Who here is the least disgraceful? - Macleans.ca

Who here is the least disgraceful?

The House engages in a rather unedifying hour of democracy


On the day word came that the RCMP is investigating the circumstances of the cheque the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff gave to one of the senators the Prime Minister appointed, the Prime Minister’s party was quite concerned about a report that Thomas Mulcair had failed to stop at a security gate leading to Parliament Hill.

Four Conservative MPs—David Wilks, Ted Opitz, Cheryl Gallant and Chris Warkentin—used their precious minutes before Question Period to stand and raise the matter. When Question Period began, the Conservatives chanted for “Tom.” After the Speaker had called for order and after David Christopherson was finally able to offer the official opposition’s first question, James Moore did not even pretend to respond before launching into a harangue of the NDP leader. Mr. Christopherson offered a second question and Mr. Moore ignored that one too so that he might suggest that Mr. Mulcair did not have the “temperament” to be prime minister. Not until the NDP had asked its fourth question did Mr. Moore even feign a response (“Mr. Speaker, we take very seriously the issues raised by the NDP. That is why the Prime Minister has answered his questions.”) before again referring to the matter of Mr. Mulcair.

Later, two Conservatives—Ryan Leef and Mr. Wilks, again—stood and used their precious opportunities to hold the executive to account to wonder aloud whether the government might explain the importance of respecting the law. (“Do you know who I am?” mocked Mr. Wilks, to which various New Democrats yelled, “No!”, which is not entirely fair, as most anyone who follows federal politics will know Mr. Wilks as the backbencher who was very briefly concerned about one of last year’s budget bills.) Afterwards, various Conservative MPs walked out into the foyer with “Stop Mulcair” signs held prominently, while LeVar Payne took to Twitter to wonder if perhaps the NDP leader could not read English. Julian Fantino, who had been sent up to respond to Mr. Leef’s question, stopped to entertain questions from reporters, but was apparently dissatisfied to be met with questions about the RCMP and the PMO. “Why aren’t you asking about Mr. Mulcair’s breakage of the law?” he wondered.

Mr. Mulcair’s morning drive had been but the most prominent topic of discussion in the previous hour. When it was all over, the tally of alleged wrongdoing cited here today, assigned to one party or another, included unpaid taxes (NDP), abusing election laws (Conservatives), improperly taking money from charities (Liberals), improperly claimed expenses (Liberals), illegal campaign debts (Liberals), illegal political donations (NDP), flouting Hill security (NDP), a potentially illegal cheque (Conservatives), secrecy (Conservatives) and sabotaging the committee to select the parliamentary budget officer (Conservatives). And so possibly—in the wake of a particularly unseemly hour—it is time to adjourn the House for the sake of not further degrading the public’s feelings toward democratic governance.

At the very least, it is good that John Baird was in England today and thus not here to see and hear his colleagues behaving as such. It was two and a half years ago that Pierre Poilievre, parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister at the time and apparently in a hurry to get to Parliament Hill, reportedly exited his car and pressed the entrance button without waiting for the RCMP to clear him. And it was Mr. Baird then who beseeched the House to resist the urge to dwell on matters of minor relevance. “Let us focus on the priorities of the people of Canada,” he called to all within earshot, “and not these trivial matters.”

What might be the priorities of the people of Canada? Yesterday, Mr. Moore did seem to allow that the public might have questions about the matter of Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy.

In that regard it is a pity that Conservative MPs on the ethics committee were apparently uninterested in hearing from Mr. Wright, but then there are still two questions on the order paper that the government side might deign to respond to before the House rises for the summer. Indeed, the Conservatives might even decide to proactively disclose whatever documents it has in its possession that might be relevant to the arrangement between Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy. And a full explanation from the Prime Minister of what he has done to ascertain the details of the arrangement between Mr. Wright and Mr. Duffy might also answer some of the public’s questions.

As for Mr. Moore, some degree of pity is probably in order. None of this is his particular responsibility. He didn’t hire Mr. Wright. He didn’t nominate Mr. Duffy. He cannot be expected to account for whatever has transpired within the Prime Minister’s Office. Alas, for whatever reason, it has been his duty to stand in the House of Commons and respond to the questions pertaining to such.

His performance today is perhaps best understood as entirely ironic or bravely subversive.

