It’s already a break week for the House of Commons, but before you roll your eyes, it should be noted that they started early this year, and took this week off for the G20 summit in Pittsburgh later in the week. That’s right – great, scenic international hub of commerce and trade Pittsburgh.
The Conservative government easily passed its first confidence vote of the fall sitting on Friday, with only the Liberals voting against. The NDP are, however, claiming that their support is to demonstrate just how pragmatic they actually are, and are pointing to the successes of Gary Doer in Manitoba and Darrell Dexter in Nova Scotia as examples of it. Good luck with convincing your voter base of that. (The Toronto Star interviewed Ignatieff right after the vote, and it’s a pretty interesting read about some of the lines he’s drawing around the next campaign).
Friday’s Question Period saw Libby Davies attacking the Harmonised Sales Tax proposals in BC and Ontario (for which Tony Clement suggested she run for provincial legislature. Incidentally, Jim Flaherty wants you do know that it’s good long-term economic policy). Scott Brison again asked about what Harper is doing about the “Buy America” provisions, to which Gerald Keddy talked up Harper’s trip to Washington. In his supplemental, Brison remarked, “Photo ops are not results.” And when Bill Siksay asked about the sole Canadian being detained on a security certificate, currently on a hunger strike, Peter Van Loan replied that he has access to a wide variety of foods and that it’s his choice not to eat. Seriously.
The Conservatives appear to be spending five times as much to advertise their “Economic Action Plan” and all the great things it’s doing, than it is on informing people about H1N1. Add to that, much of the advertising talks about the “Harper Government” specifically, which contravenes Treasury Board guidelines on advertising. Not that rules have ever stopped this government from being crassly partisan in the past.
Elizabeth May won her nomination challenge in Saanich-Gulf Islands, but every media pundit now asks, “Where does she run if she loses this riding?”
The Conservatives have scrapped funds that assist independent artists that aren’t making commercial music in order to redirect those funds to help commercial artists tour internationally – you know, the programmes they cut last year and were roundly criticised for. So now those artists doing innovative things, and generally win things like the Polaris prize for (like queer artist Final Fantasy) aren’t getting the funds they used to. But hey, the government is responding to the outcry from the last round of funding cuts.
And finally, what promises to be the final English-language ad that Michael Ignatieff shot on the Forest Moon of Endor has been released, this time talking about “green jobs,” showing that he hasn’t entirely abandoned Stéphane Dion’s environmentalist legacy.