Parliamentary committees might seem the ideal place to die of boredom. Actually they’re not that interesting … unless pathology fascinates you. The high point of my recent two-week period watching them was Tory MP Mike Lake telling colleagues trying to draft a bill, “This isn’t a high school project here.” If it had been, it would have fizzed a bit then leaked gunk onto the desk.
I don’t need to tell you Parliament is in disrepair. Literally: You saw the crumbling masonry in Tuesday’s Citizen. But on May 15 in West Block room 209 I watched the Government Operations and Estimates committee try in vain to figure out how much they’re already spending to fix a building threatening to fall on their very own heads. You can get the minutes online, but they don’t capture the special flavour. It amounts to a crisis in self-government.
Yeah, yeah, sure. Question period is a disgrace. But why committees? you yawn. Because there, if anywhere, our MPs could do constructive work. Continue Reading →
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