“Why is it that the New Democrats think they are above the law?” he wondered aloud with his first opportunity.

Next, he wondered where Mr. Mulcair was. “If the NDP believe in accountability and responsibility, its leader should show up in the House and explain himself on why he broke the law again,” he declared.

Later, in response to questions about Nigel Wright’s cheque from Justin Trudeau, Mr. Moore fumed at the prospect that Mac Harb might be able to return to the Liberal caucus if the senator repays his questionable expenses. “The RCMP can speak to the RCMP’s investigation, just as only the Liberal leader can speak to the Liberal senators. Indeed, Liberal Senator Mac Harb took $231,000,” the Heritage Minister ventured. “I hear the leader of the Liberal Party say that he is not a Liberal senator. He sure was a Liberal when he stole the money. So, again, if the leader of the Liberal Party believes in accountability and responsibility, perhaps he should answer this simple question: how much money does a Liberal senator have to steal before they are not welcome in the Liberal Party?”

For sure, Mr. Moore would be on surer footing here if the Conservative Party of Canada hadn’t pleaded guilty to violating election spending limits in 2008 and if the Harper government wasn’t the only government in this country’s history to have been found in contempt of Parliament and if the RCMP wasn’t said to be presently investigating Mr. Harper’s former chief of staff and and if two Conservative MPs weren’t presently in court with Elections Canada and if the Prime Minister hadn’t left for Peru without facing the House on the first day that Parliament was in session after the deal between Mr. Wright and Mr. Duffy was revealed and if the Prime Minister hadn’t fail to show up in the House on the following Monday and if Mr. Duffy hadn’t remained a Conservative senator for awhile despite having apparently claimed a housing allowance he shouldn’t have.

And so you might argue that some degree of humility is in order.

But then perhaps Mr. Moore’s fuming in the directions of Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau was his way of conveying a deep personal dissatisfaction with the state of things on his own side. Or perhaps it is merely that there is comfort from the stresses of life in the trivial. (Some of us go home and watch the Bachelorette. Some of us stand up in public and accuse our rivals of disrespecting the RCMP and providing comfort to wayward senators. We all have our necessary weaknesses.)

Sometime after he had listened carefully to and then applauded Mr. Fantino’s declaration to the House that Mr. Mulcair should “stop acting like he is above the law,” Mr. Poilievre was sent up to respond to a complaint from Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner. In response to an accusation of flouting election laws, Mr. Poilievre pronounced the Liberals guilty of flouting election laws.

“The right thing for him to do,” Mr. Poilievre said of Mr. Cuzner, “instead of throwing mud at this side would be to stand up and explain what his party is doing about its own law-breaking.”

And so perhaps in that spirit—with Mr. Poilievre’s worthy words in mind—we should set aside a separate 45 minutes each day for MPs to stand and confess their sins.


Who here is the least disgraceful?

  1. Cons are frantic….rats running around in a maze, already even attacking each other. LOL

    And if we have a mountie at the gate who does NOT recognize the Leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition…..fire his ass.

    • It was a ‘her’ EmilyOne. Read the news.

    • How new or uninterested do you have to be to not recognize Mulcair – doesn’t the government have Wanted posters up everywhere?

      • Only leader with a beard too…! LOL

        • ‘Lenin avoiding apprehension, I repeat Lenin avoiding…Lenin parking in his Official Opposition Leader parking spot.’ Stand Down.

          • LOL Well the Cons are that far behind the times, so it wouldn’t surprise me that the mounties are too.

    • Whether SHE recognized him or not, it doesn’t matter.

      They are there to protect the politicians, however it is clear that Mulcair doesn’t give a damn about them. His ego didn’t allow it.

      Failed to stop when ordered, blew through multiple stop signs, failed to stop even with a cruiser with lights flashing, and then threatened the officer saying the officer would be in trouble.

      FINE his ass (Mulcair), personally I’d have ensured a little ass whooping occured ‘prior’ to recognizing him.

      • Are you 77, or were you born in 77?

        Either way, your ‘age of reason’ has escaped you.

        • Well, your point has certainly escaped me!

          • EVERYthing escapes you.

          • I admit, it is hard of me to catch hold of your fantasies. I’ve got a little trouble living in multiple worlds at once.

          • You are the one with the invisible friend…..and a book you’ve never read but want to impose on everyone else.

