Question Period Live

The QP Clip: Jason Kenney disses Brent Rathgeber

The exchange

Sometimes, so-called maverick parliamentarians are made out to be heroes, defiers of The Man, principled participants in the democratic process. Possibly, these accolades can be a bit of an overstatement. Still, the independent-minded among the crop are worth pointing out, if only to demonstrate that independent minds are occasionally at work.

Today, former Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber asked a rather pointed question about temporary foreign workers to Employment Minister Jason Kenney. Rathgeber claimed Kenney, as a means of fixing the programs that employ foreigners temporarily, was “musing about mandating wages for temporary foreign workers in the restaurant industry be higher than wages for similarly employed Canadian workers.” Rathgeber concluded with a quip. “Should a temporary foreign worker ever become a Canadian citizen, their reward will be a reduction in their wages,” he said.

Kenney’s response laid bare that there’s no love lost between the minister and his former caucus colleague. Kenney dismisses, with glee, any opposition to his management of temporary foreign workers programs. He’s even, at times, rather condescending. But he saved his harshest criticism for the indie MP in the corner. “I’ve heard some bizarre things in this debate,” Kenney responded. “But that takes the cake.”

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