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Politics 204 for Thursday, May 19

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>An audit of a federal government program to rebuild four flooded Manitoba First Nations says the effort is disorganized, poorly resourced and plagued with delays.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

An audit of a federal government program to rebuild four flooded Manitoba First Nations says the effort is disorganized, poorly resourced and plagued with delays.


Quote of the day

  • "For Operation Return Home this means we need to change our approach, listen to the concerns from the First Nations, and get on with rebuilding communities — they have waited for far too long." — Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, on an audit of INAC's response after thousands of indigenous Manitobans were forced out of their homes by flooding in May 2011

Points of order

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, facing towards the camera left of centre of the frame, is shown near Opposition whip Gordon Brown in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday. Footage from the Commons television feed shows Trudeau wading into a clutch of MPs, mostly New Democrats, and pulling Opposition whip Gordon Brown through the crowd in order to get a vote started. (HO-House of Commons / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, facing towards the camera left of centre of the frame, is shown near Opposition whip Gordon Brown in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday. Footage from the Commons television feed shows Trudeau wading into a clutch of MPs, mostly New Democrats, and pulling Opposition whip Gordon Brown through the crowd in order to get a vote started.

    Sorry state: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got a lot of practice apologizing over the last 24 hours when an already tense situation in the House of Commons exploded Wednesday thanks to his decision to cross the floor and physically usher Gord Brown (party whip of the official Opposition Conservatives) to his seat. In the process, Trudeau accidentally elbowed NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau in the chest. "It should not have happened," a contrite-looking Trudeau said in the House of Commons Thursday morning, the second time in 12 hours he apologized for the incident.
  • Motion away: Underlying the commotion in the Commons was a contentious motion made by House Leader Dominic LeBlanc that would that would have given the Liberals more control over the ins and outs of parliamentary business. That motion has now been withdrawn.
  • Game of Throne Speeches: Was the Manitoba Tories' Speech from the Throne exclusionary, as interim NDP leader Flor Marcelino claimed? Well, it might help to compare it against the last one, given when Greg Selinger's NDP was in power. Even then, considering the first such speech of the Pallister era is quite a bit shorter — one-third the length, in fact — it shows the Tories' focus is on jobs, education and growth, whereas the NDP's speech highlighted communities, families and jobs.

In case you missed it

  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>PC Cameron Friesen, Minister of Finance announced that his department has discovered the previous NDP government may have misled Manitobans on the size of the deficit.

    MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

    PC Cameron Friesen, Minister of Finance announced that his department has discovered the previous NDP government may have misled Manitobans on the size of the deficit.

    Hard numbers: According to the new Progressive Conservative government, the average family of four in Manitoba owes $3,066 because of last year’s provincial deficit. The Manitoba government overspent its income by more than $1 billion. Annual interest payments on that debt will be tens of millions. How the new PC government approaches spending, Toddy MacKay writes, will have an effect on Manitoba taxpayers as well as how the province is seen by international bond-rating agencies.

Today in history

  • Fateful expedition: On this date in 1845, Sir John Franklin left England to find the Northwest Passage. His two ships, the Erebus and the Terror, became stuck in ice in July and all members of the expedition died off over three years, waiting for rescue.

The Erebus and the Terror, ships from the 1845 Franklin expedition of Sir John Franklin.

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