Bob Rae
2 min

QP: Pot vs wheat

On the last Monday of the last sitting week
of the year, Nycole Turmel kicked off question period by asking about the
latest projections by the parliamentary budget officer – that we have a
structural deficit that will be in place until at least 2017 – and parlayed
that into a question about corporate tax cuts. John Baird, the day’s backup
PM, countered with assurances that Jim Flaherty is the “best finance minister
in the world,” saying that with all the European debt crises happening,
Canada needs to take its own deficit seriously, and the PBO would
agree. Charlie Angus then got up to ask about the contradictions between what
the minister and the chief are saying about the situation in Attawapiskat, but
Duncan ignored the inconsistencies and carried on with his talking points. Bob
Rae kept on the Attawapiskat situation, pointing out that the former auditor general said that the system of third-party management doesn’t work, but Baird insisted
that the status quo was not an option and that they took action. For his last
question, Rae returned to the issue of the Federal Court’s decision on the
Canadian Wheat Board, but Baird retorted with an absurd talking point that the
Liberals want to legalize marijuana but keep wheat illegal – which is
demonstrably false in every sense.

Round two kicked off with Peter Julian and
Jim Flaherty going on about deficit reduction, followed by Laurin Liu and Megan
Leslie asking about the Durban outcomes (Michelle Rempel gave her
usual retorts about the NDP trying to kill Canadian jobs); Fin Donnelly and
Philip Toone asked about cuts at Fisheries (Ashfield: A lot of these are by attrition
and over several months); and Matthieu Ravignat asked about job losses (Finley:
We’ve got additional resources at this time of year). Laurence MacAulay and
Mark Eyking asked about the DFO cuts – as well as other cuts in the Atlantic
region (Ashfield: You were worse; Saxton: usual bland economic talking points),
and Marc Garneau asked about the new F-35 talking points and how 65 planes was
no longer a hard number (Fantino: Yay, jets!). Tarik Brahmi and Matthew Kellway
then tag-teamed on questions about the six-year delay in military truck
procurement along with these F-35 questions, to which Fantino kept repeating
the same talking points (though to be fair, his duotronic circuitry was
probably reaching capacity) – though Kellway’s reliance on his own notes made
calling out Fantino over his was a bit rich.

Round three saw questions on the newly
announced Afghan detainee agreement; Peter MacKay and his helicopter ride; job
losses in Quebec; parental sponsorship for immigration; Stéphane Dion called
out Peter MacKay to face the media in the foyer (which he didn’t); seniors
poverty; trade with South Korea; cutting the tax on home heating (even though
such a move would actually reward the rich more than help the poor, but who
said populism had to make sense?); riots in the Democratic Republic of Congo;
and whether there would be a debate on our withdrawal from Kyoto (for which
there was no answer).

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to James
 for a chocolate-brown suit with a pink shirt and blue tie, and to Rosane
Doré Lefebvre
 for her fitted black dress with a wrap top and a chunky wooden
bracelet. Style citations go out to Judy Foote for a pale Creamsicle-orange
jacket with a black top and trousers, and to both Jacques Gourde and Jean
 for a repeat offence of grey suit/fluorescent blue shirt and striped
tie each.

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