Xtra
2 min

The new top Mountie

The word is out – deputy RCMP commissioner
Bob Paulson, a long-time Mountie (who, interestingly enough, initially trained as a jet pilot in the
Canadian Forces), is going to be named the new commissioner. Thus ends the
experiment of having a civilian commissioner, and Vic Toews has assured us that
his very first job will be to deal with the raft of sexual harassment
complaints recently levelled from within the organization.

An internal memo suggests that ending the
long-gun registry could fuel firearms trafficking, since hey, the ownership
history portion of the registry useful in investigative work will no longer
exist. True to form, Vic Toews calls the memo “factually flawed.”

Curiously, the Liberals have decided to oppose adding new seats to the House of Commons and want to simply redistribute
the number that we have. Um, except that we have constitutional guarantees that
certain smaller provinces can’t have any fewer MPs than they have senators (eg, PEI has four seats regardless) and that no province can lose seats. Ergo,
under the current constitutional framework, we can only add them to rebalance
based on population growth. So yes, Liberals, this actually counts as a fairly
boneheaded move, despite your protestations of “fiscal restraint.” (Susan
Delacourt muses more on the Liberals positioning themselves as the new
“outsiders” here.)

As it happens, there are portions of the
omnibus crime bill that concern denying visitation rights and segregation for
people in prison – and the way it’s been drafted is being called
“mean-spirited,” with claims that it will make things worse in prisons rather than better. Not
that this kind of evidence moves this government.

What’s that? More than half of our planned
F-35s won’t arrive until after the current CF-18s are due to be retired? You don’t
say!

The CRTC has made its decision on the
issue of usage-based billing and has admitted an earlier decision didn’t get it
right. This new decision is more of a compromise that will allow smaller ISPs
to continue to offer services without caps.

The Royal Society of Canada has released its expert panel on euthanasia and assisted suicide, and says that such
practices should be decriminalized – and that if the federal government doesn’t
move on the file, the provinces should.

And the UK is now looking to Canada’s
Clarity Act when it comes to the potential issue of Scottish independence, as
there is likely to be a referendum there on the subject by 2014.

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