Dean Del Mastro
2 min

QP: Accusations of a smear campaign

The Conservatives moved into full-blown
attack mode on the Robocon front in today’s QP, completely abandoning the more
contrite tone they struck earlier in the week. Turmel began by asking which of
Dean Del Mastro’s competing assertions was correct – whether the Conservatives
were or were not conducting an internal investigation on the robo-calls, but
Harper immediately snapped that they had already provided Elections Canada with
information and that this was all starting to look like an orchestrated smear
campaign. And when Pat Martin got up to deliver his own hyperbolic questions in
high dudgeon, Dean Del Mastro gave the “unsubstantiated smear campaign”
response. Bob Rae brought up the campaign of harassment of Jewish voters in
Liberal ridings, and Harper responded that Jewish voters voted overwhelmingly
Conservative – oh, and you’re taking part in an unsubstantiated smear campaign.

Alexandre Boulerice and Charlie Angus
continued on the robo-call questions, asking for specific calling company
contracts (Del Mastro: Smear campaign! Note: He stopped denying the existence
of Edmonton East. Rescued from the memory hole!); Alexandrine Latendresse and
David Christopherson asked about the chief electoral officer’s request for more
investigative powers (Del Mastro: We always provide documents to Elections
Canada – and smear campaign!); Peter Julian asked about job cuts in the public
service (Clement: Efficiencies, jobs, growth, etc); and Irene Mathyssen asked
about the government's overestimation of the costs of OAS (Finley: We
need to take action now!). Frank Valeriote asked about connections in the
Guelph robo-calling investigation, Judy Foote demanded the scripts for those
call centres, and Ralph Goodale wanted the phone logs tabled (Del Mastro: Smear
campaign!). Olivia Chow and Jamie Nicholls asked about cuts to transportation
safety training, and Malcolm Allen and Jean Rousseau asked about cuts to food
inspectors (Ritz: Not true – we hired lots of new inspectors!).

Round three saw questions on French
language of work, conditional sentences, robo-calls, Japan’s F-35 contract, a
mining accident, the Northern Gateway pipeline, and transferring some
infrastructure to a particular municipality.

Sartorially speaking, it was Pink Shirt Day
to combat bullying, and there was good representation among MPs, but not
consistent, even among many queer MPs. That said, snaps go out to Glenn Thibeault for his grey suit with the pink shirt and tie, and to Judy Foote for
her pale pink jacket. Style citations go out to Jasbir Sandhu for another
fluorescent-blue shirt/charcoal suit violation, and to Lynne Yelich for her
poorly cut caramel jacket with a Burberry-patterned scarf. Dishonourable
mention to Bal Gosal for a black suit and tie with a lemon-yellow shirt.

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