2 min

QP: The problem with vague motions

With news that the federal government will
be announcing plans tomorrow to replace the beleaguered Champlain Bridge,
Nycole Turmel kicked off question period by playing another round of the
Champlain Bridge drinking game, at which point Harper chastised the NDP for
voting against funds that would help with said new bridge. Turmel then declared
victory on the “economic measures” that the government apparently agreed to
with regard to Thursday’s opposition day motion. (Remember, the motion that
went against the whole purpose of opposition days?) Harper quite
rightly pointed out that it is a vague motion and that the NDP immediately
turned around and voted against their economic measures in the ways-and-means motion. To be fair, the opposition had a whole six hours to try to sort
through some 200 pages of economic data, but hey – details. Peggy Nash then
stood up and asked about personal debt and job creation, to which Ted Menzies
got a turn at reminding the NDP that its members had voted against the government’s
economic measures. When it was Bob Rae’s turn, he picked up on the theme of the
Liberals’ opposition day motion, regarding a national strategy for prevention,
and asked questions about how the government planned to vote, how it
affects veterans both young and old, and how the strategy relates to
aboriginals. Harper made some very solemn statements, remembering the suicide
of their own former MP Dave Batters, and spoke about the programs they have
in place.

Round two kicked off with Jack Harris and
Hélène Laverdière returning to the CP story about Peter MacKay being left in
the dark about the Afghan mission decisions (MacKay degenerated to a random
talking-points generator at this point). Yvon Godin asked why Afghan detainee
documents were made available only in English (Baird: I checked with NDP
members beforehand and they all okayed this). Christine Moore and Matthew
Kellway asked about the costs of the F-35 fighters; MacKay assured
them that they’d budgeted $9 billion. Carolyn Bennett, Ted Hsu and Justin
Trudeau took turns asking about suicide rates among First Nations and Inuit
communities (Aglukkaq: We’re acting on recommendations, there’s no one answer to this
problem), Megan Leslie asked about the environment commissioner’s rather
damning report (Kent: Focus on the positives in the report!), and Laurin Liu
once again tried to control her robot hands, this time by hunching over her
desk as she recited her scripted question on the hole in the ozone layer above
the Arctic (Kent: We’re not muzzling our scientists!).

Round three saw questions on Tony Clement’s
G8 spending; soldiers and veterans facing PTSD, which can lead to suicide; the
RCMP contract negotiations with BC (one of them asked by Randall Garrison);
suicide as a public health crisis; and those IRS rules catching dual citizens.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Judy
 for her black jacket with a red maple-leaf pattern over a fitted black
dress, and to both Scott Simms and Rick Dykstra for variations on a grey suit with lavender shirt and tie. Style citations go out to LaVar Payne for his black
shirt with the white collar and cuffs and a white tie, worn with a blue-tinged
grey suit; and to Kellie Leitch for a searingly bright jacket that was one
shade darker than hot pink, which really, really did not suit her.

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