Thursday, June 18, 2009
School's Out For Summer! Well...Almost
Is it me, or did a lot of things seem to surface on what should have been a real wind-down day in Ottawa?
QP was pretty uneventful, unless of course you caught Rob Nicholson's sheepish, (head bowed) admission that the government will finally abide by the court order that stipulates Abousfian Abdelrazik be brought back to Canada.
While this is fantastic to hear, it certainly means that there are many, many more questions to be answered here. And, while perhaps the government thought by waiting until the last hour to announce this development the whole thing might just go away, something tells me that will not be the case. The committee still wants to hear from this man and rightly so. Both Bob Rae and Paul Dewar said as much and no shrinking violets are they.
Will they sit during the summer? I don't know. I do wonder though how the screaming ninnies who have made outrageous claims in defense of keeping him out of Canada will react now?
Then we moved to some committee meetings. The Natural Resources Committee heard some remarkable testimony, not the least of which was that the PM was dead wrong when he said that the MAPLE reactors never produced an isotope. Every single witness confirmed that it was an error to shut down the reactors and that indeed they could be producing at the moment.
It became clear to me as time went on in this meeting that the Harper government made a purely political and ideological decision concerning this file and that we potentially may have avoided this crisis.
For the record, the witnesses did not say this. They were professional and technical in their testimony and consisted of nuclear scientists etc., who had worked on the reactors and had intimate knowledge of their functionality/ability. This file is certainly still in play, so what will happen over the summer will be interesting.
And oh yes, one more thing. The attention we are getting for this outside of our borders is not to be ignored. Well worth the read.
At the Procedures and Public Affairs committee, we learned that we have a little mystery going on. Not quite Watergate, but indeed it involves erased tapes. Hours of erasure apparently. I'll let Kady do the talking here, but from what I heard, the government certainly didn't want this discussed.
And then we come to the Transport Minister. Yes, he of bluster, replete with expletives for those he dislikes, John Baird. He made it quite clear in the House that the federal government was not about to step up to the plate as it relates to Toronto's ask ,vis a vis the stimulus package.
This whole issue of stimulus becomes more interesting as you read this, and this. Bottom line for those who don't like homework? The money is going to Conservative ridings.
That can play out during the summer if, with each announcement, the Liberals put a map on their site and attribute spending with blue or red, (okay orange and turquoise too), as it happens.
And finally, I'll leave you with this.
We all know that since this government took power they have controlled the media. Not what they report, but certainly their access. Today as Van Loan announced the legislation that I referred to in my previous post, they brought new meaning to the word control in this country.
When questions began to fly at this news conference, obviously some issues, contained in this post, were queried. The response?
...it was a big news day and reporters also had questions for the ministers on the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik, the ongoing Cornwall bridge closure
and a report from the House of Commons public safety committee.
The moderator, former Winnipeg police officer and first-term Conservative MP Shelly Glover, would have none of it.
“If I could interject,” she said after a question on Mr. Abdelrazik. “Today’s a very, very special day for the people who have come from a long distance. Could we please keep our questions focused on today’s announcement?”
“With due respect, it is a news conference,” CTV’s Roger Smith replied.
Thankfully this is still Canada...but that hardly comes to mind when you consider the rejoinder.
“Yes,” Ms. Glover replied sternly. “And when they put a police officer in charge, they give directions and we hope that you follow them.”
Hmmm. Maybe that whole 'boots in the streets' stuff wasn't that far off the mark?
Whenever the House doesn't sit, it's always a time for the government to make gains.
With all that is going on, maybe this summer will be different?