41st Canadian Parliament
3 min

QP: Profane outbursts

In what is reputed to be the last QP before the House rises (though we may not know for sure until the end of the day), tempers were frayed, and there was a restless energy of MPs eager to flee to the airport for flights home. Nycole Turmel kicked off QP by asking about the Kyoto withdrawal, to which Harper gave her a pro forma answer about the importance of having all major emitters on board with any climate agreement. Turmel moved on to the issue of the looming slowdown in F-35 fighter jets production, to which Harper retorted that the NDP opposed giving equipment to the men and women in uniform and that the government is acting on the recommendations of industry – which is odd, considering you'd think they would act based on what the Forces needs. Matthew Kellway asked about the reports that the F-35 pilots will have to train in Florida for the next decade, to which Fantino's duotronic circuitry chugged away as he tried to make snappy comebacks while assuring the House that the plan is to move training to Canada. Rising for the Liberals, Marc Garneau asked whether the Elections Act needed to be strengthened to prevent future incidents of political dirt-baggery such as Irwin Cotler was subjected to, but Van Loan simply said that the Speaker had ruled and the matter was settled. Garneau moved on to the Conservatives' abuse of in camera hearings at committees, to which Van Loan assured him that they are always open and transparent. Also, the chocolate ration has been increased from 30 grams to 25 this year – doubleplusgood! John McKay closed off the round by asking again about the F-35 training, and got the same response from Fantino.

Round two was where things got heated. Megan Leslie asked about the Kyoto pullout, and when Peter Kent chastised her for not attending the Durban conference — after they had barred opposition MPs from attending and denied accreditation to any who wanted to fly over on their own dime — Justin Trudeau lost his temper and called Kent a piece of shit. Seriously. The House exploded. Trudeau immediately stood up to apologize, but the Speaker told him they would deal with it after QP. Kennedy Stewart asked about pipeline safety (Oliver: We're working on new emergency preparation manuals); Linda Duncan asked about First Nations blocking fracking trucks on their lands; Peter Julian demanded a jobs plan (Flaherty: I am at best a mere elf and not a magical money fairy­ — actual quote — as the NDP would demand); Mylène Freeman and Irene Mathyssen asked about the presence of women on judicial advisory committees (Nicholson: Look at all the female judicial appointments); and Charlie Angus returned to the topic of Attawapiskat (Rickford: We're working with the community). Carolyn Bennett challenged yesterday's assertion that the United Nations has not begun an investigation into missing and murdered aboriginal women (Ambrose: We've launched a strategy), and Kirsty Duncan and Joyce Murray returned to the topic of the Kyoto pullout and climate change (Kent: You Liberals did nothing in power). Fin Donnelly asked about Fisheries and Oceans scientists being muzzled (Ashfield: Do I look like a bully?), but when Ryan Cleary answered in the affirmative — and did not immediately retract his unparliamentary language — the Speaker shut him down and moved on to Jean Crowder, who along with Anne-Marie Day, asked about wait times at Service Canada (Finley: We're automating our systems!).

Round three saw questions about former RCMP commissioner Bill Elliott getting an appointment to Interpol (which is really old news, but whatever), a new Detroit-Windsor bridge, the Canadian Wheat Board attempting to get a court injunction, more about Service Canada delays, Afghan prisoners, a Canadian detained in Bahrain, Canadian Henk Tepper's continued detention in Lebanon, the Champlain Bridge and how Canada has turned its back on Quebec.

Sartorially speaking, there wasn't really anything snap-worthy, so I'll move right into style citations, which go out to Megan Leslie for her burnt-orange wrap dress with ruffled edges, Jeff Watson for his black suit with a yellowish shirt and grey tie, with dishonourable mentions to Cheryl Gallant for a lemon-yellow dress with a black sweater, and Diane Finley for a belted dress that can best be described as bile yellow, with a similarly toned jacket with a faint black cross-hatched pattern.
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