Provinces and territories of Canada
2 min

QP: Reserving the power to change the law

There was a rather muted energy in the chamber as question period got underway, for whatever reason. Nycole Turmel
started off by asking for details about the perimeter security agreement, to
which Harper said they had just provided all kinds of details and reminded
everyone that the NDP opposes trade. Turmel then asked about the Federal Court
ruling on the Canadian Wheat Board, to which Harper reminded her that
governments can change the law, before Pat Martin and Gerry Ritz went for a
couple of rounds on the same. Bob Rae also picked up on the CWB ruling and got
much the same answer, before turning to the topic of Attawapiskat and the fact
that the band will be forced to pay for the services of the third-party
manager. Harper reminded him of the millions of dollars being spent there and said they need to ensure that needs are being met. Um, okay then.

Round two kicked off with Don Davis asking
about fingerprint and biometric data being retained by the US Department of
Homeland Security with relation to the perimeter agreement, but Harper was the
one who rose to tell him that there is no plan to collect Canadians’ biometric
data. From there, Laverdière asked a similar question (Baird: We’ll be tabling
more details on the agreement in short order); Christine Moore and Matthew
Kellway each had a round on MacKay’s helicopter costs and Senator John McCain’s
comments in the States around the F-35 (while Julian Fantino gave his usual
robotic talking point, Baird was heckling about the NDP’s “Republican
friends”); Megan Leslie and Michelle Rempel went for another round of duelling
climate change policy; and Malcolm Allen asked about organic produce that had
been contaminated by pesticides (Ritz: We’re testing constantly to ensure
organic foods retain their certification). Kevin Lamoureux asked about the
conditions facing northern Manitoba First Nations reserves (Duncan: We’re
looking at innovative solutions), and John McKay and Geoff Regan each asked about
MacKay’s changing story regarding the helicopter trip (Baird: Look at him show
leadership at the NATO meeting in Brussels right now! Fantino: Here are the new
talking points once again, and why yes, the chocolate ration was increased from
30 grams to 25 this year). Charlie Angus asked about Attawapiskat being
forced to pick up the tab for the third-party manager (Duncan: We’re focused on
the community), and Alexandre Boulerice asked about the Conservatives using a
green infrastructure fund to pay for other expenditures (Fletcher: All
transfers were approved).

Round three saw questions on reports that
the government would be selling off airports; the harms of the prisons agenda;
climate change policy; permits for a sustainable sea cucumber fishery; what the
EU trade deal would mean for the cost of prescription drugs; affordable
housing; and the fate of supply management in EU trade talks.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Romeo
Saganash
 for his grey suit with a lavender shirt and tie, and to Lisa Raitt for
her black jacket with white piping and a ruffled top that actually works. Style
citations go out to Raymond Côté for a black suit with a blindingly fluorescent
fuchsia shirt and grey tie, and to Megan Leslie for a mauve half-sleeve top
that bunched up awkwardly to a mock turtleneck paired with a grey skirt.

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