Tease the day: Where does the opposition even start? - Macleans.ca

Tease the day: Where does the opposition even start?

Harper has multiple fires to put out today, including one about his wife’s finances


Today’s one of those days when the Prime Minister’s Question Period prep team has its work cut out for itself. Today’s top stories span issues and regions, leaving something for everybody on the opposition benches to ask. The B.C. premier has sent a warning to Ottawa about a major proposed pipeline; the finance minister’s considering the privatization of a large crown corporation; more devastating details have emerged about a Canadian who spied for the Russians; and it’s come to light that some prominent ministers’ spouses, including the prime minister’s wife, haven’t placed publicly traded assets in a blind trust. Meanwhile, there are still questions about the government’s move late on Friday to disallow the foreign takeover of an Alberta energy company. Early this week, Parliament’s budgetary watchdog will take several federal departments to court. Oh, and a Conservative MP heading to monitor an election in Ukraine might have his election nullified by the Supreme Court later this week. Questions aplenty, indeed.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with a story—not online, that I can see—about British Columbia Premier Christy Clark cautioning the feds against pursuing the Northern Gateway pipeline without the province’s blessing. The National Post fronts a pair of stories about former Ontario Lieutanant-Governor Lincoln Alexander’s death, including this editorial. The Toronto Star‘s top story is about the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons keeping secret records of a doctor found guilty of professional misconduct. The Ottawa Citizen fronts a story about several cabinet ministers’ wives holding portfolios in publicly traded securities—without placing them into a blind trust. iPolitics leads with a Michael Harris column about increasingly disobedient backbench Conservative MPs. National Newswatch fronts the Regina’s Leader-Post‘s top story, which is very similar to Harris’ piece—even using the same “trained seal” language to describe backbench Conservatives.

Stories that will dominate the Hill Stories that will be (mostly) missed
1. Ministers’ spouses. The Ottawa Citizen breaks the story that several spouses of federal cabinet ministers haven’t placed publicly traded securities in a blind trust. Get ready for opposition and government MPs to trade ethics barbs relentlessly. 1. Former NDP MP detained. Jim Manly, a former United Church minister and NDP parliamentarian in the 1980s, is being detained by the Israelis after trying to run a blockade of Gaza. Some say the feds aren’t applying enough political pressure.
2. CMHC privatization. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says the government should get out of the mortgage game, and reduce “taxpayer exposure” to the housing market. Some say the feds should keep a closer eye on mortgage rules. 2. Omar Khadr. Public safety minister Vic Toews told Postmedia that the country has a duty to “rehabilitate” Omar Khadr, the convicted criminal who Toews insists was a terrorist, not a child soldier. Khadr spent years in Guantanamo Bay.

What should I cover?

I’m going to tell you about a few things happening today on Parliament Hill, and then you tell me what I should go watch—and, following that, report on. There’s plenty of action on the Hill today. Eight parliamentary committees, including three Senate committees, are talking about various studies and pieces of legislation. The list of meetings I can attend, if we’re being realistic, is below, along with the orders of the day for each. So tell me: Where should I go?

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Bill C-27, First Nations Financial Transparency Act
Veterans Affairs Review of Veterans Review and Appeal Board activities
Environment and Sustainable Development Urban Conservation Practices in Canada
Finance Pre-budget Consultations 2012
Public Safety and National Security Bill C-42, Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
National Security and Defence Canada’s national security and defence policies, circumstances and capabilities
Official Languages The use of the Internet, new media and social media and the respect for language rights

If you think those committees are boring and know about something, you know, more interesting, pop it in a comment. You could also send it in an email or—gasp!—a Twitter DM, but why keep secrets from everyone?

Scorecard for Friday’s Tease: It may have been (mostly) missed, but it’s worth noting that Rwanda’s acclamation to the United Nations Security Council did merit a single question during last Friday’s QP.

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