29 min

Tales from Non-Confidence Eve

With no Harper or Ignatieff in QP, it was up to Ralph Goodale to kick things off for the Liberals (asking about budget priorities) and John Baird to answer for pretty much every other minister, giving the same answer over and over and over again, ad nauseum: it was basically just “coalition” and “reckless elections.” After Goodale came Marc Garneau, asking again about budget priorities; Gilles Duceppe on the underwater power cable between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia; Paule Brunelle regarding oil exploration in the Gulf of St Lawrence; and Jack Layton asking about the “practical solutions” he proposed in the budget. All for naught.

Round two saw Anita Neville start off by asking about Bruce Carson and his apparent connections with Bill S-11, which would mandate First Nations' improvements to their water systems (possibly giving the company Carson represented a windfall as a result); also, there are revelations that Carson’s son is a political staffer. Raymonde Folco picked up on that line of questioning, while Daniel Paillé returned to the budget. Nicole Demers asked after cuts to women’s groups, and Christian Ouellet brought up social housing. Gerard Kennedy and Denis Coderre then returned to the issue of Bruce Carson and his level of access – especially to environmental programs.

Round three saw questions on arts funding, post-secondary education, the investigation into hiring at ACOA, rural doctors, low-income seniors, the Davie shipyards, and Tony Clement's urging that senators vote down Bill C-393 (to which Clement replied that the bill would have no effect).

Sartorially speaking, it was another “purple day,” this time for the sake of epilepsy. Snaps go out to Justin Trudeau for his charcoal suit with a pink shirt and a blue-and-pink-striped tie and Marlene Jennings for a nearly identical suit, with a bit more blue in the shirt and without the tie. Still it was to good effect. And because I’m feeling particularly generous, I won’t assign style citations for the day.

After QP, a number of MPs gave their farewell speeches in the House, including Bill Siksay, who won’t be running again.

Liberal MP Glen Pearson examines some of the language used by the government around the defeat of the budget, and how it is using semantics to get Canadians to vote against their own interests.

For those of you who are curious, here is Scott Brison’s budget speech from yesterday.

Harper apparently felt “betrayed” when all of these allegations around Bruce Carson started coming out. The poor dear.

A small-c conservative (but socially progressive) city councillor in Chilliwack is running for the Liberals, in part to protest the nomination process of the Conservatives (which has been the subject of a growing amount of grassroots grumbling). Meanwhile, there are accusations that the nomination process to replace Stockwell Day was “rigged.” Concerns were raised about a different BC Conservative candidate's history of financial problems – only for him to quit (or be dumped) less than a day after the concerns came to light, making him the first casualty of the race.

Susan Delacourt discusses controls on political advertising as we move toward the dropping of the writ, as well as what it means for the “caretaker” government that will come into effect once the writ is dropped.
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