Yesterday, Government House Leader Peter Van Loan stood in the chamber and talked about democracy. He was responding to Jim Karygiannis, a Liberal colleague, who was particularly concerned with ongoing social unrest in Venezuela. He wanted Canada to condemn the Maduro administration, presented a motion to that effect, and found little support in the House. NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen said Karygiannis had jumped the gun on what could be a unanimously supported motion. The parties, Cullen said, were still crafting agreeable wording.
Van Load then stood to reply for his side. “This is an issue the government cares about deeply in terms of allowing democracy to have a fighting chance,” he said. “Canada will speak much louder if we do indeed speak with unanimity, which I believe is possible.”
Fifteen minutes earlier, the government sounded a different tune on Ukraine. David Anderson, the parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs, explained why Canada’s delegation to Ukraine, led by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, would exclude the opposition. “We are sending people there who have been engaged in this issue, who treat it seriously, and they are standing with the Ukrainian people,” he said, citing Justin Trudeau’s flippant remarks about Russia’s involvement in the crisis and the NDP’s alleged inability to side with protesters.
Meanwhile, the House reached no unanimity about the Venezuelan unrest. Maybe someday. Maybe today.
Pierre Poilievre will continue to defend his electoral reform bill. Various Conservatives will continue to defend their attempts to support the middle class. Spoiler: They’ll talk about tax cuts.
In the news
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.
Thursday, February 27, 2014