Government House Leader Peter Van Loan has gone from political firefighter to wall flower.
Earlier this month, the York-Simcoe MP served as the government’s "answer" man for all manner of questions in the Commons.
On topics such as election financing, the economy and even Canada’s Afghanistan mission, it seemed you could hardly keep Van Loan off his feet as he turned question period into a virtual one-man show for the Conservative side day-after-day.
But not this week. Like a starring actor bumped to a bit part, Van Loan has spent most of this week sitting in silence in daily Commons question period. A check of the records reveals that Van Loan hasn’t uttered a single response to opposition questions.
Van Loan had been the point man condemning the Liberals demands for what he called “politically inspired inquiries” into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair. But then Van Loan was upstaged himself on Tuesday when Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced, wait for it, a public inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber affairs.
Perhaps it’s best Van Loan take a breather on the sidelines.
Russian Prime Minister Victor Zubkov is scheduled to visit Ottawa later this month, a source tells the Star.
It would be be one of the first foreign trip for Zubkov, who was handpicked by President Vladimir Putin for the post just a few month ago. A foreign affairs official in Ottawa on Thursday denied any knowledge of the visit. However, under the federal Conservatives it’s been practice for the government to confirm the visits of foreign dignitaries just a few days before they arrive. Putin himself visited Ottawa in 2000.