2 min

QP: Sanctified by Canadians

It being World AIDS Day, there was an
appalling lack of red ribbons on the lapels of MPs in the House of Commons, and there were
virtually none to be found on the Conservative front bench. It also didn’t make
the first round of questions, which was once again almost entirely about the
situation in Attawapiskat. Nycole Turmel led off with more questions about the
government’s responsibility for the crisis, to which Harper told her that the
department had responded immediately. When Charlie Angus had his turn, John Duncan
recited the timeline of action to prove that they were on the ball. Carolyn
Bennett got the same response when she was up for the Liberals. Closing off the
first round was a question from Marc Garneau about the government’s ballooning
spending, to which Tony Clement assured him that they had a deficit reduction
plan that was “sanctified by the people of Canada.” Yes, that is a direct
quote.

Round two kicked off with Don Davies
hectoring the government over its appointments to the Immigration and Refugee
Board (Kenney: I was only aware of two appointees with Conservative ties, and
besides the Liberals were worse); Megan Leslie asked about the “sabotage”
Canada is planning at the Durban climate conference (Oliver: Yay, Canadian
jobs!); Christine Moore and David Christopherson asked about the latest revelations about Peter MacKay’s helicopter ride from a fishing lodge (MacKay
dutifully recited his lines from the last time this went around); and Matthew
Kellway asked about DND’s scrapping and restarting its transport truck
procurement process after six years of delay (Fantino: We’re doing our due
diligence). Scott Simms returned to the issue of the helicopter flight – not that
the Conservative benches liked the quotes out of the Toronto Star; Irwin Cotler asked about the amendments to C-10 that
he proposed and the government rejected, only for them to try and propose
themselves too late in the process (Vic Toews: We have a strong mandate!); and
Mark Eyking asked about the $180 million shortfall in Canada’s contributions to the
Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria as the organization faces a funding crunch (Colin
Carrie: Look at all the wonderful HIV programs we fund!). Anne Minh-Thu Quach
and Libby Davies asked about the government’s delays in releasing funding
criteria for HIV programs back at home (Carrie: No government has done more
for HIV in this country than ours! Seriously, he said that), and Dany Morin
asked what the federal government should be doing about combating bullying
(Hoeppner: Bullying is bad, and if you’re bullied you should seek help, but we’re
proud to support provincial programs aimed at fighting it). In other words,
don’t look to the federal government to help.

Round three saw questions on cuts at
Service Canada call centres; funding transfers that the government has made
without parliamentary approval (this is a serious issue, kids, no matter how
the government tries to shrug it off as nothing new); seniors who don’t know
they’re eligible for the guaranteed income supplement; whether the government would have Elections Canada investigate the calls to Irwin Cotler’s riding with the
“rumours” he was resigning (the Speaker ruled it out of order as it didn’t
pertain to government business, which the Liberals have asked for an appeal
on); rural post offices; and curtailing the governor general’s spending (Van
Loan: We’re proud of the GG!).

Sartorially speaking, it was a pretty bland
day, so I’m going to forgo snaps. Style citations go out to Royal Galipeau for
wearing a red fleece vest in lieu of a jacket, and to Mylène Freeman, whose
giant orange scarf looked like it was consuming her head.

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