The Commons: Grumpy old men

Joe Oliver and Peter Kent have had enough of the hippies on the other side of the House of Commons

by Aaron Wherry

Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

The Scene. Whatever Joe Oliver and Peter Kent are actually accomplishing in their capacity as ministers of the crown, these two children of the 1940s have at least the basis of a promising buddy comedy.

If memory serves, Mr. Oliver’s first forays were mostly unmemorable. Then, at some point, the Natural Resources Minister started shouting.

Recent weeks have been spent metaphorically shaking his fist at the official opposition and imploring them to get off his metaphorical lawn. He has linked them to Hugo Chavez and “European socialists” and “jet-setting Hollywood stars” and, worst of all, “European bureaucrats.” He has said that their only priority is to protect the interests of “their foreign socialist comrades and billionaire U.S. limousine liberals.” He has accused them of standing in the way of social services for children and health care for the elderly. He has ventured, in the course of a single sentence, that “NDP members have never met a job creating private sector policy or project that they do not want to kill, a tax they do not want to raise, a regulation they do not want to impose, a freedom they do not want to curtail, an issue they do not try to use to divide Canadians, and a fictitious problem they do not want the government to solve at great cost.” One day he concluded his remarks with a cry of “send in the clowns!”

All of this, apparently, because the New Democrats have some reservations about the Keystone pipeline project. And all of it committed to the record in the sort of tone—grumbly and impatient—that is generally employed to advise hippies that they might cut their hair and get a job.

Mr. Kent, seated a few seats down from Mr. Oliver at the far end of the room, prefers to patronize. Rare is the question that is not beneath him.

“Mr. Speaker, every assumption in that question is absolutely false,” he huffed at the NDP’s Carol Hughes a few weeks ago.

“Mr. Speaker, I would once again encourage my colleague to use better sources in the research of her questions in the House,” he scolded Liberal Kirsty Duncan this past Monday.

“Mr. Speaker, if there are any shortcomings in this House, it is in the quality of the questions from the Liberal opposition,” he sighed in Justin Trudeau’s direction the same day.

Yesterday, the minister grumbled that Ms. Duncan should “use more reliable research”—this after she had formulated a question on the basis of his own written statement.

This afternoon, Mr. Trudeau offered Mr. Kent a second chance to agree with himself. “Mr. Speaker, I have a simple question on ozone monitoring based entirely on what the Minister of the Environment himself has already said,” the Liberal prefaced. “In the House he said that his cuts are simply consolidating and streamlining duplicating measurements. But in his own signed order paper answer, hopefully not an unreliable source, he states that: ‘These measurements complement but do not duplicate each other.’ Can the minister please clarify for us whether the two measurements that his department uses, ozonesondes and Brewer, are complementary or duplicated?”

Mr. Kent stood, buttoned his jacket, and sneered. “Mr. Speaker,” he counselled, “I would suggest that my honourable colleague spend less time trying to mine past statements to prove some dire, hypothetical outcome.”

A few moments later, Megan Leslie rose and wondered if the Natural Resources Minister might devise a sustainable plan for the country’s natural resources. Mr. Oliver was obviously quite eager for the opportunity to grouse.

“Mr. Speaker, in a torturous scrum yesterday, the NDP environment critic twisted herself into a pretzel of contradiction and bizarre ideas,” he growled. He ventured that, so far as her position on Keystone is concerned, Ms. Leslie was afflicted with either “total confusion” or “rank cynicism.”

The NDP critic, 33 years her counterpart’s junior, came back quick. “Mr. Speaker,” she ventured with a smile, “if being a grumpy old man makes one an expert on world—”

The Conservative side howled with feigned indignation—though surely at least Rona Ambrose had to admire this—cutting her off before she could finish the thought.

After the Speaker had restored order, Ms. Leslie continued. “Mr. Speaker, this is the smiling face of cynicism,” she explained, before launching into her own harangue. “This week I met with European representatives who told me that because of the government’s inaction on climate change, Europe is slamming the door on Canadian energy, which is the same reason that the Americans slammed the door on Keystone. With every door that closes, the minister is killing Canadian jobs. When will the government clean up its act and actually support real job growth in the Canadian energy sector?”

The NDP side leapt up to applaud, but Joe Oliver was eager to admonish. “Mr. Speaker, it is one thing to go to foreign countries and work against the interests of Canadian workers and those who are unemployed from coast to coast,” he cried. “It is another thing to insult senior citizens.” He launched into a sermon about something to do with “the shoulders of our ancestors,” but he could not be heard amid the giddy cheers of his beaming teammates.

Returning to his seat, even the minister managed a grin.

The Stats. Health care, seven questions. The economy, five questions. The environment and crime, four questions each. The auditor general and the G8 Legacy Fund, three questions each. Firearms, patronage, bilingualism and aboriginal affairs, two questions each. Veterans, Egypt and employment, one question each.

Stephen Harper, six answers. Tony Clement and Colin Carrie, five answers each. Rob Nicholson, four answers. Peter Van Loan, three answers. Joe Oliver, Vic Toews, Jim Flaherty, Denis Lebel and John Duncan, two answers each. Christian Paradis, Steven Blaney, Keith Ashfield, John Baird and Diane Finley, one answer each.

The Commons: Grumpy old men

  1. We stand on the shoulders of giants: grumpy, grey-haired, petulant, incoherent, spiteful giants. And, as I speak, from my grumpy grey-haired position, the sooner we are swept away, the sooner something will be done to save this world.

