The 48-hour rule?


An exchange between the NDP leader and the Transport Minister this morning at Question Period.

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP): Mr. Speaker, a majority of members of the foreign affairs committee want to hear from the widow of Rémy Beauregard, president of Rights and Democracy before his untimely death. The government does not want to hear her speak, showing once again their contempt for the concept of discovering the truth. It would also be beneficial to hear from the first president of Rights and Democracy, Ed Broadbent, once a member, of course, of this Chamber, and also Joe Clark, who was the minister at the time that Rights and Democracy was created. How can the government refuse to hear from these very important individuals, including the Right Hon. Joe Clark?

Hon. John Baird (Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, CPC): Mr. Speaker, let me say that our sympathies are with Madame Trepanier and her family on their loss. I do hope that all members of the committee can put aside partisan politics and work together as to the number of witnesses who can invited to be heard on this matter. We hope that these disagreements can be resolved so that witnesses like Madame Trepanier may be heard.


The 48-hour rule?

  1. Wait…they don't want to hear from Joe Clark either?

    • Since when has the CPC ever wanted to hear from Joe Clark?

      • He has little to offer. He was a terrible PM and he did more to undermine the PC party and that is why we sat in opposition for 10 years. Always trying to be Liberal lite. Any former PM who suggests that it is better to elect the devil you know than one you don't i.e. Liberal versus Conservative no longer has a place in the Conservative party of Canada.

        • How big tent you are.

          How very open to information and transparent discussion.

          He is the minister who established Rights and Democracy. Ed Broadbent was the prior President.

          Why are the Conservatives so afraid to let them speak and answer questions? Blocking Ed Broadbent in particular is extremely bizarre since the alleged reason Harper has for needing to blow up R&D and undermine his own Presidential appointee (Beauregard) is because R&D under Broadbent had some serious accountability problems.

        • Joe Clark probably has about as much interest in joining the current Conservative Party as Jack Layton does.

        • You blame 13 years in the wilderness on the guy who served as PM for a cup of coffee? Gosh, wasn't he putsched by the guy who served 9+ years prior to the party's decimation?

          If the duplicitous son of Elmer hadn't traded the PC party for a handful of magic beans, the Frankenstein that stalks the Hill under the CPC banner would still be irrelevant. And our airports would be quant and quiet.

          Wishful revisionism must be quite comforting.

          • I am not revising anything. He couldn't count and lost government after 9 mos Just a footnote in Canadian history.

            It was Clark who resigned when he didn't get the numbers at the convention which he thought he should have gotten.

            The PC party was dead in the water and you know it if you follow politics. There was nothing that was going to save it. To their credit they tried but what it gave us was 13 years of Liberal do nothing government. So you can crticize MacKay all you want but the fact is if he had not been courageous and made the decision we would still be under Liberal rule. That is not good for any country and certainly invites more adscam scandals.

          • I'm sure that you aren't advocating a "Best Before" date for governments….but I'm curious to read how you view Alberta's provincial track record.

          • I concede that essentially announcing to the country "my word is worth nothing" does resemble, from certain carefully chosen angles, a kind of courage.

          • Hang on a second. Joe becomes PM. Joe loses. Joe resigns in 83.<scene missing>. Liberals run amok from 1993-2006. 1993-2006 IS Joe's fault?

          • At most, he can be blamed for 2000. Charest was leader in 1997.

            But 2000 is the election that stung most, out west. I remember watching back in 2000, at my (American) college, sitting next to a BCer. (I was still a Liberal back then.) He started swearing up and down, when the evening was over… There was some real bitterness.

        • Oh, I'm so glad we disagree on this, since we disagree on everything else.

          I love Joe Clark and view him as my favourite Prime Minister of all the Prime Ministers, ever.

          • I concur. Too classy to last in a lot of ways unfortunately.

          • agree Joe Clark is top notch. truly an individual with integrity. I also loved Joe because I used to see him pushing a cart around the aisles regularly at the local grocery store of an old abode of mine. that spoke a lot to me about what kind of a person he was.

  2. So much for the idea that they haven't been using this man's death for political purposes all along. They've practically accused the Conservatives of killing him. Shameless.

    • What a lovely straw man you've erected there.

      • Yes, M. Trepanier should be ashamed of herself.

        • No, the ideologues who are using her husband's death should be. In fact, you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to hide behind her.

          • Yes, because allowing the widow to speak to the committee is exactly the same as blaming the Conservatives for the man's death.

            This is jarrid's game again, is it? Okay, how's this one.

            Changing the lyrics to O Canada is akin to giving back all our gold medals.

            Or, how about:

            Complaining in airports is proof of supporting the troops!

      • I noticed that you didn't refute my characterization. Thanks for showing up. Next.

        • You're right. I didn't.

          I also don't bother refuting people who think they've seen bigfoot, people who think the earth is flat, and people who shove marbles up their nose.

