Maclean’s is your home for the daily political theatre that is question period. If you’ve never watched, check out our primer. Today, QP runs from 2:15 p.m. until just past 3. We livestream and liveblog all the action.
Michael Ferguson looks almost as if he feels sorry for all the poor public servants whose departments he nailed to the wall for various failures and deficiencies. Canada’s auditor general has to do this twice each year, at least: hunt down poorly run government programs and make a big deal about it until someone starts listening. Ferguson, who publishes his critiques on video, offered this today as he tabled his spring report.
Auditor General Day in the House of Commons is as predictable as they come: the opposition pores over all of the AG’s reports—eight, this time ’round—and knows there’s something in each that some minister across the aisle will try to defend to some extent before, typically, they accept Ferguson’s recommendations and hope the opposition moves on to something shinier.
Today’s lucky ministers are Rona Ambrose in health, Steven Blaney in public safety, and Jason Kenney in national defence. In his video and statement to reporters, Ferguson dropped some hints about which problems required the most attention. He front-loaded the government’s record on antimicrobial resistance, where he says departments “have not fulfilled key responsibilities to mitigate the public health risks posed by the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in Canada.” Ambrose, come on down.