  2. Ice floes have their uses.

    • And it’s melting – the clock is ticking.

  3. That would be too much like karma if our petulent stance and inaction on climate change actually resulted in AB’s oils sands being penalized, or even shut out of world markets. Unfortunately in our ceaselessly energy hungry world, demand and supply will have its say. It’s almost as if we actually had no other choice.

    • We don’t. The fact is there is no light switch that we can turn on which will change our fossil fuel economy to a green economy. You know it and I know it but the environmentalist don’t want facts to get in the way.
      Obama did more to hurt the environmental movement with his “investment” in Solyndra (the solar panel company). It just went broke and the U.S. taxpayers lost $half a billion. So much for green techology.

      • Solyandra panels were technically complex, and expensive. The market killed them, not subsidies.

        • Of course the market killed them because China was producing cheaper solar panels and they couldn’t compete. However, the U.S. government knew that but for political/partisan reasons Obama blew $half a billion to say he was the green president. Think of what that money could do in the States today.
          The government should not act as a venture capitalist. They are dealing with hard earned taxpayer money. It is not a crap shoot.

          • Nah…they should spend it on more wars, right?

          • You are trying to put words in my mouth. There is no moral equivalency between the two.

            There is plenty of waste in government to go around. I am sure you and I go look at the budget and begin slashing discretionary spending substantially.

          • Holinm,

            Chinese solar pannels are even more heavily subsidized than american panels.

            So what exactly is your point?

          • @hollinm:disqus 

            It’s not about moral equivalency….it’s about spending money.

            A sustainable green economy is far more important than invading other countries who’ve done nothing to us.

            And please don’t pull a Rob Ford looking for ‘gravy’….we’ve been looking for ‘gravy’ since I was a tot and haven’t gotten anywhere.

            Harper is bringing in a whole new batch of gravy.

      • No, that takes people…and if you had any business sense, you’d be investing in green tech.

      • Of course we have a choice. The world oil market is heavily subsidized.[ Simpson mentioned $400 billion WWide] That is an awfully big handicap for alternative energy  markets to compete against.
         Sure there will be disasterous mistakes along the way. You think oil hasn’t screwwed up big time? Check out the story of the canol road and pipeline; a pipeline to nowhere that noone wanted, all rusting away up in the Yukon? Or take a look at the mines that have played out or failed all over the country, their owner f’ked off [ often after taking public subsidies] and left TP’s with the multi million $ clean up, when they should be in jail?
        I know it can’t happen overnight. But it is becoming obvious that the oil industry just wants to max everything out while the getting’s good.
        There should be a windfall tax on excessive profits dedicated toward green tech[ which oil companies can themselves access] or a carbon tax; to do that it is now obvious  this govt has to go. There needs to be action and soon!  

      • Wait a second hollinm.  Are you admitting that we need to change from a fossil fuel economy to a green economy and that it won’t be easy?

        Wow!

        That is the first time I have ever read even the slightest nod from you in that direction.

        • Hey…. I don’t mind trying to reduce our carbon footprint. However, I don’t like being fed a line of shit from environmentalists who exaggerate the problem. I also do not want policies implemented which taxes the middle class to death with no possibility of affecting so called world global warming.  Carbon taxes are a tax on every thing that moves. Dion with his green shift could not even say how his policy would reduce GHGs. In fact it you look where the $4 billion in taxes was going they were to social engineering projects.

          • In other words…you’d like a better environment….just as long as it doesn’t cost you a nickel, or cause you any inconvenience.

            You rather just lie about politics. Much cheaper.

          • You may want to allow the government to confiscate 80% of your income I don’t. If you think a dishonest cap and trade system is what will solve the problem then you have not understood what has happened in the European economies who have introduced one. Its called corruption.

            If in fact man is negatively impacting the environment then it requires a global effort to solve the problem. However, to put our economy at risk to simply say look at us we are so pure is nonsensical.

            It takes one liar to know another liar Emily.

          • “You may want to allow the government to confiscate 80% of your income I don’t”

            Everybody just back slowly away. You can’t possibly penetrate the iron-clad mind of a man who has overdosed on paranoid fringe blogs.

          • @hollinm:disqus 

            The govt isn’t ‘confiscating’ anything…..it’s the dues you pay to belong to the club. Don’t exaggerate, and use buzz words…nobody’s buying

            The only way you stop something being done is to tax it.

            Of course it requires a global effort….but there are enough countries involved already to get it started

          • Tell me – when Harper promises give tax exemptions for the kids’ hockey, for the moms’ gym, for the arts class, is that social engineerin? 

          • Not sure I would call it social engineering since he is already acknowledging families who have their kids enrolled. However, I would call it pandering and do not agree with it.

    • Well,Oliver is our oil ambassador and things are not going well with either the EU or the U.S.  Seeing him in action, is it any wonder? 

  4. Of course it is only the government side who snears and makes outlandish statements that bear little resemblance to reality.

    • First accurate thing I’ve ever heard you say.

    • Point taken, but with an unassailable majority and an opposition preoccupied with leadership succession, one would expect this government to exhibit a little more grace, decorum, class and respect. These guys are still the perpetually angry and petulant Reform “outsiders” they were when they first arrived in Ottawa. It’s time for them to grow up and govern with a little dignity. There’s no excuse now for them not to get over their interminable snit. The kids in the NDP benches are showing ‘way more maturity.