          If you want to liken yourself to those, you be my guest.

          • So, instead, you just troll against me with useless nonsense. Right? My god, what passes for message board posting these days.

          • speaking of which, yesterday you went on and on declaring your ignorance with respect to how "a man and woman having sex has something to do with health issues involving a mother and her child" and the role of contraception in potentially affecting the child and/or mother's health. I provided an example and asked if you considered the example i provided to be legitimate. it is now nearly 24hrs later you have failed to respond.

          • He's doing that obnoxious 'next' thing again, too. What's this string tied around my finger? Oh yeah – remember not to feed the trolls.

          • Yeah, I do it in response to posts and posters who deserve it. But you go ahead and feed Thwim's trolling post. Unbelievable the lack of consistent standards by some.

    • Even if you were correct, he wouldn't mind. Next.

  3. I'd say that this isn't the 48 hour rule yet. Baird's wording is such that it suggests that the reason the witnesses (and Mme. Trepanier in particular) haven't been invited isn't to be found with the Conservative members of the committee, but rather that it's that the opposition members won't "put aside partisan politics and work together".

    In other words: it's just standard Baird-speak.

    • Problem with that is that both Jim Abbott and Deepak Obhrai stated at yesterday's committee they did not want her testifying.

      CPC MP's yesterday stated they did not want her to testify. Today John Baird says he does want her to testify.

      Sounds like another case of the 48 hour rule to me.

      • So why not put her name forward for a vote in committee, on whether or not to invite her to speak? Filibustering just drags out the issue.

        As does, it would appear, John Baird.

      • Just posting to say that, from the sounds of things, it looks like I was wrong and you were correct.

        I still expect some sort of shenanigans, but from the sounds of Kady's R&D-related liveblog it appears that the Abbott filibuster may be over.

  4. Another flip flop???

    For a party that has been unbelievably tight and focused for 4 years, this week has been a mess of flip flops, mixed and contradictory messages.

    • You can't say the government isn't listening. Ted. They take a position and if its unpopular they change their opinion. Democracy in action my friend. Can't say they aren't listening. If they didn't you be accusing them of having a tin ear.

      • What is astonishing though is that they used to seem to have a pretty good ear to the ground on policy issues and it was the Liberals who had a tin ear. And isn't that what prorogation was partially supposed to be about? Checking in with constituents?

        Instead we see a whole bunch of complete misjudgements and quick reversals. At least on the smaller stuff. On the bigger stuff – well, they haven't tried to do anything significant so we're in luck there, in a way. But Canadians want action on our finances and health and some other big issues and they aren't even trying.

        It is just very surprising how poor their judgement has been on a whole bunch of issues.

      • This is true. So why did they prorogue again?

        • Ask the PM. Could it be control of the Senate committees? Could it be to prepare a throne speech and a budget? Could it be to plan ahead for what is going to be a couple of tough years. Could it be to prepare for the G8 or G20. Or could it be to prevent the irresponsibile media and opposition parties from shouting war crimes during the Olympics. Those are a few things for you to chew on.

          • Well, it obviously couldn't be to prepare a throne speech. On account of they didn't, they just brought up a whole lot of things to see if anything sounded good to the rest of us. A chinese food menu for a throne speech, if you will.

          • Not fair — the Australians worked long hours on that menu!

          • Senate committees would have taken a prorogue of a minute.
            Preparing a throne speech and budget are supposed to be part of the regular job. I don't get to tell my boss, "Hey, you know that proposal we've got coming up? Yeah, I'm gonna havta be out of the office for the month while I work on it."
            Preparing for the G8 and G20 are also part of the regular government duties.
            Ahh.. preventing questioning on the detainee issue.. perhaps you're on to something there.

          • What ticks you guys off is that while the detainee issue has not gone away it has lost all of the momentum it had before the break. The media is tired of it and the public has never been engaged in the first place. Only the lefties and the anti war crowd and of course Andrew Coyne care much about it.

            So whether you like the reasons for proroguing or not is immaterial. It is the prorogative of the PM to advise the GG who normally would consent. So you guys can try all the tricks you want to limit prorogation but Harper will not agree to reducing his or any future PM's prorogation powers.

      • I totally called this talking point a few weeks ago! Bingo!

        • What talking point, that governments sometimes change their minds? That politicians do? I mean, Liberals among all people value the merit of a good flip-flop, no? Just look at Obama and the health care mess he's created, among many other examples, no?

          Don't exactly know why liberals and leftists hold conservatives to the standard of perfection. But it seems to be a typical tactic. Look at them, so now we can do even worse.

          • Liberals and leftists are idealists, they hold everyone to a standard of perfection. That's why Obama's in a mess — not because the right has power over him, but because the left is squawking that he hasn't delivered their individually-customized ponies yet.

