Socialist International
2 min

QP: Accounting for Attawapiskat

With Nycole Turmel off in Attawapiskat with
Charlie Angus to assess the situation there for herself, it was up to Peter
Julian to once again carry the torch during QP, and he led off with questions
about household debt, jobs plans and making the next budget an “investment
budget.” Harper took the first one, reminding Canadians that the NDP wants to
raise taxes, while Ted Menzies took the supplemental questions, reminding
Canadians that the NDP voted against the Economic Action Plan™. Joe Comartin
then asked about the Attawapiskat situation, to which John Duncan assured him
that while officials were there, they were concerned that there was little
return on the money the government invested there. Bob Rae, in high dudgeon,
carried on with questions on Attawapiskat, to which Harper pointed to the $90
million invested in the community with little results, though Rae reminded him
that those figures included things like education, to little avail.

Round two kicked off with Megan Leslie asking
about the rumoured Kyoto Protocol pull-out, and Michelle Rempel was the
designated hitter on environment questions, where she quoted various line items
of environmental spending that the NDP voted against. Laurin Liu picked up from
there on climate funding (Rempel: You voted against it); Brian Masse asked whether privacy concerns in entry and exit visas are indeed part of the perimeter security agreement (Baird: We’re protecting jobs and trade!); Jack Harris asked
about rushing the omnibus crime bill through Parliament (Nicholson selectively
quoted police chiefs); and Françoise Boivin asked about the rehabilitation
programs that found success in Quebec (Goguen: We met with the Quebec
minister). Kirsty Duncan and Justin Trudeau asked further questions on Kyoto
and climate change (Rempel: You signed on to the protocol without a plan), and
Wayne Easter returned to the issue of privacy concerns with the border
agreement (Baird, it should be noted, did not deny that Canadians’ travel
information would be shared with American authorities). Don Davies brought up
the report from the former chair of the IRB of political interference at the
quasi-judicial body (which Jason Kenney denied), and Rathika Sitsabaiesan asked
about cuts to settlement funding in Ontario (Kenney: We’ve spent three times
more than the Liberals did).

Round three saw questions on RCMP
front-line staffing; the cost overruns at DND’s Nortel campus (MacKay
studiously avoided answering the question); the evidence surrounding the
efficacy of mandatory minimum sentences and the state-sponsored terrorism
provisions in the omnibus crime bill; helicopter failures and the Transportation
Safety Board’s recommendations; the use of “Harper Government” in
communications; the CPP/QPP; rural postal service; and why Harper isn’t
following Brian Mulroney’s leadership on the climate issue.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Megan
Leslie
 for her fitted dress with a grey-green/black/gold houndstooth pattern
with a black jacket, and to habitual good dresser Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for
his charcoal suit with a striped shirt and mauve tie. Style citations go out to LaVar Payne for his greige suit with a tan shirt and tie, and to Laurin Liu (of
the robot hands) for a terrible eyesore of an ensemble: pleated, tapered
tan trousers that also had the misfortune of being cropped, a beige jacket with three-quarter
sleeves that was virtually a bolero-cut, and a black/grey/red striped top.
Dishonourable mentions go out to Judy Foote for a bright-yellow jacket with a black
dress, and Lynne Yelich for a custard yellow jacket with a black top.

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