By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 0 Comments
On Monday, Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, presented to the House of Commons the government’s main estimates. This was apparently cause for celebration. Indeed, according to Mr. Clement’s office, the main estimates “reflect the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to finding savings and returning to balanced budgets.”
“I think you will find that when you review the estimates, that they do reflect our commitment to sound fiscal management and the commitment to return to the balanced budget within the medium term,” Mr. Clement explained to reporters afterwards. “You will see that the estimates have decreased over the past four years so at this stage of the budgetary cycle, we are continuing to rein in spending. In fact, the estimates are down $4.9 billion from last year.”
But, with a budget still to be tabled, what importance should be attached to the estimates?
“Obviously, the budget is the main economic document of the government,” Mr. Clement clarified. “Having said that, the estimates is a signal of the direction of the government on some basic files and some basic portfolios so it is, I would call it a harbinger, perhaps, a signal of the kind of budget that we will have in 2013-2014.”
On Tuesday, a specific victory was identified and declared as Robert Goguen was sent up to note that, whatever the wild-eyed worries of the New Democrats, the main estimates showed “significant reductions” in prison spending. And lest anyone miss this point, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews followed up with a written statement sent out to reporters by his press secretary. “Last summer, we announced the closure of two prisons to save taxpayer dollars,” Mr. Toews was said to have said, “and yesterday in the Main Estimates, there were significant reductions in the cost of prisons.”
Unfortunately for Mr. Goguen and Mr. Toews, the estimates are apparently not to be taken too seriously. Or at least not quite as seriously as various members of the opposition are now taking them. At least so far as Mr. Clement is now concerned. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 6:16 PM - 0 Comments
The NDP leader had asked a straightforward question and the Prime Minister had not quite responded with a straightforward answer and so now Thomas Mulcair, the NDP leader forced to gesture demonstratively this day with only his left arm on account of a fall on his right arm this morning, leaned forward and stared down the Prime Minister.
“Mr. Speaker, Canadians deserve a straight answer,” he ventured. “Did the Prime Minister know his party was behind these fraudulent calls, yes or no?
The New Democrats applauded their man’s strict advisement of the options.
“The independence of the Canadian Electoral Boundaries Commission is fundamental to our democracy,” Mr. Mulcair continued. “Conservatives paid for fraudulent robocalls using a fake company name to misinform voters and manipulate an important part of our democratic system. Worse yet, Conservative Party officials lied to Canadians to try to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Who will the Prime Minister hold accountable for this fraud?”
Alas, Mr. Harper was unimpressed with Mr. Mulcair’s presentation. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 5:11 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. For as long as humans have possessed language it has been generally true that few good conversations involve the phrase “fecal contamination.”
Perhaps that’s why the Prime Minister stepped aside this afternoon to let Gerry Ritz respond to the bulk of questions; of the six questions he might’ve otherwise been expect to take, Mr. Harper rose to respond to only two. Or maybe this was some attempt to make up for Mr. Ritz’s initial absence when last the House was seized with the matter of suspect beef.
At issue today was how we handle our cow carcasses: specifically whether our attitude toward the presence of “spinal cord/dura-mater” depends on whether Canadian or Japanese citizens are expected to ingest the resulting hamburgers.
“Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the CFIA has confirmed that meat sold in Canada is as safe as that is exported to other markets, including Japan,” Mr. Harper attempted to reassure the House. “Indeed, it is the Canadian law in this regard.”
Nycole Turmel was unconvinced. Continue…
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 8:05 AM - 0 Comments
NDP MPs, staffers and friends gathered for Halloween at the NDP watering hole Brixton’s….
NDP MPs, staffers and friends gathered for Halloween at the NDP watering hole Brixton’s. Outfits included Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women,” Bev Oda sipping $16 OJ (albeit from a plastic container) and NDP MP Niki Ashton as Big Bird.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Glen McGregor reports that between 2003 and 2008, American authorities repeatedly found problems at XL Foods. The plant will now apparently be sold to a Brazilian company. Meanwhile, the House will spend the day debating the following motion.