      • That’s because the Conservatives have learned from experience. The opposition had their way for five years throwing dirt, stalling legislation and even trying to destroy legislation. They turned committees into kangaroo courts trying to find scandal and of course they had their buddies in the media doing anything and everything they could to disrupt and defeat the government.
        When the opposition starts asking real questions in a respectful manner maybe the government will respond. Look at Pat Martin and Charlie Angus. You talk about the government having a little more grace, decorum class and respect. There is plenty of blame to go around.
        Problem is the opposition does not know how to act with a majority government. They are trying the same tactics used in the minority parliaments and the Conservatives are handing them their asses on a platter.
        Yes they have a majority and they are going to govern the country as they see fit and not as the opposition and the media demand.
        The sooner the opposition understands that and picks their battles and becomes what you want the government to be then there will be how did you put it more grace, decorum, class and respect in the House.

        • Typical. The Cons are flawless, the imperfections are never theirs. So much for the white knights who rode into Ottawa to clean up the failures of the corrupt infidels. They are now virtually indistinguishable from those they once criticized, utterly lacking the insight to realize it, and hopelessly incapable of recognizing their own sanctimonious hypocrisy.

          Regardless of the alleged shortcomings of their opposition, it is incumbent on the government of the day (particularly one with a safe majority) to establish the tone in the Commons. To blame the opposition for their own insufferable petulance and chronic anger is completely disingenuous and you should know it.

          It’s like saying “the devil is making me do it.”

          Feeble and unbecoming of a government.

          • The Conservatives are not flawless by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I complain all the time to my local MP on various issues. However, the comments on these various blogs are so over the top and many comments lack substance and truth so I am inclined to support the party on these blogs.
            Parliament is just not the government. It is the whole place including the opposition. They also have a responsibility to ask factual questions without hyperbole and the government has an obligation to give a real answer to a real question. Ask Pat Martin and Charlie Angus if they are respectful. Not by a long shot.
            Of course you are spouting talking points. I don’t see chronic anger. I see politics at play. However, you would rather the government lie down and play dead and let the opposition walk all over them. That’s not going to happen with this PM.
            Thats why the opposition and the media and of course opposition supporters like you are so angry. Layton made a tactical mistake by forcing an election. The party has less influence with a majority than they had in a minority government. Of course the opposition thought they had all the cards in their favour. They didn’t count on the voice of the people.

          • I’ m really curious as to who your MP is?  Obviously not Tony Clement.

          • Do I agree with an MP/cabinet minister pouring $50 million into his riding. He should be castigated for it.
            It certainly would appear he did not follow the rules.
            However, there comes a point of diminishing returns. Yes he did not handle it properly. Yes he should be criticized along with John Baird for getting a disporportionate amount put into his riding under the guise of the G8.
            Also we may not agree with what the money was spent on but the fact is the projects were done within budget and no money appears to have been stolen. Is that not the key issue?
            Harassing Clement really doesn’t accomplish much. The PM will be the sole judge of his performance and as long as he has the confidence of the PM he will remain President of the Treasury Board.

          • 60% of that ‘voice of the people’ said no to Harper.

          • Yes and 70% of the people said no to the NDP and 80% said no to the Liberals. So what’s your point.
            Few parties have ever won a plurality in a vote much less with five parties running. You need to move on from this silly talking point. It doesn’t make sense under the first past the post system.

          • You only have to read a bit of hollinm’s self serving pap to realize just why the cons have such a loyal core – no matter what happens in parliament they are simply impervious to reality not to mention irony.
            For folks like him there is no complex interplay of competing politics, idealogical bias and personal ambition to sift through in order to even come close to an approximation of truth; rather there is just the certainy of being in the right all the time.
            In minority the opposition are just playing games and blocking democracy aided and abetted by the media, in majority the opposition are just playing games and blocking democracy aided and abetted by the media. Must be nice to live in a world where your politcal dogma always trump well…anything really, long as it’s rational…and it does save a lot of needless wear and tear on the old brain cells.

          • I am glad you understand how things work in Ottawa.

            I am looking for things to get done in Ottawa. You guys want to focus on process and how the game is played. Its pretty juvenile.

            Do I agree with everything the government does. Absolutely not. However, I am not going to help you guys pile on.

            Of course we know that it is only the brain cells of the opponents of the government that count don’t we kcm2

          • “I am looking for things to get done in Ottawa. You guys want to focus on process and how the game is played. Its pretty juvenile”

            Honestly, think it through. How can you hope to get things done in an adverserial system when you don’t respect process? Juvenile is not respecting the fact that others in a rules based process have a right to fight for the views of their constituents. Overuse of incamera committee, time allocation and smearing your oppponents as being unCanadian accomplish none of those things – you’re just working against your goal of getting things done. 

          • Quit whining! Its an unbecoming trait. You like every other Canadian will get your chance to express your displeasure and/or support for the government in four years time. In the meantime we elected them to govern rather than having a perpetual gabfest.

          • Well, can say i didn’t try. You’re an idiot, impervious to reason.

          • It takes one to know one. When someone resorts to insults and name calling one knows they have lost the argument.

          • “It takes one to know one. When someone resorts to insults and name calling one knows they have lost the argument”

            LOL… you really aren’t too bright are you? 

          • Very few prime ministers in the history of Canada took time to read in the HoC what they knew to be lies about the husbands of two female MPs.  I know of only one in fact.  Leadership – men like that set the tone, don’t you get it?

          • I have no idea what you are talking about.

