While Prime Minister Harper wraps up his tour of China, taking a page directly from Obama’s playbook by making a virtually unannounced stop to pick up tea and to greet the Chinese masses, before stopping off in South Korea on his way back to Ottawa, the House gets ready for its final week of business for 2009.
So what can we look forward to? Well, the Afghan detainee issue, of course, and the government trying to obfuscate on the whole issue of Richard Colvin’s memos. And the fact that more proof that Peter MacKay knew what was going on keeps surfacing. And what about the demands for actual clarity about just what role we’re going to have in Afghanistan post-2011, if we’re not going to have any military engagement – does that mean we also won’t be training the Afghan army anymore either?
We can also look forward to the final round of berating the government in advance of the Copenhagen summit. And has anyone in Ottawa checked out those billboards that show Stephen Harper and Barack Obama, aged to look like it’s 2020 when they’re apologising for not stopping catastrophic climate change? Interesting idea.
Don’t forget the debates over the HST are going to keep going this week, with more speculation about Liberals breaking ranks and either voting against it or being conveniently absent from the House for key votes. (But seriously – the amount of speculation about absences in the House for that last vote – which wasn’t as important – when everyone acknowledges that the division bells were cut off ten minutes early – is just getting ridiculous by this point).
And if you haven’t had enough intrigue about Liberal party and its apparent perpetual civil war over leadership, I have little doubt that the Conservatives are going to be all over this story that popped up in the Toronto Star on Sunday about a meeting at the Chateau Laurier in which several Liberals purported to plot with Bob Rae to have him take over the party. No matter the fact that those named participants have sworn their innocence and that the meeting had nothing to do with plotting downfalls, it’s nevertheless too salacious for some to pass up. (But also – there are some serious questions about the journalistic integrity about the column’s author, Angelo Persichilli, never mind the fact that he’s certainly had a bone of contention with the Liberals in his writing for a while now, and people should be taking anything he says with a shaker’s worth of salt by now).
Elsewhere, the CBC has taken a look into the whole refugee backlog issue, and oh, look – they found that it tripled under the Conservatives’ watch because they weren’t making appointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board, and when they finally did start, it takes a year to get new board members trained. Huh – imagine that. Never would have guessed.
With Peter MacKay using a group of soldiers as the backdrop on his holiday cards, the CBC takes a look at the government’s recent penchant for using the military as a backdrop – and how that just may still backfire on them.
Her Excellency has now arrived in Mexico for her state visits to that country, as well as Costa Rica, and Guatemala. She may, however, be confronted with protests about the activities of Canadian mining companies in Mexico, which have turned ugly recently.
(Canadian Press Photo)