3 min

QP: The non sequitur of single-parenting stories

During members’ statements before question period, NDP MP Libby Davies rose to give this statement:

Mr Speaker, decorated Iraq war
veteran Rodney Watson has lived in limbo for two years, in sanctuary at an East
Vancouver church, with his wife, Natasha, and young son Jordan, both Canadian

I have gotten to know Rodney and
know him to be strong in his conviction for peace and justice, and brave in his
commitment to go up against an illegal war. It’s been a tough two years and the
strong support from the War Resisters Support Campaign has been enormously

If Rodney were to return to the
US, he would likely be charged, which could make his return to Canada
inadmissible, tearing him apart from his family.

There are as many as 40 other war
resisters like Rodney who are currently fighting to stay in Canada. This
Parliament has passed two motions in support of war resisters, and yet this
government is still trying to deport them. I encourage Canadians to write to the immigration minister and their MP about Rodney and all war resisters,
supporting the call for their permanent residence in Canada.

Nycole Turmel kicked off QP with a bog
standard question about cuts versus infrastructure spending (Harper: We
invested plenty in infrastructure), but moved on quickly to Peter MacKay’s use
of the Challenger jets (Harper: We’re using jets 70 percent less than our
predecessors, and he used them for repatriation ceremonies), and a question on
aboriginal poverty (Harper: We’re providing them with job training). Peggy Nash
and Jim Flaherty each gave their usual dance on jobs and the economy, and while
Bob Rae was not in the House today, Ralph Goodale got in a pair of questions
about the lack of a fall economic update (Harper: This government doesn’t bring
down multiple budgets in a year), while Mark Garneau gave the Champlain Bridge
drinking game another round, demanding replacement plans and not just money to
maintain the crumbling structure (Lebel: The Liberals did nothing with the

Round two kicked off with Jack Harris
asking again about MacKay’s use of jets, and Harper gave him the very same
answer he gave to Turmel and suggested that Harris also attend some
repatriation ceremonies. Christiane Moore then went through the very same exercise
in French, before Charlie Angus and Alexandre Boulerice began their daily
dance with John Baird about Tony Clement’s G8 legacy fund revelations, and
bizarrely, Ruth Ellen Brosseau described her busy life as a single parent
before tying that in to the G8 mismanagement. (Seriously – that’s how you
expect to get us to take you seriously?) John Baird furnished her with a stock
answer. Mauril Bélanger questioned the government’s decision to allow
committee members to call a judge before the Heritage committee to talk about
the CBC (Moore: The committee is free to invite who they want), and Kirsty
Duncan asked about the “witch hunt” going on in the environment department over
who leaked the news about ozone monitoring cuts. (Kent: That was a
mischaracterization of the actual conversation). Laurin Liu made robotic arm
gestures while haltingly reading a scripted question about greenhouse gas
targets (Kent: We have a plan, and look at this money we’ve devoted to
adaptation), and Megan Leslie made another attempt at the ozone witch-hunt

Round three saw questions about the high
cost of certain prescription drugs, the reopened abortion debate (Van Loan: We’ve
been clear that we’re not reopening this), Clement’s upcoming appearance before
a committee, possibly revoking Sri Lanka’s membership in the Commonwealth, the RCMP
contract in BC, veterans’ funeral costs, IRS rules for dual citizens.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Joyce
’s lovely fuchsia jacket and Peter Penashue’s blueberry shirt with a
charcoal suit. I’m going to give Megan Leslie a half point for the great fitted
chocolate-brown dress, but the cheesy flight-attendant scarf lost her the
half-point. Style citations go out to Linda Duncan for her sparkly yellow and
earth-tone… tunic, I guess I’ll call it, which seemed to be missing a tambourine
as an accessory, and Gordon O’Connor for being a vision in greige.

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