Question of the Day

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In 1997, Brian Mulroney sued the federal government for libel, and received a $2.1 million settlement. Given today's report, should he pay back the money?



Got a question? Have a story to tell? We want to hear from you.

Email us at politics@cbc.ca. You can also share your views on Twitter and follow us @CBCPolitics.

Putting a face on MP's travel expenses

Tags: glen pearson, kevin gaudet, mp's expenses, nathan cullen, russ hiebert, sheila fraser, travel

MPs appear to have crept closer to a deal last week on how to accommodate a request by Canada's auditor-general to have a look at their expenses. Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats had originally refused to let Sheila Fraser look at their books.

But the unusual united front crumbled as public pressure mounted.

Today, the Board of Internal Economy will meet to set the terms for any future audits.

And, in fact, even as negotiations proceeded last week, a number of MPs started to post their expenses online.

Not surprisingly, the travel portion attracted a lot of attention.

HIT THE JUMP FOR UPDATES/REACTION! 


Don't worry -- if you've forgotten a few of the twists and turns in the decades-long Mulroney/Schreiber saga, you can catch up via the CBC.ca archives here -- but be sure to leave a trail of breadcrumbs if you wander down one of the many timelines available, because you wouldn't want to miss the full liveblogging coverage of Justice Oliphant's long-awaited report, which he's scheduled to deliver at 1pm. 

Oh, and according to commission communications director Barry McLoughlin, his findings will go up on the website as soon as the judge starts speaking, so you might want your refresh finger handy so you can read along. 

UPDATE: Justice Oliphant's opening statement is now available (in PDF form). The full report is also now up online.

Berry-friendly text feed available here - or hit the jump for the full CoverItLive experience! 

UPDATED - Orders of the Day - What a way to start the week ...

Tags: blackberry jungle, orders of the day

My apologies for the delay, but due to an absolutely diabolically timed combination of connectivity woes and an unexpectedly frantic morning, OotD will not be published this morning, although I'll do my best to get something up eventually. 


At the moment, we're all waiting to find out the latest word on the PM's scheduled joint media availability with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At last check, it was scheduled to go ahead as planned at 11:15pm -- this, despite the entire trip having been briefly, and apparently inaccurately, declared over and done with by the international press earlier today.

UPDATE: Reuters is reporting that Netanyahu is cancelling the rest of his trip. It's still not clear whether he'll make himself available to the media. PMO communications director Dimitri Soudas now says a press conference is "unlikely."

There's also the much-anticipated Oliphant report on the Mulroney/Schreiber Affair, which is due out at 1pm this afternoon. 

In the meantime, I'll try to keep this post updated with latest in reaction to the situation in Gaza. On that note, here's the very latest from PMO:

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In all the chatter about spending binges on summit security and the need for audits of that and MPs expenses, I ask you to turn your attention to Britain, where the new government of the day is taking a different tack in its approach to austerity.

Prime Minister David Cameron, through the chief secretary of the treasury, is banning the use of chauffeured-driven cars for his ministers, except for a few, including the defence secretary, the home secretary and the foreign secretary...and Cameron himself.

As seen in this article, the move will apparently save millions of pounds each year.

Question of the Day

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Got a question? Have a story to tell? We want to hear from you.

Email us at politics@cbc.ca. You can also share your views on Twitter and follow us @CBCPolitics.

Because this is actually a pretty good find, which just showed up in gallery inboxes, courtesy of still fairly shiny new caucus press secretary Michel Liboiron:

Happy Friday,
Please see this 1995 Canadian Press article below regarding the Halifax G7 Summit which features a criticism by now Minister Jason Kenney on the exorbitant cost of the meeting... His criticism? $8.1 million for improvements to the city...

Veuillez bien lire cet article de la presse canadienne (1995) qui met en lumière des commentaires de Jason Kenney sur le coût exorbitant du sommet du G7 à Halifax.

Bon weekend,
Michel Liboiron
Press Secretary | Attaché de presse
Office of the Leader of the Opposition
Cabinet du chef de l'Opposition
Please see this 1995 Canadian Press article below regarding the Halifax G7 Summit which features a criticism by now Minister Jason Kenney on the exorbitant cost of the meeting... His criticism? $8.1 million for improvements to the city...
Veuillez bien lire cet article de la presse canadienne (1995) qui met en lumière des commentaires de Jason Kenney sur le coût exorbitant du sommet du G7 à Halifax.

