For Nicholson, ideology wins out

When it comes to the Justice Minister, you’re pretty much guaranteed that ideology is always going to trump evidence. And oh look – it’s happened once again. This time, he’s clutched onto the flimsiest of scraps in order to take the BC Superior Court decision that has allowed Insite to remain open, and he’s appealing to the Supreme Court. Because hey, instead of trusting scientific proof, and spending money to keep proven harm reduction strategies going and funding substance abuse treatment recovery programmes so that people who use places like Insite have treatment options available once they’re ready to come off the drugs, the government has decided to spend the money appealing yet another court decision. Because that’s a great use of resources and tax dollars.

While we’re on the subject of the Justice Minister, it seems that perhaps he should watch just how those pesky Liberals senators “gutted” bill C-15. Huh – it seems that in at least one case, they were actually making it stronger and more effective. Sober second thought on bad legislation passed by the House. Imagine that!

Following the roundtable on medical isotopes yesterday, Michael Ignatieff accused the Conservatives of not having a plan. Which, well, is all well and good, but is the public paying attention yet? But with the Dutch reactor shutting down for repairs, we can expect to start hearing about this issue a lot more in the near future.

Something tells me the Liberals may be looking for a new candidate in Dufferin-Caledon…

Remember that political staffer who intercepted that Access to Information release from Public Works? Apparently he’s been chastened and removed from reviewing future files. Because you know, that’s going to solve the problem of secrecy with this government.

Apparently inspired by Stephen Harper, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is proroguing the Ontario legislature until after the Olympics. Granted, it’s only for a couple of weeks (the usual prorogation period) and not two months, but still – why can’t our legislatures sit through the Olympics? Is it really that much of a distraction that the country must grind to a halt?

I also couldn’t resist posting this – Liberal and NDP foreign affairs critics Bob Rae and Paul Dewar take down Conservative MP Peter Braid and his talking points – and it’s quite glorious.


(h/t to Jane Taber)

And finally, Aaron Wherry at Maclean’s interviews Senator Elaine McCoy (whom I will remind you is made of awesome), and it’s hard not to see why when you read more about her.

Up today – the Liberal roundtables du jour are on aviation security and improving the lives of Arctic peoples. As well, Michael Ignatieff continues his “online town halls”, having one with Justin Trudeau today on the topic of issues important to Canadian youth.

The Special Committee on Afghanistan is also having another “unofficial” meeting, meeting with a law professor from Osgoode Hall and Democracy Watch.

Dale Smith is a freelance journalist in the Parliamentary Press Gallery and author of The Unbroken Machine: Canada's Democracy in Action.

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