The Commons: That’s enough

We have surely reached the end of everyone’s patience

by Aaron Wherry

The Scene. It has been a long year. (Granted, no longer than any other year, but still, 365 days—or however many we’re at now—is an awful lot.) So you’ll forgive the Prime Minister if he didn’t seem all that interested this afternoon.

As Nycole Turmel hectored him about the latest problems to afflict the fabled F-35s, Mr. Harper fiddled with his mail, a particularly well-sealed envelope seeming to resist his attempts to open it. Apparently figuring he couldn’t get it open in the time allotted to Ms. Turmel to state her question, he put it aside long enough to get the gist of her complaint. He then stood and repeated his platitudes from memory.

“Mr. Speaker, I know very well that every time the government provides our men and women in uniform with the equipment they need, the NDP loudly opposes that and votes against it,” he sighed. “We are working on the best advice of the Canadian industry, including the Quebec industry, including our men and women in uniform in the air force, and we will continue to move forward and make sure that they have the best aircraft that are available when we have to replace the current fleet.”

So Support the Troops, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum.

Once more en français between Ms. Turmel and Mr. Harper and then the NDP’s Matthew Kellway stood to showoff what self-confidence he’d gained during this sitting. “Mr. Speaker, respectfully I would caution the Prime Minister against borrowing from the Associate Minister of National Defence’s speaking points,” the backbencher dared venture, “because just yesterday the Air Force Commander contradicted those very speaking points.”

Mr. Harper kept to his mail undaunted, eventually unwrapping a book of some kind. The associate minister in question, Julian Fantino, duly stood and reminded everyone of his disdain for all of this.

Then to Marc Garneau, leading the Liberal side and filling in for the otherwise engaged Bob Rae. “Mr. Speaker, the Canada Elections Act explicitly states that one cannot falsely publish a notice that a candidate in a constituency has retired or withdrawn,” he reported for everyone’s benefit. “Given the fact that the Canada Elections Act says this, and given your ruling yesterday about the reprehensible behaviour against the member for Mount Royal, I would like to ask the Prime Minister whether he believes that the Canada Elections Act needs to be clarified and will he issue an apology to the member for Mount Royal?”

Mr. Harper does not generally go out of his way to answer questions that he can avoid. In this case, Mr. Garneau may have been leading the Liberal corner, but he was doing so as a deputy leader and so Mr. Harper let Peter Van Loan take this one. “Mr. Speaker, you have ruled on this issue very clearly. It is certainly the practice of our government to respect all rulings of all Speakers of the House. That has been our practice in the past. It will continue to be our practice in the future,” the House leader boldly declared. “Clearly, the member for Mount Royal continues to take his seat here in the House, and we, as a government, acknowledge that.”

“Mr. Speaker,” sighed Mr. Garneau, “I guess we are not going to get that apology.”

He went on to question why Conservative MPs were so eager to conduct the proceedings of the parliamentary committee on government operations in secret—a bashfulness that seems to be becoming habit.

“Mr. Speaker,” claimed Mr. Van Loan, “our government is always performing in an open and accountable fashion.”

The opposition benches burst with theatric guffaws.

There were more chuckles later when Peter Kent stood and testified that his side “would have preferred a more ambitious result from the global climate change conference.” And then the government side laughed when Megan Leslie noted the criticism of China, France and the United Nations. And then Mr. Kent attempted to belittle Ms. Leslie’s grasp of the situation.

“Mr. Speaker,” he said, “if my honourable colleague had been in Durban she would have seen…”

Now, of course, part of the reason Ms. Leslie wasn’t in Durban is because Mr. Kent decided she was unwelcome. And with that in mind, Justin Trudeau objected. Rather loudly.

“Bullshit!” he cried, his fury dramatically framed by flowing locks and sharply drawn facial hair.

“You piece of shit!” he added in Mr. Kent’s general direction.

Whatever this possessed in chivalry, it lacked in civility and so the Conservative MPs howled at the indignity of it all.

