Home > News and politics > When a Pigeon Stumbles Amidst Cats

When a Pigeon Stumbles Amidst Cats

09-Jun-09 09:08 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments
Hon. Peter Milliken presides over the House of Commons following an extremely combative Question Period, earlier this afternoon…
Q

uite a day in Question Period today – the first such political theatre since yesterday’s tape of Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt conversing with her aide Jasmine MacDonnell (since resigned).  Yet, somehow (as only God almighty knows), the Conservatives figured that the best strategy was to simply persist in their defence of the Minister and claim her comments neither amounted to a critique in earnest about her colleague, the Minister of Health, nor did it suggest she was really out to take credit for fixing a “money-not-moral” issue, such as the unavailability of isotopes for critical diagnostic care – not only in Canada, but in many countries.  (The Chalk River nuclear reactor supplies isotopes needed for medical procedures all over the world; over 60% of the world’s total supply of medial isotopes, in fact.)

Like most folks, I missed the actual live video feed at work today (must concentrate on tasks at-hand).  However, I was able to review today’s footage on CPAC (Canada’s version of C-SPAN) and was quite astonished at what I saw.  Admittedly, Question Period is your basic circus most of the time.  But today was exceptional.

Question Period excerpts, June 9, 2009; including questions asked of Natural Resources Minister, Lisa Raitt (Minister responsible for AECL), courtesy of CBC News.

Failing the ability to review the video feed, you might also consider examining Hansard – which is the transcript of proceedings for all business transacted on the floor of the House.  Everything that is said and made part of the official record is there (including a transcript of today’s Question Period debate, focussed on Raitt and the isotope crisis); a valuable resource for political junkies trying to find quotable quotes or, as in this case, to simply see how nutty things can get in Question Period.

I’m still laying bets that Raitt’s days as a member of the Conservative cabinet are numbered after so many screw-ups in so short a period.  But as one pundit today said, “If you’re the government you’ve got to appear 100%…not 40% or 75%…behind your Minister.”  Hopefully, that’s all that’s behind this otherwise absurd defence of Raitt and her bunging of the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) portfolio.

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Categories: News and politics
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Terry Glavin

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