That, in light of the current contaminated meat scandal at XL Foods; and considering that the Minister of Agriculture has not learned the lesson from the 2008 listeriosis scandal that cost twenty-two Canadians their lives; this House call on the government to restore Canadians’ confidence in Canada’s food safety system by: (a) removing the current minister from office and assigning the food safety portfolio to a minister who can restore public trust; (b) reversing budget cuts and halting the de-regulation of Canada’s food safety system; (c) directing the Auditor General to conduct an immediate assessment of food safety procedures and resources and report his findings to the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 5:27 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. Shortly before the farce was laid bare before the House yesterday, Stephen Harper stood and offered an important clarification on the contractual obligations of the Minister of Agriculture.
“Mr. Speaker,” the Prime Minister explained, “it is not the minister who does food inspection; it is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that does food inspection.”
Indeed, the nation’s conveyor belts are not directed through Gerry Ritz’s Parliament Hill office. Each package of meat, each piece of produce, is not personally stamped by him with his ministerial approval. He does not spend his weekends swabbing for bacteria, or at least he is not required by the standing orders to do so.
Nonetheless, it is the opinion of both the New Democrats and the Liberals that Mr. Ritz should bear some of the blame for the largest beef recall in this country’s history.
“Mr. Speaker, 44 days after the onset of the crisis of contaminated meat, there is still another product recall that has just taken place,” Thomas Mulcair reported this afternoon. “Does the Prime Minister realize that his Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is responsible because it is his program, his way of doing things, that put the lives of Canadians in danger?”
The business of responsible government is a constant debate about what precisely the government is responsible for. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 15, 2012 at 5:25 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. Conservative MP Dan Albas, still new to this place and apparently not yet exhausted of all ideals, lamented last week that the 35 seconds allotted for each response in Question Period were not nearly sufficient to explain the obviously complicated matters of national governance. “While it is possible to ask a meaningful question in 35 seconds,” he explained, “I am certain most would agree that when it comes to governance, very few answers can be given in such a short timeframe.”
Perhaps this explains why the Harper government has spent tens of millions in public funds on television advertisements to explain itself to the public. Perhaps that’s why Diane Finley, questioned repeatedly in the House about a flaw in her reforms to employment insurance, decided to announce a change in her plans via news release on the Friday afternoon before the House went on break for a week.
For sure, difficult questions are not easily answered. Witness Gerry Ritz, who, for another day, was asked not only to explain why the nation’s food safety system hadn’t prevented 15 people from getting sick, but also if he would just go ahead and resign. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM - 0 Comments
“Workers at XL Foods in Brooks want to be part of the solution,” he said in a news release. “They’re going to be back at work in a few days, but nothing has been done to address the issues that led to this problem.”
Mr. O’Halloran, who has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday afternoon in Brooks, Alta., cited concerns relating to training for temporary foreign workers, line speed and a need to protect whistleblowers.
The NDP has just put out a news release reminding everyone that it thinks Gerry Ritz should resign.
By Martin Patriquin - Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 4:27 PM - 0 Comments
The way we process meat in this country is a recipe for disaster
Should Ariculture Minister Gerry Ritz resign? Sure, what the hell. If a politician’s main job during a crisis is to assuage fears and manage PR, then on that basis alone Ritz should have the good sense to realize he’s utterly pooched the job. And I’m not even talking about the current meat-related crisis, in which Ritz disappeared from the House for three days, made a series of baffling and demonstrably wrong statements about the size and scope of the recall at XL Foods, and generally mishandled a sensitive and potentially life-and-death file.
No, I’m talking about that other meat-related crisis that occurred under Ritz’s watch in 2008, in which 22 people died following a listeriosis outbreak at a Maple Leaf Foods processing plant in Ontario. Ritz, you’ll recall, made light of the crisis during a conference call with government officials. “This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts,” Gerry (Putting On The) Ritz said. He then expressed his hope that a recent listeriosis-realted death in P.E.I. was that of Liberal agriculture critic (and proud son of North Wiltshire) Wayne Easter. PR 101: making fun of the dead and wishing death on your political opponent is generally a bad thing, and the fact Ritz still has a job after that little darling bit of callousness says something about the depth of the Conservative caucus, or the pigheadedness of the Conservative government, or both.
