2 min

Shortchanging Ontario (and Alberta and BC)

Stephen Harper is due to announce his new
formula for seat redistribution in the House of Commons, and lo and behold,
Ontario is due to remain under-represented. While it was originally said that
Ontario was due to get some 18 new seats, the new formula gives the largest and
most populous province 13 new seats, Alberta six, BC five, and Quebec two, which would keep them mostly in line with their actual population (the
previous bill would have left them slightly under-represented. Of
course, that still leaves Ontario, Alberta and BC under-represented.

The NDP, meanwhile, has tabled its own private member's bill on seat redistribution, which aims to keep Quebec’s
representation at 24.41 percent of the seats, because that’s where they were at
when Quebec was “declared a nation” – err, except that it was agreed that was a
symbolic designation, and it was the Québécois who were declared a nation, not
the province of Quebec. I’d also like to point out that this particular bill is
just another NDP vanity project. Which MP do they propose will give up their
own slot to bring this forward under their name? It’s going to cost money, so
it’ll require a royal recommendation – which they won’t get. And do I once
again have to remind them that as the Official Opposition, their job is to hold
the government to account – primarily by means of control over the public purse,
which vanity projects under the banner of “proposition not opposition” don’t
exactly accomplish.

Committee hearings started on the omnibus
crime bill yesterday, and while most experts stated that the bill would only
make crime worse, victims groups were put up by the government to say that the
bill would make streets safer – even though the former victims-of-crime ombudsman has debunked this notion (and the whole rationale that these
tough-on-crime measures help victims in any way). And then the Conservatives
started calling the experts who disagreed with them names – because that’s the
mature way we handle our democracy.

The American ambassador said that buy-American provisions are here to stay. Canada’s not getting an exemption, but
hey, a strong US economy is good for us, so we should just be happy about it.
Hands up anyone who’s surprised.

NDP leadership hopeful Nathan Cullen announced his policy goal of trying to unite progressive elements
in the political spectrum by holding joint nomination meetings in
Conservative-held ridings, to try to defeat those MPs. But it’s not a merger –
just to be clear.

The Quebec Bar Association wants Harper to reconsider one of his new Supreme Court appointments, given that Justice
Moldaver is a unilingual anglophone. Does it help that Justice Karakatsanis
speaks three languages?

And Susan Delacourt compares the various discussions
we’re having right now to those that were part of the Charlottetown Accords
and wonders if we’re not actually having a constitutional discussion by

Up today – the announcement of the shipyard
and the ad hoc hearings on the new Supreme Court nominees.

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