The sordid deeds of Tony Clement and the G8 legacy fund remain in the news, as the NDP revealed new documents obtained through access-to-information legislation at the municipal level – which show Clement’s
office at the centre of funding decisions, contradicting much of his
testimony before committee. Add to that, New Democrats accused Clement of altering the
official record of his committee responses – which Clement denies. And so it
The government has introduced a bill that
would require First Nations chiefs to disclose their salaries. Already faced
with huge reporting burdens, many chiefs call this unnecessary and heavy-handed.
The outgoing interim auditor general has
come up with a plan to save his department some eight percent in expenses,
largely by doing fewer audits of small boards and tribunals (which would
require legislative changes), and staff attrition. Because it’s not like we need
all of these audits, as parliamentarians are doing their due diligence and catching
a lot of this stuff during the supply cycle, right? Oh, wait . . .
Looking to further clamp down on the number
of immigrants coming into the country, the government passed new regulations
that would prohibit those immigrants convicted of a crime that results in
bodily harm from sponsoring family members’ immigration
claims for five years following the completion of their sentences.
Our overcrowded prisons have started double-bunking inmates in segregation – a dangerous practice that is
supposed to be done only in extreme cases, but hey, we’ve run out of places to house
them. Hands up anyone who thinks that the omnibus crime bill is going to
improve this situation.
The government denies there will be any
software issues that will make the F-35s unable to communicate with ground forces or
older planes, despite all evidence to the contrary.
The CBC lost its appeal at the federal
court regarding turning over documents to the information commissioner, though journalistic sources will still be protected. This may also alleviate some of the concerns with the
Commons ethics committee, which is currently studying this issue, since it is no longer
before the courts (unless, of course, the CBC decides to appeal to the Supreme
Here’s an account of the various tightropes John Baird has had to walk while discussing his department’s planned religious freedoms office at meetings abroad, but hey, he did bring up the
plight of gays and lesbians in Uganda, so that’s progress, right?
And with regards to the polygamy decision,
University of Ottawa law professor Carissima Mathen (who, for the record, is
pretty awesome) blogs about the background of the reference case and some of the arguments against it, and offers a few of her initial thoughts on the decision here. Emmett Macfarlane gives his take on the quality of the decision for Maclean's here. (My
story on xtra.ca is here.)