Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/6/2010 (3884 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA -- If ever one needed proof hypocrisy is alive and well on Parliament Hill, one need only look at an exchange between Bloc Québécois MP Michel Guimond and Manitoba Conservative MP Shelly Glover June 2.
It came during a point of order in which Guimond was complaining about the Conservatives' name-calling of the Bloc MPs and accusing them of being soft on pedophiles for voting against Manitoba MP Joy Smith's bill to implement mandatory minimum sentences for child traffickers.
Glover was heckling Guimond and he didn't like it.
"Mr. Speaker, could you ask the member for Saint-Boniface, the Calamity Jane of Saint-Boniface, to quiet down and put away her guns. She should put away her guns. We have names for some of the clowns on the other side," he said.
Guimond went on to state a rule of the House forbidding the use of "offensive, provocative or threatening language" and then interrupted himself to, you guessed it, hurl an insult.
"Mr. Speaker, ask Calamity Jane to go polish her guns outside the House," he said. Without pausing for breath he went on to say "personal attacks, insults and obscenities are not in order."
Irony is apparently lost on him.
Glover responded, asserting all she ever did was speak the truth about the Bloc, saying they did in fact vote against kids and demanded an apology for being accused of carrying guns in the House.
Not to be outdone in the "do as I say, not as I do" department however, Glover did not appreciate being heckled by the Opposition when she was on her feet.
"Mr. Speaker, could you remind them to keep quiet while I am raising my point of order," she said.
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One of the biggest fusses made on the Hill last week was over the summoning of Conservative staffers to a committee to answer questions about alleged meddling in media requests and Access to Information requests.
The Conservatives issued a no-go order on their staffers showing up at committee and pledged to send ministers instead. It led to a subpoena being issued to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's ever-faithful director of communications, Dimitri Soudas, to appear at committee. But the subpoena never made it to Soudas because the Prime Ministers' Office would not allow the bailiff serving said subpoena into the PMO's office building. Then Soudas took off for London and Paris with Harper.
It didn't stop national reporters from having some fun by starting a Soudas spotting thread on Twitter.
Some other clever soul with excess time on his or her hands papered Parliament Hill with "wanted" posters with Soudas's photos, telling people to call in if they saw him. The number given would put them through to the PMO's main switchboard.
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Apparently Prime Minister Stephen Harper has a short memory.
Either that or since becoming Canada's top political dog he's changed his mind on expensive bathrooms.
In 2004, Harper used a Winnipeg campaign stop to criticize the then newly-constructed Provencher pedestrian bridge (now known as Esplanade Riel).
He said he never would have paid $21 million for a bridge or $1 million for a toilet.
"When you pay that much for a toilet, you feel you shouldn't really do what you do in a toilet," he said at the time.
Which, aside from the ick factor, was also totally wrong.
There never was a $1 million toilet. It cost $1 million for the water and sewer pipes, electrical work, telephone lines, fibre optic cables and the like to service the restaurant. Which, of course, had bathrooms.
Last week, we found out one of the projects from the $50-million G8 legacy fund to beautify the Muskoka region for this month's international meet-and-greet, is a $274,000 bathroom renovation. In fairness, the project also includes improvements to a band shell so the bathroom renovation isn't the entire bill.
But the biffy isn't even in Deerhurst, where the meeting is taking place. It's 20 kilometres away, making the chances any of the world leaders or their entourages using it, or even catching sight of it, slim to none.