Vic Toews
2 min

QP: Third-party management

Every now and again, exchanges happen in
the House of Commons that remind you about the value of debate and holding the
government to account in a forum like Question Period. The topic of the day was
once again Attawapiskat, and while Nycole Turmel and Harper had a fairly
perfunctory exchange on the topic, as did Charlie Angus and John Duncan, who
made it known that the government of the reservation is now under third-party management.
But it was Bob Rae who took that piece of information and ran with it. While
pressing the government on the Attawapiskat issue and the government's attempt to
fob off responsibility for the situation, he suggested that it is in fact
Harper’s government that should be under third-party management. Harper did not
like this, accused the Liberals of doing nothing when they were in power, and
quipped that Canadians had put the Liberals under third-party management. The
exchange was heated, Rae’s hand shaking with outrage, but it was vigorous and
passionate unscripted debate from two MPs who can think on their feet, that
didn’t result in name-calling or otherwise childish behaviour. And that’s
something we should see more of in QP.

Round two kicked off with Peter Julian
returning to the demand that BC not have to repay its HST harmonization
compensation (Menzies: This is a provincial issue); Megan Leslie asked about
the Kyoto pullout (Kent: We’re going to Durban in good faith); Jack Harris and
Françoise Boivin asked about the ramming through of the omnibus crime bill, even
though some of Vic Toews’ own technical amendments were disallowed (Nicholson:
This is a targeted bill that we consulted on! Goguen: Same thing in French); Jean
Crowder and Anne-Marie Day asked about delays at Service Canada call centres (Finley:
Your numbers are wrong); and Don Davies pointed out that Jason Kenney’s
assertion that only two people appointed to the IRB were known Conservatives was wrong, that it was more like 10 (Kenney: That was just off the top of my head, but hey,
we have a rigorous pre-screening process). Gerry Byrne asked about the fate of
the Muskrat Falls loan guarantee (Oliver: Muskrat Falls will be great!); Dominic
LeBlanc asked about Henk Tepper (Ablonczy: We’re providing support); and Ralph
Goodale asked about the fate of Ukraine’s former opposition leader (Baird: We’re
concerned and supportive). Olivia Chow, Jamie Nicholls and Robert Aubin each asked
about infrastructure funding for various programs, to which Lebel gave some
bland assurances.

Round three saw more questions on Henk
Tepper (Toews confirmed that the RCMP did share some of his information as part
of an Interpol criminal investigation); on the privacy concerns surrounding the perimeter security agreement; on the French translation of the re-designated
RCAF as FARC – the same as the Colombian leftist rebel organization
(seriously? this is what you’re getting outraged over?); on the future costs of
climate change; official languages issues at Air Canada; and rural postal
service.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to James
Bezan
 for a tailored grey suit with a pink shirt and pocket square, with a
patterned tie, and to Judy Foote for a grey-and-white patterned jacket with a
black skirt. Style citations go out to Christine Moore for an ill-fitting khaki
suit with an awkwardly belted jacket and a faux Burberry top, and to Mark
Eyking
. Two words: mom jeans. Dishonourable mention to Larry Miller for his
black suit with a yellow shirt and tie.

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