Michael Ignatieff led off Tuesday’s question period by asking, once again, about the perimeter security agreement. This time, he kept his question to one specific issue – the use of private and biometric information on entry and exit systems. Stephen Harper gave vague replies about our countries’ shared interests. Scott Brison followed up on the issue of corporate tax cuts, and when Ted Menzies responded that the Liberals had supported them previously, the caucus shouted back, “In surplus.” Gilles Duceppe and Daniel Paillé asked about tax harmonization yet again. Libby Davies and Charlie Angus, who were both up for the NDP’s first round, asked about Conservative patronage appointments, especially as it relates to recent CRTC and CBC appointments.
Liberal whip Marcel Proulx kicked off round two with questions about tax breaks for smaller businesses instead of large corporations. Hedy Fry asked about home care (using air quotes when she asked Diane Finley to “stand up” for families). Paule Brunelle asked about those contaminated nuclear turbines being transported across the St Lawrence Seaway. Bernard Bigras asked about the lack of a climate change plan (Peter Kent assured him that they have a plan and that it’s working). Mike Savage took on Diane Finley over one-year maternity leaves, and John McCallum asked about whether the government would be extending the social-housing-program portions of the stimulus funds (and it sounds like it was a no).
Round three saw questions about white-collar crime, that CRTC appointment, the reappointment of some of the more controversial figures to the board of Rights and Democracy (sensing a theme here?), the CIDA cuts to teaching programs, another go at those transported turbines, orca protection (or lack thereof), the effect of the loss of the census on the North, cuts to magazine subsidies and the NDP bill on genetically engineered crops.
Sartorially speaking, a great many MPs were wearing purple to mark a youth mental health awareness initiative. As a result, I will rate best use of purple, giving those snaps to Jean-Claude D’Amours for his white shirt with purple checks and a solid purple tie, to Lisa Raitt for her lavender sweater and darker lavender scarf, and to Ted Menzies for his purple shirt and striped tie. The style citation for the day goes to Grubax Malhi for his couch-like brown jacket.
Remember that issue about the tanker traffic ban on the West Coast and how the government assured the Commons that it was in place and that we had nothing to worry about? Seems that the Coast Guard has neither the resources nor the technology to enforce it. Oops.
And more tales in committee about the outgoing RCMP commissioner’s abusive behaviour, which makes it sound like the Mounties will be happy to see the back of him.
Up today – everyone’s going to be talking about that TSX merger, but more importantly, the vote on Bill C-389 for trans rights is being held. It takes place somewhere around 5:30pm, along with three other votes. And yes, I’ll be in the gallery to cover it, and you can follow the action on Twitter @journo_dale.