Here are the three things you should not have missed:
- Thomas Mulcair on the NDP convention
- MPs talk about the return of the House on Monday
- Updates on the Rehtaeh Parsons case
From the NDP’s policy convention in Montreal, party leader Thomas Mulcair spoke to Power Play, and began by commenting on the Labrador by election, where Mulcair said that Peter Penashue broke the law, and that premier Kathy Dunderdale could blame herself because she was from the same party. (Apparently he missed the province’s Anything-But-Conservative campaign a couple of elections ago, or the fact that not all provincial Progressive Conservatives automatically line up with federal Conservatives). Mulcair also claimed credit for the ousting of three cabinet ministers – Duncan, Oda and Penashue – which he claimed was from the hard work of the opposition, as opposed to the journalists who dug up the information on them. Mulcair also dismissed the concerns of the more colourful and socialist resolutions up for debate at the convention, and said that by the end of the weekend, Canadians would see a party has a progressive vision and who are responsible public administrators. Over on Power & Politics, Mulcair avoided answering questions on the makeover from the “Angry Tom” image and instead said “If you’re not angry with Harper, you’re not paying attention.”
With Parliament coming back from a two-week break on Monday, both shows got a panel of MPs to weigh in on the issues, Power & Politics hosting a panel comprised of Pierre Poilievre, Megan Leslie and Kevin Lamoureux. There were fireworks between Hannah Thibedeau and Poilievre as Thibedeau insisted that Poilievre answer her questions on temporary foreign workers rather than reading statements that disputed figures from Statistics Canada on job numbers, while Leslie claimed that Jason Kenney was “conspicuously silent” on the issue of temporary foreign workers (apparently missing that he was in front of the cameras vowing an investigation the day the RBC story broke). Lamoureux insisted that there was no way that the country needed as many temporary foreign workers as we accept. On Power Play, an MP panel of Michelle Rempel, Robert Chisholm and Elizabeth May looked at the Rehteah Parsons case, where Rempel praised the way that Harper said this was about more than bullying, and said that they need to ensure there are laws in place to allow the justice system to seek remedies. May said the Parsons case was preventable and was part of a broader issue of the treatment of women, while Chisholm said that they need to make sure there are consequences for actions.
With news that the RCMP in Halifax were going to reopen the case based on new credible information that did not come from Anonymous or an online source, Thibedeau spoke with Queen’s University law professor Nicholas Bala and Elizabeth Fry Society executive director Kim Pate. Pate said that it was likely there was enough evidence to proceed with charges against Parsons’ attackers but they simply chose not to press charges because women who report violence are not treated as credible, and that there are enough laws on the books that simply need to be enforced. Bala agreed that the police were likely not aggressive enough in pursuing leads, but the fact that there were recordings of the assault would help to implicate the attackers. Bala added that there are gaps in the law when it comes the cyberbullying aspect that should get greater legislative scrutiny.
- Newfoundland and Labrador premier Kathy Dunderdale said that she had a good relationship with Peter Penashue and was blindsided by his comments about withholding his signature from projects.
- Bob Rae gave yet another exit interview, this time to Don Martin, and said that a government that tries to control everything in the most unrealistic ways opens itself up to a great deal of humour.