2 min

Undoing years of reforms

A recently retired senior justice
department advisor – and former Progressive Conservative MP – is warning that
the omnibus crime bill will undo years of justice system reform in this
country. Not that the government cares, seeing as it governs not on the
basis of facts or evidence, but rather what is politically expedient.

In Washington, Stephen Harper and Barack
Obama announced . . . an action plan, to deal with border issues. A plan that doesn’t
actually deal with a lot of the cross-border irritants at that. And it promises
action on things that have plagued us for years with no resolution (like
harmonizing certain regulations – because that worked out so well when we
created the SPP to deal with that, as Roland Paris points out). But hey – it’s
an action plan!

Despite a Federal Court ruling saying
that the Conservatives – and the agriculture minister in particular – are in
breach of the law over the bill to kill the Canadian Wheat Board, the
Conservatives are pressing ahead with the bill regardless.

After QP yesterday, this . . . unfortunate
incident happened. A Conservative MP had a point of privilege called on him
after he made a “bang-bang” gun gesture during the vote on the bill to scrap
the gun registry – and people got upset. And so this whole non-apology thing
went around until he stood up again and offered this particularly awful,
awkward, rambling pseudo-apology for the incident. Is it any wonder this was
one of the “invisible” candidates the Conservatives kept from the spotlight in
the last election?

The Conservatives’ panel to consult on the
new office of religious freedoms was drawn up from Christian and Jewish sources
– and some particularly conservative ones at that. Try to look surprised,
everyone! Because this totally isn’t an office more concerned with
proselytizing and evangelism than it is about actual religious freedoms and
human rights abuses related to them. Meanwhile, the list of prepared responses to journalists’ questions on said consultations come with prearranged
obfuscation talking points! Doubleplusgood!

The ethics committee had a dead man listed on their witness list for the upcoming five-year review of the Lobbying Act. It
was a mistake, where they likely meant the guy holding the research chair that's named
after the dead guy, but still, think of how awesome a committee séance might
have been. After all, it’s not like this is outside of our political
traditions, right? *cough*Mackenzie-King*cough*

Peter MacKay is threatening to sue MPs who
said he was lying about his helicopter trip while outside of the House of
Commons. He should probably make sure that nobody calls David Orchard as a character witness at that trial.

Robert Chisholm makes no apologies for his
poor (nonexistent?) French at the NDP leadership debate. So this means he’s not
going to pull out gracefully? How long before it grinds to a halt regardless?

And Senator Nancy Ruth is heartened by the
fact that Austria has moved to a more gender-neutral national anthem, much as
she has been pressing for in Canada. She does, however, acknowledge that she
will probably have to wait for a different government.

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