By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 0 Comments
Shortly after Conservative Brian Jean had stood to accuse the New Democrats of advocating for a “job killing carbon tax” and Conservative MP Scott Armstrong had stood to say that “the policy of the NDP is to go south to recruit foreign criminals to come to Canada” and Conservative MP David Wilks had stood and claimed to possess “a long list of attacks on Canadian interests from the NDP” and Conservative MP Robert Sopuck had stood and ventured that the NDP leader “leader rejects sound science and works hard to kill Canadian jobs” and Conservative MP James Bezan stood and said Thomas Mulcair had “attacked Canadian jobs, attacked Canada’s national interests and took up the cause of a convicted cop shooter” and shortly before Justice Minister Rob Nicholson stood and declared that “New Democrats are never on” the side of victims of crime, Stephen Harper stood and declared himself quite disappointed with Mr. Mulcair’s tone.
“Mr. Speaker, Peter Penashue broke… the… law,” Mr. Mulcair had enunciated, now pausing for effect. “If our law and order Prime Minister considers Peter Penashue, a known lawbreaker, to be the best Conservative MP, what does that say about the rest of his caucus?”
In fairness, Mr. Harper had not said that Mr. Penashue was the best member of the Conservative caucus, rather that he was the best MP that the riding of Labrador had ever had. Though perhaps that description too raises questions about how the Prime Minister measures quality.
Regardless, Mr. Harper was now profoundly saddened. “Mr. Speaker, obviously, I disagree with that categorization,” the Prime Minister sighed. “I am sad, but not surprised, to hear that kind of negative campaign from the—”
He could not finish because the New Democrats had burst out laughing.
The Speaker called for order and returned the floor to Mr. Harper.
“Mr. Speaker, in Labrador, Minister Penashue,” the Prime Minister continued, apparently still struggling to come to grips with the reality of Mr. Penashue’s resignation, “will be able to point to a record of respecting his promises, working against the federal long gun registry and for such things as the Trans-Labrador Highway, the Lower Churchill project and obviously for the strong record that he has presented to the people of Labrador.”
So Mr. Penashue might not have rightfully won a seat in the House of Commons, but at least while he had it, some things happened that the people of Labrador might have reason to be happy about.
The House proceeded to other matters, but after Rob Nicholson had declared his concern for the victims of crime, Bob Rae detected a segue back to Mr. Penashue.
“Mr. Speaker, the victims of the latest Conservative crime are the people of Labrador. Those are the victims we need to stand up for,” Mr. Rae ventured. “It is now clear that there was a completely orchestrated-from-central-casting resignation by the minister. Peter Penashue held press conferences. He used government money to hold press conferences. He placed ads. The Conservative Party transferred money to the riding association in Labrador. The entire thing was orchestrated by the Prime Minister of Canada and orchestrated by the Conservative Party of Canada.”
There was not a question here, but the Prime Minister stood anyway.
“Mr. Speaker, the member for Labrador has taken the correct action,” Mr. Harper said. “The people of Labrador will decide.”
But, once more, the Prime Minister was besmirched.
“They will have the difference between that kind of negative, ugly campaign,” he said, drawing laughs from the Liberals, “and, on the other side, a record of positive achievement for the people of Labrador by minister Penashue and, obviously, we will respect the decision of the people of Labrador.”
Mr. Rae saw another segue.
“Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister wants to see ugly, he and his cabinet colleagues should simply look in the mirror and assess their own conduct—”
The Conservatives groaned their displeasure. The Speaker called for order.
“I do not think we need to make those kinds of personal characterizations,” Speaker Scheer suggested. “It is certainly not adding to the debate today.”
Mr. Rae pleaded innocence. “Mr. Speaker, if looking in the mirror produces unacceptable results,” he offered, “it is hardly the fault of the people who are asking the questions.”
The interim Liberal leader again failed to register a question, but the Prime Minister stood again nonetheless.
“Mr. Speaker, I think the real problem is the positions that the Liberal Party of Canada has on issues that matter to the people of Labrador,” Mr. Harper ventured. “The people of Labrador value the seal hunt; they value investments in their infrastructure and in their Internet; and they certainly value the Lower Churchill hydroelectric electric project.”
