Today, I must confess, I heard the same kind of partisan rubbish coming from Ralph Goodale, when asked about Layton's attempt to get C-30 back on the agenda. First the semantics of the Layton letter to the Liberals:
"the letter, typical of Jack the Joker, it came after 3 o'clock, after the deadline for submission. Nice PR gesture, a bit of a trick...but there is no substance in it".
Factually correct, opposition days must be clarified prior to the session, within a certain time frame. NDP MP Nathan Cullen:
"We came together on Friday after question period, a few of sitting around the table, and said was is available to push this. We looked at who had the next opposition day and it was the Liberals. The sincere effort was to bring something to Mr.Dion and Mr.Duceppe, we all have tools available to us, will you work together"
"There was no holding of the letter, anything like that. We brought it forward as quickly as we could."
I can't convey body language, but Cullen did appear sincere, speaking with CBC's Don Newman. What I find disturbing, not so much the debate of timing, but Goodale arguing the following:
"The focus for the debate on the environment is going to continue to be question period, that is the hot crucible of the day. Were the coverage comes from, where the public focus is achieved is in question period."
"We are not losing focus, we are focusing on it during the most intense period of the parliamentary day"
The Liberal path will be question period, which might be high profile, but serves no purpose, as it relates to legislation. Goodale argues a different path on the environmental file, which is suspiciously at odds with the NDP proposals. Can the Liberals not do both? I don't understand the need for a decision, as though the two are mutually exclusive. Hammer Baird in question period, and do everything in your power to bring C-30 back from the dead. The posture is disappointing, the opposition must work together. Have the Liberals concluded that they will await the Rodriguez motion, ignoring the NDP overtures. I could care less if Jack is a Joker, if the process could lead somewhere, then that is the primary concern.
Also odd, Goodale admits that the two major issues for Liberals are currently Afghanistan and the environment. Why then, two opposition days last week, both devoted to Afghanistan, and the decision this week to focus on the Native residential school issue? Don't get me wrong, but this week's decision doesn't quite jive with the priority argument. Count me as hardly impressed at this stage. There is an air of partisanship here which is decidedly unattractive.