By Aaron Wherry - Monday, May 6, 2013 - 0 Comments
NDP MP Dan Harris challenged the government on Friday on the subject of Marc Garneau’s not being invited to a celebration of the Canadarm. Paul Calandra, parliamentary secretary to the heritage minister, was rather dismissive in response.
This afternoon, Mr. Calandra took a moment to apologize.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:37 AM - 0 Comments
During his discussion with reporters Wednesday afternoon about decorum, Nathan Cullen was asked which Conservatives he was referring to. And the NDP leader identified two by surname.
Who are they? Well, some of them have been admonished by the Speaker and will continue to be. Some of them get admonished by their whip, twice, three times a week. I think what they get away with is the fact that their constituents don’t know about it, right. So if you look at Mr. Calandra or Mr. Watson, I’m sure they go home on the weekends and talk to their constituents about how hard they’re working, but never mention the fact that mostly what they do is try to disrupt the House and are offensive, basically offensive. I dare them to do that in any of the school visits they do or any of the church stuffs that they do in their regular touring around the riding. They don’t act that way. Why do they act that way here? Well, I guess it’s a certain frustration of their actual limitations of influence on the role of this government. So it’s no excuse, so not at all.
I’m not sure how often I’ve ever heard Paul Calandra shout something. There was some kind of exchange on Tuesday between Mr. Calandra, Mr. Cullen and Thomas Mulcair after Mr. Calandra, I believe, said something during Murray Rankin’s first question. Mr. Watson is, to my ear and recollection, a more frequent heckler. He had his own welcome for Mr. Rankin.
I emailed both Mr. Calandra and Mr. Watson to ask if either wished to respond to Mr. Cullen’s comments.
Mr. Calandra responds as follows. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:00 AM - 0 Comments
Conservative MP Paul Calandra uses the finance committee to try to root out Liberal sympathizers.
Paul Calandra, the MP for Oak-Ridges-Markham, north of Toronto, slipped into the end of a Commons finance committee meeting that was holding prebudget consultations on Tuesday and spent all his of allotted time accusing Susan Eng, CARP’s head of advocacy, of campaigning for the Liberals. Mr. Calandra said he recalled an event organized by CARP that he had attended in his riding in March of 2011, just weeks before the country was plunged into an election. Julian Fantino, who at that time held the seniors portfolio in the federal cabinet, was the headline speaker.
“I was a bit thrown back. You were actually campaigning for the Liberal candidate in the riding at that time. It was days before the election and there was, of course, a great deal of Liberal campaign literature strewn throughout the event at the same time that a minister was there announcing some great news for seniors,” Mr. Calandra told Ms. Eng as the committee and the public looked on … neither she, nor CARP, have ever backed the Liberals, Ms. Eng said.
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 - Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 9:00 AM - 17 Comments
Around 3pm yesterday, Paul Calandra, the duly elected Member of Parliament for Oak Ridges-Markham, receiver of the votes of some 32,208 citizens in the last election, stood in the House of Commons during the 45 minutes allotted each day so that MPs may present oral questions for the government. He asked the following.
Can the Minister of State for Finance tell this House what time tomorrow the government will be letting this House and all Canadians know about the latest steps in our plan to create jobs, continue the recovery and improve financial security for Canadian families?
The Minister of Finance stood to respond to this and committed 82 words to the official record, none of which actually answered this question. Perhaps because Mr. Flaherty already answered this question three weeks ago.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 6:10 PM - 130 Comments
The Scene. The afternoon culminated in a protracted and passionate debate, the crux of the discussion being perhaps the most profound question facing Western democracy and human discourse as we enter the second decade of this new century: To what extent should one be allowed to stand and publicly accuse another of evil?
In this particular context—within the walls of the House of Commons, members on all sides rising in the moments after Question Period on points of order to vent and plead and attempt reason—it might easily be dismissed as a matter of Parliamentary procedure. But then what happens here is, quite literally, a representation of us—of who we are, and what we become, when taken together. And so here we find ourselves.
Consider the case of Mark Holland, the Liberal member for Ajax—Pickering. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 1:26 PM - 15 Comments
The last question of QP yesterday, posed by Conservative backbencher Paul Calandra.
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal MP for Brampton—Springdale is in hot water for hiring two live-in caregivers and then refusing to sponsor their immigration applications, essentially keeping them in a position of involuntary servitude. The abuses the Toronto Star documents include improperly seizing their passports, requiring evening foot massages for the member’s relatives, cleaning the chiropractic offices of family members. Could the minister tell me what more the government can do to protect live-in caregivers from these kinds of tragic abuses?