Human Interest
2 min

Rob Oliphant talks about his highs and lows from the session

Continuing our end of session round up with queer MPs, I caught up with Liberal Rob Oliphant after Question Period today.

Q: What were your high points this session?
A: The high point was getting the report on the New Veterans’ Charter finished. We wrapped it up on Tuesday, and hopefully that’ll be presented in the House tomorrow – I don’t know where it is, in translation and all of that stuff, but it was largely done by consensus and largely done with the agreement of all parties. We had one little sticking point, but generally speaking it was a really, really good process of looking at the charter, and the way that parliamentary committees should work.

Q: And the low point?
A: Low points would be the kind of John Baird antics at the Government Operations committee, looking into the way various, both government officials and others with respect to the Rahim Jaffer case and all those incidents. I just think it was despicable, and unbefitting of the way that we should act in Parliament. The best of cooperation happened in our committee, and the worst display happened with those sets of incidents around that. I think also a low-point for me was watching the manipulation of the government in folding into the budget bill a bunch of things that were not able to be voted on separately and pulled out, so they made confidence issues out of things that were not confidence issues by stealth. I think that Canadians want a more transparent government than that.

Maybe another highlight would be finally the Board of Internal Economy accepting the Auditor General. I’ve argued for this – I think she can do a full audit, this is a performance audit, and that’s fine. I think that’s a step in the right direction.

Q: What are your plans for the summer?
A: A lot of time at home in the riding – working, gardening, working, resting. A quick trip to Paris for a meeting, some French [immersion] as always, and a couple weeks’ holidays at the very end of the summer. I’m going to the East Coast for summer caucus, but having a motor trip.

Q: Have you weighed in on the Toronto Pride debate yet?
A: On the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid? No.

Q: You're staying out of that?
A: Staying out of that. That’s their issue to deal with. I’ll be in the parade, I’ll enjoy the parade for what it’s meant to be, which is a celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, and our progress in society, and I’m going to have a lot of fun. That’s my goal for Pride.
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