2 min

QP: Today’s backup Baird

I was curious to see just how the NDP
would lead off question period, with so many issues of the day. Would it be
the long-gun registry? Would it be the “you’re talking Eskimo” video? Would it
be the F-35 issues? No, Nycole Turmel and Charlie Angus brought up even more
revelations about Tony Clement and the G8 legacy fund, where the environment
minister was mentioned in new emails. And lo and behold, the prime minister
stood up and shrugged it off, saying it was nothing new, and as John Baird was
not in the House, Pierre Poilievre was his designated backup for the day.
Ralph Goodale was standing in for Bob Rae and asked about the increase in “job-killing
payroll taxes” – otherwise known as EI premiums, to which Harper accused them
of not helping people. Marc Garneau asked why the government wouldn’t make
their tax credits refundable in order to actually help low-income Canadians,
and again the suggestion was shrugged off.

The David Anderson/”talking Eskimo” issue
kicked off round two with Linda Duncan and Niki Ashton demanding an apology –
except that Anderson was not in the House to give one, but rather was on his
way to Lethbridge, Alberta, to talk about killing the Canadian Wheat Board. Gerry
Ritz answered on his behalf, which consisted of berating the NDP about its
stand on the Wheat Board. Pat Martin asked whether Conservative MPs who
might stand to benefit from the end of the Wheat Board should recuse themselves
(Ritz: We won’t be intimidated! You’re a lower life form!); Matthew Kellway
asked about the F-35s (MacKay: They’re the only Fifth Generation™ fighter!);
and David Christopherson and Djaouida Sellah asked about the possible sale of
military bases (MacKay: It may be close to Halloween, but you don’t have to be
a goblin and scare everyone!). Kevin Lamoureux asked about the Wheat Board
consultations (Ritz: We consult our constituents every weekend!); Wayne Easter
noted that the trade minister is continually “surprised and disappointed” by
each American protectionist measure (Fast: The Americans are a sovereign
country, we’re going to have to suck it up with this new border fee); and Joyce
Murray asked about the omnibus crime bill’s impact on First Nations (Van Loan:
We’re all about safer streets and communities!). Tyrone Benskin asked why
the CBC’s 75th anniversary was omitted from the planned Canada Day
festivities (Moore: I wrote the speech myself and I thought highlighting our
military was more important, and I make no apologies); and Peter Julian asked
about the implications for artists’ royalties with the new copyright bill
(Moore: Look at how many people love what we’re doing for the arts!).

Round three saw questions on the US border
tax, those G8 emails, the “talking Eskimo” video, leaking pipelines, scrapping
the long-gun registry (from a Liberal, as the NDP isn’t touching the question
at all), student debt, ACOA cuts, and the new auditor general being a
unilingual anglophone (Paradis: It was a merit-based appointment).

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Rona
 for a fitted grey dress with a charcoal jacket, and Marc Garneau for a
grey suit with a subtle pinstripe, crisp white shirt and purple tie. Style
citations go out to Jacques Gourde for his fluorescent blue shirt with a grey
suit and striped tie, and to Judy Foote for a gold zebra-print bolero jacket
with a black skirt.

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