            I get what leadership is and it certainly isn’t epitomized by the likes of Jean Chretien who allowed taxpayers money to be stolen and who for 13 years had a majority government and did absolutely nothing with it. A lot of the problems we have today could have been a long way solved if he had shown leadership.

            I know leadership was not Paul Martin who talked a big game when he was running for the leadership. Remember the phrases who do you know in the PMO and the democratic deficit. He got into power and he couldn’t  make a decision and he committed us to the killing fields in Afganistan (as Chretien put it so eloquently in his autobiography).

            Dion with his inability to communicate with the majority of the population and his desire to levy a carbon tax on virtually anything that moved so that he could help solve poverty etc. was a joke.

            Ignatieff…don’t even get me started on him. The elitist snob who came back simply so he could become prime minister.

            So now you have Stephen Harper. Do I agree with everything the party does. Not a all. However, his opponents attack him for the process, his style. Canadians ignored that because they know they want action and the people of Canada said so on May 2nd.

          • Of course you don’t know what I’m talking about.

            In debate over changes to the Immigration and Refugee Board, Harper accused MP Marlene Jennings of putting her spouse on the board and Lucienne Robillard, a former immigration minister, of appointing her ex-spouse. If true, these would be serious breaches of ethics.
            But Robillard’s husband was appointed to the board in 1990 under a former Conservative prime minister, Brian Mulroney. And Jennings’ husband joined the board before she was even elected to Parliament.

            http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/187753

            I could pull out the Hansard if you don’t trust the Star. 

            Dion English was perfectly fine.  He spoke it with what is recognized the world over as the accent of the Canadian people.  Of course you and Harper hate Canada, deem it to be a second-rate failed experiment to be aborted at all cost.  And the costs are climbing indeed.

          • First of all you need to let the past go. It is not healthy to be habering such resentment.

            The accent of the Canadian people? You got to be joking. Maybe those from Quebec but not the rest of Canada.

            Of course your belief system is as pure as the driven snow and anybody who disagrees with you must be insulted and demeaned.

            Don’t be a bitter Betty Loraine. It is unbecoming.

          • Let the past go?  When that obsessive liar is still in the HoC I call this the present. 

             I was in the Simpson desert during the 2008 election with Australian friends and relative when the news came about Mr. Dion’s interview.  What I am relating to you is their impression.  For Australians, it’s totally normal for a Canadian to speak with that accent.  They couldn’t believe that racism was still so alive in Canada. Maybe it’s years of Trudeau and Chrétien governments and the presence of French Canadians on earth in general but foreigners are quite accustomed to hear Canadian politicians speak English with the Canadian accent of Trudeau, Dion and Chrétien.

            I travel extensively, just returned from Andalusia, and everywhere I go they know that some Canadians speak French, and if the conversation is held in English, my Spanish being poor, they recognize that I am French-Canadian, not American, not British but Canadian.

            In fact it’s only in Canada that people question my origins.  You have an accent, where are you from?, I am asked often, and I always respond Canada (my ancestors came here 400 years ago).  When they figure it out they say, oh you’re a Québécoise, and I always respond, no, I am a Canadian.  It’s not people like you, Michael Ignatieff or Stephen Harper who will change the identity that I have had for sixty years and inherited from my ancestors who have been known as the Canadian people for four centuries.

          • Tony should be “criticized”? Wow – bet that will hurt!

            Tony should be removed from government and tossed in jail. That this gov’t and PM continues to publicly support such obvious corruption says everyting any intelligent person needs to know about the character and quality of our governance.

          • If they didn’t send the damn Liberals to jail for actually stealing taxpayers money then I think Tony is safe. Porkbarrelling for your own constituency is not new. Its called politics. I am not saying it is right but Tony is not by himself. Most of that crowd would be in jail for it was against the law. Just to point out. He didn’t hide anything. The projects were done and within budget. How he did it stinks.

          • You won’t find me defending the Liberals who broke the law. It wasn’t the whole party, though, and it was the Liberals themselves who launched the investigation into the whole affair – remember?

            On the other hand, the Cons have denied all wrongdoing and back the offenders to the hilt. I’d have a lot more respect for them if they’d clean house rather than try to pretend nothing is wrong.

            They remind me of the guy in those old Customs ads: “Rhinoceros? What rhinoceros?”

          • The Libs denied any involvement in adscam and despite being found guilty by a judicial inquiry have not apologized to the Canadian people. Until they do they will wander in the wilderness.

            I seem to recall that Tony said the process was flawed and paperwork incomplete. What do you want him to do, lie prostrate on the floor and accept 40 lashes? The money was not stolen. Yes it was used in his riding for questionable projects but I am sure the people in the Muskokas are quite happy with Mr. Clement regardless of what many of us may think.

            I suspect you would never quite be able to give them any respect because they are not “your” party.

          • See my other reply vis a vis Tony. He’s in the Muskokas because his old Brampton riding won’t touch him.

            What do I want Tony to do? Get out of politics. What do I ant the CPC to do? Give him the boot and properly investigate where the money really went. Let’s just say that if I said publicly where I think it went, I might be the one under investigation.

            As for Liberals and Adscam, Liberals were involved, but I have never seen evidence the scam was sanctioned by the party. Maybe they should apologize anyway – but do you think you’d ever see Harper apologize for the shenanigans of his underlings? Fat chance! Pot, meet kettle.

          • Obviously this conversation is going nowhere. You have your opinion and I have mine.