            Most people reach the ‘age of reason’ fairly early in life….you’ve missed yours altogether.

          • I suppose atheism is as much a disease as socialism. You’ve clearly reached your age of reason at around 4 and have stopped there.

          • No one reaches maturity until they overcome the programming Frenchie. You’re bragging that you’re a robot.

          • At least I have a logic subroutine!

          • Yours was wiped out by the virus called religion a long time ago

          • Em, I am quite certain that you are more religious than I. You believe in god much more than I do, it is just that you hate him.

          • Sorry dude….atheist for over 40 years.

          • So you’ve convinced yourself.
            However, your attacks on religion clearly expose your feelings – you’re after revenge.

          • This is a standard counter by believers….they can’t imagine someone NOT believing so they claim anger at the sky fairy.

            You believe in Zeus?

          • You’re the one with the anger, you can even say God but rather you must say sky fairy to be derogatory.

          • LOL you still can’t cope with questions I see.

  2. Stupidest deflection ever. Glass houses and all.

    The Mulcair stop sign thing -which Fantino described as akin to an assault on all ‘front line men and women in uniform’ – is reminiscent of Pollievre’s similar incident in 2010. Which drew yawns. But both are examples of impatient, self-important jerks gunning it to get exactly nowhere.

    Yet, door-locker Goldring – unconvicted though he is – and moto-whoopsie Valcourt are warmly welcomed back to the fold, or cabinet even. Why would the CPC even go there?

  3. That we pay these people to represent us is reprehensible. That they then game the system, high-jack democracy and snuff out any semblance of compromise shows an absolute ethical incompetence.

  4. Liberals misbehave and stay in Liberal caucus.
    Senators Merchant, and Eggleton, and Harb, and MP Sgro—-all still in good standing in the Party with no principles—no discipline.

    Conservatives misbehave and are kicked out of the Party.
    Senators Brazeau and Duffy and MP Guergis—–all out of caucus.
    The Conservative Party—-the Party of principles and discipline.

    • Thanks for the lulz!

      • Care to tell us why the 4 above mentioned Libs are still in the Liberal caucus.
        If you are unsure of the history of their misbehaving, then use that internetty thingy to look it up.

        • Harb is NOT in the Liberal caucus, and he likely never will be again. Merchant has done nothing wrong by having private investments as long as they are in conformity with the law. I thought Conservatives supported private investment? Eggleton has been retired for years, and Sgro’s issue was cleared up ages ago.

          • Merchant – haha

            If ever there was an immoral senator, lawyer, and scumbag then he is it.

            No no – please don’t kick him out though. He exemplifies everything that is wrong with the senate and why it should be abolished.

          • Not to be too technical, but it’s actually his wife that is the Senator. You were saying?

          • Awww, did you have to tell him? It’s flat out hilarious to see these proudly ignorant people braying about the sun circling the earth. It takes a real effort to remain that stupid.

          • damn, I guess I was dreaming

            So scratch senator off the list. It’s too bad, he would fit in very well there.

          • Actually Frenchie Tony Merchant is the lawyer, one whom some would say is of questionable character.

            His wife Pama (sp?) Merchant, is the Senator. She was a school teacher prior to being named to the Senate. She remains active in non profit organizations here in Regina (where I live), including one, if memory serves me correctly that works with Immigrant Woman here in the city.

            Definitely not defending Tony Merchant (the non senator) but Senator merchant is actually a pretty nice lady. That being said some people may question her judgement over her choice in mates HOWEVER that could be said about lots of folks – me included :).

          • Trudeau just said this week that Harb would be welcomed back into the Liberal caucus if he just pays back the money he owes. Trudeau’s OK with theft, as long as the monies paid back when you’re caught, and you’re a card carrying Liberal.

          • So what you’re saying is, he’s no better than the Conservatives, who praised Duffy and only booted him from caucus when it became public that Wright had paid his bill?

            Funny, but I don’t remember you commenting that, “Harper’s OK with theft, as long as the monies paid back when you’re caught, and you’re a card carrying Conservative.”


        • Can you explain to me exactly, and in detail, why Senator Merchant should be kicked out of the Liberal caucus?

    • Well the Conservatives thought so highly of Peter Penashue who by the way broke the law when it came to elections spending they let him run as their party’s candidate in the by-election for his seat.

    • Funny stuff.