The rest was groaning and laughing and chiding and dismissing and apologizing.

They may yet prolong this business for another day, but we have surely reached the end of everyone’s patience. Time for a long winter’s nap. A toast to reflection for what’s passed and optimism for what’s next and to all a goodnight.

The Stats. The environment and military procurement, five questions each. Employment, four questions. Ethics, the economy, energy, aboriginal affairs, government appointments, patronage, fisheries, Lebanon, infrastructure and the Canadian Wheat Board, two questions each. Afghanistan, immigration, Bahrain and Quebec, one question each.

Peter Kent, five answers. Diane Finley, four answers. Stephen Harper, Vic Toews, Diane Ablonczy and Jim Flaherty, three answers each. Julian Fantino, Peter Van Loan, Rob Nicholson, Gerry Ritz and Denis Lebel, two answers each. Greg Rickford, Rona Ambrose, Keith Ashfield, Peter MacKay, Gail Shea and Christian Paradis, one answer each.

The Commons: That’s enough

  1. What a pity that just when they finally get down to plain speaking, and saying what they really  think….somebody calls ‘recess’.

  2. Lol!  That was a fun read Aaron.   Sounds like they are all getting a little goofy – I don’t know how you watch this every day let alone write about it.

  3. Sounds like Justin Trudeau had the only honest reaction of the day.

    • Trudeau’s vocabulary appears to be stuck in ‘Juvenile’.

      • Most Conservative’s vocabulary is stuck at Grade 2:  ”He did it first!” and “Wah!”.

  4. Way to tell the truth, Justin.  Peter Kent used to be cool when he was on the news, now he’s become a small minded, grumpy dick. 

  5. Today, Kent acted like the schoolyard punk who just took your milk money then proceeded to make fun of you for being broke. Karma has a tendency to care of guys like that.

    Trudeau’s comments are inexcusable. That said, if I were in his place, I’d have used worse words than ‘shit’. I probably wouldn’t make a very good MP.

    • I would have mispronounced his surname and then feigned innocence.

      I would definitely not make a very good MP

      • I agree with you. Those that feel they must resort to silly schoolyard name-calling don/t make very good MP/s.

        • You’re a stupid dummy poo-poo head.

          Nobody’s gonna sign my nomination papers now…

        • Take a good look at the Conservative caucus and reflect on your statement. Do you like what you see?

          • OK—-Upon reflection, I thought about the 4 Cabinet Ministers  ( Kent, MacKay, Clement, and Duncan ) in the past while who have endured a constant barrage of accusations, lies, and insults from the Libs and dippers and I don/t recall them using foul language against the opposition, even though some of them, including Trudeau, should be toned down—-maybe his mother will take him aside.

          • Not hard to keep your composure when you know you’re among the government benches, don’t need to follow the rules, and your paycheque is likely bigger than most opposition MPs. Smooth sailing, really; any idiot could do it. Case in point, our current government MPs.

          • Yeah, that/s probably it.
            Or maybe they have the maturity and discipline to know they have to govern while the opp. are just trying to look good to their dwindling fans.

          • Trained seals do what they’re told. As Harper said, “I make the rules….”

  6. I’ve never seen anyone Brazilian wax his chin before. It looks….. um, it looks like something you probably don’t want your chin looking like. Yet strangely enough it suits him.   

    • Well now you have ruined it. Justin thought the facial hairy thingy would make him more manly and then you go and ……….

      • Amazing how you two know about Brazilian waxes, not to mention Justin’s motivations.

        He grew it for Movember, like he does every year

        Only you guys would worry about how ‘manly’ it would make you.

        • So you’re amazed how we know about Justin’s motivations. Then in the next sentence you go on to explain his motivations. Ah Emily. What would we do without you? These threads would be so desolate without the entertainment of your random lapses in cognition.   

          • You were guessing at his motivations….I knew it was because of Movember.

            There’s a difference

          • Well, thank you for explaining yourself. I really had no idea. :) Don’t ever change Em. 

