5 min

QP: Scattershot questions on the AG report

With the auditor general’s latest report
having been released earlier this morning, one would have imagined that the biggest piece of scandalous news from it would have led off QP.
And yet, Nycole Turmel got up and asked about . . . the health accord renegotiation
process and what kind of public input would be going into it. Harper stood up
and agreed with the importance of healthcare and said that everyone would be
engaging in discussions over the growing costs of said healthcare. Peter Julian
got the first auditor general question, asking about the lack of data on the
number of jobs created by stimulus spending that the AG pointed out. Jim
Flaherty talked about the good stimulus plan that worked, and for the
supplemental, Tony Clement answered about the 600,000 net new jobs! John
McCallum was up for the Liberals, asking about the AG’s revelations on problems
with visa applications and military maintenance contracts (Clement: 600,000 net
new jobs!), and Hedy Fry finished off by asking about the AG’s criticism of
Health Canada’s drug assessment system (Aglukkaq: Work is underway).

Round two was a return to the NDP’s former
scattershot technique of taking an AG question in bilingual pairs –
Alexandre Boulerice and Olivia Chow asked about the poor quality of information
on job creation (Clement: We’ve accepted his helpful recommendations, Flaherty:
We gave regular reports on the progress of the Economic Action Plan™!); Libby
Davies and Anne Minh-Thu Quach asked about the drug assessment issue (Aglukkaq:
There were no conflicts of interest, work is underway); Christine Moore and
Matthew Kellway asked about the military repair contracts issue (Fantino: The
department is addressing the issues, there’s a plan underway); Malcolm Allen
asked about the agro-stability fund (Ritz: It’s up to the provinces to deliver
– we just give them money to do so); and Don Davies asked about the visa issue (Kenney:
We’ve made lots of investments in screening!). Irwin Cotler asked about the
sanctions on Iran, and why not simply declare the Revolutionary Guard a
terrorist organization (Dechert: We’re taking aggressive action!); John McKay asked about the US military comm-sat we’re investing in, and if we would also be
subject to ITAR and Buy America provisions as part of that (Fantino: We need
secure benefits, and every dollar will be reinvested in Canadian businesses); and
Marc Garneau asked about the dismissal of the Quebec government’s concerns on
the omnibus crime bill (Nicholson: Nothing in the bill prevents the provinces
from carrying out their own rehabilitation programs). Jack Harris asked about
the information commissioner’s caution that deleting long-gun registry data
would violate the Library and Archives Act (Toews: We’re changing the law), and
Françoise Boivin asked again about Quebec’s concerns with the omnibus crime
bill (Nicholson: We based our bill on a report from Nova Scotia, so we do
listen to provinces!).

Round three kicked off with a tasteless
exchange between Megan Leslie (“Does he realize he’s actually the environment minister?”)
and Peter Kent (“Welcome back from your treacherous adventure abroad”), followed
by questions on the Keystone XL pipeline, marine rescue centres, prescription
drug shortages, social housing, wastewater systems, people who bankrolled Iran’s
nuclear program being given Canadian citizenship, and our “broken” fisheries.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Maximum Bernier for his tailored black suit with a light-pink shirt and a pink-and-red striped tie, and to Lisa Raitt for a fantastic fitted grey dress with
black accents, topped off with a weighted pendant necklace and a very sparkly
bracelet, which made me want to say “Nice accessories.” Style citations go out
to Yvon Godin for his black suit with a fluorescent teal shirt and a dull-blue
striped tie, and to Laurin Liu (of the robot hands) for a khaki half-sleeve
jacket, white top and orange-hued trousers.

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