Bon weekend,
Michel Liboiron
Press Secretary | Attaché de presse
Office of the Leader of the Opposition
Cabinet du chef de l'Opposition
Veuillez bien lire cet article de la presse canadienne (1995) qui met en lumière des commentaires de Jason Kenney sur le coût exorbitant du sommet du G7 à Halifax.
Bon weekend,
Michel Liboiron
Press Secretary | Attaché de presse
Office of the Leader of the Opposition
Cabinet du chef de l'Opposition
Bon weekend,
Michel Liboiron
Press Secretary | Attaché de presse
Office of the Leader of the Opposition
Cabinet du chef de l'Opposition

Halifax wrong choice for G-7
Canadian Press Newswire Sun Apr 30 1995, 1:21pm ET
Section: National General News
Byline: By Steve Lambert
Dateline: HALIFAX
HALIFAX (CP) - The federal government was wrong to put next month's G-7 summit in Halifax because the city needs too many government-funded fixups, says a national taxpayers' lobby group.
The heads of the leading industrialized nations meet in the Nova Scotia capital June 15-17 and the federal, provincial and local governments are spending $8.1 million to spruce it up.
The federal government "should have chosen a location which wouldn't cost that kind of money," said Jason Kenney, spokesman for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a watchdog group promoting cuts in taxes and government spending.
"There are conference facilities available, I'm sure, in that part of the world as well as across Canada that could have hosted an event like this without spending several millon dollars to upgrade them."
Halifax has a modern trade and convention centre, but the G-7 isn't being held there. Organizers have chosen instead two waterfront buildings - the brick Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and a nearby green-tinted office building that some locals call The Green Toad.
The infrastructure money is being used for everything from road repairs and a new outdoor stage to temporary parks that will cover vacant downtown lots. Boards around empty buildings will be painted.
``We're supposed to be a major industrialized country,'' Kenney said from Toronto.
``A major industrialized country surely has conference sites where it can host significant dignitaries without having to spend millions of dollars sprucing up the environment.''
Kenney's remarks are not the first critical pre-summit comments on Halifax or the province.
An article in the February edition of the magazine Stern - widely circulated in Germany, one of the G-7 countries - called Nova Scotia a ``dump'' and its people lazy.
The magazine said ``fish catches are unloaded and inspected in slow motion, and everybody has a minute to chat.''
On top of infrastructure spending, Ottawa will pay millions for security, accommodations and other costs.
But local politicians and some economists say they're confident that economic spinoffs and future tourism will more than make up for the spending.
``My feeling is that the biggest impact will be on the reputation of the city,'' said David Amirault, an analyst with the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.
The three-day summit is expected to pump $7.3 million into local businesses and the Nova Scotia government, and Amirault said images of Halifax broadcast around the world will boost tourism for years to come.
Kenney disagrees.
"I'm sure it will raise Halifax's name recognition throughout much of the world,'' he said. ``But apart from seeing some photo-ops with politicians, I don't know how this is going to promote tourism to Halifax.''
We're talking big bucks this week on the show

First stop: London and Paris. That's where the prime minister is heading next week. Stephen Harper will try to talk his English and French counterparts to join the fight against a global bank tax. Oxford economist Linda Yueh tells Kathleen that Harper has a pretty steep hill to climb to reach his goal.

Then, more money talk. The MPs' dispute with the auditor general over their expenses has put the spotlight on how much it costs for them to travel. Our reporter Alison Crawford puts a face on the issue and looks at what's reasonable when it comes to MPs' travel expenses.

Orders of the Day: Heads up, Toronto -- they're coming your way!

Tags: blackberry jungle, orders of the day

 Prime Minister Stephen Harper shakes hands with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff following the unveiling of the official portrait of former prime minister Jean Chretien on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

As Parliament Hill readies itself to shut down for the weekend, both the prime minister and his official opposition counterpart are heading off to Toronto for the day -- separately, not convoy-style, mind you -- at least, as far as we know, although come to think of it, that really would cut down on travel costs, especially when you consider how closely aligned their respective itineraries seem to be. After all, both leaders are scheduled to speak at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' annual conference: the PM delivers the opening keynote address this morning, and the Liberal leader hits the stage tonight. Later today, Michael Ignatieff will be in attendance when the PM bestows honourary Canadian citizenship on the Aga Khan. 

shamwow-cp-7302644.jpgJust about everyone knows Vince from the Slap Chop and ShamWow! commercials.

But did ya ever think the ShamWow! guy would make an appearance in question period?

Count on the NDP's clip machine, Pat Martin, to make it happen.

Martin was asking about a video Industry Minister Tony Clement recorded --  seemingly to promote a green cleaning product in China.

Now Clement's office says he was doing no such thing.

But don't think that would stop Martin.