1 min

Unrepentent spymaster, hysterical MPs

While we all swelter in this heat wave, there’s really not a whole lot going on in political Ottawa. The Senate will be back in session today – their study of the omnibus budget implementation bill continued unabated yesterday and carries on today with Elizabeth May on the witness list as they turn their attention to the section of the bill that deals with environmental assessments. That’s right – environmental assessments are part of the budget implementation bill. Because that’s how this government gets contentious legislation through the Commons.

The biggest excitement in Ottawa yesterday was the testimony of CSIS director Richard Fadden, who was unrepentant at saying that foreign agents are influencing certain politicians in this country, and no, he wasn’t going to name names, even though he does regret giving as much detail as he did to the CBC interviewer. But while the MPs got increasingly hysterical, I was rather saddened to see that nobody qualified what some of those subtle influence mechanisms are – like the free trips and other gifts that foreign governments offer to help change opinions about their countries.

As well, the Federal Court determined that the “diplomatic note” the government sent to Washington, DC, was insufficient as a remedy for Omar Khadr’s breached Charter rights and gave the government seven days to come up with an adequate remedy. Err, good luck with that. And here comes another round of appeals…

Over in China, it looks like Michael Ignatieff got a warm reception at a university there, and people liked what he had to say about Canada-China relations.

Her Majesty got a new BlackBerry as a gift yesterday after her trip to the RIM factory, and at a state dinner last night she praised Canada’s commitment to freedom and fairness. Maclean’s, meanwhile, gives us a retrospective of her Canadian fashions to date, and they’ve finally posted that very interesting article from last week’s issue about just what it would take to replace the monarchy in Canada. It makes you appreciate that we’ve really got a good thing going for us.

And the Calgary Herald, of all places, has a gallery of Pride photos from around the world.
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