Xtra
2 min

QP: Tinfoil hats and vivid imaginations

After receiving plaudits from Olivia Chow
for her accomplishments as interim leader – most notably all of the symbolic,
non-binding motions that were passed under her watch – Nycole Turmel kicked off
QP by asking not about the Robocon allegations, but the prescription drug
shortages. Harper responded by chastising the provinces for entering into
sole-source contracts, before he and Turmel had a single go-around on the
Robocon issue, for which Harper made a point of noting that the NDP was being
forced to apologize for “smears” they made outside of the House. When Charlie
Angus asked about Michael Sona being blamed for the whole Guelph affair, Dean
Del Mastro accused him of having his tinfoil hat firmly attached and said that he
had a vivid imagination. Because he can debate like a grownup, everyone. Bob
Rae asked first about the allegations of ballot stuffing in Scarborough-Rouge
River and the need for a Royal Commission on the election (Harper: The Liberals
made illegal calls); the fact that Harper had previously asserted that there
was a signed contract for F-35 fighters that protected us from price increases,
whereas the current talking points assure us that no contract has been signed
(Harper: I was talking about the memorandum of understanding); and finally Rae
took a stab at the federal role in the drug shortage (Harper: It’s provincial
jurisdiction).

Round two kicked off with Alexandre
Boulerice taking a stab at the Sona question in French – though a question
about the Son’a might have been more edifying (Poilievre: You guys got slapped
for those Broadbent Institute donations); Chris Charlton decried the “voter
fraud” of the last election – for which the Speaker again gave a warning that
the question was outside the bounds of government administration (Del Mastro
responded anyway: Smears! Illegal calls from the opposition!); François
Lapointe asked something about the Port of Quebec and printing T-shirts
(Gourde: Talk to Elections Canada); and Matthew Kellway and Christine Moore
asked about those changing F-35 talking points and the need for a new
competitive bidding process (Fantino: Studiously avoiding using the term “F-35”
while talking up replacement fighters). Carolyn Bennett asked about ineligible
voters as proof of the need for a Royal Commission (Uppal: Voter registration
is Elections Canada’s domain); Scott Brison asked about youth unemployment
(Finley: Look at all the money we spent on infrastructure at colleges and universities!);
and Marc Garneau returned to the F-35 contradictions (Fantino: You’re the
flip-floppers, not us!). Françoise Boivin closed the round by asking about
rehabilitating young offenders in Quebec and aboriginal inmates (Nicholson:
Child molesters! Moral panic! Goguen: The cost of protecting the public is
priceless! No seriously, he said that).

Round three saw more questions on drug shortages; a number of questions on
the fisheries, mostly with regards to potential changes to fish habitat
protections; consultations for the Northern Gateway pipeline; the environment committee’s questionable report on changing the Canadian
Environmental Assessment Act; the anti-apartheid heroes of the ANC being
caught up in immigration and border regulations; the “paralysis” at Library and
Archives Canada; opposition to a Quebec airport; and more about rehabilitating
young offenders.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to James
Bezan
 for his grey suit with a white shirt and deep-blue tie and pocket square,
and to Rathika Sitsabaiesan for her black dress with the white circular pattern
and a black jacket. Style citations go out to Andrew Cash for his
salmon-coloured shirt with a dark grey suit, and to Isabelle Morin for her mom
jeans and a brown sweater. Dishonourable mention to Ron Cannan for his
fluorescent-blue shirt with a black suit.

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