2 min

Reopening the abortion debate

Conservative backbencher Brad Trost – you know,
the one who claimed victory in ensuring that Toronto Pride never sees another
dime from the federal government – has declared the abortion debate reopened in
this country in his missive about his disapproval that the government is once
again funding Planned Parenthood’s international operations as part of our
maternal and child health goals. And note that since Harper hasn’t squelched
him, it means that he’s throwing a bit of red meat to the base, but we’ll see
how far it actually gets.

Oh, noes! More moral panic about the use of
Challenger jets! Peter MacKay racked up $3 million in flights (depending on
whose calculations you’re using), while the commissioner of the RCMP, William
Elliott, also took a lot of Challenger flights. Now I’m not saying that some of
these flights weren't justified, or couldn’t have been done by
commercial means, but there does seem to be a renewed glut of
Challenger-related stories that are more focused on the outrage that government
jets exist and are used rather than on in-depth, detailed analysis of
whether these flights were justified, though that’s pretty hard to do without
more time and resources in news bureaus.

Also due to show up in question period
later today: this story about crooked CRA officials in Montreal partying in a
luxury box at a hockey game with the tax-evading businessman they are under
investigation for aiding. (And Gail Shea will stand up to say that these are
not new allegations and that the RCMP is investigating).

What’s that? The new omnibus crime
legislation would overwhelm Nunavut’s jails? You don’t say!

Here’s a look at the new flag law being
proposed, which seems mostly aimed at condo boards that have issues with flags.
But wait – aren’t condo laws provincial jurisdiction? Don’t Conservatives
generally want to enshrine the rights of property owners? And are they saying that they don’t want people to go to jail for refusing to fill out the
sentence but they should be threatened with a two-year jail term if they
prevent someone from flying a flag? Can we just write this off as a nice sentiment
but a bad idea, already?

Health Canada is currently engaged in
closed-door consultations on reforming our medical marijuana laws.

Aaron Wherry looks at the official policy that CSIS applies when it comes to information obtained through torture, and
it’s quite a journey for him to get a response.

Paul Dewar looks to be positioning himself for a leadership announcement on Sunday.

And here’s a really excellent piece from
Andrew Potter on the importance of political parties, which everyone should
take the time to read.

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