Was it too much to hope for a Jaffer-free day in Question Period? Apparently. But the A-Channel reporter sitting next to me in the Gallery got in on my session of the QP “drinking game,” and it was battling memes yesterday – “culture of deceit” versus “high ethical standards.” Oh, boy…
And so it was that Bob Rae started off QP with questions about Rahim Jaffer’s lobbying activities, to which Harper assured him that no government contracts were involved. Siobhan Coady asked after those proposals from Jaffer that Baird handed over to the committee after yesterday’s meeting (which confused the committee, as they hadn’t asked Baird for these documents). Baird told Coady that during the dinner he had with Jaffer and Helena Guergis back in September, they didn’t discuss business, and that he turned over those documents because he had them, and it was all in the interests of “transparency.”
And on the Jaffer questions went – Gilles Duceppe, Thomas Mulcair (likening Harper to Lady Macbeth, who can’t wash his hands of this) and Alexandra Mendes. It wasn’t until Ujjal Dosanjh that we got a question on the dire situation with documents at the Military Police Complaints Commission, and from then on a few more substantive questions – the dilution of Quebec seats in the new seat distribution (Fletcher: Quebec’s seats are guaranteed!), the situation of the opposition leader being arrested in Rwanda (Obhrai: We’re monitoring the situation), Access to Information (Day: We’re working on it), and the accessibility fund, which has proved to be a Conservative slush fund (Finley: You didn’t do anything when you were in power).
Oh, and the “drinking game” tallies were “Culture of deceit” 11, “High ethical standards” 4.
Sartorially speaking, there wasn’t a lot that jumped out at me, but I did like Joyce Murray’s fuchsia jacket with the crisp white shirt and black skirt. There were a few more missteps, however, including Sylvie Boucher’s rather… odd greenish “jacket” over a grey-green dress with an emphasis on her cleavage (and perhaps she needs a better-fitting bra – especially for a dress like that). Lynne Yelich had a top and jacket the colour of Dijon mustard, paired with a cream skirt with zebra stripes, which also didn’t do her any favours. And the Megan Leslie outfit watch reports a lovely black-and-white harlequin-patterned top with black trousers. The catch? Hot-pink thin belt and greige shoes. So close!
After Question Period, the House went into Committee of the Whole, and the chamber filled with Olympic and Paralympic athletes who came in to be recognized by the House. After an “impromptu” round of O Canada, the Speaker read out their names. It was a nice moment, to be sure.
What’s that? CBSA border guards on a power trip, being abusive to travellers while mad with power? You don’t say!
In Rwanda, Her Excellency waded into the touchy subject of press freedom in that country. On a related note, Senator Romeo Dallaire, who was the UN Commander in Rwanda at the time of the genocide, thanks the Governor General for her apology for Canada’s inaction in preventing the genocide, but he did want to point out the actions Canada did take – when no other country would – that saved tens of thousands of lives.
And finally, the funniest thing I heard all week – in Health committee yesterday morning, the Conservatives asserted that they didn’t play politics with public health decisions. Where do they come up with this priceless material?