The questions about the former minister persisted and it was Pierre Poilievre who took up the cause of defending his honour.
“Mr. Speaker, in anybody’s mind, writing cheques for nearly $50,000 is a clear admission that Conservatives broke just about every law in the book during the Labrador campaign and that they knew they broke them,” Liberal MP Gerry Byrne charged. “With that said, the Prime Minister also knows that sanctions with serious consequences remain inevitable against Mr. Penashue and his party. With absolutely nothing left to lose under those circumstances, a byelection is about to be called to try to dull some of that reality. Does the Prime Minister really feel that holding a byelection could ever trump the rule of law in Canada and that the process of justice might actually be able to be turned off for a byelection?”
Somewhere in this distance, or perhaps only in Mr. Poilievre’s head, a string quartet began to play the national anthem.
“Mr. Speaker, there they go, launching a nasty, negative campaign full of slurs,” he sighed. “Never did a slur create a job. Never did a slur protect a traditional aboriginal way of life that Peter Penashue has fought for.”
The anthem swelled. Watching at home, mothers gathered their children to listen. In office towers, business halted. In the fields, plowing ceased. Tears trickled down the cheeks of grown men.
“Never did a slur help a school child in a remote community have access to the world through high-speed Internet, the way Peter Penashue delivered. Never did a slur protect CFB Goose Bay,” Mr. Poilievre continued. “Slurs do not do that, but Peter Penashue did.”
And lo was the nation stirred and lo did all who heard Mr. Poilievre now rush to Labrador, cheques in hand and the Elections Act in mind, to donate the maximum allowable funds to Mr. Penashue’s re-election campaign.
For sure, Mr. Poilievre was so very right. And thus it is to wonder why so many others waste so much of their and our time with such empty words.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 5:50 AM - 0 Comments
NDP MP Pat Martin took to Twitter last night to express his displeasure with a local infrastructure project and the Minister of Public Safety.
First Nations were concerned ‘Youth for Christ’ would try to steal their children’s souls. Now building is empty…Vic Toews big project.
All the $oney for inner city youth went to USA Youth for Christ. Big building, no benefit. Vic Toews Mr family values. What gives?
All the money for inner city youth went to ‘Youth For Christ’, who are Vic Toews’ donors and buddies, now the bldg is all but empty.
Listen, I would never judge someone who screwed their babysitter for years or knocked up their secretary, so don’t ask me to. Respect…
Not sure the public really knows their Minister of Public Safety who forgot to invite me to announcement in my risding AGAIN!!! RFW
Next time I’m bringing my own folding chair if the Minister ‘forgets’ to invite me to his spending announcements in my riding. Arrogance
When Vic gave the USA Youth for Christ ALL the money for inner city youth, FN’s said they don’t want people to ‘steal their chldn’s souls’
These are truly bad people.They won their razor thin majority by cheating; Robocalls and who knows what else. American style dirty tricks.
@CTVMercedes I’m not ‘worked up’ so much as ‘fed up’ with the rat faced whores in the CPC who neglect to invite me to ancemnts in my riding
Look…Given the parliamentary session we’ve just endured, the term ‘rat faced whores’ is using a great deal of restraint…
The issue of the Youth for Christ’s centre in Winnipeg goes back to February 2010, when Mr. Martin complained about the federally funded project. Mr. Toews responded to Mr. Martin. After city council approved the project, Mr. Martin pledged to support it. (More on the larger controversy here, here, here, here and here.)
The details of Mr. Toews’ personal life harken back to the Vikileaks controversy earlier this year.
Update 2:00pm. Vic Toews responds.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:03 AM - 0 Comments
Since the ability of MPs to hold the government to account is paramount in our system of democratic governance, it would seem odd to turn this into a question about whether MPs should be able to pose questions or to suggest that ability should be somehow limited. Rather, if one is truly concerned about cost, one might explore what is entailed in these costs and how the practice of finding answers might be made more efficient.
Mind you, Dean Del Mastro would probably point out that, in the grand scheme of things, $1.2 million isn’t a lot of money.
