QP Live: Senators spent how much on airfare? - Macleans.ca

QP Live: Senators spent how much on airfare?

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House of Commons

House of Commons

Pierre Poilievre, the Minister for Democratic Reform, talked up his electoral reform bill at committee. Conservative Sen. Scott Tannas admitted to being “embarrassed” about expensive executive-class flights between Calgary and Ottawa. The Conservative caucus seems to be split, as it were, over the party’s 2011 promise to enact income splitting as soon as it balanced federal books. There’s also the small matter of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s latest budget, a document with which the opposition has some problems.

So, given that fodder, where will the opposition start today? The NDP pines for renewed Senate scandal. That means the CBC’s unearthing of receipts that show several Conservative senators flew business class with their spouses, all at hefty taxpayer expense, may be too tantalizing for the NDP to ignore. The Liberals, who name-check Canada’s middle class at any opportunity, are no doubt tempted by the Tory cracks on income splitting, a measure that critics (including Flaherty) say only benefits few families.

And then there’s electoral reform, an issue rekindled by Poilievre’s committee appearance. Expect QP to scatter its fire. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair NDP Deputy Leader Megan Leslie may jump from one to the next in his her opening round, hoping to trip up the government’s talking points.

Maclean’s is your home for the daily political theatre that is Question Period, when MPs trade barbs and take names for 45 minutes every day. If you’ve never watched, check out our primer, which we produced with J-Source. Today, QP runs from 2:15 p.m. until just past 3. We tell you who to watch, we stream it live, and we liveblog all the action. The whole thing only matters if you participate. Chime in on Twitter with #QP.

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Pierre Poilievre will continue to defend his electoral reform proposals. The Prime Minister, or his designated stand-in, will handle the imbroglio over Senate expenses.

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