Here are the three things you should not have missed:
- Claude Patry’s floor crossing
- The PBO report on Joint Support Ships
- Reaction to Tom Flanagan’s comments
Power Play spoke with Bloc Québécois leader Daniel Paillé about his newest MP, former NDP MP Claude Patry, after Patry crossed the floor that morning. Paillé said he knew Patry was a sovereigntist, and that he was unhappy with the NDP’s “Unity” bill, and that he also felt that any future referendum is the purview of the Quebec’s National Assembly. Paillé said Patry crossed the floor for his personal convictions, that he knows there are others in the NDP who are also sovereigntists that he would welcome, and added that the Patry’s vote on the NDP motion to force floor-crossers to run in a by-election was a whipped vote. Later on Power & Politics, NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen called Patry’s move “bizarre,” said that he didn’t see it coming, and reminded Patry of his vote to run in a by-election if there was a floor crossing.
Power & Politics spoke with Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page about his report on the planned Joint Support Ships. Page’s report says that while the original plan had called for three ships, only two are now planned, with a budget of $2.6 billion, though his figures say that figure should be closer to $3.3 billion, but recommends $4.1 to build in prudence. Page said that the planned requirements for the ships – core replenishment, airlift capacity, hospital facilities and so on – can’t be had for the $2.6 billion figure, and it will become a political decision as to which requirements will be sacrificed in order to keep it in that cost envelope. In the MP panel that responded, Conservative MP Andrew Saxton indicated that the ships were still in the design phase, while both Matthew Kellway and John McKay blasted the government for their poor cost assumptions and lack of expert engagement.
In the fallout of Tom Flanagan’s comments about child pornography, Don Martin asked his MP panel of Michelle Rempel, Robert Chisholm and Elizabeth May for reaction. May called the comments stunningly insensitive and wrong-headed. Rempel said she felt sick when she heard the comments, and that it angered her as a Conservative given the amount of work done by government to protect children. Chisholm strongly condemned the sentiments. P&P’s Power Panel also weighed in, as did journalists Jeffrey Simpson and Craig Oliver.
- Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, in advance of a trip to Washington DC, said that the economic arguments for Keystone XL are already known, but that Canada’s case on its environmental record should be that while it’s imperfect and needs to improve, it’s better than almost any other oil producer.