Update 12:28pm. Via Twitter, Brian Jean suggests he’s “looking out for taxpayers by holding the opposition accountable for the money spent on written questions.” For the sake of comparison, Mr. Jean might use his next order paper question to ask how much the government of the day spent responding to the questions listed here, here, here, here and here.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
From Brian Jean just before QP yesterday, another one for the “A price on carbon will destroy your family” file.
Mr. Speaker, it is almost Christmas, a time when our thoughts naturally turn to family, friends and gift giving. This Christmas, NDP members are behaving more like Scrooge than Santa. They want to give Canadians the gift of a carbon tax. This is no gift, but rather a money grab, a lump of coal that would create hardships all across Canada for hardworking families.
The oil sands fuel the economy and creates jobs in all parts of Canada. Every day, workers fly out of northern Alberta, my home, taking their well-earned good wages back to their families in Newfoundland, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and all of Canada.
A carbon tax like the NDP is proposing would critically hurt Canadian families. Our government has lowered taxes for all Canadians, promoted trade, increased exports and kept our economy stable. I ask all Canadians during the holidays to raise their voice and say no to the NDP lump of coal, no to the NDP carbon tax.
Alberta actually already has a price on carbon, but that price is not sufficiently apocalyptic, then perhaps the current carbon tax review in British Columbia will turn up evidence of critically wounded families.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 4:41 PM - 0 Comments
Welcome to live coverage of tonight’s C-38 votes. It was expected that voting would begin around 5:30pm, but some procedural fussing about by the Liberals seems to have delayed those votes by a few hours. Stay tuned throughout the evening (and morning?) as we follow the parliamentary festivities.
4:43pm. If you’re only now tuning in, you just missed a fascinating series of points of order, during which Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux twice asked the Speaker to clarify the rules of the House (Speaker Devolin invited Mr. Lamoureux to read the standing orders) and Bob Rae objected to the Defence Minister’s earlier use of the word “mendaciousness” (Peter MacKay duly stood and withdrew the remark). The House is now at the time reserved each day for the presenting of petitions and will soon move to the final period of report stage debate on C-38.
4:51pm. The New Democrats held a photo op this afternoon to demonstrate how they were preparing for tonight’s votes. Mostly this seems to have involved Nathan Cullen removing his jacket and writing “C-38″ on a giant white pad of paper.
5:04pm. The Liberals have chosen now to discuss Mr. Cullen’s point of privilege. And now there is some discussion between the Speaker, Elizabeth May and Denis Coderre about how long one can speak when responding to a question of privilege.
5:15pm. With Mr. Lamoureux still responding to Mr. Cullen’s point of privilege, Conservative MP Bob Zimmer rises on a point of order to question Mr. Lamoureux’s point of privilege. The Speaker stands and reads the rules pertaining to questions of privilege, specifically that such interventions should be “brief and concise” and that the Speaker has the right to “terminate” the discussion. Liberal MP Massimo Pacetti rises on a point of order to object to Mr. Zimmer’s point of order. Mr. Lamoureux attempts a point of order to respond to Mr. Zimmer, but the Speaker suggests he carry on with his point of privilege, but then Mr. Coderre rises on a point of order to complain about the Speaker’s desire to move things along. The Speaker asserts his impartiality and attempts to straighten this all out, but Mr. Coderre rises on another point of order to clarify his respect for the Speaker, but also to express his desire that Mr. Lamoureux be allowed to give a full response to Mr. Cullen’s point of privilege. Mr. Pacetti rises on a point of order to add his concern that Mr. Lamoureux be allowed to speak fully. The Speaker says he was merely reminding everyone of the rules and gives Mr. Lamoureux five minutes to finish and, finally, we’re now back to Mr. Lamoruex’s point of privilege.
5:30pm. The Speaker stands and calls an end to Mr. Lamoureux’s remarks and attempts to move to the last hour of report stage debate on C-38, but now Mauril Belanger is up on a separate point of privilege.
5:32pm. The Speaker cuts off Mr. Belanger to move to deferred votes on two opposition motions and one private member’s bill. MPs have 30 minutes to report to the chamber.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, October 21, 2011 at 2:36 PM - 4 Comments
Yesterday afternoon, Conservative MP Brian Jean stood just before Question Period to share some news with the House.
