Footnotes -



The shouted word “appalling” was apparently quite audible to those watching Question Period on television this afternoon, not that it wasn’t quite audible to those of us in the House. For the record, that was Carolyn Bennett, objecting to the Health Minister’s that there was no pandemic preparedness plan until the Harper government took power. As Ms. Bennett explained, less loudly, afterwards, there has apparently been such a plan since 1988.

The documents referenced by the Liberals in their questions concerning Suaad Hagi Mohamud have been posted here, along with a timeline as they’ve pieced it together.

Finally, the Defence Minister used the term “spurrilous” to describe certain allegations made by NDP MP Jack Harris. This is believed to be a new word, invented by Mr. MacKay, derived from the adjectives scurrilous and spurious.



  1. Thanks for letting us know who it was that shouted 'appalling'. (Sorry I spelled it wrong on your other post).

    Boy, does that woman have pipes!! Actually, I thought it was a man's voice.

  2. Maybe Hansard has it?

  3. New words are always fun.

  4. Spurrilous is a perfectly cromulent word.

  5. But don't say Mr. Harper lied about this. Just because the issue was brought up at a minister/deputy ministers meeting a month before he had that press conference saying he'd learned of it a week ago doesn't mean that Mr. Harper actually pays attention to what his ministers do.

    After all, just because Ms. Raitt says that it's political suicide for Ms. Smith to come out with a private members bill doesn't mean that Mr. Harper is made aware of when his ministers are speaking in public and what they're talking about.

  6. Thanks for posting these documents, Aaron. I saw the email line: "J'ai besoin des lignes pour le PM dans des minutes!", followed by a cut-and-paste of Goddard's original story. That seems to suggest that a briefing memo was being prepared for the PMO.

    We'll never know whether that memo made its way to the PM personally, but it certainly suggests that somebody in the PMO noticed the story and asked for information about it.

  7. When I was in government, we'd often gets requests from the MInister's office saying "we need this urgently for today's QP" but often the briefing note got held up, often in the ADM or DM's office. There were many reasons for the hold-up. The DM may have had questions about substance or style or wanted more detail. There was never any guarantee that just because the Minister's office (my last minister was Paul Martin) wanted it, he or she would ever receive the briefing note, let alone read it. Just as often as not the issue got overtaken by events.

    Bottom line. The fact that someone in the PMO wants a briefing note is no guarantee that the PM, whoever the PM is at the time, will ever see it.

  8. Thanks for injecting a much-needed dose of reality into this discussion, TwoYen.

  9. You're welcome. When Paul Martin was my minister and QP briefing notes were being delayed or had not yet gotten formal sign off, one of the political staff in the minister's office would often phone down to the officer in charge and seek an "advance" oral briefing on what to expect. The staffer would then brief the minister orally. The formal briefing note duly signed by the DM might still go into the QP briefing book for the record, but if the minister had already received an oral briefing from his staff, there is a good chance he would choose not to read the formal briefing note, or, at the very most, skim it quickly. (Minister's are busy and are asked to read a huge amount of pretty dull stuff.)

    I have no doubt that similar things happen in the current government.

  10. Spurrilous has been done

    Heh. "Conservative" plagiarism: it's not just about ripping off superannuated Australian prime ministers anymore…!

  11. Nah, it's just the NewSpeak. Let's all go sit under the chestnut tree, shall we?

  12. It's a perfectly cromulent word.