By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 0 Comments
Conservative MP Rick Norlock explains his vote in favour of Motion 312.
“I voted with my conscience,” said the member from Northumberland Quinte West, despite a Conservative campaign promise not to reopen the abortion debate … “I know it was part of our party platform not to reopen the (abortion) debate, but either you vote with your conscience or you don’t,” said Norlock. “I did not want to treat this issue in a political manner.”
… Norlock suggests that in the future, if Canadian voters want that changed, they should have the choice to vote on the issue through a national referendum. “This is an issue that can tear families apart. I go to a lot of public and private functions, it’s an issue that people don’t talk about. It’s a personal issue and should be left up to the individual,” said Norlock.
And Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux explains his vote in favour.
Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North) was one of just four Liberal MPs who voted in favour of the motion. He said Wednesday he supports a woman’s right to choose. However, he said that’s not what this motion was about. ”I would never deny anyone the right to have an abortion, but I am entitled to a personal opinion, and if you read what was actually voted on, we were not voting on (a woman’s right to choose),” he said.
Lamoureux initially said he did not believe his office had any communication from constituents about the motion, but he later said there were some calls and emails and that the people were evenly split on the issue.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 1:15 PM - 78 Comments
James Rajotte, in Question Period yesterday. Mr. Speaker, as Canada continues to cope with the effects of the global economic recession, it remains essential for the federal government and for federal agencies to spend tax dollars wisely.
Globe and Mail, today. Reports that Tory MPs ran up $6.3-million in costs last year by mailing out so-called “ten-per-centers” to people outside their ridings have opposition MPs calling for new limits on the free-mail privilege … All the parties do it, but the Conservatives have taken to it with zeal: Adding up the costs, the Montreal newspaper Le Devoir found that MPs with the minority Conservatives spent $6.3-million on the mailers, while opposition MPs spent $3.8-million. The average Conservative spent $38,337, including eight who spent more than $80,000, while the average opposition MP spent $17,977. Ontario Conservative Rick Norlock topped the list at $87,749.The Sun was on this file last week and put together this handy graphic.
By Mitchel Raphael - Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 11:29 AM - 7 Comments
The seventh annual Champions of Mental Health Awards were held at the Fairmont Château…
The seventh annual Champions of Mental Health Awards were held at the Fairmont Château Laurier ballroom. Margaret Trudeau, seen below with son Justin, got an award for being open about suffering from bipolar disorder.
Also on the awards list were Defense Minister Peter MacKay (left) and General Walter Natynczyk, Canada’s Chief of Defense Staff, for their work launching the “Be the Difference” mental health campaign in the Canadian Forces.
By Mitchel Raphael - Friday, June 12, 2009 at 2:20 PM - 1 Comment
Easing Peter MacKay’s pain and the faster Flaherty
The MP and the traffic ticket
Canada’s first policewoman MP, Winnipeg Tory Shelly Glover, was elected chairwoman of the newly formed Conservative Law Enforcement Officers Caucus. The group includes Saskatchewan MP Rob Clarke, who worked for the RCMP, Rick Norlock, who had a career with the Ontario Provincial Police, and Dave MacKenzie, a former police chief. Among the challenges for MPs who are former police officers are ongoing court cases, says Glover, who has to periodically go back to Manitoba to testify. While Glover’s beat included the drug trade, she also recently showed up to testify about a traffic ticket she had issued that someone was trying to fight.
Palestinian leader’s son is a popular guy
When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was in Ottawa he met with party leaders. Present at his visit with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was Montreal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who is one of Israel’s biggest supporters. Cotler first met Abbas in Damascus in 1977 and many times afterwards during countless Middle East trips. Cotler says Abbas “sees both sides of the issue and is clearly committed to peace.” The Palestinian leader’s son, Yasser Abbas, is Palestinian-Canadian and lives in the West Bank. (He got his Canadian citizenship while he was living in Montreal during the late ’80s and early ’90s.) He was the first person to call Cotler and congratulate him after he won the last election. The last leader Abbas met with was Stephen Harper. Alberta Tory MP Ted Menzies was asked to sit in on the meeting because he is also a friend of Yasser Abbas. The two met in Washington years ago and remain email chums. This was the first time Menzies had met Yasser’s father, though. After Mahmoud Abbas left the PM’s office, he went through the Hall of Honour. Right before exiting through the Centre Block’s front doors, a few members of his entourage used the new hand sanitizer dispensers recently set up.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, March 23, 2009 at 6:37 PM - 19 Comments
The Scene. The Conservatives have identified a loophole in the Speaker’s recent ruling against the use of Parliament’s time to launch personal attacks against political rivals—namely that it’s not a personal attack if you don’t immediately identify the individual you are defaming.
