The spring when no one showed contrition

Tease the day: Day after day, politicians spent the session hoping to guilt each other into the truth

Fred Chartrand/CP

There’s a new “it” word in the House of Commons, a phrase in vogue since the Senate expenses scandal stole the attention of the chamber: contrition. Everyone wants everyone else to show some of it. Pick a day, and you’ll see someone from the opposition or the government benches begging for it from someone across the aisle.

During yesterday’s Question Period, NDP Deputy Leader Megan Leslie took her turn. “Mr. Speaker, so many Conservatives under police investigation and yet, so little contrition,” she lamented. Later on, Conservative MP Lawrence Toet snuck the C-word into his own planted question to the government, with respect to NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s apparent flouting of traffic rules on Parliament Hill: “Rather than showing contrition for his reckless acts, [Mulcair] berated the female officer, saying he would get her in a lot of trouble.”

On June 11, NDP MP Glenn Thibeault asked the Conservatives for some of the stuff. So did Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. On June 10, NDP MP Carol Hughes and NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen demanded the same. This goes on.

After a sometimes-compelling spring session, politicians now simply attempt to coax their opponents into feeling crushing guilt, hoping someone cracks under the pressure of the Tell-Tale Heart. Forget policy, forget the truth, forget any semblance of conversation. Guilt trips to all, and to all a good summer.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with Montreal Mayor Michael Apelbaum’s arrest on corruption-related charges, and widespread calls for him to step down from the post. The National Post fronts the photo of Prime Minister Stephen Harper drinking a pint of Guinness that riled an Irish politician. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with a shortage of affordable housing in Ontario that could harm the province’s economic competitiveness. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the province’s rejection of an interprovincial bridge in Ottawa’s east end. iPolitics fronts Harper’s private chat with U.S. President Barack Obama at G8 meetings in Northern Ireland. leads with empowered female garment workers in Bangladesh. CTV News leads with G8 discussions about tax havens and Syria. National Newswatch showcases a story in the Barrie Advance about the Prime Minister’s Office pitching a story to the newspaper about Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s speaking engagements.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Open data. The feds are opening up reams of data to private app developers, an announcement Treasury Board President Tony Clement is slated to make today at a Toronto firm. 2. Montreal police. Amid an RCMP investigation into misconduct on the city force, three officers have been suspended in what a spokesperson says remains an internal matter, for now.
3. Film credits. B.C. wants Ontario and Quebec to join the western province in developing a joint film tax credit strategy that would stop Hollywood from pitting provinces against each other. 4. Cigarette butts. A weekend project in Vancouver saw a local group collect 52,000 cigarette butts in a few hours and pay collectors a penny per butt—all thanks to a $500 grant.
5. Snowden. A state-run Chinese paper, the Global Times, suggested Beijing should block the extradition of NSA whisteblower Edward Snowden—a “face-losing outcome” for the country. 6. Resignation. Czech PM Petr Necas, previously known as “Mr. Clean,” resigned after his chief of staff was arrested by an anti-corruption squad, charged with bribery and spying.

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