But be aware: even in the unlikely event that Ritz is turfed from his ministerial position, the meat-producing industry will remain as dangerous and disease-prone as it was yesterday afternoon. That’s because at its heart, the problem isn’t political; it’s structural. Put another way, people aren’t going to get sick because of the whatever bon mots happen to trickle out of Ritz’s face. They’ll get sick because of the way meat is produced in this country, a process that predates Ritz by a country mile.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
Andre Picard sees breakdowns of communication and leadership around the XL Foods recall.
Mr. Ritz was minister during the listeria crisis. His government commissioned a report from Sheila Weatherill, which cost taxpayers $5.3-million. Obviously, he has not read or understood that report, which, in addition to its technical recommendations for improving food safety, had two overriding messages: 1) That communication by the CFIA and the government more generally were appallingly bad and 2) there was a “void in leadership” that contributed to the deaths.
Today, as the E. coli tainted meat outbreak demonstrates, communication is as bad, if not worse, and the void in leadership is even more gaping. That void is a greater threat to the health of Canadians than any bacterium.
An 11th case of E.coli poisoning has been confirmed. The recall in the United States now includes approximately 2.5 million pounds of meat and Hong Kong is now conducting its own recall. XL Foods would like to reopen its plant in Brooks, Alberta. The CFIA will conduct a detailed assessment of the plant on Tuesday.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 11:49 AM - 0 Comments
Federal food inspectors have released a long list of deficiencies — clogging of water nozzles used to wash feces from carcasses, condensation above exposed product, and unsanitary handling of meat — found during an audit of an Alberta plant at the centre of the country’s largest-ever beef recall, but missed during routine inspections.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Friday that XL Foods Inc. also had no appropriate plan to handle a late August spike in positive tests for a potentially fatal bacteria, but agency officials struggled again to explain why their own inspectors didn’t spot the festering problem weeks before and act then to stop contaminated product from reaching grocery shelves.
Meanwhile, demonstrating that accidental MPs grow up so fast these days, here is an email that went out to New Democrats yesterday afternoon. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, October 5, 2012 at 4:27 PM - 0 Comments
Gerry Ritz faced another 18 questions in the House this morning. And that was before a case of E.coli in Newfoundland was linked to XL Foods.
At our new infographics blog, Amanda Shendruk puts this recall in perspective.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 5:47 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. Thomas Mulcair stood and turned in his spot to directly face the Agriculture Minister seated across the way. After three days elsewhere, Gerry Ritz was back in the House of Commons. And with the Prime Minister occupied by a photo op scheduled for precisely this moment, there was now no one between Mr. Ritz and the opposition MPs who were here to shame him.
“Mr. Speaker,” Mr. Mulcair began, “is the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food willing to accept responsibility for the self-regulating food inspection system he put in place?”
The New Democrats stood to cheer this query. Mr. Ritz stood to respond.
“Mr. Speaker, of course, there is no such system,” he asserted. “The CFIA operates at a professional level on a program called CVS which was implemented in 2005.”
This disagreement here was thus no less than definitional. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 5:45 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. The leader of the opposition rose to second guess the Minister of Agriculture’s schedulers.
“Why,” he wondered, “is the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food busy doing photo ops instead of answering questions and being accountable?”
Thomas Mulcair stared down the Prime Minister as he asked the question. The Prime Minister stood and suggested the opposition parties support a bill that has been in the Senate since June.
Officially, Gerry Ritz was at the XL Foods plant in Calgary this morning to “personally ensure” all of the food inspection officials involved “understand that the health and safety of Canadians is our first priority.” (Should we be concerned Mr. Ritz felt it necessary to confirm this?) Yesterday and the day before, Mr. Ritz was in and around his riding in Saskatchewan.
