2 min

QP: Keystone XL and G8 legacy talking points

With Keystone XL pipeline protests
happening on the lawn and after a morning of debating the extension of the mission
to Libya, the House moved on to its usual afternoon course of business – question period. And with Nycole Turmel absent, it was left to Thomas
Mulcair to denounce the latest revelations about Tony Clement’s involvement in
the G8 legacy fund, followed by Charlie Angus. But for their trouble, they
simply received more rote talking points from Deepak Obhrai. Bob Rae instead
asked about the IMF head’s concerns about the risk of too much austerity
affecting the economy, but Jim Flaherty rambled with a bunch of talking points
that said nothing. In his last question, Rae asked about the government’s lack
of a “coherent approach” to sustainability or the environment, to which Peter
Kent pointed out that the World Health Organization said that Canada has the
third-best air quality in the world. Not that it answered the question.

Megan Leslie kicked off round two with
questions on the Keystone XL pipeline, as did Claude Gravelle, both of which
were met with bland assurances by David Anderson about how great the pipeline
was going to be for all involved. Peggy
Nash asked about corporate tax cuts versus “strategic investments” in jobs
(Flaherty: Yay Economic Action Plan!). Wayne Marston asked about private pensions
versus public ones in these days of market turmoil – as though public pension
funds are somehow insulated from said turmoil (hint: they’re not, and QPP took
a beating the last time around), to which Ted Menzies listed off a number of
other benefits they’ve given seniors, like tax cuts and income splitting.
Jamie Nicholls gave the obligatory Champlain Bridge drinking game round. Kirsty
Duncan asked about the lack of a plan for emissions targets (Kent: We have a
comprehensive sector-by-sector plan). Geoff Regan asked about sustainability
in the energy sector (more bland assurances from David Anderson). Jack Harris and
Christine Moore then went after Peter MacKay for his handling of the Department
of National Defence, to which MacKay gave a bit of an “I support our troops”

Round three saw questions on CBC funding,
cuts to border crossings at Windsor, the lack of a first ministers’ meeting on
healthcare, more G8 questions, questions on programs for young aboriginals, more
about MacKay’s helicopter ride (MacKay: I took a 30-minute ride, but you
took a five-hour ride, and yours cost that much more, so there!), the Afghan
interpreter resettlement program, one last
Keystone XL question, and our government’s lack of support for the nascent Tunisian government's desire to create an electoral district in Canada for expats.

Sartorially speaking, I’m not giving anyone
snaps today because it was pretty dull in the House. Style citations, however,
are being handed out to Christine Moore’s belted khaki suit, which made her
look as though she were heading out on safari, Cheryl Gallant’s lemon-yellow
jacket with a black dress beneath (yellow and black! Can we please, please stop
this nonsense?), and Claude Gravelle’s grey suit with the dull pumpkin shirt
did him no favours.

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