            Good night. 

          • Justin was on both  CTV and CBC promoting Movember.  When everyone else was having their lips shaven, he said he was going to keep his until after Xmas.  His ‘motivations’ are hardly unknown. 

          • Guess I’m just not up to snuff on the latest Parliament Hill gossip. Haven’t watched televised news in years. 

    • You must be watching old porn. 

      • So new porn is where all the chin-waxing happens? Thanks for the update.  

  7. What is up with that facial hair thingy? Put a parrot on his shoulder and pierce his ear and he could be off swashbuckling.

    • He can’t just up and leave… he has obligations to the other two Musketeers, you know..

      • Oh, for God’s sake.  I was just saying to some friends that, while I heartily applaud Justin’s comment and (importantly) the immediate apology, it was an example of why women don’t want to join these merry men.  Because the women involved (Meghan Leslie, our own Kirsty Duncan, and Elizabeth May) would take some time (like, several seconds to a minute) to get over the shock of the comment and come to the conclusion that it wasn’t them (they didn’t miss anything or do something wrong), it was him.  And in the meantime Justin rode in on his white steed to defend the fair maiden’s honour.

        The point being, I had no idea he had that swashbuckling beard when I said that. 

  8. I am surprised that someone with the self-perceived dramatic flair of a Justin is so thick-headed that he does not recognize the political theater that Parliament is. When the opposition ask a question that accuses the government of wanting the planet to poison itself, they don/t really mean it. It/s part of their strategy of extremism–a stupid strategy but one they continue to do. And when the government responds with a careful but provoking answer, that is their perceived role in this theater.

    I don/t particularly like this type of to and fro but it is the questioner who begins the program with their inane and extremist questions. However I am mature enough to recognize that it is pointless and self-defeating to start calling schoolyard names to 68 year-old cabinet ministers. Justin is a 39 year old man who acts like a 16 year old boy. 

    • A 16 year old boy with a Brazilian waxed chin. Indeed. Someone needs to tussle his hair, take him for some ice cream, and give him a little talking to. 

      • Kent, however remains a douche. And that South African tan is making him look like ET.   

      • Why do you feel the need to keep using this Brazillian reference/metaphor you think is so witty? It would imply no hair at all. But you must be one of those Foxesque writers who thinks, “well… it sounds good, so I’ll say it,” with no regard for the actual meaning or veracity of your statement. Plus a bit of, “oh, I’m so witty… better repeat it a few times, for effect…. Maybe, just maybe, people will pay attention to me!”

        • Whenever my posts start getting retarded, I know it’s time to take a break from posting. Thanks for pointing it out. It’s not always easy for me to tell. :)

      • Ok, we get it. You are fascinated with Justin Trudeau and Brazillian wax jobs. It was mildly funny the first time, now it’s just creepy.

    • Let’s see… across Canada this evening, people were talking about Justin Trudeau, and generally approving, in a tut-tut sort of way, of his outburst.

      As long as the papers spell his name correctly tomorrow morning, I’d say he’s good.

    • Kent precipated this with his passive-aggressive slime ball attack on Leslie. Being 68 is not an excuse for this behavior.  And it’s not like he doesn’t a habit of doing this. 

  9. Typical of the dauphin, a true son of his arrogant father,  an upper class little Lord Fauntleroy twit – staring down his nose like the rest of the Liberal elites.  Yet here they are a 3rd rate rump party hidden away in the bowels of the H of C. I’ve waited years for this. Thank you Lord!

    • Ahhh the lies and the deceit and the breaking of his word on the govt part doesn’t concern you in the least.

      No….instead it’s class envy, and blaming the son for the father.

      • No, no ,no…

        They all have to make fun of his facial hair….that is what constitutes intelligent discussion.

        It doesn’t matter what Justin said…man, he looked good saying it. Prepare for the Reform onslaught…against him…he will become their worst enemy and nemesis…no matter how much they try to belittle him.

