greater powers to snoop on Canadians on the Internet

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PostFri Jun 19, 2009 2:12 am » by Bobbyinedmonton


Earlier in the day, Mr. Nicholson had announced that his government plans to give police greater powers to snoop on Canadians on the Internet. The Abdelrazik news will compete with, and in many cases, almost certainly overshadow the Justice Minister’s announcement.


Unless we don't let it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009 05:36 PM
Parting shots

Brian Laghi

Two unique things happened during Question Period today – news broke out and somebody said something nice.

Just a few minutes into the session, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson blew up everybody’s news agenda – including perhaps his own – by announcing in a few short words that the government would be complying with a court decision ordering the return of Abousfian Abdelrazik from Sudan. “The government will comply with the court order,” Mr. Nicholson said in response to questions from Liberal MP Irwin Cotler. The initial reaction appeared to be disbelief. Then MPs, including Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae, stood up to applaud. Earlier in the day, Mr. Nicholson had announced that his government plans to give police greater powers to snoop on Canadians on the Internet. The Abdelrazik news will compete with, and in many cases, almost certainly overshadow the Justice Minister’s announcement.

Today’s Question Period was the second-last of the session, and also provided an opportunity to congratulate NDP Leader Jack Layton and his spouse, MP Olivia Chow, on their new grand-daughter. Facing questions from Ms. Chow on why he wouldn’t announce aid for the city of Toronto to purchase new streetcars, Transport Minister John Baird took time to mention his opponents’ new family member.

“Just a few short weeks ago, my Prime Minister and my Premier were there, giving more money to the Toronto Transit Commission to expand public transit for all citizens of Toronto, including the newest citizen of Toronto, the granddaughter of the Leader of the NDP and the member for Trinity-Spadina.”

Sarah Layton (with proud father Hugh) gave birth to Beatrice Dora Campbell at 12:03 am yesterday in Toronto and came into the world weighing eight pounds, one ounce.

The Grits, for their part, returned to attack mode a day after coming to an agreement with the Harper Conservatives to launch a joint study into how to improve the employment insurance program. The Liberals used a good number of their questions, including those of their leader, Michael Ignatieff, to try to lay blame on the government for lacking a “plan that is transparent, public and credible” to deal with the Chalk River reactor shutdown and resulting shortage of medical isotopes.

“Cancer tests are being cancelled. Hospitals cannot get isotopes,” said Mr. Ignatieff, trying to get to the nub of the issue. Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt – who might not mind a holiday after two weeks of battering - answered back that she delivered a call to the international community asking them to step up. It is a story that is sure to reverberate through the summer.

Also sure to echo throughout Parliament’s down-time is the Liberal-Conservative agreement to study EI. Bloc Quebecois MP Josee Beaudin referred to the agreement as “la coalition liberal-conservatrice,” a clear reference to Mr. Harper’s own criticism of the efforts by the NDP and Liberals to launch a governing coalition late last year. Expect to hear a lot of it as the Bloc feels the hot breath of the Liberals on their neck in Quebec.

Finally, we at The Globe bureau will also say goodbye on behalf of the daily Question Period blog, at least until next September, when the promise of a possible election will make the daily bunfest even more disorderly than we’ve come to expect. Until then.


Time to start pushing back.
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