            However, lets be clear the AG saw the projects where the money was spent and saw the budget for each one. Are you calling Sheila Fraser a liar. The rest is speculation on your part. It is the paperwork that was not done. You and I will agree this is no way for an MP to act let alone a cabinet minister. Do I agree with what the money was spent on?  In many cases. No. However, like I said previously it won’t be the last time we see a politician spend money in his constituency. If it was unlawful Clement would be prosecuted. However, you want to be the judge, jury and executioner. That is not how we do it in this country.

            Adscam was not sanctioned by the party? Chretien had control of the line budget item. Only he could sign off. Nobody else. Gagliano and Jean Pelletier met with Chuck Guite to discuss the projects in Quebec where the money was funnelled. Somewhere in that mess was Coderre.

          • If they didn’t send Liberals to jail for adscam I am pretty sure Tony is safe. In fact the RCMP said there is nothing to investigate. No laws were broken. Politicians have been bringing home the bacon since politics was invented. Tony does not have lock on that market and it will happen again whether taxpayers like it or not. How he did it stinks but the reality is the projects are there to see and the budgets were met. I know for the leftie crowd who are no longer in power and have no ability to “bring home the bacon” it must be infuriating.

        • Imagine the opposition, OPPOSING!!!!!??!?!?

          Is this supposed to offend or surprise me?

          You remember the Nisgaa filibuster, buster?

          There is not one tactic the opposition is using that the Conservatives didn’t when in opposition. That’s what oppositions do.

          On the other hand, there has never, EVER been a government so populated with utter douchebags as this one. EVER.

          • There is a need for the opposition to oppose in order to obtain better legislation. That is for sure. However, there is a point when having made every attempt to get the changes the opposition feels are necessary to back off. How many times are we going to talk about the gun registry? Its not efficient and holds the country back from moving on to other things.

            When the opposition is ideologically opposed to a particular piece of legislation no amount of debate is going to change the outcome. However, when they resort to games, tactics etc. etc. it does not help the country.

            Of course name calling does no one any good. In fact it looks worse on you than the ones who you are calling names. Try to grow up. Your comments was legitimate but you lost me with the last comment.

          • The thread is about Joe Oliver calling people almost treasonous and dummies.  As you say, it looks bad on him. 

          • How many times are we going to talk about sponsorship or the NEP or metrification?

            Parties and pols have axes to grind. Your Tories do too. Big whoop.

            AND OMG TACTICS? You are honestly expecting people to get upset about a party using TACTICS? Like, what, submitting thousands of minor amendments to a bill? Or hiring a mariachi band?

            The douchebag fits, brother. I’ve been around a long time. Never, ever, EVER seen so many douchebags, and such douchebags, as this crew. It’s going to be their undoing.

          • I didn’t talk about any of these things.

            Well the good thing is if Canadians believe the government is made up of a pile of “douchebags” as you suggest then they will decide in four years time that they should not be re-elected. Its as simple as that.

            In the meantime the government has a right to implement its agenda. As you know no government can obligate a future government. So if the people decide in four years that another party should be the government then that government can reverse those policies they do not agree with.

            However, you know that will not happen because while they play the game of politics they are basically in agreement. Chretien railed against free trade and the GST in opposition and said he would abolsih the GST and rip up the Free Trade Agreement. Guess what we still have them. Its all a game played with our money.

          • Harper brought up the gun registry again. It was settled years ago.

            But then Harper isn’t interested in ‘moving on to other things’

          • It was never settled and you know it. It has been opposed by the Conservatives when it was first introduced and has been in every election since then. When the AG reported the scandal of costs and Ann McLellan and Allan Rock tried to hide those costs and misled parliament it was a bone of contention and has been since then.
            The Conservatives have had it on their radar and finally it is going to be put to rest.

          • In other words, there is a need for the opposition to oppose when the opposition is Conservative and the government isn’t.

            Gotcha.

        • “Problem is the opposition does not know how to act with a majority government. ”

          Let me guess: Bend over and take it?

          If the government wants more decorum, now that they have a majority all they really need to do is lead by example. Problem is, their “example” is slease, corruption, and a complete disrespect for the HoC.

          Not to mention, a complete lack of respect for the electorate…

          • Oh get off the pot. Typical leftie who can’t stand the fact they are out of power and no  longer able to steal taxpayers money. When the corrupt Liberals are cleansed then we can talk. In the meantime quit with the hyperbolic rhetoric. It looks silly to any one with common sense.

          • “Steal taxpyers’ money”

            You mean like the in & out racket? Or TonyGate?

            The Liberals have been out of power for some time now; isn’t it time you start paying attention to the thieves currently ransacking the naton’s coffers?

            BTW, I’m not a “leftie” just cuz I don’t goosestep to Harper’s tune. I’m actually more of a fiscal conservative than the crew in power at present, though I am admittedly more of a centrist on social issues.

          • Good I am glad you are a fiscal conservative. Hopefully as time goes by the government will be able to reduce the size of government by getting rid of the bloated bureaucracy and redundant, wasteful programs.

            There was no money stolen as a result of the in and out “scheme”. They used their own money as all of the parties did. The Conservatives where noticed because they had the money to reach the top of the spending. The other parties couldn’t afford it.

          • They were claiming a tax credit they weren’t entitled to. That’s money out of taxpayers’ pockets. i.e. fraud, which is a form of theft.