        His old man was a community advocate years before he got into politics…Justin is doing both at the same time….in terms of progression…he is years ahead of Pierre.

        Unfortunately for Canada, he has a young family, and I doubt he will put them in the firing line for all the bitter old white men that make up the so called Conservative Party.

        The only question is how many years…2, 4, 10?

        • Honest to gawd….they think nobody notices their ‘nudge nudge, wink wink’ nonsense about him being, as they used to say, ‘light in the loafers’

          They are totally unaware of their own cabinet being something they’d belittle if they were Libs…. yet for some reason, facial hair….a totally manly thing…lets them do schoolboy snickering over people in some other party.

          Yeah, Justin is too young yet….he has little kids, and wants to be a good dad to them….so it’ll be a few years before he considers anything else…..if he ever does.

          In the meantime, there are others to take up the gauntlet and return some sanity to our political scene

  10. Is it just me or does Trudeau jr. put you in mind of a young Che Guevera

    • It’s just you. I grudgingly admire Che. Misguided though he was, one could hardly fault him for holding the views that he did, or fail to admire his revolutionary fervour. Justin, on the other hand, was born into quite a different world – Canadian royalty almost – and really has nowhere to go but down. Sounds like he’s on his way. 

    • Trudeau reminds me of Dwight Schrute from the Office.

  11. The Liberals have nothing left to say except for using foul language, name calling & insults. I would have expected better even from a party that came in third place in the last federal election. You are not a class act Justin Trudeau and I’m sure your family is not very proud of you today.

    • “…even from a party that came in third place in the last federal election.” Indeed. Yet, let’s not forget that it’s the first time since 1867 they don’t get either to be Government or Official Opposition… 

      And let’s see. Apart from today, I don’t recall that many occasions during which these foul language, name calling & insults have been used by the Libs in the last few years. Don’t get me wrong… any use should be frowned upon. But generalizing? Really?

      • The foul language is nothing new. The cheerleading from various “progressive” quarters is a more recent development. When they’re not demanding a return to civility that we had before the nasty Tories took over, they’re cheering on the latest profanities uttered by their heroes. 

  12. Wherry taps out. “And your winner, by way of submission, the erosion of Parliament!”

  13. I’m surprised there isn’t some sort of parliamentary exclusion written in the books that allows for comments like this is the recipient actually is a piece of shit. I can certainly understand that we don’t want our MPs running around all willy-nilly calling everybody on the opposite side of the room a piece of shit, but in a case where the subject truly is a piece of shit, or a lying sack of shit, or is just generally full of shit … I think allowances must be made.

    • I agree.  Let’s get started. You’re a piece of shit, Thomas. That comment was full of shit.

  14. They have done a far better job, and are way more credible than the Liberals or NDP

  15. Somebody needs to tell little Trudeau over there two things:

    a) Stop using that foul mouth of his.

    b)  Auditions for the Three Musketeers are in Room 107B. That is why he looks like that, right?

    • Yes Dennis_F, please lecture us on civility in debate.

  16. Turdo’s losing it, like a typical Lieberal loser. Last election’s results are still not sinking in… you lost, tough, better luck next time. We endured the “Lieberal Rule” for far too long, now it’s time for some fresh air. Thank goodness!

    Also, for all you Lieberal fans out there, what has your last favorite government (Chretien’s) done for Kyoto? Nothing, Nada, Zip, that’s what! So stop whining when a Prime Minister with some balls finally gets a majority and cuts this useless program loose, same as the politically ideological (but absolutely impotent and useless) gun registry.

    In four years, no one will care anymore… and stupidities such as Kyoto or the hunting gun registry will be just a distant bad memory, a social experiment gone bad and extremely expensive. Oh and by the way… it’s called “Solar Cycles”, not “Global Warming”. In essence, there is f-all we humans can do to stop it. The planet will get warmer at the same rate with OR without your precious Kyoto being in effect. The only thing with Kyoto’s end is that environmentalist groups will no longer be able to rip off billions of our tax dollars to solve an imaginary problem (and therefore thousands of leftists in positions of power will not get greased… so sad!).

