Jeers: to your tax dollars at work. Here’s federal Tory Pierre Poilievre responding to concerns raised by the NDP about Peter Penashue using government resources to travel and make announcements after having made the decision to resign: “I do not know why they are so negative over there all the time. Yesterday was March 20 and it is springtime in Labrador. Thousands of people are working on natural resources projects. Hunters are free to hunt. Workers are free to work. School children are free to reach the world through high speed Internet. Canadian Forces Base Goose Bay is cleaned up and built up, and everywhere things are looking up. It is springtime in Labrador and with Peter Penashue the future is looking bright.” Urk.
Cheers: to making a point. Liberal MP Scott Simms in the House of Commons: “On Peter Penashue the record is clear. He ran away from the TV cameras. He ran away from the public. He ran away from all of his commitments. The only time Peter Penashue felt it necessary to stand in the House was to use the washroom. It is absolutely ridiculous.”
Cheers: to polemic. And still more from the House of Commons: here’s Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear, after an NDP question about why the Conservatives voted against a private member’s bill that would have lifted a gag order on federal scientists: “Mr. Speaker, the only people in the House who are trying to silence scientists are the members of the opposition. They reject and ignore the science on the Keystone XL pipeline. It is a bit rich to hear from the members opposite when they also reject all of the scientific articles that show that bitumen is not more corrosive than any other type of comparable heavy crude. When will the NDP stop pretending to support scientists and stop attacking Canada?” Play the Canada card, Gary! Play the Canada card!
Cheers: to more pointed questions. The House of Commons was far too much fun this week. How about this exchange, between Liberal Leader Bob Rae and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, about the appointment of Reg Bowers, the Penashue campaign worker who is allegedly responsible for all of Penashue’s financial woes, to the offshore petroleum board. Rae: “Mr. Speaker, I have a question about a miraculous transformation for the minister of Natural Resources. The giant of business who brought ‘decades of experience in business and economic development’ and ‘nearly 30 years of experience in developing regional business prospects in Newfoundland and Labrador,’ in the words of the minister of National Resources when he appointed one Reg Bowers to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, suddenly was transformed into a nameless, inexperienced volunteer. Can the miracle worker, the minister, tell me how this miraculous transformation took place?” Oliver: “Mr. Speaker, we will continue to appoint very experienced, independent people to our regulators who protect Canadians and protect our environment. We are very proud of the record of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.” You truly cannot make this stuff up.