Weekend Notes (Vol. 1, No. 18)

The Prime Minister’s second answer on Thursday included this meditation on patriotism. “Whenever this government announces something for the men and women of the forces, the Liberals always attack it. They always complain. Canadians know their attitude and that is why they elected a government to be for the Canadian Forces.”

The same day, Rick Fuschi, Conservative candidate in 2006 for Windsor-Tecumseh, posted these thoughts on one of our Forces’ more decorated veterans. “Romeo Dallaire is a Liberal soldier. That’s similar to jumbo shrimp. Before he became confused about right and wrong, he was best known for having had emotional difficulty after witnessing wholesale slaughter in Rwanda, and becoming confused about the required action. The height of his confusion was becoming a Liberal senator. Now he is doing his best to confuse the rest of us about the definition of ‘enemy.'”

—Particularly interesting At Issue panel this week, leading with the story behind this week’s Halifax photo op.

—Media Relations of the Week (I). After Rod Bruinooge announced the date of this government’s impending apology for residential schools, he was asked a simple question: “Why did you announce today that you’re going to announce something on June the 11th?” The parliamentary secretary’s response: “It’s something that of course Canadians need some notice on.”

Indeed, the government had already provided, essentially, eight months notice—using last October’s Throne Speech to announce their intent to apologize. A year ago this month, the House unanimously adopted a Liberal motion that included an apology. At the time, Jim Prentice, then-Indian affairs minister, said a formal apology from the Prime Minister was years away.

—Media Relations of the Week (II). From Health Minister Tony Clement’s scrum on Wednesday. Reporter: “Minister, is there any specific information you’re waiting for in order to make a decision about whether to renew the exemption for Insite or not?” Clement: “Really can’t help you with that topic today. Thank you very much.”

This is British journalist Michael Goldfarb’s response to President Bush’s pronouncement on the appeasement of speaking with the enemy. Apply this as you see fit to our country’s debate over talking to the Taliban.

—Liberal David McGuinty has taken to yelling “leader of the pack” whenever Maxime Bernier dares rise to answer a question.

—In Saturday morning’s Post, John Ivison declares Michael Ignatieff to be yesterday’s man. Saturday night, Ignatieff’s blog stirs from a two-week break with posts on child care, auto theft, a carbon tax and aboriginal leadership. Surely just a coincidence. But still.

—Liberal Jim Karygiannis was upset this week about newspaper ads being placed by the Conservatives to promote changes to immigration policy that have not yet been approved by Parliament. Perhaps not the most sensational of topics, but it did result in this exchange between Karygiannis and (seemingly) a French reporter on Thursday. 

Question: And the NDP is saying (inaudible).

Karygiannis: Tragedy?

Question: No, no, no, no, no. I don’t know. I don’t know. 

Jim Karygiannis: Unconstitutional?

Question: (Inaudible)

Jim Karygiannis: It’s not parliamentary.

Question: Cage de parlement?

Question: Outrage. 

Question: Oh, outrage de parlement.

Karygiannis: Not parliamentary. 

Question: Unparliamentary.

Jim Karygiannis: Yes, it isn’t parliamentary when they don’t have the right to advertise. Not only unparliamentary, unconstitutional. All right? Thank you.

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