2 min

QP: To build, not to buy

It was only after the first cursory
question from Turmel on the usual subject of the OAS that she asked about the
big story of the day – the new refugee reform bill that was tabled that
morning. After all, it was only 20 months ago that a bill passed the House with
the support and input of all parties and was hailed as a great thing. What
changed? Harper stood up to say that the changes of the previous iteration were
found to be insufficient – never mind that those changes haven’t actually come
into force yet. Charlie Angus was up next to ask about the lawful access bill,
given that even Conservative backbenchers are balking at it, but on the issue
of whether Toews would lump those MPs in with child pornographers as well?
Toews refused to apologize for his earlier remarks, nor for protecting child
victims. Ralph Goodale was up for the Liberals, asking for the subject matter
of the lawful access bill to go to a committee for study (rather than the bill
itself in order to keep the scope broad), but Toews was a bit unclear as to when the bill would head to committee. Goodale then asked about the
F-35s, and when MacKay reminded him that the Liberals committed to the F-35s in
the first place, Goodale loudly corrected, “To build, not to buy!” Dominic
LeBlanc closed off the round asking about Chinese cyber-spies getting data on
the F-35s, not that MacKay gave anything resembling an answer.

Round two kicked off with Françoise Boivin
asking about lawful access (Toews: You’re entirely wrong about it) and “open
federalism” when it comes to gun registry data (Harper: Provinces have to
decide their own policies); Peter Julian asked about families and economic
growth (Finley: Look at all of our programs for families!); and Christine
Moore and Matthew Kellway returned to the issue of F-35s (MacKay: Senior officers
chose it, don’t look at us). Kevin Lamoureux asked about the increased
arbitrary powers for the minister under the new refugee bill (Kenney: The
designation will be based on the IRB’s rejection rate), and Judy Foote and
Stéphane Dion asked about the costs of pension reforms being downloaded onto
provinces (Menzies: You Liberals downloaded costs in the '90s, but we
promised we never would). Don Davies and Sadia Groguhé returned to Kenney's going
back on the previous refugee bill (Kenney: It was better than the status quo
but not good enough), and Megan Leslie asked about environmentalists being
lumped in with terrorists (Michelle Rempel: We’ll prosecute those who resort to
criminality, and by the way, are you a job creation denier?).

Round three saw questions on Service Canada
cuts, official languages consultations, “aspirational” recommendations for
First Nations education, muzzling scientists, a housing crisis in Toronto,
promoting the seal industry in China, asbestos, tax fraud and the forthcoming
Quebec legal challenge on gun registry data.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Marc
 for a grey pinstriped suit with the palest of pink shirts and a vibrant
pink tie, and to Rona Ambrose, whose light-grey argyle sweater was a nice
change from her usual uniform of solid black or dark grey top/jacket/skirt. Style
citations go out to both Joy Smith and Scott Reid for black suit/yellow shirt
violations, with Reid adding a blue tie to the faux pas.

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