The basic premise of ministerial accountability—foundational to our system of parliamentary democracy—is a bit of a riddle. For sure, there is general agreement that a minister of the crown is generally accountable for matters within the realm of his or her ministry. But beneath that principle are questions about how and in what way it should be applied. Surely, for instance, no one could suggest that a minister is so personally responsible for every individual and action in his department that he should be blamed—or even forced to resign—for anything that should go wrong. Surely no one would expect that Mr. Ritz should be assigned to inspect the suspect meat himself. And only after a full airing of the circumstances can judgment and blame be determined and assigned.
Less that, the minister is accountable in only one way: he must be here. He must sit and listen (or at least pretend to listen) and then stand in his assigned spot and emit carbon dioxide and flex his vocal chords for the purposes of forming words. It doesn’t even particularly matter what he says, so much as that he says something. And that he does so within these walls during regular business hours. Ultimately, the principle of ministerial accountability doesn’t mean much more than that.
This much Bob Rae was eventually compelled to enter into the record, quoting from the government’s guide for ministers and ministers of state: “Ministers must be present in Parliament to respond to questions on the discharge of their responsibilities.” Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 3:46 PM - 0 Comments
The NDP is pointing with some alarm this afternoon to a story in the Battlefords News-Optimist about Gerry Ritz’s visit to the community on Monday. He apparently attended a Rotary Club luncheon that included roast beef.
In speaking to reporters Ritz said he was “absolutely” confident of the quality of Canadian beef. “We had some great Canadian beef for lunch. I don’t know where it came from; I don’t care. I know it’s good, I know it’s safe. You have to handle it and cook it properly. Certainly, we’ve identified some anomalies in the XL plant, we’ve addressed those in the proper way based on science, based on international protocols and we’ll continue to do that and work our way out of this.”
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 1:00 PM - 0 Comments
Kevin Allen, a food microbiologist at the University of British Columbia, says Canada should look south of the border for answers. He said, “Something wasn’t working right” at the XL foods plant, overseen by 40 government inspectors and six veterinarians. “When you look at U.S. policy, they have a zero tolerance. They will simply not tolerate the presence of this organism in their beef and I think that’s a much more proactive approach, where food safety and the possible consequences are put first and foremost,” said Allen.
Rick Holley, a professor of food science at the University of Manitoba, disagrees with Allen on a zero-tolerance policy on E. coli 0157:H7, but he’s clear on one thing: beef eaters shouldn’t take huge comfort when the government talks about how much better equipped it is to prevent, detect and respond to potential food safety risks because it implemented all of the food-safety recommendations from four years ago. “We’re no different from where we were four years ago,” said Holley.
After Question Period today, the Liberals will ask the Speaker for an emergency debate on the recall.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. Peter MacKay held in his right hand a white piece of paper, on which was apparently written everything he needed to know to get him through this odd spot he now found himself in.
With the Prime Minister away from the House, it was apparently Mr. MacKay’s turn to lead the government side. And with Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz also absent, there was apparently no other option but to let the Defence Minister handle the increasingly insistent questions about the handling of the nation’s beef products.
Rising to open QP, Thomas Mulcair alleged two issues: the Agriculture Minister’s earlier suggestion that no contaminated meat had reached store shelves and Mr. Ritz’s claim that there been no cuts to food inspection.
Mr. MacKay stood and assured the House that consumers were the “top priority” and that Mr. Ritz would be holding those responsible for food safety to account.
Mr. Mulcair then elaborated on his two concerns. Referring to the Harper government’s financial planning documents, he noted a budget reduction of $46.6 million over two years and the elimination of 314 jobs at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Mr. MacKay repeated his assurances en francais and then switched to English. “Let us be clear,” the Defence Minister clarified, “under this government we have actually seen an increase in inspectors. We have actually seen 700 food inspectors added to the rolls since 2006, including 170 particular to the subject of meat inspection.”
