05.28.2010 07:53 AM

Contempt of Parliament

The Reformatories are getting silly, again.  They don’t mind demanding committee appearances by backroomers (like me) when they were in Opposition – but now that they are in government, it’s a different story.

Jane calls them on it, here.


  1. e says:

    Jane Taber got it!

  2. Joseph says:

    And yet, the Liberals keep voting confidence in them. No wonder Harper keeps poking ’em in the eye.

  3. Brian says:

    Nice clip.

    On the issue itself, I’m torn.

    On the one hand, I believe in ministerial responsibility. The government doesn’t really believe in it, of course, but I do.

    On the other hand, since ministerial responsibility has been dead for thirty years anyway, I think staffers have become so powerful, so partisan and so intrusive that it couldn’t hurt if the “profession” had more reasons to worry about ethical scrutiny, the public interest and the bright light of accountability now and again. After all, they are paid by the public – so why can’t they be accountable to the public’s representatives?

    Help me decide…?

  4. Sandra says:

    Amazing – the Cons are trying to push that the staffers are young, still children. Hmmm, when a 19 year old goes to war it’s different.

    • Elizabeth says:

      True – my father was a gunner at 18 in WW2 in the Navy – skinny little kid. Ran away to join the Navy at 16, but his mother went and got him; so he just waited 2 years.
      Being a gunner meant you were on deck, firing at very scary German ships; and planes I suppose.

  5. Catherine says:

    Ms. Susan Delacourt called Kenney out yesterday.

    Now, there is a journalist, not a tag along.

  6. leeky says:

    So what about this?” Winnipeg Free Press

    OTTAWA – The Liberals shielded one of their own Thursday from answering questions about alleged lobbying at the same committee where they have grilled former Tory MP Rahim Jaffer over similar accusations.

    Their efforts elicited accusations of hypocrisy from the Conservatives, who have been hammered this week by the Liberals for telling ministerial staff not to testify at parliamentary committees.

  7. Brian says:

    “Their efforts elicited accusations of hypocrisy from the Conservatives, who have been hammered this week by the Liberals for telling ministerial staff not to testify at parliamentary committees.”

    Maybe if the Conservative MPs and staff hadn’t manipulated the process so often themselves, their cries of hypocrisy might seem a little less hypocritical.

    I don’t like what the Liberals did, and it was hypocritical. But I’m quite sure the Conservatives gave up the right to call them on it long ago – right about the time they started walking out and killing quorum to avoid a legitimate investigation of defence policy.

  8. Michael Watkins says:

    Kenny in the news again, thanks to an OLO staffer:

    “Please see this 1995 Canadian Press article below regarding the Halifax G7 Summit which features a criticism by now Minister Jason Kenney on the exorbitant cost of the meeting… His criticism? $8.1 million for improvements to the city…”

    Predictable response? 9/11 changed the world. We have to spend to be a world player. yada, lada, do.

    (as if terrorism and assassination attempts on world leaders never happened in the past)

    pardon me a soapbox moment:

    #IfIHadABillionDollars I’d spend it on fixing the top 40 elementary and secondary schools at risk of collapse in an earthquake… in Vancouver. That would still leave several hundred schools in coastal B.C. at serious risk. Federal angle? Safety and security of citizens and who is more precious than the over 100,000 school children at serious risk each and every day in Vancouver, Richmond, Victoria, and other coastal cities with over 380 schools built before seismic building codes, some 100 years old that weren’t safe the day they were built. Make BC match and suddenly we can address a huge number of the most dangerous buildings.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I think it’s pretty amusing that they’re claiming these “young staffers” can’t defend themselves, at 25 – 30, etc.
    How old are the kids in Afghanistan? They seem capable of defending themselves. Nobody’s pulling them out in favour of 45 or 55 year old soldiers, who are better able to defend themselves.

    Nobody gets consideration based on their age when they’re called to testify in court.

