Message of the day:
“The minister and CFIA are engaged on the issue.”
Questions not answered:
- When did the minister learn about the E. Coli outbreak?
Just as in Question Period, tainted meat was up first on Power & Politics. During an MP panel on the topic. Pierre Lemieux insisted the minister and CFIA are engaged. He emphasized that tests take time — even as the XL Plant has been studying the problem since presumptive results on Sept. 3. Malcolm Allen said the problem is with self-regulation. He said XL was not taking CFIA’s instructions at the same the agency’s inspectors should have been on the floor testing rather than auditing paperwork.
After Rob Anders suggested to iPolitics that Mulcair had hastened Jack Layton’s death, Olivia Chow appeared on Power Play to say she is saddened by the speculation. She said the NDP caucus remains united — as it was when Layton was alive. Chow said that instead of worrying about the comments she plans to focus on the fight against cancer.
Evan Solomon had hoped to organize an MP panel around the repatriation of Omar Khadr. When the government refused to send an MP, he spoke to Paul Dewar and John McKay. Dewar was more interested in the fact Vic Toews refuses to investigate the alleged leak of transcripts to Maclean’s. McKay defended the previous Liberal government’s record, noting that between 2002 and 2005, they were under the impression justice would have been done. He said Khadr has not faced an appropriate justice system as a child soldier, combatant, or Canadian.
Khadr’s lawyer John Norris and Senator Roméo Dallaire were on Power & Politics where Dallaire said he’s glad to see Khadr can now get to the process of rehabilitation and reintegration. Dallaire said Khadr most needs to be put through the process of demobilization that all former child soldiers go through. Norris said that Khadr must first settle into his new environment. Norris criticized Toews’ handling of the file and his inflammatory comments, which he sees as an attempt to influence Corrections and the Parole Board.
Over on Power Play, Don Martin spoke to Andrea Prasow, senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch, who said it would be appropriate for Khadr’s lawyers to challenge the U.S. military court conviction because the process violated international law, and noted that while Khadr could have done nothing during his incarceration, he chose to spend his time studying.
With John Baird’s speech at the General Assembly this morning, which criticized the institution, Don Martin spoke to former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy. Axworthy said that instead of “lobbing spitballs” Baird should be calling out the member states using their veto to protect the Assad regime. Axworthy also said it’s not just Russia and China that are to blame for the lack of action on Syria. He said Americans are distracted by an election and Europeans by economic woes. He said that without internal distractions, Canada should be more robust in its diplomacy.
Nathan Cullen, Marc Garneau, Tom Lukiwski appeared on Power Play. On the Anders issue, Lukiwski said the comments don’t reflect the caucus or the Prime Minister. He said it will be up to Anders’ constituents if they want him back. When the conversation turned to partisan members’ statements, Cullen said Canadians want the NDP to punch back at the Conservatives. Lukiwski said it is up to the Speaker to control decorum — starting by refusing to recognize offenders. Garneau said such an approach shifts the blame to the Speaker. He said he does not buy Cullen’s protestations of innocence.
Mental Health Awareness Week:
Don Martin spoke to former Conservative staffer Laura Pinard about “Faces of Mental Health.” As Pinard explained, the stigma around mental illness stopped her from reaching out for help — even as she was hospitalized and lost everything. Now she hopes to raise awareness about the resources available for people in distress.