Dean Del Mastro
2 min

QP: From accusation to misdirection

The intent may have been to push back
against the Liberals, but the Conservatives’ ham-fisted approach is more likely
to blow up in their faces – or not, considering it may all simply be a
campaign of misdirection under the protection of House privilege that they dare
not repeat outside of it. Regardless, after some pro forma robo-call questions
from Nycole Turmel and Pat Martin, in response to which Harper and Dean Del Mastro returned to yesterday’s “unsubstantiated smear campaign” talking points, Rae asked about the statute of limitations on electoral fraud, causing Harper to bring out the day’s big guns – only the Liberals used American call centres, and they were being used to call Liberal voters! They even identified
themselves as calling on behalf of the Liberal Party! Err, except that’s not
really true. Harper and company were confusing the names of companies (Prime
Contact and First Contact), and yes, the Liberals had secured contracts
from Prime Contact’s Canadian operations, meaning that the allegations were
entirely baseless. Not that it wasn’t simply a tactic designed to try to
change the channel, and based on the number of times that Del Mastro and Pierre
Poilievre repeated it throughout QP, it was obvious they were trying for clips
on the six o’clock news in order to muddy the waters.

Round two kicked off with Alexandre
Boulerice and Charlie Angus trying to get the RMG connection of Robocon, but they
were treated to fresh recitations of the Liberal/North Dakota assertions. Alexandrine
Latendresse and David Christopherson tried once again to ask why the
Conservatives rejected a request from the chief electoral officer for more
powers (Polievre: We’re cooperating with Elections Canada; Del Mastro: Liberals
used American call centres!); Guy Caron asked once more about the closure of
the Rimouski Service Canada centre in favour of one in Thetford Mines (Finley:
That was a department decision); and François Lapointe asked about asbestos
deaths (Paradis: Chrysotile can be used safely!). Frank Valeriote, Joyce Murray
and Marc Garneau brought up specific Robocon allegations (Del Mastro/Poilievre:
Liberals used American call centres!); Peter Julian wanted information on
budget cuts (Andrew Saxton/Jim Flaherty: 610,000 net new jobs!); and Yvon Godin
asked about the public service union Day of Action today (Saxton: 610,000 net
new jobs!).

Round three saw questions on the updated “no
contracts” F-35 talking points, the finding on the VIA train derailment, more
specific Robocon allegations, First Nations drinking water, particular
fisherman policies, a looming “withdrawal crisis” as OxyContin is pulled from
shelves, and the ratification of a cluster munitions convention.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to James
 (who has become quite the snappy dresser of late) for his tailored
chocolate suit with a white shirt and a green-and-brown striped tie and a
green pocket square, and to Kirsty Duncan for her white jacket with the black-and-blue square pattern. Style citations go out to Linda Duncan for a long
orange jacket with a black wheel-like pattern, and to Brent Rathgeber for a
greige suit with a beige shirt and tie.

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