So it was that Mike Wallace, another of the government’s enthusiastically obedient, if relatively interchangeable, backbenchers, was sent up before Question Period to air various allegations against “someone.” Only at the final moment did he reveal that this “someone” was, in fact, the Liberal leader. Suffice it to say, the Prime Minister found this quite hilarious.
In related news today, this first day back for Parliament after a week off, the Conservatives also made use of another gap in the Speaker’s prohibition—namely that it does not cover little-known and generally irrelevant late-night television hosts who say rude things about us on American cable news network shows that are watched by fewer people than live in Windsor, Ontario.
So it was that two Conservatives were sent up before Question Period to bemoan the besmirchment of this country’s honour done by one Greg Gutfeld, an American TV personality who once apparently edited the erudite current affairs journal, Maxim. 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.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, June 20, 2008 at 4:13 PM - 0 Comments
Rick Norlock. “The reason for this tax shaft is that the Liberal leader needed to find a way to pay for all his unbudgeted spending promises.”
Daryl Kramp. “Canadians will not be fooled. They know when they are getting the shaft and not the shift.”
Jeff Watson. “Canadians and the environment get the shaft.”
Stephen Harper. “This is different in that this will actually screw everybody across the country.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 4:22 PM - 0 CommentsContrary to what you might believe from staring into Maxime Bernier’s sturdy visage, the business of running this country is not all so glamorous. No, much of it involves selfless acts of partisanship, the denial of one’s individual respect in the interests of more senior ministers. And for this stuff, the government keeps a couple dozen backbenchers at the ready—each eager to read from whatever piece of paper they’re handed whenever the Minister of Defence needs a friendly question or a former prime minister needs his reputation guarded at committee.We’re thinking here of the grumpy David Tilson or the wild-eyed Jeff Watson, the latter a man who is forever smiling like those fans you see in the background of hockey fights. Poor Rick Dykstra, the honourable member for St. Catharines, would be relatively anonymous if not for his standing up ever second QP and lobbing a safely scripted query at whatever minister needs to tout an accomplishment.
Still, every so often, one of the grunts is rewarded. Perhaps with a spot on CBC’s afternoon panel. Or, in the case of Rick Norlock, a spring break trip to Mexico.
Norlock is, unluckily enough, the official representative of a constituent by the name of Brenda Martin, an altogether unlucky chef currently held in a Mexican prison. As a result, Norlock was called upon last week to have the following, completely spontaneous exchange with Maxime Bernier during QP.
Norlock: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and I have met recently concerning the plight of Brenda Martin, who remains in a Mexican jail awaiting the completion of her trial. I have spoken with Ms. Martin’s mother. She is concerned, I am concerned, my constituents are concerned, as are many other Canadians. We want to see action and justice for Ms. Martin and that is what I believe this government is doing.
Can the minister give the House an update regarding the steps our Conservative government is taking on behalf of Ms. Martin to ensure a speedy completion of her legal situation and a return to the loving arms of her mother as soon as possible?
Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question and also for his hard work on this case. We are working to help Canadians. We are working to help her to be sure that she will be back in Canada and that she will have a process. An important point— yesterday, we sent a very clear diplomatic note. We asked for additional guarantees from the Government of Mexico to ensure that Ms. Martin’s rights are being respected.
Good stuff. And in case there were any doubts about his resolve, Norlock told the local paper back home how he’d pleaded his constituent’s case with no less than the Prime Minister.
Funny thing though, early this week concerns were made public about how sincere Mr. Norlock was being in his insistent concern. The reason for such cynicism?
When he was approached by a Canwest News Service reporter in February 2007 for the first story about Martin’s imprisonment, he told the reporter he had reviewed her file and said she belonged in prison. He then abruptly hung up and did not return subsequent calls.
Oh. Well. Probably just a bad connection. And anyway, the honourable member was off to Mexico with one of the Prime Minister’s most trusted deputies, Jason Kenney, to speak directly with Ms. Martin and ensure her well-being.
After a long day of diplomacy, Mr. Norlock spoke with another local scribe and detailed the government’s progress. Ms. Martin, he said, would be home soon enough. Just a matter of paper work. And, for that matter, she’s doing just fine. Even got her own bed.
Funny thing though, Ms. Martin then gave her own interview.
A Canadian woman imprisoned in a Mexican jail says a visit by a pair of Conservative MPs was nothing more than a “dog-and-pony show.” A tearful Brenda Martin says she thinks Tory MPs Jason Kenney and Rick Norlock met with her for political gain now that her case is garnering more media attention.
Though perhaps not to the benefit of his own re-election campaign, Norlock can at least now go back to anonymity (or wherever Helena Guergis is being kept these days), leaving the likes of Kenney and Bernier to answer opposition questions about which is the dog and which is the pony.