Provinces and territories of Canada
2 min

QP: Last shout (for 2011 anyway)

As it happened, Wednesday wasn’t the last
day of the sitting as had been predicted. Today was, and it had been agreed
that QP would be the second-last item on the agenda before the
House rose and they could all go home for the holidays. After Liberal
Roger Cuzner gave us his now traditional rhyming final statement of the year, Nycole Turmel got up and listed off the various sins of the government,
from in camera meetings to overspending, to Peter MacKay’s chopper rides, and
Harper just shrugged and assured her that they have done all kinds of great things
for Canadians. Turmel followed up with a question on closed or reduced services
at certain border crossings, but Harper assured her that they are focused on
the economy. Brian Masse asked again about those border crossings, and Candice
Hoeppner said that there is no decision on a report he was citing, and Baird
wondered why he didn’t want to ensure a thinner border. John McKay brought up
Peter MacKay’s spending tendencies and wondered when he might reimburse the
public purse, but MacKay muttered something about Canada earning its place at
the table with NATO, and as for the story about his hotel spending at those summits,
well he stayed at the conference hotel (which is actually pretty justified).
Carolyn Bennett asked about the aboriginal affairs minister’s meeting with
Chief Spence from Attawapiskat, which Van Loan characterized as a “positive
step forward,” and Stéphane Dion closed the round by asking the
intergovernmental affairs minister – who has been virtually invisible all year
– why he wasn’t consulting with the provinces over the costs of the omnibus
crime bill. Robert Goguen, the parliamentary secretary for justice, replied
that provinces are onside.

Round two started off with Charlie Angus
returning to the topic of Attawapiskat (Van Loan: We’re working with the
community); Peter Julian and Jim Flaherty went back and forth with talking
about magic money, elves and trolls in the vague context of corporate tax cuts;
Wayne Marston and Alain Giguère wanted CPP to be expanded (Menzies: The
provinces like our pooled pension plan idea); Christine Moore and Matthew
Kellway asked about increasing F-35 development costs (Fantino-bot: The F-35s
are great!); and Charmaine Borg asked about the provincial costs of the crime bill (Goguen:
Victims support our bill). Irwin Cotler asked the government to respect free
speech and stop holding in camera meetings (Van Loan: We’re proud of our
accomplishments, we made decisions and we wouldn’t want gridlock – while curiously
he wants an elected Senate, which would create more gridlock in the system) and
asked after an Egyptian blogger who is now a political prisoner (Baird: We’re
concerned and we’ve contacted the ambassador). Closing off the round, Claude
Patry, Raymond Côté, Guy Caron and Anne-Marie Day asked about the forestry
sector in Quebec, which gave me flashbacks to the days of the Bloc.

Round three saw questions on closing the
Coast Guard office in Inuvik, transporting dangerous goods, Canadians jailed
abroad, job losses, social housing, a particular deportation case, Quebec
post-office closures and rail service on Vancouver Island.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Lisa
Raitt
 for a purple dress with a fitted black leather jacket, and one last snap
of the year for Jonathan Genest-Jourdain’s tailored grey pinstriped suit with a
pale blue shirt and a striped tie. Contrast that to Peter MacKay, who was
wearing a boxy, black sack of a suit that was not tailored and looked way too
big on him (for which he is getting a style citation), while Sadia Groguhé gets
a citation for her white jacket with the terrible black and gold floral pattern
across it. Dishonourable mention to Dany Morin for a yellow shirt/black suit
violation.

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