Mr. Speaker, members will be shocked to know that the CBC has not corrected the record on its misleading report from Monday night. It failed to inform Canadians about the drug treatment court exemption in our government’s safe streets and communities act. Today the Quebec Bar Association confirmed that it supports the important drug treatment court exemption in Bill C-10 for those who are seeking treatment for their addictions.
It’s impossible to apply an asterisk to words as they are spoken and Hansard doesn’t include footnotes, but, in case you were wondering, here is the story of that third sentence. Continue…
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 9:05 AM - 12 Comments
Tories turned out at the Hard Rock Cafe for a party in honour of…
Tories turned out at the Hard Rock Cafe for a party in honour of staying in power for five years. (L-R) Val Day, Treasury Board President Stockwell Day, Laureen Harper.
Labour Minister Lisa Raitt.
By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 8:44 PM - 13 Comments
The Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem held a special reception on…
The Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem held a special reception on the Hill to celebrate Canadian-Israeli partnerships. Below, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Diane Finley with her husband, Senator Doug Finley.
(Left to right) Sammy Katz, Transport Minister John Baird and Tyler Golden.
Carmi Gillon, vice-president of external relations for The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
By Mitchel Raphael - Friday, April 30, 2010 at 3:47 PM - 18 Comments
The Conservatives’ Law Enforcement Officers Caucus held a special reception for the Canadian Police…
The Conservatives’ Law Enforcement Officers Caucus held a special reception for the Canadian Police Association while they were in town. Below is caucus chair Shelly Glover.
Senator Nancy Ruth with the boys in blue.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 6:10 PM - 82 Comments
The Scene. Liberal Dominic LeBlanc rose to report on the latest stash of documents to be released in regards to the Gaffer Affair and to wonder aloud, with seven departments now said to have been contacted by Rahim Jaffer, how many more ministers and parliamentary secretaries were still to disclose their communications with the husband of the deposed Helena Guergis.
And so John Baird stood to pronounce on the heroism of his government. ”Mr. Speaker, let me very clear,” Mr. Baird clarified, “we would not be having this debate about documents if it were not for the government which made all these documents public.”
Alas, the Liberals did not congratulate the minister so much as laugh derisively.
Mr. LeBlanc stood again and took direct aim at Mr. Baird with the allegation that the Transport Minister had put his parliamentary secretary between he and Mr. Jaffer and that such a move might constitute some violation of the vaunted Accountability Act. And here Mr. Baird did what he had the day before—he invoked the ghosts of Liberal scandals past. Continue…
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 3:49 PM - 0 Comments
Folks from Le Devoir were on the Hill with MPs to mark the Quebec…
Folks from Le Devoir were on the Hill with MPs to mark the Quebec paper’s
100th anniversary. (Left to right) Tory MP Steven Blaney, Le Devoir’s
publisher Bernard Descôteaux and Tory MP Maxime Bernier.
Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe with Descôteaux.
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 4:45 PM - 11 Comments
The Mining Association of Canada held a reception at The Fairmont Château Laurier. Natural…
The Mining Association of Canada held a reception at The Fairmont Château Laurier. Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt with Jim Gowans of De Beers Canada Inc.
Jeff Valois from Liberal MP Mario Silva’s office.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 12:12 PM - 29 Comments
Conservative MP Brian Jean laments for our discourse.
Jean admits he doesn’t like the current attack ads his party is running on TV which call Igantieff’s character and motivations into question. ”But they seem to work,” he says. “I don’t like them, but that’s not my job.”
(The story in question is not yet posted on the newspaper’s website. So we shall have to take that not disinterested blogger’s word for it for now.)
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, May 15, 2009 at 2:57 PM - 62 Comments
Excluding those born outside Canada, the following Conservative MPs have lived, studied or worked outside the country.
Jim Flaherty, Lisa Raitt, Brian Jean, Russ Hiebert, Jason Kenney, Maurice Vellacott, Mike Allen, Ray Boughen, Barry Devolin, Garry Breitkreuz, Ed Holder, Randy Kamp, Pierre Lemieux, Ben Lobb, Phil McColeman, Cathy McLeod, Scott Reid, Greg Rickford, Andrew Saxton and John Weston.