2 min

The God-squad strikes back

In the wake of the Saskatchewan same-sex marriage decision, Conservative MP (and avowed God-squad member) Maurice Vellacott has written a letter to Saskatchewan’s justice minister asking him to implement a “single entry point” for people looking for a marriage commissioner, so that religiously minded commissioners can opt out of having to “marry” (and yes he uses quotation marks) those icky gays without having to say no to their faces and lose their jobs as a result. Apparently Ontario does it, so he thinks that would be swell if Saskatchewan did it too. Oh, and apparently the decision “belittles” people of faith. Meanwhile, over in PEI, queer activists are hoping the Saskatchewan ruling will change things there, as currently marriage commissioners are allowed to opt out.

Stop the presses! Gilles Duceppe says the Bloc won’t vote for the budget unless Quebec gets billions in “compensation” for harmonizing their taxes in 1992, the way Ontario and BC got compensated this year. Err, except the federal government collects the HST in those provinces, unlike in Quebec. But hey, they won’t vote unless Quebec gets more money. It’s like it’s a revelation.

Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae takes to the internet to denounce the Conservatives’ attempt to paint him as “disloyal” for his meetings with UAE officials and reminds Harper that he did the very same thing when Canada refused to join the Iraq War. On a related note, David Akin looks into the claims that Emirates Air is subsidized (and the answer still seems to be out).

Jack Layton is off on his own tour of Conservative-held ridings, saying he’s taking singular aim at Harper (which would be a dramatic shift in strategy, considering the NDP spends more time sniping at the Liberals in the hope of replacing them as the Other Big Party than they do attacking the Conservatives). Ignatieff, in contrast, begins his 20/11 tour today, going to 20 unheld ridings in 11 days, hitting all three other parties.

The government’s new crackdown on pardons is going to mean a whole lot more money, staff and skills in order to meet those demands. Not that they really checked these things when they rammed through the changes under the spectre of a moral panic.

Susan Delacourt reminds us that Canadian politicians face threats too – like the death threats uttered against Dominic LeBlanc, for which someone was charged last week, the intruder in 24 Sussex when Chrétien was PM, and assaults on Ujjal Dosanjh by Sikh extremists, or Andy Scott in 2003, by someone upset about the same-sex marriage issue. It probably helps, though, that we don’t live in a culture whose founding mythology is steeped in armed resistance to government authority.

Conservative backbencher Brent Rathgeber tries to supply Liberal public safety critic Mark Holland with figures to prove that incarceration reduces the crime rate, but it turns out his numbers are in dispute (not that it should surprise you).

Bubbling water and dead animals on a Saskatchewan farm may just be one more nail in the coffin of the ridiculous fantasy that was carbon sequestration as a means of diverting greenhouse gasses.

And the leader of the polygamous sect in Bountiful, BC, won’t be taking the stand at the BC polygamy trial.

Up today – it’s the first anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, so expect a lot of coverage about it.
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