Université Laval alumni
2 min

QP: The return of Kyoto

Mondays can be tricky when it comes to question period. Some MPs, fresh off flights from across the country, are
jet-lagged and want to be elsewhere. Others are brimming with energy from a
weekend in the riding and want to do their bit for democracy. Today was not a
high-energy day, but it was surprising in other ways. Nycole Turmel was absent,
and in her place, Peter Julian asked about the rumours that Canada is pulling
out of its Kyoto Protocol obligations. Christian Paradis got his turn to be
backup PM and told Julian that any agreement Canada signs on to must include
large emitters. Megan Leslie followed up on the climate change issue, to which
Peter Kent assured her that more and more countries were moving to Canada’s
position on the issue. Bob Rae demanded an actual debate on climate change
before the government announced any policy, but Paradis simply stated that
greenhouse gas emissions went up under the Liberals, so they had no room to
talk. Rae then asked about the number of unemployed in the face of a looming EI
premium increase (Paradis: The Economic Action Plan™ is working!), and about
the government’s profligate spending on gadgets, portraits of the queen and
flags for the Diamond Jubilee among other things (Baird: I have no problem
acknowledging our head of state!).

Round two kicked off with Brian Masse
asking about border security (Baird: We’re a trading nation!); Jack Harris
asked about the demands by police chiefs for “balance” in crime legislation (Nicholson:
Look at all the great things in this bill!); Françoise Boivin asked about guns
that would no longer be registered once the long-gun registry is scrapped
(Hoeppner: There are no changes to classifications or restrictions); Robert
Aubin wanted the government to simply adopt an NDP private member’s bill on
Quebec’s language laws applying to federally regulated businesses (Paradis:
Bafflegab about official languages); and Wayne Marston wanted stimulus fund
deadlines extended for certain projects (Lebel: The date was set, get over it).
Roger Cuzner and Diane Finley had a lengthy back-and-forth about delays over EI
processing times), Libby Davies asked about reporting and accountability in the
healthcare accords (Aglukkaq: We had productive meetings last weekend!), and Anne
Minh-Thu Quach asked about drug patent negotiations with the European Union
(Fast: Stop fear-mongering).

Round three saw questions on civilian job
losses on army bases, the cost of the F-35s, the government’s “bad faith”
climate negotiations, responding to the Attawapiskat First Nation crisis, Calgary
infrastructure funding being denied, the special visa program for Afghan
interpreters, truck sideguards to protect cyclists, and the plight of Henk
Tepper as he sits in a Middle Eastern jail cell.

In all, the day was a bit of a surprise in
how little repetition there was in the questions, and without feeling like it
was a scattershot attempt to make something stick by throwing everything at the
government. Good job, MPs!

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Michelle Rempel for her black jacket with three-quarter rolled sleeves, and the
fitted black dress beneath, and to Justin Trudeau for an impeccably tailored
grey suit with a white shirt and striped tie. Style citations go out to Larry
Miller
 for a black jacket with a custard-yellow shirt and tie, Megan Leslie for
a mustard top with a black jacket and trousers, and Olivia Chow for her
goldish-yellow jacket with a black top and trousers. (I’m sure you’re picking
up on the theme here.)

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