Jeers: to federal cabinet ministers who can’t stand up for an issue without turning it into their own little attack ad. Here’s a complete news release from (take a deep breath) “the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Member of Parliament for Nunavut, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), Minister for the Arctic Council, and Minister of Health, and the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on the Government’s WTO Challenge of the European Union Ban on Trade in Seal Products.” Now, the entirety of the statement: “The Government of Canada will not shy away from, nor apologize for, defending a lawful Canadian industry and the economies of Canada’s coastal and northern communities. Canada’s seal hunt is humane, sustainable and well-regulated. Unlike members of the Liberal party, our government will always put the livelihoods of Canadian families first. We will continue to stand up for hunters and their families and defend this way of life in Canada’s remote coastal communities. We remain steadfast in our view that the EU’s ban on imports of Canadian seal products violates the EU’s WTO obligations.”
Jeers: to fishermen never being able to get a break. There’s this, from Seafood.com during the week: “The Norwegian Marine institute is reporting that Russian scientists believe a huge snow crab resource exists in the Barents Sea. According to their calculations, snow crab is 10 times as plentiful as king crab, and the total biomass is about 40 per cent that of cod. So far this crab is in the Russian zone, and test fishing is expected to get underway this year. Unlike king crab, snow crab was not introduced, and it remains a question as to how it arrived.”
Cheers: to knowing who’s boss. Health Minister Susan Sullivan decided this week that the Speaker of the House needed to learn his place: “Mr. Speaker, I am happy to listen to anyone talk in this House of Assembly and that is what we ought to be doing in here but, Mr. Speaker, when we stand to speak we need to make sure that what information we are putting out there is accurate and it is really hard — as far as I understand, Mr. Speaker, you get to make the ruling after I have spoken.”
Cheers: to mixed messages. Here’s Premier Kathy Dunderdale in question period in the House of Assembly on Wednesday: “Mr. Speaker, the government … takes its responsibilities very, very seriously. This is a very serious issue for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, and there will be no rhetoric and spin on this side of the House; and if there is none to be on the other side of the House, I recommend that the member stay in his seat.” No rhetoric. No spin. Then, during yet another afternoon spent debating a private member’s resolution from the Tories on how good their own administration is, there was this from Eli Cross, the MHA for Bonavista North: “There are so many good things in health care to talk about. There are so many good things in Innovation, Business and Rural Development. There are so many good things in this budget that we all have many things to stand up here and crow and praise about because it is just a fact.” Mr. Cross must not have been listening.