      Doug Finley, Irving Gerstein, Peter Peneshue, Dean Del Mastro, Shelly Glover, James Bezan, Eve Adams, Vic Toews – with the exception of Finley, all members of the Conservative caucus last I checked.

  5. let’s stop paying these crooks, Parliament is a joke, just a bunch of white collar crooks. Your party did this 3 years ago, well your party did something similar 20 years ago, just a bunch of bickering thoughtless drones

  6. No felon or miscreant in this nation is safe from the relentless pursuit of the cons’ lawn order agenda. Toews will have this scofflaw shackled and pinioned to the wall in some dank basement cell until his beard looks like a REAL MAN’S beard.

    • Unless Toews rents a Santa beard, we are talking Waiting for Godot time. Have you noticed how tanned he is – I wonder if we’re paying for that?

  7. Watching Hitchcock’s Saboteur last night, I was struck by the line; ” ….you have the makings of an outstanding bore”. That’s gotta be Dorothy Parker’s work, right? Regardless, so very true of all the CPC’s barking seals.

  8. Even Chretien, bad as he could be , wouldn’t recognize the place anymore. In seven loooong years, the Harper boys have turned Parliament into a running gag…reality tv for the CPC idiot base. Least we know now they weren’t kidding when they said gummint’s a waste of time and money. These guys are livin’ their dream, our nightmare. This is what ya get when the inmates get the run of the asylum. We didn’t think it could get worse than Liberal corruption and entitlement … we were wrong!

  9. “Well, now that the RCMP are on the scene, THE FIX IS DEFINITELY IN!

    Does anyone seriously think that Vic Toews will let the RCMP investigate this unfettered!

    He will have the right investigators assigned, they will delay, delay
    and delay until after The Conservative Party Convention in Calgary (we
    could not possibly have Wright charged criminally ahead of it as it
    would sweep the Convention coverage off the front pages), after which
    Mr. PM Harper will announce a cabinet re-shuffle and the Corporate
    controlled media will spin any result off into oblivion afterwards.

    Wright invoiced The Conservative Fund of Canada several times over some
    phony “FINANCIAL CONSULTATION SERVICES”, being that he is a Bay Street
    Wonder Boy and all, in order to accumulate the $90K into his bank
    account from where he could claim he wrote a personal cheque to Duffy.

    So, Toews will have this swept under the rug faster than you can say “George Stroumboulopoulos”!”

    • The Bay Street “Wonder Boy” Nigel Wright DOES NOT
      GIVE AWAY HIS OWN MONEY! Not a single
      dime came out of Wright’s pocket!

      It would be a simple matter of Nigel INVOICING the “Conservative
      Fund of Canada” account (the money raising arm of The Conservative Party) multiple
      times for some type of phony “Financial Consultant Fees” to accrue back
      the $90K. CPC treates that Fund’s coffer
      as their private “Honey Pot.”

      Are there any conversations between Conservative Senator
      Irving Gerstein (Harper’s bagman) and the PMO about Nigel getting paid back
      from the “Conservative Fund of Canada” — the federal party’s war chest Gerstein
      once chaired.

      Or, the money came out of Alberta, where there is no
      shortage of it.


      • If I read DOES NOT GIVE AWAY HIS OWN MONEY one more time…
        You are repeating in the same way the Conbots do, KNOCK IT OFF!!!

  10. Wherry, do you ever notice anything that any other party does wrong? All you ever write about is the Conservative reaction whenever a Liberal or NDPer screws up.

    FFS, Mulcair almost caused an accident by running a stop sign with a cop chasing him, and threatened an RCMP officer, and here you are complaining about how the Conservatives react?

    WTF is wrong with you? I mean it. Seriously. What the hell is wrong with you? Your hackery truly knows no limits.

    • Again, thanks for the lulz!

    • Did you see QP? Do you think the Cons should have spent the entire time faux raging about Mulcair instead of addressing questions asked of them about that silly thing called governing? What the hell is wrong with YOU?

      • No no, JG ‘s point seems to be that the CPC are perfectly justified in not answering for their sins, on the grounds that Mulcair is now disqualified because he’s a lousy driver, and JT because he didn’t personally monitor Harb’s possible fraud. Seems like only those without sin can throw stones at this govt, or even require them to provide a plausible account of their behaviour. We’re witnessing a revolution in our Parliament. We now have a govt that feels only its worthy to both ask and answer the questions, or hold anyone accountable , no matter which side of the house they may sit.

