2 min

QP: Cultural problems

Despite it being Halloween, MPs declined to
turn up in costume, unless “bland” was the theme they were going for. But more
on that later. Nycole Turmel kicked it off by asking about a new stimulus
package, seeing as only oil and gas is the only sector that had growth. It was
James Moore’s turn to play backup Harper today, and he assured Turmel that the
economic path the government is on is the right one. Françoise Boivin asked
about victims of gun violence, with the proposal to destroy the long-gun
registry database, but Vic Toews responded by reminding her that the NDP votes
against their public safety bills. Bob Rae started off with a softball question
to Rona Ambrose about the use of fairness monitors in the shipbuilding
contracts, which led to a follow-up question about why the Conservatives aren't using the same
process for the F-35 fighter contract. Moore – in his role as back-up PM of the
day – stood up to say that the Liberals began the process while the Liberals
heckled that Moore was answering because it was a “cultural problem.”

David Christopherson kicked off round two
by asking about the risks of the Afghanistan training mission in light of a
soldier’s death on the weekend (MacKay: The risks are never zero); Matthew
Kellway asked about the F-35s (Fantino ended up shouting a loud “Excuse me!”
while the Liberals heckled his talking points — that it was their process that was wrong); Hélène Laverdière and Randall Garrison asked about the failure of
the Commonwealth meeting to address the criminalization of homosexuality
(Baird: Canada was the loudest voice advocating this issue); Jinny Sims and Lysane
Blanchette-Lamothe each asked about Canadians being detained in Saudi Arabia
(Ablonczy: One was freed thanks to our good efforts, and we’re constantly
raising the issue); and Annick Papillon asked about a veteran
going on a hunger strike (Eve Adams: This is a priority and the officials are
following up). John McKay and Dominic LeBlanc both asked about the problems of
the F-35s in the Arctic and got more of the same from Julian Fantino, and then
Claude Gravelle and François Lapointe asked about asbestos, given that it was
the NDP’s opposition-day motion (Paradis: Natural resources are a provincial
jurisdiction).

Round three saw questions on possible new
problems with financial appropriations, Tony Clement, Canada’s declining
tourism market share, cuts to fisheries, the new unilingual auditor general,
the special legislative committee on the bill to kill the Wheat Board, cuts to
the University of the Arctic, and the Champlain Bridge safety report.

Sartorially speaking, it was a terribly
bland day, and I’m not giving any snaps today. Style citations are a
different matter. Françoise Boivin gets one for her boxy orange fake-suede
jacket, and habitual offender Chris Charlton gets one for her fluorescent-yellow jacket with black trousers. Likewise, citations go out to both Raymond
Coté
 and Matthew Dubé for fluorescent shirt/black suit combinations, blue in
Coté’s case and green in Dubé’s. And apparently I’m not the only one who thinks
this is a problem. When I said over the Twitter Machine that “Just because
Simons and Le Chateau sell fluorescent dress shirts, it doesn’t mean you should
buy them,” I got a retweet from Jonathan Genest-Jourdain, consistently the
best-dressed male MP in the House.

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