            And while there have been no charges against Tony, what he did was morally, if not legally, theft of taxpayers; money. We chased him out of Brampton for, among other things, a seriously suspicious cosyness with the group that ended up with the P3 hospital contract – a contract that was supposed to save money but which has proven far more costly than traditional financing. There’s a sleaziness to everything he gets involved with; he’s either very stupid or very good at covering where the money is really going. And having spoken with him on a couple of occasions, I don’t think he’s stupid.

            My opinion of the CPC would increase dramatically just from the one act of booting him to the curb. As it stands, they just sully their own reputations by backing him.

          • I stand by my point on the in and out thingy.

            The rest of your tirade I will leave to others to comment on.

            You can whine about Clement as much as you want but until the PM decides he is toast he will continue in his role of President of the Treasury Board.

          • Call me skeptical that the Cons will ever balance the budget,  It would help if the guy who blew 50 million on crap in his riding wasn’t in charge of the cutting.  The Con party plead guilty to overspending on advertising during the 2006 election. What part of this aren’t you getting?

          • Whether Tony can get the cuts he is trying to obtain time will only tell. It has nothing to do with the spending he did in his riding. There is no equivalency between the two jobs. However, both you and I would agree that the whole thing smells to high heaven. However, the RCMP say no law was broken. The AG said the projects were accounted for and done on time and within budget. Hopefully Tony and other politicians have learned a lesson on this one.
            You  may profess to understand the in and out issue but I don’t. You may think the Conservatives are stupid but I don’t. To apply for rebates based on them breaking the election laws would be plain stupid. There was an agreement reached because the case was not an open and shut case as people like you would believe.

          • Two questions for you, if you will…

            What will it take for the Liberals to be cleansed enough that you would consider voting for them again?

            And, just to clarify, you are totally OK with the in and out plan?

          • I voted for Trudeau and got promptly f.cked. I voted for Chretien when he promised to eliminate the GST and promptly got f.cked. I watched for 13 long years as the Liberal floated through three consecutive majorities and did absolutely nothing beyond covering the deficit.
            So to answer you question when the Liberals get a real leader and develop policies that are rooted in reality not cap and trade and not national daycare I will consider them but not until then.

            You may be all knowing and all seeing but the in and out plan is a complicated thing. If you think that the Conservatives would request rebates based on cooked up books is plain silly. They maybe a lot of things but stupid is not one of them.

            However, people like you want to use the issue as a sledgehammer for proving absolutely nothing. 

          • Why so grumpy? ;-)

            Personally I’m glad to read that you seem to be mostly basing your voting decisions on platforms and leaders, and that the cleansing period may already have passed.

            Clearly I’m not all knowing and all seeing. I’m actually a little disappointed that you perceive me that way. I don’t think they cooked the books – that would be stupid. I suspect they were working hard to maximize their benefit from the election financing system that we have in place. Some folks will admire their tenacity in maximizing their gain, while still staying within the letter of the law. Others will be disappointed that a party might be avoiding the intent of the law.

            Wrt the last paragraph, I suggest that you shouldn’t generalize quite so much.

            Thanks!

      • And for Oliver,  who is a Harvard grad and Bay Street insider, this uppity elitist routine is a bit rich.  Hasn’t he made enough money yet?  Maybe he’s ticked he didn’t get a Senate appointment, he’s stuck in the house dealing with the peasants.  I feel a Pat Martin quote coming on…

        • @7&#5#8?8%  Oliver !

  5. Is Aaron Wharry the only person in the world that takes Question Period seriously? … well OK the CBC but their freeloading employees get $1.16b to. 

    • No, there is a whole underground movement that are glued to it every day.  Oliver is the new fan favourite.

  6. How many more years again of this nonsense?????

    • Mark your calender: October 19, 2015.

      Tell all your friends.

      • if not sooner …..

        • alas, I fear The Harper Government(tm) will strangle power with both hands until the last moment. Let’s hope they learn what ozone is and why it’s important before then…

          • i’m suggesting the harper government may not have the control when removed from power prior to any election

          • Ooh… insurrection! Is that the next direction for Occupy?

        • It won’t be sooner. If it’s not October 19, 2015, it’ll be because a long in the tooth Conservative government wants to cling to power and has second thoughts about the wisdom of fixed election dates.

          Until then: mark your calendar. October 19, 2015. Seriously. Put it in your electronic datebook now.

  7. The grumpy old men (and young men, and women) accuse their opposition of being “anti-Canada”.

    So yeah, to hell with the grump old men, and young men, and women, who comprise that party of [UNPRINTABLE WORD]

    • Patriotism..last…refuge…scoundrel.

      • Lots of scoundrels on the government benches. Or douchebags.

        • I think douchebag is the operative word.  It will look good on a t shirt.

          • I’ll take two!

          • And it works well in both official languages…

  8. This socialist plot you may not know is “to keep the pews empty”. Tax funded safety nets are bad for Christain (with a K) Conservate Canada.

  9. “ One day he concluded his remarks with a cry of “send in the clowns!”

    Orwell ~ Road To Wigan Pier: 

    In addition to this there is the horrible–the really disquieting–prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.

    http://www.george-orwell.org/The_Road_to_Wigan_Pier/10.html

    • So you admit it – Righties see Orwell as a prophet to guide them…

  10. I don’t believe I have ever seen a photo of Oliver before.  If someone has one of those morphing programs help me out please.  Put in Tony Clement and the old guy from Back to the Future in equal ratios and I suspect we got him.

    Could he be a science project gone bad?  Wouldn’t that make you grumpy too?

    • He looks like his pipeline is backed up.

      • LOL! Best comment on this whole thread.