    Someone commented that Harper hires young staffers because they’re easier to manipulate. Soudas was able to attack a Quebec environmentalist in Europe – seemed able to defend himself then, a bit over the top, in fact.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I think Jane Taber does a good job. I used to not think so, but I hadn’t been reading all of her articles. You have to read them all, to get an overall picture.

  11. JH says:

    Jeez Warren when they have to rely on ‘Giggles’ Taber and 15 YO news for their talking points in the OLO, it’s easily seen they are missing you. Jane just can’t stop giggling so no one takes her seriously and the world has changed in the last 15 years – hello 9/11 et al.
    Better get back there and take control Warren – even for a non-partisan like myself this is looking pretty silly.

    • Michael Watkins says:

      The world has not changed in the past 15 years. Security for country leader pow-wows has always been an issue, at least for as long as you and I have been alive. The number of attempts and successful assassinations since 1960 show conclusively that there is nothing at all special about the years post 9/11 when it comes to security for major political or religious figures.

      The Harper government spin is that security is up to the experts, they just follow orders of the experts. That’s B.S. – if you want to set up a meeting, you scope out the costs. Clearly security is a real concern and has a price tag. If the “experts” tell you that your preferred venue is going to cost hundreds of millions and be difficult to pull off, you’d better believe that any planner worth their salt is going to know that costs are only going up from the preliminary estimate, not down.

      If security was the primary consideration, then the meeting(s) would have been held elsewhere, period.

      Somewhere more remote, like Kananaskis, would be a good choice. The 2002 G8 summit cost a cool ~ 300 million. Too much, but better than more than a billion. Security costs, the vast majority of which are labour, have not gone up that much. Clearly the choice of venues has a big impact on total cost and here the Harper government has chosen poorly indeed, all so he could strut his stuff in front of a more impressive stage. Now there’s a bad use of taxpayer funds.

      1960 – Survived – US President-elect John F. Kennedy
      1962 – Survived – French President Charles de Gaulle
      1962 – Survived – President of the Republic of Vietnam Ngo Dinh Diem
      1963 – Killed – President of the Republic of Vietnam Ngo Dinh Diem
      1963 – Killed – US President John F. Kennedy
      1965 – Killed – Activist Malcolm X
      1968 – Killed – Political activist Martin Luther King, Jr.
      1968 – Killed – US Senator Robert F. Kennedy
      1970 – Survived – Vice Prime Minister of Republic of China Chiang Ching-kuo
      1972 – Survived – US Presidential candidate George Wallace
      1973 – Killed – President of the Government of Spain Blanco
      1974 – Survived – US President Richard Nixon
      1975 – Killed – Saudi King Faisal
      1975 – Survived – US President Gerald Ford
      1975 – Survived – US President Gerald Ford
      1979 – Killed – South Korean President Park Chung-hee
      1981 – Survived – US President Ronald Reagan
      1981 – Killed – Egyptian President Anwar Al Sadat
      1981 – Survived – Catholic Pope John Paul II
      1981 – Killed – Bangladeshi President Ziaur Rahman
      1983 – Killed – Philippine Senator Ninoy Aquino
      1984 – Killed – Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
      1984 – Survived – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
      1986 – Killed – Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme
      1990 – Survived – German Federal Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schäuble
      1991 – Survived – British Prime Minister John Major
      1991 – Killed – Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
      1993 – Killed – South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani
      1993 – Killed – Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa
      1994 – Killed – Mexican Candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio
      1994 – Killed – Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira
      1995 – Killed – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
      2001 – Killed – King Birendra of Nepal
      2002 – Killed – Dutch Election Candidate Pim Fortuyn
      2002 – Survived – French President Jacques Chirac
      2003 – Killed – Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh
      2003 – Killed – Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić
      2004 – Survived – President of Republic of China Chen Shui-bian
      2005 – Killed – Former Lebanese Prime Minister and billionaire Rafik Hariri
      2007 – Killed – Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and Pakistan Peoples Party Chair and Opposition Leader Benazir Bhutto
      2009 – Killed – President of Guinea-Bissau João Bernardo Vieira
      2009 – Survived – Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and royal family
      2009 – Survived – President of Guinea Moussa Dadis Camara

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