Politics of Canada
2 min

QP: Grumpy old men

Given the inconsistent tone of question periods lately, one is never sure what kind of a day one is going to get when
one tunes in or shows up in the gallery to watch. And it was a pretty mixed bag
again today. Nycole Turmel led off asking about the health accords
negotiations, to which Harper assured her that healthcare is valuable and
that they also need to explore alternate forms of delivery. Turmel used
her final question on the issue of the newly revealed documents about Clement
and possible alterations to the official record. Harper shrugged and said that they’ve
already answered questions about this and have tabled the requested documents.
Charlie Angus continued this line of questioning, and despite John Baird's moving
to get up to answer on Clement’s behalf, Clement answered his own questions –
well, obfuscated for himself, in any case. Ralph Goodale was then up and asked
about two of the favoured Liberal issues of late – EI premiums and refundable
tax credits, to which Harper simply repeated his party’s approved talking
points about job creation and the Liberals voting against the budget.

Round two kicked off with Jack Harris and
Françoise Boivin asking about Justice Nunn coming out against the omnibus crime
bill despite the Conservatives bragging that they based it on his report, and
about high-powered sniper rifles no longer being registered (Nicholson: We’re
targeting out-of-control youth who are a danger to the public and themselves;
Toews: It’s against the law to sell guns to someone without a licence);
Alexandre Boulerice demanded the creation of the long-awaited Public Appointments
Commission after news that Jean-Pierre Blackburn was likely headed to a UNESCO
post (Van Loan: The opposition opposed it before – though really, it was Harper’s
choice of bagman to lead said commission that they opposed); and Malcolm Allen and
Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe asked about the announced cuts to the auditor general’s
office (Clement: He’s voluntarily doing his part!). Irwin Cotler asked about
the Quebec justice minister’s issue over the omnibus crime bill and whether it
was based on fact and not anecdotal evidence (Nicholson: Look at the Nunn
report!). Justin Trudeau held up the response to the order paper question
that Peter Kent signed about ozone monitoring and asked if the two monitoring
programs were complementary or duplicative. Kent muttered about unreliable
sources and promised that ozone would continue to be monitored – not actually
answering the question once again. Libby Davies and Anne Minh-Thu Quach
finished off the round by asking about the health accord negotiations (Colin
Carrie: We’re committed to the Canada Health Act! And then proceeded to act as
though the NDP had no history around healthcare. Seriously).

Round three saw another memorable exchange
between Megan Leslie and Joe Oliver. When he accused her of twisting herself into
a pretzel of logic over jobs and the environment, she called him a grumpy old
man, and he said she insulted senior citizens. Seriously. Following that were
questions on jobs, prescription drug shortages, First Nations taking the government
to court over education funding, veterans dealing with depleted uranium
poisoning, maritime rescue centres, environmental assessments, and EI for
seasonal workers.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Rosane
Doré Lefebvre
 for her grey boat-neck three-quarter-sleeve top with a black
skirt, and Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for his grey suit with a complementing grey
sweater, and a white shirt and silver-striped tie beneath. Style citations go
out to Sadia Groguhé for a white jacket with a black-and-gold floral motif,
paired with a black turtleneck and skirt, and to the honourable member from
Warhammer
 for a black suit with an eye-searing fluorescent-orange shirt and
tie.

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