    • Holy crap!  I had never thought of that before but it seems perfect.

  11. Joe Oliver concluded his remarks by shaking his fist and bellowing in a voice grown horse and warbly with age, “Get off my lawn!”  As he sat down he was heard to mutter, “Damn kids and their music …”

  12. will someone not rid us of these sanctimonious, wearisome Conservatives?
    October 2015 is too long, too far, too late.

    • Is it possible to recall a whole gov`t???

      • Yes, all you have to do is occupy a public space in protest.

        • How did that work out for you. You guys really are so desparate because there is a majority Conservative government. They will be in place for 015 and again until 019. Watch what happens when the Libs install Rae as their leader.

          • Enjoy the Cons’ little interregnum while it lasts, hollinm. At the rate they’re going with their plurality, they’ll have pissed off enough stakeholders, interest groups, provinces, and voters that they’ll be gone for a generation.

          • We shall see. That’s the good thing about a majority government. They can actually govern. At the end of four years it is the Canadian people who will decide if they are satisfied with the performance of the government. Not the opposition nor the media.

          • By the way who have they ticked off. The provinces are happy because the government is not interferring in their jurisdiction. If you are talking about the crime bill. At some point an accommodation will be made for the extra costs if they materialize.

            The crime bill is supported by the majority of Canadians. They want serious crime to be treated with serious time. All the polls have suggested that.

            The vast majority of Canadians do not support the gun registry. The registry is the data. If you do not destroy the data the registry is still alive.

            The recent polls do not support your contention that the Conservatives are losing ground.

          • Always Cons get carried away and go over the top. LOL

            Cons will be voted out as they always are….and either the Libs or the NDP [or a combination thereof] will be in power

            Incumbency was the rule in 2011 hollinm….right across the country

            It doesn’t mean Canadians agree with Cons

            PS…and Occupy isn’t into power politics…they are fed up with all of it.

          • If Canadains decide to de-elect the Conservatives in the next election then I am fine with that. While the system may be flawed its called democracy. In the meantime the government has a mandate and has a right to implement its agenda.

            You argument is not logical. If Canadians did not agree with the Conservative platform etc they would not have voted Conservative. Incumbency helps but its not the be all. Ask the PC’s in 1993 if incumbency helped them.

            I have some sympathy for the Occupiers. However, they have now turned into a pile of rag tag kids who want to protest anything and everything. When it comes to the equality issue I am with them.

            However, noone and I mean noone has offered a solution to the problem. Attacking those that earn high wages reflects penis envy. How do we change the system?

          • “De-elect”?

          • “De-elect”?, hollinm?

            Wow.

          • That`s all you`ve got ? —a spelling error !

  13. We’ve got to get rid of this inept government before they wreck the whole country. They’re not funny, they’re stupid, they’re dangerous and 2015 is way too far to boot them out of office.

    • Sorry poet, writer, and exotriper, Stephen Harper will be 64 on April 30, 2024, and I expect he will retire around that time.

      I suspect he will retire while he is still living at 24 Sussex ( newly renovated ). There is nothing that I see in either opposition Party or in the desire of the electorate that makes me think he can not remain as PM as long as he likes.

      • Like all Cons you live in a fantasy world.

        • Pot calling the kettle black. We heard it from you in the last three elections. Guess where your party is? Sitting in the corner with 34 seats. Dream on Emily.

          • Like I said…you live in a fantasy world

            I don’t have a party hollinm….told you that many times before….it just makes it easier for you to try and villify someone

      • Wow Calvin’s got 20/20 foresight…he can see clearly down the road for almost a quarter century at a time when the 5 day weather forcast is about reliable as a red hot SH stock market tip…i’ll take a bit of that action sir! 

        • Not a problem, kcm2.
          Harper is very disciplined and as long as he has his eye on the ball it`s going to be very hard to unseat him. His team know that the media and opp. are waiting for someone to make the big mistake. That`s the only way they`ll be beat. Too many in the media find minor faults in the CPC that the public don`t even notice. Look at Anders–if the biggest mistake he make is to take a power nap in the House, then that tells you they are well-disciplined.

          Ironically, those folks who oppose Harper the most vociferously are probably ensuring that Harper keeps his eye on the ball. As long as Harper feels like he is being constantly threatened, he and his Party won`t lose discipline. If they don`t lose discipline they won`t lose power.

          • Sure Calvin whatever turns your crank. But consider this. If you were to turn time on its head and look forward along the decline of the liberal party i challenge you to find one pundit who predicted their decline from the pinnacle of their triumph at the signing of the constitution in 82. They were a disciplined party too – they were also arrogant and thought nothing could touch them. Harper’s in for a fall, we just don’t know when. He isn’t another Duplessis who hung around for decades because he had the ear of the church, establishment and the ignorant masses, ruling through fear and intimidation; neither is Harper universally loved or even respected. It wont be easy to dislodge him, but his time will come as it does for everyone. It’ll be interesting to see if he makes a graceful exit of his own time and choosing ala Trudeau, or will he go the way of Mulroney, in disgrace. 

          • Though they both had their faults, rational, knowledgeable, and impartial people know that Mulroney`s contribution to Canada was far greater and sustaining than Trudeau`s.

            During the 1990`s I remember hearing these same people saying the Liberal support was a mile wide and an inch thick.
            Check out Newman`s new book. The decline of the Liberal Party through corruption, patronage and a lack of principle has been obvious for a very long time.

