This is the week that was

Aaron Wherry sums up the week in six paragraphs and 39 links


Recalling what Stephen Harper wanted to do in 2008, Megan Leslie made the Prime Minister face the farce. Afterwards, Ms. Leslie figured Mr. Harper was confused. Royal Galipeau hoped you weren’t paying attention. The New Democrats continued to publicly shame Conservative backbenchers. We counted down the greatest moments in farce and delved further into the question of revenue.

After the House debated Stephen Harper’s previous position on omnibus legislation, the Harper government tabled another omnibus budget bill. This one impacted numerous pieces of existing legislation. Jim Flaherty challenged everyone to a reading contest, but he was mistaken about the length of his bill. Understanding the spring budget apparently required a decoder ring. And the Conservatives agreed to make at least one change to the bill.

Bob Rae and Stephen Harper bid Dalton McGuinty adieu and Liberals got another possible leader to speculate about. Peter Loewen and Mark Jarvis panned Mr. McGuinty’s prorogation. Mr. Rae opted not to comment and Liberals danced around the question. And Peter Russell accused Mr. McGuinty of contempt.

Alice Wong enjoyed a bowl of shark fin soup. Kelly Block was forced to defend a flyer. Peter Penashue’s election campaign raised more questions.  Mr. Penashue pleaded inexperience. Keith Ashfield suffered a heart attack. Gerry Ritz was asked again to resign. Lincoln Alexander passed away. Peter Goldring quibbled with changes to MP pensions. Christian Paradis made a late night announcement. And Tony Clement rejected reform.

The saga of XL Foods continued. The CFIA defended itself. An audit cast doubt on Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan. The Museum of Civilization was renamed. The PBO released a progress report. At least four different weeks were celebrated in one. And the Supreme Court scheduled a ruling on Etobicoke Centre.

And this week had four sketches.


This is the week that was

  1. “Peter Loewen and Mark Jarvis panned Mr. McGuinty’s prorogation. Mr. Rae opted not to comment and Liberals danced around the question.”

    I remember when Justin Trudeau said Kelly McParland (from the NP) had some great ideas about how to rebuild the Liberal party starting with committing the party to government accountability. (Canada now ranks #51 in the world behind Niger and Colombia in government openness.)

    Trudeau should just go with his gut instinct and make this his defining issue. It’s the perfect opportunity to demonstrate some gravitas in the face of this critics who accuse him of having none.

    First step is to come right out and condemn McGuinty for his corrupt prorogation of Parliament. Forget about whose toes he would be stepping on. Just be a man and do it.

    When it comes to MP pensions, Justin should stand up and say the cuts do not go nearly far enough. (And they don’t.)

    These are the kind of bold moves that would really make Canadians take notice.

    Fact is voters across the political spectrum are sick of corrupt politicians. If he capitalizes on this, he will win the next election and do a lot of good in the process.

    • BTW, Liberals should check out this new story in the NP on Tony Clement killing an all-party committee’s recommendations on fiscal accountability. All the hard-core conservatives in the comments section are thoroughly disgusted with the move.

      The only way Liberals will get core conservatives to vote for them is by championing Reform policies on government accountability — the ones Harper promised but utterly failed to deliver on.

      Federal Conservatives reject all-party report aimed at fixing spending-oversight rules

      Kelly McParland: Some helpful suggestions for would-be Liberal leaders

      • I don’t think Canadians have the slightest interest in any of those things….at best it would be peripheral. And I certainly hope Justin comes up with something bigger than that!

        • Canadians don’t have the slightest interest in government accountability? One of the most respected public figures in recent years was Sheila Fraser who exposed political corruption and waste. No politician has come close to earning that much respect from Canadians.

          One of the biggest scandals in the last few years was Harper’s opportunistic proroguing of Parliament. Most Canadians probably couldn’t explain what prorogation is. But they certainly didn’t like politicians giving themselves a long extended Christmas break.

          Then there was the last election. Layton hammered Ignatieff on his spotty work record in showing up for votes. That played a large part in Ignatieff’s humiliating defeat (and Layton’s historic victory.)

          The average Canadian does not think highly of politicians. If the Justin owns accountability he will have a great opportunity to earn respect and hammer the corrupt Harper regime building momentum for change.

          • BTW, obviously there should be more to the platform than just one issue. Hopefully, Justin will come up with a solid alternative to Harper’s economic vision founded on resource extraction and neo-con free-market ideology. The Liberals need to go back to the center in order to get back the centrist vote….

          • No, I don’t think there is anymore interest in those things than in the daily mud wrassle at QP.

            It’s a given that politicians shouldn’t abuse public money….it’s also a legal requirement. Canadians would like to see our laws enforced….but they’ve kinda given up hope on those things. Always promised, never delivered.

            Mostly they’re keen on health, education and jobs