They’re back. Yes, the House of Commons comes back today, and the first order of business is, of course, the election of a new Speaker. It’s a crowded field, so we’ll see how many rounds of voting it’ll take. It could be exciting.
The Liberals have announced their critic portfolios. Scott Brison stays with finance, Hedy Fry takes health (all of the parties' health portfolios are now held by women), Irwin Cotler heads justice (where as minister he brought in same-sex marriage), and Marc Garneau becomes House Leader. Strangely, Wayne Easter gets international trade, and John McKay gets defence.
Over on the Senate-reform file, it looks as though a number of Conservative senators aren’t behind the reform proposals. It seems the more they learn about their jobs in the upper chamber, the less likely they are to support the proposed changes. And they should be against such unconstitutional and reckless proposals. Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae thinks the questions deserve a Supreme Court reference, which is the very least that needs to happen. (What really needs to happen is to kill these bills with fire, but one step at a time.)
The prime minister’s chief spokesman is leaving his post. Dimitri Soudas is the fifth communications director to leave since Harper became prime minister six years ago. (There’s a reason I refer to them as wives of Henry VIII.) Meanwhile, Kady O’Malley looks at hiring advice she gave in years past. It's still relevant today, and Harper and his staff could choose to follow it.
According to the manufacturer, there will be a delay of four years for those F-35 fighter jets (caution: paywall). Looks like we’ll have time to run that open competition after all, right?
The Conservatives are signalling that they won’t consider the Libya mission finished until Gadhafi is gone. Without defined goals, this could mean mission creep. We don’t really know what the post-Gadhafi Libya will look like because we don’t know who the players will be.
What’s that? The parliamentary budget officer disagrees with the finance minister’s projections? You don’t say!
And today in WikiLeaks, it sounds as though Canadian officials advised Americans on how to skirt our privacy laws when they were looking for information on a person of interest. Kind of disturbing, actually.