The Big Issue
The line of the day goes to Rosane Dore Lefebvre, questioning Maxime Bernier on the Cons' determination to make the gun registry as much of a waste as possibile by torching the underlying data:
The Conservatives are saying that the data must be destroyed simply because it must be destroyed. When we ask them why, we encounter a black hole, much like their political agenda.Meanwhile, Phil Toone pointed out the minuscule current price of the gun registry compared to the massive prison costs the Cons plan to impose on Canada for the sake of zero gain in public safety. Guy Caron made several noteworthy contributions in calling for some effort to compromise in place of the Cons' extremism, responding to the Cons' repeated references to sunk costs with the analogy that a homeowner whose renovation goes over budget doesn't normally respond by taking a sledgehammer to the improvements, and pointing out that a single women's shelter in his riding alone used the registry daily to request information about whether weapons might be involved in cases of domestic violence. Megan Leslie challenged the Libs to work with the NDP in developing amendments, and won Massimo Pacetti's agreement. Raymond Cote noted that by the Cons' gun registry rhetoric, they're committed to criminalizing the Internet - only to have Dick Harris deliberately miss the point in response. Alain Giguere noted that some of the guns which will be unregistered under the Cons' bill include combat weapons. And John McKay classified the Cons' determination to destroy gun registry data as being part of an evidence-free government.
On the Con side, Brent Rathgeber set out what would actually be a relatively valuable test to evaluate the registry and other policies. But the contribution would have meant far more if Rathgeber hadn't made clear that he's no more interested than the rest of his partymates in working toward alternatives which actually met the test.
Careful What You Wish For
One of the main criticisms of the Cons since they admitted that the federal deficit will be a problem for years to come anytime soon has been to point to their promises which are predicated on a balanced budget. And John McCallum did just that in question period.
But let's ask the question: is it really a smart form of opposition to implicitly approve of the governing party's platform by demanding that it be implemented sooner? And do McCallum and the Libs really think it's more important to call for the Cons' next round of boutique tax measures than to emphasize what were supposed to be their own priorities six months ago?
Chris Charlton criticized the Cons' plans to politicize the charitable sector, while Manon Perreault pointed out that charities figure to be all the more important due to the Cons' refusal to take any responsibility for social issues. Alain Giguere slammed the Cons for refusing to do anything for seniors living in poverty, only to be met with Shelley Glover's proud declaration that they've introduced income splitting to benefit seniors living in wealth. Finally, Peter Julian challenged the Cons to introduce a compensation fund for injured firefighters - resulting in Shelley Glover reaching for what seems like rather the wrong set of talking points to declare that firefighters are more concerned with building jails.