For what it's worth, here's the budget. As all the opposition parties have rejected it, we’re now heading toward an election. Regardless of how much Jim Flaherty tried to say that it was “prudent,” and despite the half-measures the government used to woo the NDP, it wasn’t enough.
Now the question becomes one of procedure. As Harper has apparently stated that he’s not going to pay a visit to Rideau Hall to drop the writ before a vote occurs, which one will bring the government down? Will it be on the budget? Will it be on the Liberals’ motion that found the government in contempt of Parliament? Or will a separate non-confidence motion be moved on Friday on either side of the votes on the supplementary estimates? Can anyone engineer keeping this session on life support, or at least dragging it out, to allow those last few bills to make it past the Senate? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Question period kicked off with Michael Ignatieff asking about Bruce Carson and the government's ethical lapses. He questioned how the budget could be trusted given those lapses. Harper assured him they have “strong rules” that are enforced. Denis Coderre moved on to the topic of the Champlain Bridge. (I’m guessing that all politics are local, especially in “vote-rich” Quebec.) Gilles Duceppe returned to the Carson issue, and Carole Freeman moved to the access-to-information abuses. Libby Davies led off for the NDP, asking about the Carson issue. Yvon Godin followed on the same topic.
Round two kicked off with Todd Russell asking about Carson yet again; he focused on the status of water on First Nations reserves. Raymonde Folco followed up on Carson’s meeting with the environment minister. Josée Beaudin and Thierry St-Cyr returned to the issue of the Champlain Bridge, while Claude DeBellefeuille and Christian Ouellet asked about border crossings being closed. Mark Holland asked about the hidden costs of prisons, and Dominic LeBlanc questioned contracting issues with the F-35 fighter jets purchase.
Round three saw more questions on Carson, the Davie shipyards in Quebec, Jason Kenney’s staffer and other associated partisan activities, water on First Nations reserves (again, with a Carson angle), the renewal of a housing initiative, abandoning francophones in Atlantic Canada and the lack of compensation for businesses affected by the G8 and G20 meetings.
Sartorially speaking, there was more bad than good, so I’m giving snaps to only Kirsty Duncan for her fitted black dress with the tan floral side panel. Style citations go out to Bonnie Crombie for her pastel floral jacket, Martha Hall Findlay for her moonstone-yellow bolero jacket (the black dress beneath was perfect on its own) and Claude Guimond for another fluorescent-blue shirt violation.
On the Carson issue, it looks like he wrote a report on lobbying rules, only to find the loopholes that he then looked to exploit.
The Conservative riding president of Simcoe-Grey quit in protest because of the way Helena Guergis has been treated. Meanwhile, Guergis had the riding’s election rebate returned, which screwed the Conservative riding association out of $35,000, because “they didn’t deserve it.” Oh, snap!