Andrew Scheer’s job is not one to envy. He’s the Speaker of the House and, oh, what a few days it’s been. It’s standard practice for MPs to behave like children, so that’s something Scheer is constantly forced to watch and, occasionally, adjudicate. This week took it to the next level. On Tuesday, behind the doors he faces on the other side of the House of Commons, a group of Aboriginal leaders attempted to enter the chamber. It wasn’t exactly a threat to democracy, but it can’t have reduced Scheer’s stress load. Later that day, MPs voted for several consecutive hours on the government’s budget bill. They’re used to this, having now voted in several marathons since the last federal election. Then, yesterday, in the aftermath of that vote and right in front of Scheer’s face, the Government House Leader and his opposition engaged in some kind of heated disagreement—you’ll see it recalled in today’s papers as a “near-brawl”, a “nose-to-nose” affair that might have “come to blows” if cooler heads hadn’t prevailed. Scheer stood and watched. Then it was over. This is some spectacle. Place your bets below on what will happen next in our venerable chamber, and don’t be afraid to use your imagination. Our elected officials might just outdo you.
What’s above the fold this morning?
The Globe and Mail leads with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that new settlements east of Jerusalem aren’t helpful to the peace process in the Middle East. The National Post fronts creative budgeting at the Department of National Defence. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with millions of dollars in odd jobs at Toronto’s school board. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the builder of the city’s new light rail line. iPolitics fronts yesterday’s confrontation between government and opposition MPs on the House floor. National Newswatch showcases a Canadian Press story about that “near-brawl.”
Stories that will be (mostly) missed
|1. Gateway opposition. Aboriginal groups on the west coast disagree about the environmental impact of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. One group’s opposition is waning.||2. Cybersecurity. Postmedia reports that Canadian companies aren’t investing very heavily in cybersecurity measures to counter “significant” threats from potential attackers.|
|3. OxyContin at the border. The federal government’s recent approval of six generic versions of OxyContin has American authorities, particularly at border stations, on alert.||4. O Canada. A Toronto man is filing a complaint against Toronto’s school board with the province’s human rights tribunal. He says kids shouldn’t be forced to sing the national anthem a cappella.|
Thursday, December 6, 2012