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The House considers another omnibudget

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Adrian Wyld/CP

Adrian Wyld/CP

Conservatives are masters of micro-targeting. They know where to go to court votes that win elections. The government’s latest budget bill foolishly gives away a key plank in the Tory’s 2015 election playbook: win over the nation’s beer swillers. Shortly, they’ll tame the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, a law that mindlessly bans your average joe from buying beer in one province and keeping it in his fridge in another. Until now. The Tories want to amend the law and unleash freedom on anyone who ever saw beer (or liquor) in Gatineau, Quebec and couldn’t walk it home to Ottawa.

That proposed amendment is tucked away in the government’s latest omnibus budget bill. The tome amends myriad laws, creates new laws, and occasionally deals with matters related to the process of budgeting. That the House will consider the merits of a money bill that also legalizes interprovincial beer haulage is no surprise. These are now a perfectly ordinary expression of the government’s agenda—not its priorities, mind you, but the leftover scraps unworthy of the parliamentary spotlight. The House’s task now is to find some more spotlights.

Who to watch

Pierre Poilievre will keep on standing up for his electoral reform, but the opposition might go after the government’s budget bill.

In the news

Dimitri Soudas lost his job as the Conservative Party’s executive director. Justin Trudeau swore out loud.

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.