Here are the three things you should not have missed:
Power Play spoke with Dan Goodwill, chair of the Pemphigus & Pemphigoid Foundation, about Jim Flaherty’s condition. Flaherty is suffering from bullous pemphigoid, and is being treated with a steroid that causes side effects such as bloating, redness in the face and sleeplessness. Goodwill said Flaherty is going through painful, itching blisters, plus the effects of the steroid, and while the cause of the illness is unknown, it tends to afflict people over 60, and is likely to do with an aging immune system plus genetic predisposition. Goodwill doesn’t believe it will affect Flaherty’s job performance.
Power & Politics spoke with Heritage Minister James Moore about the bill tabled today on modernizing the line of succession for the Canadian monarchy. Moore argued that it doesn’t require a constitutional change because it’s being done in concert with the UK Parliament, and Canada, Australia and New Zealand are the only other Commonwealth members that require legislative change. Moore said that Canada simply has to assent to the legislation, and that this was agreed to by the Department of Justice, Privy Council Office, Rideau Hall, and Buckingham Palace – never mind the objections of constitutional scholars that say otherwise. And while Evan Solomon did ask about some constitutional issues, he didn’t bring up the more pertinent issues about Section 41(a) of the constitution, and how simply assenting to UK legislation instead of treating our Crown as separate reduces Canada to a de facto Crown colony.
Don Martin spoke with Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson, whose governing legislation is currently under review. Dawson said that the most important thing is public disclosure, and that while the penalties she’s suggesting aren’t much, there are currently no penalties for substantive offences like failure to recuse, or acceptance of an improper gift. Dawson said that a case like Flaherty’s CRTC letter doesn’t require a fine, but simply education that once you’re a minister or a parliamentary secretary, you can’t simply take that hat off to write these letters. Dawson also wants a lower reporting level for gifts, as there are still inappropriate gifts that wall under the $200 reporting limit currently.