The Conservatives applauded. Mr. Mulcair was unpersuaded. Continue…
By John Geddes - Monday, October 1, 2012 at 10:23 AM - 0 Comments
The pitfalls of updating policy in sectors steeped in tradition
Michael McGeoghegan was fishing off Nova Scotia’s Pictou Island, about an hour out of his home port of Pinette on Prince Edward Island, when along with the nice catch of herring he was pulling up, cellphone calls from the news media started coming in.
McGeoghegan, who at 62 has been fishing for more than three decades, is also president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. He and his group had been angrily opposing what they viewed as a stealthy federal government move toward changing long-standing rules requiring that East Coast fishing licences be held by actual fishermen, and for them to fish from boats they own. They feared regulatory reforms that would let fish processing companies buy up licences and boats, and pay someone else to fish. According to McGeoghegan, and many other fishermen, ending the so-called “fleet separation” and “owner-operator” restrictions would doom fishing traditions in small communities throughout the Atlantic provinces.
But last Friday, federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield issued a rather testy statement in a bid to put the issue to rest. “I have been displeased and, quite frankly, angered,” Ashfield said, “by some of the inaccuracies that have surfaced over the past several months suggesting that the owner-operator and fleet separation policies would be eliminated.” He went on: “Let me be absolutely clear: the fleet separation and owner-operator policies in Atlantic Canada will remain intact.” Soon after Ashfield issued that pledge, reporters began phoning McGeoghegan for comment. “I was really relieved and surprised that he did it,” he told Maclean’s. “I thought he’d listen to the big companies.”
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, September 21, 2012 at 2:59 PM - 0 Comments
Among the Conservaties who stood in the House this week and criticized the NDP’s stance on cap-and-trade were Kyle Seeback, Peter Van Loan, Gord Brown, Leon Benoit, Shelly Glover, Chris Warkentin, LaVar Payne, Gerry Ritz, Pierre Poilievre, Christian Paradis, Rick Dykstra, Randy Hoback, Pierre Lemieux, Ed Fast, Tony Clement and Andrew Saxton. These individuals—like Phil McColeman, Joe Preston and Ed Holder, who attacked the NDP last week—were all Conservative candidates in 2008 when the Conservative party platform included a commitment to pursue a continental cap-and-trade system.
Here, again, is everything you need to know about the Conservatives’ carbon tax farce.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. John Baird pointed at Thomas Mulcair and laughed.
Conservative MP Andrew Saxton was on his feet a couple rows back, claiming that the leader of the opposition had spent the summer promoting the idea of a tax on carbon. Mr. Baird apparently thought this was funny. Mr. Saxton had been preceded by Shelly Glover. And Mr. Saxton and Ms. Glover would be followed by Conservative MP John Williamson, all rising in the moments before Question Period to recite their assigned talking points.
Peter Van Loan had accused Mr. Mulcair of favouring a carbon tax this morning at a news conference to mark the start of the fall sitting. Two hours later, the Conservative party press office had then issued a “fact check” repeating the claim. Veteran Affairs Minister Steven Blaney posted the talking point to Facebook. Tim Uppal, the minister of state for democratic reform, tweeted it. Minister of International Co-operation Julian Fantino tweeted it too.
Last week it was Conservative MPs Phil McColeman, Susan Truppe, Joe Preston and Ed Holder. The week before that it was Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. Back in June, the Conservatives launched television attack ads that repeated the claim.
By Colby Cosh - Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 12:54 PM - 0 Comments
Because it’s a little difficult to find on the Web, I’ve uploaded a PDF copy of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench decision on the former CWB directors’ application for an injunction against the demise of single-desk wheat and barley marketing. It contains setbacks within setbacks for the directors’ case: their constitutional argument that the dismantling of the single desk violated the rule of law isn’t serious enough to be considered, says Justice Shane Perlmutter, and even if it were, it doesn’t meet the urgency test for injunctive relief. Perlmutter’s take is, needless to say, very different from Federal Court Justice Douglas Campbell’s.
