Play it again
The Airbus scandal is back in the House of Commons and former prime minister Brian Mulroney's name is being hurled back and forth across the aisle. Over in the Senate, they're reintroducing bills to reform the red chamber -- an idea that has been rattling around for a couple of decades too.
Yes, Ottawa politics has gone into reruns. Who knew that the Hollywood writers' strike would have such far-reaching implications?
Deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff wasn't in the Commons when it resumed on Tuesday, but conspiracy theorists can stand down. Fresh back from a trip to Israel, Ignatieff is crossing the Atlantic again -- this time to get an honourary degree at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, celebrating its 80th anniversary. According to the university, Ignatieff, a former Harvard professor is being recognized for his work "on topics that lie at the core of the research and teaching at Tilburg Law Faculty" (which nominated him for the doctorate), such as "the tension between security and human rights, the fight against modern terrorism and the philosophy of freedom."
One man's democracy
It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to hold a news conference on democracy and accountability and then tell reporters how many questions they can ask and dictate the acceptable topics. But that's exactly what Government House leader Peter Van Loan did when he appeared at a news conference with Senate leader Marjory LeBreton, to reintroduce Senate-reform legislation that died in the last Parliament.
The news conference was a huge draw -- not because of Senate reform, but because of LeBreton. The long-time confidante of Brian Mulroney, who is known for her regular chats with her old boss, was appearing for the first time before reporters since Prime Minister Stephen Harper banned all members of his government from any dealings with the former PM.
Van Loan did most of the talking, allowing LeBreton to make brief remarks at the end, then warned reporters that he'd only take four questions -- on the subject of Senate reform only. Happily, we can report that the warning was ignored and democracy was celebrated with more than four free-ranging questions and even some remarks from LeBreton.