2 min

QP: Beware the Reform Party wing!

Trying to make a big impact from the
starting gate, Nycole Turmel stood up and started listing off the various
social-conservative evils the Conservatives are contemplating – opening up
the debates on capital punishment and abortion, and now they’re making the use
of torture acceptable. Where are all their principles? It was Peter MacKay’s
turn to be back-up PM today, and he assured Turmel that she was wrong. After
some more back-and-forth between MacKay and Turmel about the party’s “Reform
Party Wing” and the aforementioned torture issue, Jack Harris and Vic Toews
picked up the torch and carried on. When it was Rae’s turn, he quipped that one
shouldn’t worry about the Reform Party wing but should beware the whole bird,
but he moved on to the issue of the parliamentary budget officer’s report on the
sustainability of OAS (hint: It’s sustainable, and there’s no crisis). MacKay
replied with a number of dated quotes that didn’t exactly prove his point.

In round two, Wayne Marston, Lysane
Blanchette-Lamothe, Irene Mathyssen, Manon Perreault, Alain Giguère and Carol
Hughes all asked about OAS changes and got the NDP benches to chant “Yes or
no?” at the end of each question. The Speaker warned them about it, but they
kept it up. Finley, for her part, tried to talk about the crisis talking
points, sprinkled with the “You voted against our plans to help seniors”
talking points, but effective heckles from the Liberal benches kept throwing
her off. Judy Sgro, Mark Eyking and Lise St-Denis kept up the attack on the
OAS question, for which Finley plaintively wailed about how awful it was to be
in a country where the opposition could fear-monger like that. Seriously. Linda
Duncan, Jonathan Genest-Jourdain and Charlie Angus closed off the round asking about
the report on First Nations education (John Duncan: We’re reviewing the report
and its recommendations).

Round three saw questions on promoting
Canadian manufacturing in China (no, seriously); a group of seasonal workers
who were killed in a passenger van accident and what happened to the safety
investigations the last time a similar accident happened with one of those
vehicles; back-up plans for the possibility of the F-35 not coming through;
truth-in-advertising about airline ticket prices; the Chinese market for seal
products; health insurance in Quebec; the effects of the closure of an
immigration settlement centre in Quebec; and raising the issue of human rights
in China.

Sartorially speaking, it was a pretty dull
day, so I’m not awarding any snaps. Citations, however, go out to Françoise
 for her boxy Creamsicle microfibre jacket, Gordon O’Connor for a tan-brown jacket and beige shirt, Raymond Côté for yet another
fluorescent-blue/black suit violation, and Carol Hughes for her jacket that was
best described as “Persian rug on LSD.” Dishonourable mention to Sadia Groguhé for
a black suit/yellow top violation.

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