By Aaron Wherry - Friday, February 1, 2013 - 0 Comments
An exchange between Conservative MP Harold Albrecht and Minister of State Ted Menzies from this morning’s QP.
There are at two problems here.
First, the Speaker—in this case, Deputy Speaker Joe Comartin—should have interjected to rule the question out of order. It has nothing to do with the administrative responsibility of government. (It doesn’t even pretend to have anything to do with the administrative responsibility of government. I argued on Tuesday that the moment Mr. Albrecht starts talking about the NDP, the Speaker should intervene. But even if you think it is somehow too overbearing to interject based on the preamble of a question, even the actual question here isn’t about government business—it’s about NDP policy, or at least the version of NDP that Mr. Albrecht has been sent up to read.)
Second, shouldn’t Harold Albrecht have something better to do? Mr. Albrecht is a backbench MP. He could be asking about something to do with his riding. He could be conveying a concern that has been raised with him by his constituents. He could be asking the government to account for something that he is curious about. He could be expressing a concern he has about the government’s actions in some regard. He could be anywhere else doing just about anything other than this. Mr. Albrecht is a former school board trustee, pastor and dentist who has contributed to relief efforts in Honduras, Venezuela, Colombia, Zambia, Nepal, India and the Dominican Republic. He has won three elections in Kitchener-Conestoga. He owns a hobby farm. He is wearing a suit. Why would we ever want such an adult, as part of their duty as an elected representative of their fellow citizens, to stand in the House of Commons, home to the 308 individuals elected to serve and represent us, and read such stuff into the record?
We shouldn’t (as, again, I wrote on Tuesday). Free Harold Albrecht, I say.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
The CBC reports that three Conservative MPs put their concerns about the Nexen deal in writing.
A third Conservative MP, LaVar Payne of Medicine Hat, Alta., wrote to Paradis Aug. 21, 2012 to raise “grave” concern about the human rights record of China — calling it “far from stellar.” “It is my belief that Canadian laws must prevail, and that if we were to allow a state-owned company of a foreign nation that brutally represses its own citizens to buy a strategic asset here, we would be setting a very dangerous precedent,” he wrote. He also flagged potential problems with the “lack of environmental concern” by the regime in Beijing.
“I do believe that the Chinese administration has little to no regard for environmental preservation, and this is another area of concern,” he said.
That actually makes four MPs who are on record as objecting after James Bezan’s objections were disclosed last November.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 7:39 PM - 0 Comments
Shortly before 5:30pm, Stephen Woodworth was on his feet from the back row. Close around him sat eight other Conservative MPs.
“Motion 312,” he said, “simply calls for a study of the evidence of when a child becomes a human being.”
He wondered aloud what opponents of his proposal had to fear. Staring directly at the dozen NDP MPs seated across the way he called on them to hear the evidence.
Fourteen spectators watched and listened from the south gallery. Four Liberals joined the New Democrats on the opposition side of the House. The Conservatives numbered somewhere in the neighbourhood of 24.
Mr. Woodworth spoke loudly and gesticulated dramatically, as if addressing the nation at a moment of great significance. He invoked rights and humanity and science and parliamentary duty and he damned a “dishonest law.” When he was done, a dozen Conservatives applauded. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 12:06 PM - 0 Comments
The Kitchener-Waterloo Record traces mischievous calls made during the election to the Conservative party.
The complaint filed by Joe Nowak, president of the Kitchener-Conestoga federal Liberal association, was obtained by The Record and includes the phone number Siopiolosz traced. When called, the number goes to a voice mail for the “Conservative Party.” The message asks callers to leave their name, number and a detailed message and says the party will get back to them within three business days. [Fred] DeLorey, director of communications and deputy director of political operations for the Conservative Party of Canada, confirmed in an email “that the number was ours.”
Numerous complaints about crank calls were made during the spring campaign.
The Conservative party has now released a statement explaining its side of the story. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM - 0 Comments
An ad hoc committee of Conservative, New Democrat and Liberal MPs has released an extensive report on how government can better deal with palliative care, home care, long-term care, pain control, suicide prevention and elder abuse.
The palliative care philosophy is person-centered, family-focused and community-based. It moves us from disease or condition-specific care to person-centered care. It recognizes that the psycho-social and spiritual dimensions have profound impact upon health and well being, and that a variety of specific conditions may be operating on different levels in the chronically ill or dying person’s life. The philosophy of palliative care permeating medical culture is more important than the simple delivery of “services.” As family physicians and local nurses come to accept a palliative care philosophy, palliative care services can begin to develop organically in communities.
The committee makes 14 recommendations, ranging from calls for national strategies to specific tax and funding measures.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 7:01 PM - 13 Comments
The Scene. Thomas Mulcair had tried to reason with the government.
“According to StatsCan, of the 300,000 people who have lost their jobs since the election, only four out of 10 workers have qualified for EI. Parliament has spoken and called upon the government to reform employment insurance. Today, the conference board repeated that,” he said. “Why is it doing nothing to help?”
“Mr. Speaker, let us not quibble about the statistics that he is citing,” sighed Diane Finley, accusing Mulcair of misconstruing the situation and “playing petty partisan politics with the futures of real people.”
Now, the NDP deputy leader was merely mad, yelling and pointing across the aisle. “Mr. Speaker, in September, the Conservatives were saying there would be no recession and no deficit. In November, it was a technical recession and small surplus. In January, it was a recession and some deficit. In the past 24 hours, both the parliamentary budget officer and the TD Bank are predicting record deficits and a long recession,” he reported. “What purpose is served by continuing to misstate the facts as she just did on the deficit, the recession and unemployment? Start telling the truth to Canadians. Start respecting the votes in the House and we can start implementing resolutions like the EI proposals adopted two weeks ago. Start helping Canadians and stop lying.”
The Conservative side howled at the allegation. The Speaker reprimanded Mulcair. And Jim Flaherty stood to offer a rare response. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 28, 2008 at 1:39 PM - 15 Comments
Before Question Period each day, 15 minutes is set aside for MP’s to stand and deliver short statements on whatever subject they wish to speak to. Usually this involves expressions of concern for international events, commendation for local charities, or reference to legislative matters. It is, at least in theory, the House’s one forum through which individual members can speak of their own volition, irrespective of ongoing debate or strict party interest.
Here’s a quick recap of today’s statements.
Conservative Lois Brown rose first to decry violence against women. Liberal Mario Silva expressed concern for the welfare of senior citizens. The Bloc’s France Bonsant called on the government to aid workers in her riding. The NDP’s Peter Julian outlined human rights violations in Colombia. Conservative Dona Cadman accused the opposition of greed and arrogance. Liberal Anthony Rota asked the government to support an airport in North Bay. Conservative Harold Albrecht accused the opposition of greed and arrogance.
The Bloc’s Luc Malo saluted a Quebec professor who helped develop a more environmentally conscious way to manufacture steel. Conservative Rick Norlock accused the opposition of greed and arrogance. Liberal Brian Murphy asked the government to address declining salmon stocks in the Bay of Fundy. Conservative Jacques Gourde accused the opposition of greed and arrogance.
New Democrat Paul Dewar drew attention to the raping of women in international conflict. Conservative Gerald Keddy accused the opposition of greed and arrogance. The Bloc’s Meili Faille lamented the ideology of the government’s economic policy. Liberal Marc Garneau expressed concern for Canadians caught in the turmoil presently taking hold in Thailand. Conservative LaVar Payne accused the opposition of greed and arrogance.