John Baird
2 min

QP: Regarding that Champlain Bridge announcement

Since Nycole Turmel was in St John’s
attending the funeral of Nancy Riche, it was deputy leader Libby Davies who
kicked off question period by asking about manufacturing jobs and why the
government wouldn’t forgo corporate tax cuts to support them. Harper gave a
sedate talking point about the importance of job creation, while Thomas Mulcair
had the same exchange in French before moving on to the issue of the
announcement of a replacement for the Champlain Bridge, and the fact that it
will be done with private-sector partnerships and will be made a toll bridge.
Christian Paradis thought it was great that there’s a new bridge on the
way. Bob Rae had concerns that there was an announcement about a new
bridge but no plans to go with it, to which Harper touted the involvement of
private sector partners. Rae then moved on to the issue of the perimeter agreement with the US while there are all kinds of protectionist measures on the way, but Harper retorted by saying that only a former NDP leader
would want to deal with protectionism by further limiting our access.

Round two was kicked off with the usual
back-and-forth between Charlie Angus and Alexandre Boulerice with John Baird in
each official language, followed by Mathieu Ravignat asking about the US
Harbour Maintenance Tax (Fast: We’re raising the issue in DC). Brian Masse
asked about privacy concerns with the perimeter agreement (Fast: We have a
strong mandate!), and Sylvain Chicoine asked about the billion dollar price tag
for said perimeter agreement (Baird: Nice to see that you’re interested in
trade). Kirsty Duncan asked about our failing climate change targets (Kent:
Kyoto is in the past, we have new commitments now), while Judy Foote asked whether Baird had spoken to the RCMP about the legality of using border
infrastructure funds for G8 legacy projects (Baird: You’re just putting on a
big show). Pat Martin asked what it will cost to kill the Canadian Wheat
Board (Ritz: Choice for farmers!); Niki Ashton asked how closing the Wheat
Board will affect the port at Churchill, Manitoba, (Ritz: The newly elected
majority NDP government in Manitoba has reached its best-before date); and
Linda Duncan asked about First Nations communities in Northern Alberta vis-à-vis the
oil sands (John Duncan: We’re working closely with them!).

Round three saw questions on monitoring
related to Kyoto legislation, marine protected areas, the costs of the F-35
fighters, lithium ion battery research, pensions, youth job programs and
Quebec shipyards.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Greg
 for his dark grey suit with a crisp white shirt and a pink tie; and Lisa Raitt for her black jacket with the white piping, and a white top with
ruffles along a V-neck that was actually well done. Style citations go out to Bev Oda for a dark green and harvest-coloured floral jacket with an orange
dress, and to LaVar Payne once again for being a vision in beige.

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