Here are the three things you should not have missed:
Power & Politics opened with an MP panel of Kellie Leitch, Chris Charlton, and Rodger Cuzner to discuss the issue of the quotas or “performance targets” for ending EI fraud cases. Leitch said that there were no quotas – which imply punitive measures for Service Canada employees – and that improper claims need to be rooted out. Charlton said that the targets were “a rose by any other name,” and that they imply they know where fraud exists. Cuzner said that it is simply an intimidation tactic, and that setting a dollar amount as opposed to checking files per month creates a bounty system. Cuzner later corrected Leitch saying they found $112 million in fraud last year, not half a billion dollars worth. On Power Play, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said that Finley misled the House in not calling it a quota, and said that as with pensions and the OAS, the Conservatives have mastered the “half-lie.”
On Power & Politics, Alberta Premier Alison Redford said she heard lots of interest and real understanding about what the Keystone XL pipeline means while at the National Governor’s Association in Washington DC last weekend. Redford that her message was about the actions the province has taken on emissions, legislation to lower intensity, and their price on carbon, but both she and Ambassador Doer are operating under the assumption that the approval of Keystone XL will depend on action on Canadian environmental regulations. Redford noted that with the integrated oil economy, the refineries on the Gulf Coast built to handle heavy oil are a market with a demand for bitumen, rather than importing it from Venezuela or Mexico.
Don Martin spoke with Environment Minister Peter Kent about the new regulations on heavy transport trucks, where Kent said that there was a lag between the implementation of those regulations in the States and Canada because the development of those regulations had to reflect the different realities of our climate and roads. While Kent said that there will be an increase in costs for those transport trucks – as much as $800,000 up front – there would be a 6:1 benefit to that cost. Kent said that oil and gas regulations are still being developed, and that they want to get them right.