Friday’s Members’ Statements saw Liberal Scott Brison making a statement about the whole Jaffer affair. (Really? *sigh*)
Mr. Speaker, had it not been for media reports and a private investigator, Rahim Jaffer would still be lobbying his old cronies in the Conservative cabinet. He would still be using his wife's parliamentary email account, and senior Conservative ministers would still be taking his calls, bullying bureaucrats and never reporting any of it to anyone.
The Conservatives only handed over any documents after the lobbying commissioner and the RCMP were already investigating. Documents only started appearing after Liberals filed a complaint with the lobbying commissioner and after Liberals tabled motions at committee ordering ministers to come clean.
It is not transparency once one has been caught red-handed. What is more, we still cannot be sure that none of Mr. Jaffer's projects did not get funding because we still do not have all the documents. Why have we seen nothing from the natural resources minister, who was responsible for most of the green funds?
Canadians can see through these games. We have had enough of the catch-me-if-you-can Conservatives. It is time to end the Conservative culture of deceit.
During Question Period, Libby Davies took the lead for the NDP and asked after the issue of access to safe abortions as part of the maternal and child health development, and broadened the topic to include such issues as mother-to-child HIV transmission.
The Question Period drinking game on Friday was actually quite disappointing – only one “Culture of Deceit,” and it was from Brison’s statement, a single “bags of money,” two “$39 million,” and one “high ethical standard.” But then again, it was a Friday, so perhaps they’ll be back in full drinking-game form again today.
Speaking of the access to safe abortions issue, Belinda Stronach, writing in the Toronto Star, warns against allowing the abortion issue to derail the broader scope of maternal and child health in the developing world (but she does state that she believes access to safe abortion is important as 68,000 women die each year due to unsafe abortions). As well, the Star’s Susan Delacourt examines why Harper took such a right-wing stance on the issue of safe abortions in his child and maternal health plans. Apparently it has more to do with tactics at home than ideology, and the Liberals are partly to blame.
Maclean’s John Geddes boils down the impact of the Speaker’s historic ruling last week, in one of the best analyses I’ve read to date. Meanwhile, Andrew Coyne runs down the strategy the Prime Minister is employing, and it’s one of strategic confusion, misdirection and looking like they’re not really changing their position at all.
Michael Ignatieff inexplicably decided to wade into the issue of the next Governor General by publicly calling for Her Excellency’s term to be extended after he had been quietly asked for input on a successor. The biggest problem with this is that it adds a partisan element to the selection process, which is going to muddy the waters for all.
The drug bill that the Senate amended and sent back to the House before prorogation is due to be reintroduced – unamended – in the Senate this week, with the hope that the unelected Conservative Senators there can pass it without those darned obstructionist unelected Liberal Senators getting in their way. Even if there are several Conservative senators who think these bills are a bad idea…
Up today – Green Party leader Elizabeth May is going to weigh in on the G8 and G20 meetings, with respect to maternal and child health and access to safe abortions. I just might stop by that press conference to hear what she has to say, so stay tuned.