Three highlights from this afternoon’s post-Question Period scrums:
1. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver on Canada’s record on carbon emissions: The real issue is: how are we doing in respect to carbon emissions? And, you know, three-quarters of our electricity comes from non-emitting sources. That’s certainly not the case in China, which is relying increasingly on coal. In the United States, coal produces 40 times as much emissions as the oil sands do in total. So we’re doing our part. We’re going to do more. We’re aligned with the United States in some key respects, including our overarching goal to reduce greenhouse emissions by 17 percent from 2005 to by 2020. We’re halfway there. We’re totally aligned on fuel standards and in respect to coal we are doing better.
2. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair on alleged illegal donations to federal parties in Quebec: I have every confidence that Elections Canada and the RCMP are going to be following this closely. It’s also worth noting that the central theme of this commission is collusion, which is a subset of illegal practices against competition. The federal government fought all the way to the Supreme Court to have exclusive jurisdiction over competition but they’ve completely fallen asleep at the wheel. A lot of this stuff was federal responsibility. So we’re following it closely. It’s of great interest to us and we hope we’ll be able to find out soon who that money went to and in what form.
3. NDP MP Hélène Laverdière on sick leave in the public service: I’ve had a 15 years career as a civil servant. The only time I really claim a number of sick leave was because I was actually very sick. And what I’ve known all my career, I’ve never met, myself, in my career, somebody who abused the system. There might be. But maybe the first question we should ask ourselves is why are they asking [for] more sick leave? And maybe it’s because their working conditions—in particular the stress, the stress of not being listened to by this government, the stress of not being able to do one’s job properly because ministers don’t listen to advice, the stress of having an increasing workload. Maybe that’s a reason. I don’t have the answer but we should look at that.