After a somewhat haphazard start to the day that involved much strategic scrambling on the part of your humble liveblogger, I managed to make it to Government Operations — with time to spare, even. That’s no small accomplishment, considering I only found out this morning that the committee will be considering a most intriguing motion from Liberal MP Mario Silva. He wants the committee jumpstart its investigation into the Lynch Report, the PCO-authored inquiry into the notorious NAFTA/Obama/Clinton/PMO/CTV/And-A Player-To-Be-Named-Later/Just-Don’t-Call-It-NAFTAGate leak, which may or may not have cost Obama a crucial win in Ohio by implying he wasn’t serious about re-negotiating NAFTA. Of course, since then, Hilary Clinton has dropped out of the race, Obama secured the nomination, and it’s all one big happy Democrat family, except for those possibly mythical angry Clinton supporting women who John McCain is hankering to seduce into voting Republican just to show The Man.
Anyway, Silva is calling on the committee to hold its first hearing on Thursday, just one day before that very same John McCain is scheduled to speak to a Chateau Laurier ballroom-sized crowd on, of all things, free trade. Why is that relevant, you ask? Well, because the suspect list has recently expanded to include Frank Sensenbrenner, Republican operative, Canadaphile, and formerly on contract with the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, much to the reported displeasure of the existing staff. According to the Toronto Star’s Jim Travers, Sensenbrenner was foisted onto the embassy by PMO, and was basically treated like Langevin’s spy in DC by all and sundry. Although his name surfaced at the time, he was never interviewed by Lynch’s handpicked detectives, which the opposition finds somewhat suspicious. That’s one reason – among many – why the opposition members want Government Operations to review the report.
In an example of excellent timing, just as I wrapped up that admittedly long-winded explanation, the motion in question came up for a vote, but it’s not clear what’s going to happen, because the lone NDP member – Charlie Angus – has wandered off, which means that it’s a tie. Eventually, the committee chair, Diane Marleau, votes to break the tie – after a ridiculous amount of dithering; I’m really not sure if she’s going to be able to handle this committee once the hearings get underway – and the motion passes.
Silva suggests that the first witness should be Kevin Lynch—author of the eponymous report—which sends the chair into even more of a tizzy. She doesn’t know whether she’ll be able to get the witness to appear on short notice, but she agrees to do her best.
And with that, the committee is adjourned. These guys confuse me so much. Doesn’t anybody ever want to talk about a motion before putting it to a vote? Now, I admit I’m used to committees that enjoy the cut and thrust of debate a little too much at times, but at least you can hear the arguments for or against. They may be silly, but at least they get an airing.
Anyway, that’s that. Pack your briefcase, Kevin Lynch – you’re coming two and a half blocks down the street to Wellington Building!