Xtra
1 min

The $19-billion prison agenda

A new report pegs the cost of the various Conservative
crime bills at some $19 billion, $14 billion of which will be borne by
the provinces. But hey, they’ve been given a strong mandate to get tough on
crime, so cost should be no barrier to such a mandate! Really!

Liberals in the Commons and Senate tried to
argue that being forced to continue to dismantle the Canadian Wheat
Board violates their privilege because doing so right now goes against the rule
of law. Neither Speaker, however, was convinced, and work continues despite the
appeals before the courts. The Conservatives, however, have invoked closure on the
Senate side in order to speed passage of the bill, and once it passes, the law
changes and they will no longer be in breach of the rule of law – or something
like that.

Peter Kent wants Canada to be part of a
major climate treaty – sometime after 2015.

Bob Paulson has been handed the tipstaff
and is now officially the new commissioner of the RCMP. As part of cleaning up
the problems on the Force, he wants to get back to the core business – catching bad guys.

The Supreme Court heard a case about whether
the courts can force a woman to remove her niqab while testifying in a sexual
assault case.

Paul Dewar not only wants to restore the
per-vote subsidy, but he wants to tie it to the percentage of female candidates
that parties have during elections. It’s an idea, sure, but how does this
convince more women they need to get involved in politics at the federal level
or persuade riding associations to try to recruit more women
at the grassroots level? And yes, while Canada may lag behind some other
countries in terms of raw percentages of women in Parliament, remember
that women are not chosen off lists to fill quotas and
have equal power to male MPs; they are not just there for show, which not a lot
of other countries can honestly say.

And still with the NDP leadership, Thomas
Mulcair unveiled his vision of a comprehensive cap-and-trade system.

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