Mike Duffy is the talk of the town in the nation’s capital, and you can bet that Stephen Harper and Nigel Wright and David Tkachuk and Carolyn Stewart Olsen and Marjory Lebreton are none too pleased about the whole mess. Two weeks after CTV News revealed that Wright, formerly the PM’s chief of staff, handed a personal cheque to Duffy, plenty of questions remain. All of the characters a couple of sentences ago are in the hot seat, and nothing looks to be cooling down. Today, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair asked more than a dozen questions about the Wright-Duffy affair during Question Period, and rightfully so. But that single-minded focus left only scraps for other issues on the table (which, in fairness, were raised later in QP). Lots of things are now flying under the radar.
But, surely, Parliament Hill is talking about other things, right?
Well, of course.
Twenty-five parliamentary committees met today. They talked about drinking water on reserve; depleted uranium and Canadian veterans; habitat conservation in Canada; the budget implementation act; the chief electoral officer’s newest report; the agriculture supply chain; corporate practices of companies that manufacture goods overseas for Canadian consumers; sexual harassment in the federal workplace; northern and Arctic fisheries; opportunities for older people in the workplace; reviewing the estimates process; the human rights situation in Iran; how Canadian companies are using digital technology; official language immersion programs in Canada; a review of the auditor general’s report on crown corporations, the aerospace sector, and long-term fiscal sustainability; innovation in the energy sector; and how competition can make infrastructure dollars go further.
And that’s just the House of Commons.
Seven committees of the Senate met today, and they talked about the federal government’s constitutional and legal responsibilities to Aboriginal people; the budget implementation act; the conflict of interest code for Senators; new rules for the military justice system; and the regulation of aquaculture, and the future of the industry.
So, as it turns out, parliamentarians did debate other things today. Fourteen committees meet tomorrow. And so it goes.