            And the converse is how the right holds on to power — they circle the wagons, whatever the weather. Liberals are satisfied to lose over one small pet issue; conservatives generally prefer winning.

  5. "We hope that these disagreements can be resolved so that witnesses like Madame Trepanier may be heard".

    Wow, that was fast. Isn't the "disagreement" Baird refers to simply that Tory filibustering has prevented the committee from even holding a vote on whether witnesses like Madame Trepanier should be heard? So, yesterday the Tories filibuster and won't even allow a vote on whether or not these witness should be heard, and today, the Tories hope that "disagreements can be resolved" to allow these witnesses to be heard. I love how the Tories can throw up a roadblock and then blame the opposition for not driving through it.

  6. Unless the widow attended the meetings in question there is little to be gained but heresay evidence. That is not really getting to the truth but using a sympathetic figure to gain partisan points. So sad that the opposition in their desperation has to resort to calling grieving widows to testify.

    • Um, she called them.

      And John Baird agrees with the Liberals that the committee should be allowed to hear the testimony of anyone it chooses.

      If you don't like our Parliamentary democracy, get your party to call an election and try to change the make-up of Parliament.

      • Oh I will leave that to the hysterical opposition parties. They are in full control of their own destiny. The government continues to govern and thats what drives all you Libbies nuts.

        • Do try to keep up, Hollinm. It is the Conservatives here once again trying to prevent the work of Parliament, blocking our elected representatives from doing their job. The opposition continues to do its job and that's what drives all you connies nuts.

          Just because you don't like the results of democracy in action, doesn't mean you get to choose to ignore it or block it.

          • I guess you are sitting in the committees and know exactly who is saying what. The fact is we have an adversial system and if one side doesn't agree that's the way it works. Our elected representatives doing their work. You got to be joking.
            If you call acting like a much of hysterical school girls doing their job well that's sad.
            Ted tell your friends in the opposition to vote non confidence and let Canadians decide who is thwarting democracy. No guts, no glory.

          • 'Fraid you got that one wrong again, hollinm. Twice in one comment in fact.

            We know that Abbott fillibustered the committee in order to prevent a vote on who should be invited to attend. This is normal procedure. This is the work of the committee. And the Conservatives are preventing the committee, like they did all of 2008 and 2009, from doing its job.

            As for an election, we did have an election. Canadians said we want a Conservative government in a minority. The Conservatives have been fighting our decision ever since.

            The Conservatives don't get to override the decision of the people, Hollinm. We elected them to do their work and the Conservatives are preventing that because they don't like the result. Tough. They don't get to decide which parts of our democracy they will respect and which ones not, just like they don't get to decide which issues they will be accountable on and which ones not.

            If the Conservatives don't like the make-up of Parliament, they can always call an election. Until they show some guts though, no sneaky undermining of democracy OK?

          • The fact is we have an adversial system and if one side doesn't agree that's the way it works.

            Actually, the way it works is that one side is adversarial, and then the other side waits 48 hours and the government flip flops. The Tories were filibustering the committee to prevent the committee from doing it's job and voting on which witnesses should be called. Then Baird, a Tory, got up and said that everyone should put aside partisan politics so that the committee can vote on whom they wish to call as witnesses. You've got to love it. Only in our current Parliament could the government put up a road block, and then complain about the existence of the roadblock and imply that it was put there by the opposition. It's like when Tories complain about the Senate delaying legislation that's never even made it before the Senate.


  7. I said a flip, flop, the dippies
    the dippies force flip flop flop and you don't stop
    to mock it to the bang bang boogie

    • CRAPpers Delight?

    • Its really funny.

  8. So your response to the challenge that our government chose to have a lengthy holiday in order to avoid questioning about matters which may have been requiring our troops to have to decide between violating orders or the Geneva conventions is essentially, "Yeah.. well.. so.."

    Good to see you supporting our military there, boy.

    • I am not suggesting anything. I am simply offering my opinion like everybody else on this board.

      If I understand it the Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists who do not represent a country. I am sure you will correct me if I'm wrong.

      I remember Harper flying out to Afghanistand telling Rick Hillier how to conduct that war and that he (Hillier) should continue turning detainees over to the government of Afghanistan :-). We all know Harper ran the war from Ottawa. Give me a break.

      Do you honestly believe that Hillier would allow anyone to tell him how to conduct the war and more importantly to turn over detainees if there was evidence they were going to be tortured?

      • The Geneva convention may not apply to terrorists, but it does apply to us, and it doesn't make any distinction when it comes to torture. Civilians, combatants, anybody. It's quite black and white on the matter. You don't do torture, you don't do something which puts a person at significant risk of torture. Period.

        As for do I believe that Hillier would turn over detainees if there was evidence they were going to be tortured? Well, given previous reports that have come out.. yeah. It seems like he did.

    • Thwim….I am not your boy and quit being a condescending pr.ck. I'm probably old enough to be your father.

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