From Quebec to Ottawa, find out what caught the attention of our parliamentary correspondents this week.
Michael Chong didn’t get justice, but he at least had the satisfaction of knowing the truth. The Conservative MP has learned that Beijing has orchestrated a campaign of threats against his family who live in Hong Kong. A diplomat from the Chinese consulate in Toronto was leading this operation. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) discovered this maneuver in 2021, but it remained confidential until the Globe
Pierre Fitzgibbon’s bad week should be understood in the most subjective sense of the word. He was not objectively bad, far from it. It’s just that he must have found that the days passed slowly… As we know, he is not fond of parliamentary work. However, as superminister, during the consideration of supply, he had to answer questions from the opposition for 10 hours on the subject of the metropolis, energy and economic development, then took stock each time with the media waiting for him after the game. He did it with his usual direct and clear style. And without blunders. The fact remains that he must have been eager to return to talk about economic investments, far from the cameras.
The Liberal government listed the health transfer supplement twice rather than once in separate bills. If C-46 and C-47 are passed as is, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland would have the authority to pay double to the provinces provided she wishes. Far from acknowledging their mistake, the Liberals are instead talking about a maneuver that was intended to ensure that the measure was adopted as quickly as possible. This version does not convince the Bloc Québécois, which takes the government at its word and sees a great opportunity to double this supplement.
Work-family balance is gaining in consideration in Quebec. A pilot project, the cost of which has not been specified, has received the green light in Quebec: a drop-in daycare center is being set up. It will be located in the André-Laurendeau building, behind the Parliament. The work should be completed in the summer. The opening date has not been set, and will be determined “according to the availability of manpower”, specifies the National Assembly. We would welcome 10 children aged 10 and under, including a maximum of 4 infants. For this pilot project, the service will only be offered to MNAs, political and administrative staff. “It is hoped that the opening hours of the drop-in daycare center follow the parliamentary work schedule,” it explains while emphasizing that a drop-in daycare center “is an occasional daycare service and not a permanent guard”. Pricing will be determined later. Elected officials have come to parliament with their babies in recent years (former MP Émilise Lessard-Therrien and Liberal couple Marwah Rizqy and Gregory Kelley).
In the Blue Room, the Liberals take pleasure in hammering the epithet “draft” to describe the Legault government. In the third link folder like others. Their strategy hit the mark. Exasperated, the CAQ parliamentary leader, Simon Jolin-Barrette, asked President Nathalie Roy “to put the word on the index” because it is used “in a way that is hurtful”. She refused to do so, at least for now. She asked the Liberals to use it “sparingly so that it is not removed.”
The “word of the week” is the perfect excuse to return to the lexicon of “unparliamentary talk”! More than 400 words or expressions are blacklisted at the National Assembly. President Nathalie Roy has made no additions to this dictionary of words prohibited in the House since taking office following the 2022 elections. of the first CAQ term. Among them: “boss of the becosses”, “boniche”, “goon”, “bullshit”, “childishness”, “rolling the world in flour”, “scaring Quebecers” and “join-barretted reforms” (you have well read, that would mean running a project headlong into it!).
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are working hard to accommodate activists of all backgrounds and creeds. At the party’s national convention, which ends on Saturday in Ottawa, the leaders have seen fit to reserve a room for those who feel the need… to pray. A first in the history of political congresses. The development of such a room has nevertheless raised eyebrows among some activists in Quebec. “A little prayer before going on the campaign trail,” quipped a liberal activist.
Clearly, the Conservatives are playing on the Speaker of the House of Commons’ nerves with their outbursts in the Chinese interference file. Anthony Rota, however, is not known to be the toughest. First, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre was a hair’s breadth away from being kicked out. Then two Tory MPs lost their right to speak after calling Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino a liar. They refused to apologise. “I don’t want to go to June with an insane asylum and I’m sorry if ‘insane asylum’ isn’t a parliamentary word, but that’s exactly what it sounds like,” Rota lamented Thursday. It was the second time this week that he apologized for using proscribed language.
Deputy Prime Minister Geneviève Guilbault apologized this week for playing a game during the appropriations study for her department, Transportation. She slipped unusual words into her speech to score points. Examples: “winterization”, “equanimity” and “croquignolesque”. She was caught because of a post on her social media showing her with a document titled “Challenge-Credits 2023” and containing a list of words on her desk. “If there were people who felt that was inappropriate, I apologize, or that it lacked good judgment, that was definitely not the goal,” she said. The minister went so far as to say that she played this game “out of pure love of the French language”. Winterisation is an Anglicism.
Government House Leader Simon Jolin-Barrette found a way to take the tension down a notch in the Blue Room on Wednesday. Liberal Marwah Rizqy was hounding Minister Jonatan Julien on the famous cost of the new public transport tunnel project. Faced with the lack of response, she went on a well-felt flight saying that “we would have to make a fourth election based on a false promise” to find out the amount – the CAQ has been promising a third link between Quebec and Lévis since 2014 “I see that it was the MP for Jacques-Cartier [Greg Kelley] who did the night!” “, dropped Mr. Jolin-Barrette during his speech, causing bursts of laughter from both sides of the House, including the principal concerned. Greg Kelley and Marwah Rizqy are a couple and new parents.