    Whatever…

    • That’s true. When God created the Earth 6000 years ago, he wanted us to use it to the full extent of the Commandments. 

      More importantly, to be credible, Chrétien should have done everything in his power to reinforce and back Kyoto. The fact that it came into force in 2005 while he resigned in 2003 is but a technicality that we should overlook. 

      Never again should we endure the rule of a party that’s been elected more times than any other in the western hemisphere. Shame on the Liberals for having been so popular. Shame on the Liberals for putting forward insanities like Progress. 

      • Such a funny man Dexter. You feel so good when you bash someone about religion, when they didn’t even bring up religion. It’s fascinating that you say this considering that those who blindly belief in AGW are thought of as a cult.

  17. This may be the first time I’ve ever been impressed with Justin Trudeau.

    However, his apology was correct.  Peter Kent may indeed have been acting like an ass, thus sullying the House of Commons, but that is no reason for Justin Trudeau to join him in that endeavour.

  18. “we will continue to move forward and make sure that they have the best
    aircraft that are available when we have to replace the current fleet.” — Surely there should be some censure for lying to the House this way — they’ve picked the most expensive toy in the store but a plane that can’t communicate while operating in the arctic, and which the Americans have stated has serious design flaws can’t truthfully be called “the best”.

  19. School yard bullies and we are the idiots for allowing them to get away with it. Parasites getting incredible pensions for doing nothing for the country and stuffing their’s and their friends pockets. Closed door meetings, hushed up money transfers, ridiculing each other rather than producing anything. Wouldn’t it be great to start a new year with a new government and opposition parties? All MP’s have been at the trough for so long they can’t see past their own jowls. Disgusting and worse then it has ever been.

  20. He grew his facial hair for Movember – Google that, and stop being insulting about a man’s efforts to aid charity. My first vote was for his father, despite MY father being a Tory MP; I admire and support his mother’s contribution to our country, and I would vote for Justin if I lived in his constituency.  The Trudeau family have all made contributions to public life, and I admire the Member’s chutzpah in calling a spade a spade. The other person, bellitling an official he had hamstrung himself, was pitiful and small – it deserved calling out.  It’s 2011, not the 1950s.  And btw, my father taught me to look people in the eye when speaking or being spoken to; the Prime Minister sounds like a rude person, on top of all his other shortcomings.  Bravo Justin!

    • It’s been December for a couple of weeks now - Google that. I would never be able to take this guy seriously, no matter what he says on account of the “flowing locks and sharply drawn facial hair.” Marie, you seem to have a very superficial understanding of the Trudeaus “contributions”. Please dig a little deeper.

  21. Trudeau was effective in publicly nailing Kent trying to make the opposition look bad for something he himself caused.  Pointing out the hypocrisy would have gone unnoticed in the press, but swearing and name calling put both of them in the headlines.  Who should be apologizing here?

  22. “Suffer’in suckatash”… says Trudeaus kid… I think the fact that Trudeau Jr. can grow various styles of facial hair qualifies him for the PMO… that… and the fact his father was a revolutionary, disco dancing, Gargoyle who liked to hang out with third world despots… The grade 8 drama teacher is ready to take over the cult… I mean country, because his name is Trudeau… what other requirement could there possibly be?

  23. Peter Kent is a piece of sh*t, period. The whole Conservative party is a pack of shameless cowards. I’m proud of Justin Trudeau for saying plainly to Kent what he thinks of the man. And I’m doubly proud of Trudeau for manning up and apologizing, something that the Conservatives are absolutely incapable of doing.
    As for the demeaning comments about Trudeau’s facial hair: what the goddam does it have to do with anything?

    • It looks retarded. Other than that, not much. 

  24. I have a problem with your Stats. The questions’ tabulation. But to say that people “answered” is a rather bad stretch of the language. More accurately, they “responded to,” but did not “answer,” the questions.

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