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2 min

QP: Selectively slapping down unparliamentary language

After a relatively quiet period, the
Conservatives decided to go full-force in resurrecting the practice of using
their members’ statements to attack the opposition parties, be it over their
opposition to the omnibus crime bill, or a weeks-old story about Liberal MP Jim
Karygiannis’s alleged verbal abuse. RIP the era of civility, and all of that.

Nycole Turmel was back in the House today
asking first about Tony Clement’s Muskoka misdeeds (Harper: The rules are
enforced), followed by a pair of familiar questions on Harper’s lack of action
on the economic crisis (Harper: We’re totally taking action and you just want
to raise taxes). Peggy Nash and Jim Flaherty gave their familiar dance of “Job
creation!” “Economic Action Plan!” Bob Rae quoted BMO’s Sherry Cooper regarding
the deflationary danger we may find ourselves in (Harper: Economic Action
Plan!), and in his last question quipped that Tony Clement “can tweet, but he
can’t get on his feet” to answer questions. Harper assured him that these
issues have been “thoroughly aired,” and given that the Liberals fought and
lost an election on this issue, perhaps they should give it a rest.

Round two kicked off with Charlie Angus and
Alexandre Boulerice each asking a pair of Clement-themed questions (Baird did
his best Deepak Obhrai impression with “The facts in this case have not
changed”), while Pat Martin and François Lapointe asked questions about
asbestos (Paradis: Chrysotile can be used safely), and Olivia Chow and Jamie
Nicholls – who is now sporting the beginnings of a ridiculous mustache – asked
about infrastructure funding and added a couple more rounds to the Champlain
Bridge drinking game (Lebel: We’re a great partner to municipalities for
funding infrastructure!). This was also, apparently, the launch of the NDP’s new
website, newbridgenow.ca. Ralph Goodale was reprimanded by the Speaker for
calling Tony Clement a coward for not answering questions, John McCallum
excoriated Clement’s conduct, and as Marc Garneau mentioned that he got into politics
to show that politicians aren't all on the take, the Speaker shut him down for being unparliamentary.
(And yet, he didn’t shut down the rather unparliamentary statements the Conservatives
were making). Joe Comartin and Jasbir Sandhu each asked about the cost of the
omnibus crime bill, to which Rob Nicholson retorted about the cost to victims.

Round three saw questions on cuts to the
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the jobs being exported by the
Keystone XL pipeline (while not saying that they want to build refineries and
upgraders in Alberta instead), US protectionism, PhD graduates, the status of
an incomplete accessibility grant, university graduates' unemployment, a question
from Randall Garrison on the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and cuts to Natural
Resources Canada and the fate of the ice core samples in its possession.

Sartorially speaking, it was a bit of a
dull day, but I’ll give snaps to Lisa Raitt for her patterned black-and-white
dress with the black cardigan, and Peter Penashue for his lovely
cranberry shirt with his grey suit. Style citations go out to David Tilson for
a rather ridiculous red tie with yellow sun and moon patterns on it, and a
reminder to both Niki Ashton and Laurin Liu that they really are not suited to
wear orange – especially orange jackets of that particularly brilliant

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