By Aaron Wherry - Friday, March 1, 2013 - 0 Comments
Six hours or so after Claude Patry’s move from the NDP to the Bloc, the House moved to the second hour of debate on the Bloc’s bill to repeal the Clarity Act last night. No less than five New Democrats—Mathieu Ravignat, Robert Aubin, Nycole Turmel, Francoise Boivin and Craig Scott—stood to dismiss the Bloc bill and commend their side’s Unity Bill. The task of defending the Clarity Act fell to the Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia.
The following is from Mr. Aubin’s explanation of the NDP perspective.
What does the NDP bill say compared to the bill introduced by the Bloc? It says very straightforward things. An association, whether a business association, a constitutional association, or even a romantic association, is based on trust. It starts with trust. We will not change the ground rules along the way. It would therefore be rather silly to claim that 50% plus one is enough to join Canada’s Constitution, but that in order to leave, you need 66%. The rules for entry and departure should be the same. The NDP’s job is to make Quebeckers feel respected and at home in Canada, thereby ensuring that the question does not come up again. If it does, then these are the conditions that will apply.
The question could not be clearer. At the beginning, I said that Quebeckers will be able to decide their future at a time of their choosing. Naturally, they will also decide on the question. The NDP believes, however, that with their experience of repeated referenda, Quebeckers have also gained maturity. We believe that it might be possible, should a third referendum be held, to follow the example of the Scottish model and agree in advance on the wording of a question that would have everyone live with the results when the referendum was over. This is a very mature approach that Quebeckers are prepared to adopt, except perhaps for those who are spoiling for a fight.
And this from Mr. Scarpaleggia.
With regard to the threshold that would have to be met in a referendum to begin negotiating Quebec’s independence with the rest of Canada, the Liberal caucus fully supports, with the strongest and deepest conviction, the Clarity Act, based as it is on the Supreme Court opinion to the effect that the threshold must be much higher than the 50% plus one rule. There are number of reasons for this condition. First, the 50% plus one rule is not 50% plus one in reality; voter turnout at the polls is never actually 100%. We know that if you snooze, you lose, but do you deserve to lose your country and your citizenship forever if illness or some other situation makes it impossible for you to exercise your right to vote?
In the event that the “yes” side won a slight victory, would there be the broad popular consensus needed to move forward with the difficult negotiations with the rest of Canada? On the day after this kind of result, will Quebec fall into a bitter political deadlock that would undermine economic stability?
The Conservatives, meanwhile, were quite eager during QP this morning to suggest the NDP caucus was rife with separatists.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 6:05 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. Immediately after Question Period, Dean Del Mastro stood to complain that the phrase “exaggerated prevarications,” which had been directed at him by the NDP’s Charlie Angus, was unparliamentary.
Regardless of whether this was inbounds—Mr. Angus argued it was and offered to produce a dictionary definition to prove it—it was most certainly an attack, though perhaps not one that Mr. Del Mastro can claim to take personally. At least so long as he seems to be merely the conduit for what is written on a yellow piece of paper.
On the yellow piece of paper that sat atop Mr. Del Mastro’s desk this day seemed to be written something like the following.
“These outrageous and exaggerated allegations made by the member opposite demean millions of voters who cast legitimate votes in the last election. The opposition paid millions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of phone calls … Before continuing these baseless smears, they should prove their own callers are not behind these reports.”
Lacking an elevator in which to escape to, the parliamentary secretary to the prime minister committed eight versions of this—an ad-libbed sentence here, a different adjective there—to the official record this afternoon. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, February 13, 2012 at 4:44 PM - 0 Comments
From QP this afternoon, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews responds to concerns raised by Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia about the government’s pursuit of so-called lawful access legislation.
“He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.”
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 8:08 PM - 68 Comments
The circular amphitheatre, used in other circumstances by a circus school, was bathed in red light. A muscular DJ spun pounding dance music, the heavy bass shaking the floor. In the audience, signs and thundersticks waved approximately to the beat.
After a few warm-up acts, Justin Trudeau bounded on stage, vibrating with apparent enthusiasm. He wore a suit jacket, but no tie, the top two buttons of his dress shirt undone. He and a cohost proceeded then to introduce the party’s Montreal team, Mr. Trudeau announcing each arrival as if introducing the starting line-up of the ’76 Habs.
On defence, the bespectacled one, Francisss Scarrr-pa-leggia! At left wing, in the tweed coat, Irwinnnn Cot-ler! Each descended the stairs from the top of the crowd. Each of the men wore the same look: suit jacket, no tie, top button of dress shirt undone. The lone candidate in a tie promptly removed his upon arriving on stage.
Finally, the captain, Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal leader appearing in a pink shirt, his wife by his side. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 10:35 PM - 0 Comments
Ralph Goodale re-elected. Belinda Stronach’s riding goes to the Conservatives. Bonnie Brown is out.
Looks like Denis Coderre, Raymonde Folco, Marlene Jennings, Irwin Cotler, Bernard Patry, Francis Scarpaleggia, Pablo Rodriguez and Massimo Pacetti will all be re-elected around Montreal.