Xtra
3 min

The post-weekend grab bag

Everyone has been really excited about the latest document dump from WikiLeaks, but we won’t see anything interesting related to Canada until Thursday, apparently. I am curious, however, to know just what the Americans were so interested in with the files tagged with same-sex marriage. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Before Friday’s question period, Rob Oliphant made a statement about a Jewish and Muslim event in his riding.

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in the House to congratulate the Jewish and Muslim communities in Don Valley West for their exemplary twinning initiative between mosque and synagogue.

As part of a North America-wide initiative, Temple Emanu-El and the Noor Cultural Centre organized a weekend of events that focused on the theme “Struggling with the language and imagery of war within our traditions.”

The weekend featured Jum'ah prayers at the Noor Centre, Shabbat services at Temple Emanu-El, lectures from Jewish and Muslim spiritual leaders and discussions among members of both communities.

They have demonstrated a fine example of true inter-culturalism, strengthening the relationships between Jews and Muslims and building bridges for a better Canada.

I was pleased to be part of this endeavour and commend both communities for making this event such a success, especially Samira Kanji and Joe Goodbaum, Rabbi Debra Landsberg and Dr Timothy Gianotti, Dr Mahmoud Ayoub and Rabbi Dr Reuven Firestone.

As-Salamu Alaykum. Shabbat Shalom.

During QP, Libby Davies had the lead NDP questions, wherein she asked about tax policy, while Oliphant also had two questions (split up here and here) related to the Somali community, especially as they are a significant population here in Ottawa.

With another Liberal Senator reaching retirement age, the balance in the Upper Chamber now tips decidedly Conservative. Conservative Senate leader Marjorie LeBreton insists that killing Bill C-311 was “an anomaly,” but with the Opposition in control of the Commons, and the government now in control of the Senate, it could mean a new era of deadlock. Meanwhile, here is another rehash of how hypocritical Harper has been with respect to his words and his actions in the Senate, and a suggestion that he knows his “Senate reform” plans can only go nowhere, although he still propagates them as a sop to his base.

Susan Delacourt takes a look at all the women now leading the provincial political parties in Newfoundland and Labrador with the resignation of Danny Williams. For the first time in history, all three party leaders are women.

Here’s a good recap of the whole West Block construction contract saga.

The Harper government has axed yet another NGO, this time the Forum of Federations, which helped to show how Canadian-style federalism could be used for nation-building in other federal states, and by all accounts, was an organization that won kudos from around the world.

Remember the earthquake here in June? It turns out that it created a huge mess with the earthquake preparedness plans, in large part because everything needed to be funnelled through the Privy Council Office. Because top-down centralized governing is totally efficient.

More new Canadians are flunking the citizenship test, owing to tougher questions and a greatly expanded new Citizenship Guide (whose next version will include the gays, we are assured), which has a whole lot more material to memorize. What will this mean? I’m not sure yet, but if I were looking to find a conspiracy, I might think that this was all a plot to keep fewer immigrants, just as the number of permanent residents every year has been reduced in favour of temporary foreign workers. Also, the more failed tests, the more the department’s workload increases, which leads to keeping the backlog going (which they created, and seem to have a vested interest in keeping up to show that our system needs a massive overhaul). But that would only be if I were looking for a conspiracy.

And Justin Trudeau made good use of his Movember ‘stache (with soul patch) for a gala costume.

Up today – it’s those three by-elections (finally), which will almost certainly be followed by weeks of media analysis of What Went Wrong for the Liberals™ and How This Is All an Indictment of Michael Ignatieff’s Leadership™.
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