Inside Politics

UPDATED - Orders of the Day - When in doubt, get tough on crime

So, you know how, during the parliamentary school year, when things start to go ... oh, let's just say not quite as breezily and effortlessly fabulously as they really should, from the perspective of the government, this particular instance of the government almost invariably declares it to be Justice Week, and brings in bill after bill bursting with heavily hyped, if vaguely familiar even-tougher-on-crime measures?

Well, it's a little trickier to do that during the summer recess, what with the House standing frustratingly adjourned and all, but it turns out that PMO communications seems to have learned something from the Great Prorogation Crisis of 2010, at least: when in doubt, send your justice minister off to Montreal to make an announcement -- which, in this case involves introducing new regulations that would include gambling, prostitution and other activities under existing anti-crime laws. 

The timing may not be ideal, given what transpired during yesterday's PMO-orchestrated media availability with Treasury Board President Stockwell Day, which was, after all, supposed to be all about the government's careful nurturing of the country's fragile fiscal health, but ended rather abruptly after a baffling back and forth over the minister's extemporaneous musings on an allegedly alarming rise in "unreported crime."

But given the carefully-selected venue for today's event -- organized crime is, after all, a particularly public-worrying perennial concern in Quebec -- the assembled media masses may be sufficiently transfixed by what appears, at least at first glance, to be legitimately new news to forgo grilling Rob Nicholson on his colleague's somewhat dubious assertions. If they aren't, the poor minister may end up wishing he was back at the cabinet retreat. 

UPDATE/SPOILER ALERT: Turns out that the regulatory changes in question were actually passed by cabinet way back on July 13th -- although oddly, that particular order in council hasn't yet been added to the PCO database. So maybe it's not so much new news after all. 

Even the Liberals, it seems, are getting into the Justice Week spirit. Just half an hour before Nicholson takes the stage in Montreal, public safety critic Mark Holland holds a press conference on "the Conservative crime agenda," where he'll likely be only too happy to offer his views on Nicholson's latest salvo against organized crime, as well as whatever else that Hill journalists want to ask him.

Finally, far outside the confines of the parliamentary precinct, the premiers hold their annual summer chin wag in Winnipeg. Will they solve the census crisis, or exacerbate it? Stay tuned! You can be sure PMO will be! 
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