With a number of MPs wearing blue-striped
prostate cancer awareness ties and scarves, and a few of them giving statements
about Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, the Layton mentions were frequent. Nycole
Turmel, now sitting at Layton’s old desk, began question period by telling the
government that President Obama has a jobs plan and wondered why they don’t.
Christian Paradis, the designated francophone hitter in Harper’s absence (he’s
at the UN in New York), responded by reminding her that Canadians gave them a
strong mandate, and that they’re focusing on the economy. In response to her
subsequent similar question in English, Jim Flaherty touted the IMF’s report
that said that we are leading the G7. Peggy Nash followed up with questions on
“economic equality” and jobs, to which Flaherty assured her that there are
600,000 net new jobs in the economy. Bob Rae got up and offered a few
corrections – the IMF report also downgraded our fiscal projections and gave a
much more pessimistic view. Flaherty, undaunted, reminded him that we are
leading the G7, according to the report.
Round two kicked off with Alexandre
Boulerice asking about $90,000-per-day consultants hired by the government to
help cut costs (Paradis: We’re continuing the economic recovery!). Jean
Crowder asked about said consultants versus the cuts to rural Service Canada
centres (Flaherty: 600,000 net new jobs! Finley: Those were temporary
workers!), followed by a similar question (and response) from Claude Patry.
Megan Leslie asked about the cuts to ozone monitoring (Kent: Not cutting ozone
monitoring, but streamlining some operations). And Charlie Angus returned to
his favourite topic of G8 spending and the auditor general’s report. Deepak
Obhrai and his “The facts in this case have not changed” response were the
designated back-up John Baird, even though Obhrai’s file has nothing to do with
the question. Judy Sgro asked about pension considerations with the possible
Air Canada strike (Menzies: The pension issue will be dealt with in due time).
John McCallum asked about that G8 spending and whether the government would allow
the Government Operations Committee to study it (Obhrai once again). Stéphane
Dion asked about the tax harmonization compensation negotiations with Quebec
that obviously were not completed by the 15th as promised (Paradis:
We’re negotiating in good faith). Olivia Chow asked after crumbling
infrastructure and the lack of a national transit strategy (Lebel: Look at all
the money we put into infrastructure, transit is a municipal/provincial responsibility). And Jamie Nicholls kept up the Champlain Bridge drinking game (Lebel: It would take
seven to 10 years to replace the bridge).
Round three saw questions from Libby Davies
about why BC has to pay back its HST compensation money after it voted down
the tax in a referendum, more questions on tax harmonization compensation for
Quebec, the Rail Service Review, country-of-origin labelling challenges,
back-to-work legislation for Air Canada, the Walk 4 Justice, the Canadian Wheat
Board, illegal float plane flights, and the omnibus crime bill.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Lisa
Raitt yet again, this time for her tailored blue leather jacket with the black
top and trousers, and perpetual favourite Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for his
lovely striped grey suit with the maroon-striped white shirt and tie. Style
citations go out to Joy Smith for her insipid peach-coloured jacket, and two
strikes against Dany Morin for a) a fluorescent yellow shirt and b) paired
with a black suit.