By Colby Cosh - Friday, December 9, 2011 at 7:53 AM - 65 Comments
Canadian judges are rightly protective of their independence. It takes no more than a whisper of political interference in their work—indeed, arguably much less than a whisper—to raise their hackles and bestir them to the clamorous defence of this most sacred principle. But this principle ought to cut both ways, yes? Mischievous interference in politics by judges should be castigated just as seriously, if we are to preserve the proper relationship between elected institutions and the bench—if only because involvement in law-making by judges invites reaction, pushing us toward an open contest of force between the branches of government. The branch that doesn’t command fighter jets probably shouldn’t want that.
This is worth considering, I think, after Hon. Douglas Campbell’s Wednesday afternoon decision in the Federal Court case of Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board et al. vs. Canada. Campbell’s decision has inspired an immediate loathing and derision from lawyers of a sort I don’t remember seeing since the Miglin case (2003).
Campbell was presented by the government with the argument that section 47.1 of the Wheat Board Act, which Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz pretty obviously violated, contravenes parliamentary sovereignty. 47.1 was added in 1998; it forbids the minister from introducing a statute to take grains out of the single-desk marketing regime without holding a plebiscite of growers. As I wrote earlier, the section has never been considered quite kosher. Parliaments can bind their future successors by means of “manner and form” procedural rules, but (leaving aside some quibbles and wrinkles and impish theoretical contrarianism) they can’t put a fence around their legislative legacy by making it harder to repeal individual statutes than it was to pass them in the first place. This is as much a matter of rudimentary logic as it is of the “constitution” per se, for whose will would we expect and desire to prevail in a contest between the Parliament of 1998 and the Parliament of 2011? Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 7:14 PM - 16 Comments
The Scene. It began with a rousing cheer for Nycole Turmel. The official opposition was perhaps behooved to loudly endorse their interim leader after a Conservative backbencher had used the House’s preceding minute to read aloud some scripted bit about how disgraceful Turmel had behaved on some matter or another.
“Mr. Speaker, over the past few months we have witnessed a protest movement on a scale never seen before,” she ventured. “The Occupy movement is denouncing economic disparity.”
There were grumbles and groans from the government side. Continue…
By Colby Cosh - Monday, November 14, 2011 at 10:00 AM - 25 Comments
The suit argues the agriculture minister doesn’t have the authority to shut it down
“Pierre Trudeau said there was no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,” recalls Henry Vos, a grain farmer from Fairview, Alta. “So I ask, should the government be in the grain fields and the grain bins of the nation?” The private sex lives of Canadians and cultivating wheat might make for an unlikely comparison, but Vos, a former director of the Canadian Wheat Board, believes the board should start preparing to lose its grip on the export trade in Prairie wheat and barley. In late October, he quit the board in protest.
Vos is angry over a last-ditch attempt by the board to maintain its monopoly by taking the radical legal step of suing Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. The suit, announced Oct. 26, would thwart Bill C-18, the Harper government’s legislation to end the “single desk” monopoly. (C-18 is at the committee stage in the House of Commons.) But critics say the CWB is fighting an uphill battle against constitutional principles.
As a minority government, the Conservatives were blocked by the courts when they tried to change the wheat board’s mandate by order-in-council and without a parliamentary vote. Now the Conservatives have a majority and can presumably make whatever direct changes they want to the Canadian Wheat Board Act. But the board says, “Not so fast.” Section 47.1 of the act, added by the Liberals in 1998, says that the agriculture minister cannot alter single-desk arrangements without first consulting the board and holding a vote of grain producers.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 6:39 PM - 0 Comments
Martin Singh touted himself as the pro-business candidate. Thomas Mulcair touted himself as Stephen Harper’s nightmare and a man who can say no to organized labour. Paul Dewar unveiled his urban agenda and worked the room in Toronto. And Peggy Nash joined the race with two objectives.
There was yet another reason to question the purchase of new F-35s. David Anderson tried to explain the Canadian Wheat Board with a cartoon. More emails meant more questions for Tony Clement, which Deepak Obhrai and Pierre Poilievre promptly threw themselves in front of. Stephen Harper worried about the global economy. And the government pledged to destroy all traces of the long-gun registry, while the Victims Ombudsman defended the registry’s usefulness. Continue…