Politics of Canada
2 min

QP: The sound of knuckles grazing

For the first few exchanges, everyone was
pretty much convinced that it was going to be a rerun of yesterday. Turmel
faced off with Flaherty and Paradis alternately about unemployment and the
government assertions that we’re doing “relatively well” in comparison to other
G7 countries, and Peggy Nash tried to condemn tax cuts to oil companies instead
of helping families (to which Flaherty reminded her that oil companies pay
taxes, too – just like families). But things immediately got heated when Bob Rae
got up to ask about the $7 billion increase in use of consultants by the
government. Flaherty got up to rail about Rae’s record as the premier of
Ontario, and when the Speaker cautioned the House about the increase in
heckles, Rae quipped, “I didn’t know that knuckle grazing could cause so much
noise, Mr Speaker.” And as the Conservative benches roared with outrage, Rae
went on to ask about rising American protectionism in the face of perimeter
security agreement negotiations, to which Ed Fast got up and gave a non
sequitur of an answer.

Round two was kicked off with both Jean
Crowder and Irene Mathyssen asking questions about the hiring of those
high-priced consultants while cutting staff at Service Canada centres
(Flaherty: There is waste in government, we need expert advice). Matthew Dubé
asked about services for seniors (Finley: More electronic filing! Less paper!).
Hoang Mai asked about the connection between employees of the Canada Revenue
Agency and Montreal mobsters (Shea: We’re working with the RMCP on this).
Charlie Angus asked yet another question on the G8 legacy spending (Deepak
Obhrai: The facts in this case have not changed!). Andrew Cash asked about
compensation for Toronto businesses after the G20 (Obhrai: It’s regrettable,
but the independent claims process was designed by the previous government).
Scott Brison reminded the government that when he was a minister, they were
each responsible for finding savings in their own departments without such
consultants (Flaherty: Governments need advice). Kirsty Duncan asked about
those ozone-monitoring cuts (Kent: We’re just streamlining). Joe Comartin asked
about the costs of the omnibus crime bill (Nicholson: Crime costs Canadians!). And Charmaine Borg and Pierre-Luc Dusseault asked about the government’s plans
to introduce lawful access legislation (Toews: Your assertions about spying are
outrageous fabrications!).

Round three saw questions on residential
school survivor compensation, Sisters in Spirit funding, Service Canada cuts
(Cuzner calling Diane Finley’s first response “asinine”), cuts to the Canadian Environmental
Assessment Agency, bilingual requirements for Air Canada, the bribery
allegations with PEI’s immigration program, and the PMO's hiring of Angelo
Persichilli.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Randall Garrison for his grey suit with a nice lavender shirt and dark purple
tie. Style citations go out to Gordon O’Connor for a bad tan suit and tie with
a lemon-yellow shirt, Isabelle Morin for her white jacket with a terrible brown
and black pattern splashed across it, and to Megan Leslie for a screamingly loud floral top,
along with a bad pink belt/greige shoes decision.

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