2 min

QP: The Federal Court weighs in

The elves in the office of the leader of
the Official Opposition were on the ball, as the Federal Court’s decision on the
Canadian Wheat Board challenge came down minutes before QP was due to start –
ruling against the government – and lo and behold, Nycole Turmel had a question
on it prepared and ready for her to read off as QP got underway. For the first
time, Diane Finley got to be backup PM today, and while she expressed the
government’s disappointment in the ruling and said the Conservatives would be appealing, she
made some strange detour into the realm of decriminalizing marijuana. Huh?
Nobody seemed to know what she was talking about either. Turmel moved on to
Harper’s announcement in Washington on the perimeter security agreement, to
which Finley gave a “yay trade!” talking point, and Brian Masse and Ed Fast had
a follow-up exchange on the same topic. Bob Rae got up and asked whether the
bill to dismantle the Wheat Board would be halted while the matter was before
the courts (Finley reiterated that they were appealing the decision),
and for his last question, Rae asked if the government was committed to
scrapping the Indian Act. Finley did not answer but took the opportunity
to debut the government’s talking point of the day, which was that they are
focusing on the people of Attawapiskat and not on scoring political points.
Okay then.

Round two kicked off with Christine Moore
and Matthew Kellway asking about the Peter MacKay helicopter issue (Fantino as
robot: He was called back to work); Jamie Nicholls asked about the Port of
Montreal investigation (Lebel: The board appoints the CEO, not us); Alexandre
Boulerice asked about the Tony Clement issue (Clement: Charlie Angus still owes
me an apology, by the way); Angus asked if the government would let the
Canadian Forces help out the people in Attawapiskat (Duncan: We’re not trying
to score points); and when Linda Duncan and Jonathan Genest-Jourdain each asked
further questions on First Nations emergency management and poverty, they got
pretty much the same response. Judy Foote asked about Peter MacKay’s changing
story (Fantino as robot gave the same reply), and Roger Cuzner asked about the
measurement of Service Canada’s processing times – and implied that Finley was
in need of divine intervention because she didn’t actually know her files
(Finley: We’re working on automation). Peter Julian and Claude Patry asked
about job losses (Flaherty: We have great job numbers relative to other OECD
countries; Finley: We’re working with those affected), and Ryan Cleary asked about
a firm that got regional development dollars even though they’re processing the
fish they catch in China (Keddy: ACOA does its due diligence).

Round three saw more questions on the Wheat
Board decision, the progress or lack thereof at the Durban conference,
retirement savings, the vote in the Democratic Republic of Congo, whether the
assets of Tunisia’s previous dictators were actually frozen, and new identity
requirements for those families receiving compensation
payments for the Air India bombing.

Sartorially speaking, I didn’t see anything
particularly snap-worthy today, so I’m going to move right on to style citations
– to Mylène Freeman for a brown-hued autumnal-patterned dress under a black
jacket, and to both Dany Morin and Olivia Chow for repeat yellow-and-black

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