        • How fortunate that PMs get a chauffeur.

      • So you agree that politicians are allowed to run stop signs and ignore police officers. Thanks for coming out.

        • And you don’t, I take it? You must have been so dissappointed more time wasn’t taken up in QP discussing you’re MP from Edmonton’s drinking and refusing to blow adventure.

          • You managed to think of a Conservative politician doing a bad thing. Congratulations. Great work. Since an MP from Edmonton that you have not named has refused a breathalyzer at some point in time, that means Mulcair is allowed to blow stop signs and ignore police officers and we’re all supposed to ignore it. Good to know. Makes perfect sense.

    • I love that John g calls other people hacks.

      • I love thatTJCook is insinuating that john g is a hack!! Priceless!

  11. Absolute disgusting performance by the Conservatives today.

    Watching Question Period was an insult.

    • Why turn our symbol upside down, why not just burn it…so you can tell us how you really feel and place the fleur de lis there instead. I am gonna guess you don’t even vote.

      • symbol of a nation in distress, patriots know what this means but obviously a Harper loyalist lapdog like yourself has no clue.

        • A nation in distress? Nobody in their right mind is thinking of leaving Canada, and we’ve got immigrants lining up for years to get in. Canada’s great. Get off your high horse.

          • Nobody said anything about leaving – just you.
            The inverted flag is a call for help, not a surrender.

  12. You know if the Conservatives believe so strongly in their heart that Mulcair acted with criminal like arrogance to the RCMP why don’t they hold a few hearings and have the RCMP officer(s) involved testify so they could get to the bottom of this?

    • Because this way they get to bring it up again, and again and again. It’s their MO. We may be covered in sh*t, but so’s everyone else.

    • Great idea, but of course the RCMP now have to clear everything they say with Vic Toews…

  13. “Don’t you know who I am?” – Thomas Mulcair, June 13, 2013.

    “I think I make the rules.” – Stephen Harper, Aug. 26, 2010.

    Ok, then it’s settled. Mulcair and Harper are self-important pukes. Now, do we have something more important we can talk about?

    • Totally different context to the situations involving Mulcair and Harper.

      Harper was obviously joking in response to a silly question about a drive ho took on a ATV in the North.

      Mulcair had a temper tantrum because he was being stopped by the police who he thought should give him a pass.

      • Yep. And I bet I can find a Dipper to tell me the same thing, but with the snotty spin laid on Harper.

        • Or you could use you deductive skills to see what is obvious.

          • Oh, I’ve done that.

  14. Another pointless piece from a member of the Press Peanut Gallery. Real Journalism is dead and should be buried, because the carcass is beginning to smell.

  15. It’s silly season. Journalists attempt to create scandals out of thin air, politicians are preparing for the BBQ circuit. Happens every year at this time. I think I’ll just go back to sleep.

  16. While you bicker back and forth about which d bag is a bigger d bag, the country is being sold to the highest bidder at risk to your quality of life. Look at the big picture and stop supporting a tie colour. Support an MP who represents you and your personal goals and demand they do that in Parliament regardless of their party affiliation.

  17. Mulcair – Citizen of France – every person – no matter the rank or title – must stop at a check point. That is the way it is – who is in the back seat? Lucky no one shot him – now-a-day the RCMP cannot be trusted to not at least taser you if you look at them the wrong way.
    Entitled senators? Well Duffy even looks like the “hog at the trough” but the others are as bad – Harb must love NOT being in the lime light. LOL
    Tru-doh!!! the entitled and yet failed drama teacher? LOL – I would only follow this so-called leader out of idle curiosity.
    Harper – well he might be a competent individual, but he has no ability to relate to people and is losing any and all trust from many of them as he bumbles along.
    Where will the average Canadian be in ten years? Well financially they will be less well off than today – because there is not one who is NOT the least disgraceful.
    The opening question is akin to asking – “Which pile of dog poop smells the best?”

  18. I am ashamed at our gvt. and will never ever vote for adults who act in such a childish and vindictive manner. They should be sent home to their parents to be disciplined like the immature people they are. Shame on them for taking advantage of their gvt. positions to further their own shelfish needs and denegrating our democracy in the process.