Both Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton wanted to know just why it was that Tony Clement gave 30 days for BHP to come back with a new offer before their attempt to take over Potash Corp was officially dead – this while Conservatives yelled “Read the Act!” to Ignatieff (as the 30-day period is part of the existing law), and Harper told Layton that he couldn’t disclose details until after the 30-day period had expired – but he was amenable to reviewing the Act.
Dominic LeBlanc asked about new revelations in the ongoing F-35 fighter jet saga, this time about how bureaucrats weren’t even given specs so that they could determine if it was the best plane for mission parameters. Pierre Paquette asked about infrastructure deadlines, and Michel Guimond about that proposed Quebec City arena, which is apparently also part of an Olympic bid.
For round two, Denis Coderre and Hedy Fry asked about the prime minister’s incoming chief of staff, Daniel Paillé about Quebec’s HST compensation, and Paule Brunelle about those plans for a hydro grid from Newfoundland and Labrador designed to bypass Quebec. Paul Szabo asked about deficit projections and the parliamentary budget officer’s inability to get the information he needs from the government. Bob Rae asked about Camp Mirage and the UAE – which prompted Harper to answer in an unusual move – and Libby Davies asked about the HST.
Ignatieff was obviously moved by Harper’s non-answer on the Camp Mirage question, because after a couple of other questions about contracts by the Bloc, he was on his feet again in a rare mid-QP second go-around to ask about the costs of closing down Camp Mirage – not that Peter MacKay answered. From there, questions moved to compensation for downtown Toronto businesses for the G8/G20 protests, a possible national Ukrainian-Canadian Museum, official languages on Air Canada, oil and gas exploration projects, employment equity, and the risk of shipping those old nuclear reactor components over the Great Lakes.
Immediately after Question Period, Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced his resignation – from cabinet effective immediately and as an MP at the end of the year. While John Baird will take the file back in an “interim” capacity (even though you’d swear he was becoming minister of everything), there is the usual speculation that this may just be a bid by Prentice to raise his profile before a leadership bid. Meanwhile, Rob Oliphant noted, “Prentice leaving: will the last red Tory (if there is one) turn out the lights on this Reform/Alliance coalition?”
Sartorially speaking, it wasn’t a terribly exciting day in the House, but I’ll give snaps to Scott Reid for his charming pink-checked white shirt under a light grey suit, with a pink tie and pocket square. It was quite dapper. The Megan Leslie outfit watch can only confirm a purple top under a grey jacket with three-quarter sleeves, but as she was not in Question Period, I didn’t get a better glimpse of what else it may have been paired with.
Some 90 Toronto police officers are facing disciplinary action for the G8/G20 protests. There were more hearings yesterday related to the costs of security for the two summits, but nothing much further in terms of explosive testimony.
Small surprise, but police and community groups are freaking out about the Ontario Superior Court prostitution ruling and are writing affidavits for the appeal process.
More evidence of unsound practices at Public Works, this time under Michael Fortier’s watch? You don’t say! (And I’ll have an interesting piece on Public Works coming up shortly, so watch for it.)
The Governor General has just visited the troops in Kandahar, and despite saying he wouldn’t don a uniform like Michaëlle Jean did, he was there in combat fatigues.
Scott Brison formally responds to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pressure for the Liberals to keep the forthcoming corporate tax cuts.
And things to ponder over the weekend (and the forthcoming break week) – Glen Pearson wants a more boring politics because it’ll be more substantive, and Elizabeth May thinks we should take a page from England and Australia and ban television political advertising.