Four highlights from this afternoon’s post-Question Period scrums:
1. NDP MP Matthew Kellway on ship procurement: They missed the mark on the cost of the Joint Support Ships by a long shot. It was, you know, 30 per cent on the estimate and about 60 per cent on the budget envelope. And it’s important I think to note that the PBO was, in fact, I think, very charitable. They used the low end of the escalator. They assumed that these ships would come in on time. And we know that with escalators for military procurement of about 7 to 11 per cent, that time is the enemy of getting anything done under budget or in budget. It’s a huge concern, but it’s no surprise that they’ve missed it again.
2. Liberal MP Ted Hsu on medical isotopes: There’s an enormous, probably half billion dollar decision that would need to be made in the next few years, or as soon as possible, about whether the government builds another reactor or not. And having the medical isotopes made at these other facilities which have a much lower capital cost is a good way of diversifying the supply of medical isotopes.
3. NDP MP Charlie Angus on Claude Patry’s floor-crossing to the Bloc Quebecois: I think we’ve got a very clear message for Quebec and Mr. Patry. You know, he’s a nice guy, but I never ever felt he was really wanted to even be here. He didn’t do much in our caucus, so he’s unfortunately decided to leave. But I think the fair thing would be for him to remember that the people in his riding voted for New Democrats and support New Democrats, so he should do the right thing and go back to them and get a mandate.
4. Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae on Patry’s floor-crossing: I think it shows you what a very fragile coalition this new NDP really is. There’s a lot of members on the Quebec side who clearly are supporters of sovereignty. That’s not an accusation. It’s simply a fact in terms of where those members are really coming from. I think the Clarity Act issue required a real dance around for them, and so I think Mr. Patry got fed up with the dance.