Trudeau Rises!...to take yet another question about why he refuses to let the most principled women in his government speak freely, backed by all the other women in his caucus who don't want to. Catherine McKenna (in red, still as a statue); Maryam Monsef (blue blazer, the only one still smiling); Kamal Kahara (chuckling); Jennifer O'Connell (smirking in lavender).
Watching Justin Trudeau crank up the noshamemometer way past eleven in Question Period this week, I was drawn to the facial reactions of the MPs around him. Even for “bullshit theatre” Trudeau was setting new standards of foulness, the gibberish just kept on gooing ought of his lie-hole, here’s a man who can spew it thick and steady. Catherine McKenna stared so fixatedly at an indeterminate point in space that it was like a burgeoning artist on the opposition side of the bench had asked if she’d sit still while they sketched her portrait, and she’d said yes. Marayam Monsef just kept on smiling as though seeing her political future burst into flames had given her at long last the radiant happiness she’d been struggling to find.
Lots of women used as live props by the liberals these days. Two rows behind Trudeau, and two benches over, sit Canada’s Mean Girls—Jennifer O’Connell, MP for Pickering-Uxbridge and Kamal Khara, MP for Brampton West. Trying to keep in step with your leader’s jubilant mockery of a functioning democracy cannot always be easy, but these two have been practicing, and both of them have game. When the movie of Trudeau’s SNC-Lavalin debacle is made, I hope the CBC plumps big. Amy Poehler to play O’Connell, and Tina Fey in the Kamal Khara role. You get to eye-roll, smirk, chat pointedly while people you don’t like are talking, and practice a range of clapping styles, all the way from “Ironic Golf” up to “Oh Emperor Your Magnificence Blinds Me!”
O’Connell is on the justice committee that grilled Wilson-Raybould. Maybe you caught some of it. This was one of her questions, where she efficiently casts aspersions of Wilson-Raybould’s credibility:
"I'm sorry. I just want to clarify on that point, because you mentioned that you have notes and a pretty good memory. In the written submission or your verbal remarks, any conversations—at least from September 7, 8 and 11—at least those involving Mr. Chin, were with your staff, not with you directly. Did you leave out conversations that you also had or was it just notes that you had from your conversations with somebody who had a conversation with Mr. Chin? I just want to clarify, because you mentioned it.”
That’s the same committee that refused to allow Wilson-Raybould to testify again, or to invite any of the staffers she named to testify ever (including the above-mentioned Bill Chin, formerly top aide to former B.C. Premier Christy Clark, now Morneau’s top pressurizer). Amy and Tina do all the dirty work so the Feminist-in-Chief don’t get sullied. True empowerment.
Jagmeet Singh debuting in Question Period. Is this the first time a knit tie has been spotted in Parliament? Is there a parliamentary record of Question Period fashion and style one can consult? A refreshingly natty air Singh brings, welcome no doubt, but his first performance was a good one, that was rather a relief.