  14. And of course, suggesting that New Democrat MPs are traitors, as Peter Kent did just a few days ago, is perfectly acceptable. They can’t take it but they can sure dish it out. 

    • That’s because they are douchebags.

  15. @ Calvin
    Wow, is this your first rodeo or what?   I am curious about the 24 Sussex renovation though, what year is that going to start?

    • Jan, your exercise for the day should be to go back and reread the excellent rebuttal by hollinm in this thread as he explains why we are in for a long period of strong stable Conservative majority government.
      The renovation part is my prediction—the place is falling down.

      • Yes 24 Sussex is falling down & Harper refuses to move out, to facilitate long-needed renovations.  He’d far rather waste tax-payer money heating a poorly insulated building, allow the leaky roof to continue to damage the house, etc.  He’s got his brass ring & is hell-bent on not letting go of it, in any way shape or form.  He was offered Stornoway by one of the previous Opposition leaders & refused.  

        • Yes you and the rest of the anti Harper crowd would then be yelling and screaming…look at the as.hole the country’s in deficit but all he can do is think about is himself and his own comfort. People are starving in the street. People are homeless blah, blah but all can do is think of himself.
          Chretien lived in the damn place for 10 years and the same issues were there. Why didn’t he move out and get the place fixed up. I didn’t hear any hew and cry for Sussex to get fixed up over 13 long, dark years. No it is only Harper that is the villian.

          You guys on the left are not only hypocrites but are real peaches as well.

          What a lame thing to be criticizing Harper about.

        • It’s perfectly in character for him to continue to occupy and break as much of Canada as he can.

          • How dramatic! However, not even close. On this board I almost can feel the fear of the anti Harper crowd as they do their best to criticize and malign. The fact is Harper is the only option for Canadians right now.

            In four years the Canadian people will decide if he should be re-elected. Not you or the rest of the lefties nor the opposition or the media.

            You are going to be one mighty unhappy camper for the next four years.

          • What I love about you, Holimn, is that you always have an answer. You’re certainty is so certain.

          • Yes I do respond to those that are so negative on this board. I do not have the answers. I just observe and then comment. I know it drives a lot of people here nuts but that’s beauty of Canada it is a free country and we are all entitled to our opinions…not just the left wing commentators but even the odd conservative person who has some observations to share.

  16. I am fascinated by the ‘billionaire U.S. limousine liberals’ comment from the minister for a simple reason.  I pay for a limousine service regularly.  This summer I had to pay for a trip for which an SUV was used.  An SUV costs a lot more than a standard Chrysler limo. 

    I have noticed that Harper and his group opt for SUV’s.  Is it just because they don’t want to be perceived as US limousine liberals – are taxpayers being charged more for transportation of the SUV-Con bunch than they were by the lib limo gang?  We know how image is important to the Cons, after all we pay the travel costs and expenses of our pm’s stylist.

    Personally I associate the image of SUV with that of the crash of the housing market in the US, for in every driveway where there is a foreclosure sign, there is an SUV. 

  17. Vic Towes and NIcholson started the name calling. What about their “Our of control Youths” crap?

  18. @hollinm  

    The point is, Canadians aren’t behind Harper, no matter how you try to dress it up.

    • I don’t belong to any political party either and find myself to be a centrist, as most Canadians are, and like to hear the views of all before voting.

      If you undress Calvin and hollinm, you will find 2 CPC trolls, likely in employ of the party as damage control.

      • LOL very likely….but they’re going to need a lot more ‘damage control’ than those 2 can provide.

  19. @hollinm 

    Yes, it was settled years ago….made law….the country moved on

    Just because a few cranky ol white guys opposed it doesn’t make any difference.

    There are things in law I don’t like, but I don’t carry on a crusade about it for years and hold the country back having a hissyfit about old grievances

    • How original….canky ol white guys… are you that devoid of original thought that you cannot invent your own slander and have to repeat some one elses.

      • I’ve been calling Cons ‘cranky ol’ white guys’ since they were Reform.

  20. @hollinm 

    The only ‘mandate’ this govt has is the economy, and they are screwing that up badly.

    That’s the only thing they campaigned on

    Incumbents are the result of all the 2011 elections….so don’t imagine Canadians have become conservative.

    Occupiers aren’t ragtag or kids….and they aren’t backing any party.

    They are not against people making high salaries either….but your Freudian diagnoses is hilarious.

    You really need to pay more attention to what goes on around you

    • Says you.  Just because the government won’t bite and spend billions of dollars more in the mistaken belief they can create jobs.

      I am not like Liberals. I do not believe that it is the God given right to govern the country. However, after they lose the next election they will finally get the point.

      • Govts can create jobs…they’ve done it before

        No one ever said Libs had a god-given right to govern the country….and you have no idea what will happen in the next election, so don’t pretend you do.

        • I guess its alright for you to keep telling me that the Libs/NDP will win the next election when you chastize me for saying the Conservatives will.

          As usual trying to speak out of both sides of your mouth at the same time will trip you up every time.

          • Actually I haven’t said anything about who’ll win the next election

            Cranky ol’ white guys have a hearing problem I guess.

  21. I’m still waiting for the ‘strong and stable’ part. LOL

  22. The only real thing that Harper is bringing in a bunch of slop. Even the real pigs won’t touch it.

  23. Grumpy ,damn right ,got a good reason!I have accountability,ethical and issues with  integrity about the present parliament! WE need  a political laxative  to parliament working, to get rid of the CRAP!

    • Another gaga over Harper fan boy. 

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