libya; whether they would allow the transfer of long-gun
registry data to provincial police forces (Toews: no); the G8 legacy fund;
First Nations affected by flooding in Manitoba; the Air and Space Museum;
credit card fees; and demands by firefighters for access to benefits,
vaccines and building code changes (Toews: We’re working closely with them).

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Lisa
Raitt
 for a fitted purple dress with a tailored black leather jacket and
knee-high boots, and to Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for his blue checked shirt
with a dark grey suit and tie. Style citations go out to Jean Rousseau for a
fluorescent yellow shirt with a grey suit and grey-and-purple striped tie, as
well as to Bev Oda for a beige jacket with a toffee-coloured sack dress.
Dishonourable mention to repeat offender Chris Charlton for her fluorescent
yellow jacket with black trousers.

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