While we dodged a bullet with Friday’s minor cabinet shuffle – Shelly Glover, Canada’s Most Intellectually Bankrupt MP, did not get into cabinet, thankfully – John Baird is now the Government House Leader, where he will totally work together with the other party house leaders to get the legislative agenda through, and not simply engineer gridlock that will force Harper to call an election. (And look – once again, the profiles about him totally ignore his sexuality.)
Of course, that wasn’t the only drama at the press conference following the shuffle. You see, normally when these kinds of things happen, and it’s a “two questions in English, two in French kind of situation, the reporters will get together, agree who will ask the questions and which ones will get asked, and everyone’s happy. Except when some of the outlets don’t want to play along. In this case, it was the official media arm of The Party – aka Sun Media – and CTV – who went outside of the pool’s questions, and oh, look – the PMO picked them instead. They say they didn’t know the others had agreed on questions to ask “or it would have been a different story.” Um, except that’s standard protocol in Canada, and anyone who’s been in PMO comms for longer than a single media availability would know this. So just what did the official media arm of The Party deem so essential of a question that they had to go around the agreed-upon media pool? A lame non-question as to funding for a play that sounds sympathetic to a terror suspect – especially when the funding in question worked out to a whole $850. Seriously. Maclean’s Paul Wells went on a Twitter rant about the incident, referring to Sun Media as “poll-obsessed, agenda-inventing fellow scribes.” Which is entirely accurate. So now we have no answers on the long-form census, and the PMO has agents in the Press Gallery to ensure that the tough questions don’t get asked. Isn’t it wonderful?
Scott Feschuk, meanwhile, has his fun with the situation, and points out that the Press Gallery has become ever more compliant to Harper and his messaging rather than challenging it. And he’s not wrong, sadly.
Oh look – it’s likely the stimulus money won’t all be spent in time. But hey, this was the convoluted mechanism that the government put in place, so it’s not really a surprise. Also not a surprise – the stimulus money for Quebec flowed largely to Conservative ridings. Because nobody saw that happening.
The recently resigned former head of Statistics Canada has a new job at Queen’s University, and another of his predecessors – who is a lauded economist – is also sounding the alarm about the loss of the long-form census.
Susan Delacourt gives her impressions of the public’s changing mood on the political situation. Also, Paul Martin calls out the government on trying to dumb down the country, which is totally what they’re doing (and Sun Media is along for the ride).
Small surprise, but the government is officially quashing any notion that they’ll be making any special laws about “honour killings,” because it would have been a legal quagmire. Meanwhile, more evidence that this government’s prison agenda won’t work – not that we didn’t see that one coming. And oh, look – even more problems with aging 50+ offenders in jail, who are aging faster because of the “hard time” they’re doing. That means more health problems and higher costs in keeping them locked up. Not that evidence matters to this government.
Moral panic alert! The government is spending thousands of dollars on condoms in prisons! OMG THIS OUTRAGE MUST BE QUESTIONED!
And because I always like to point out examples of great journalism, Joanna Smith at the Toronto Star takes a look at pregnancy counselling centres, and the kinds of deception they use to counsel against abortions, followed up by a piece about the documentary 12th & Delaware, about those very same centres in the States.