Actor and activist Daryl Hannah, who was arrested yesterday at a protest against the proposed Keystone pipeline extension, took on someone familiar to Parliament Hill denizens. Hit the jump to see the debate.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has named columnist Angelo Persichilli as his director of communications. We get The War Room take on Harper's new right-hand man. And Canada's economy shrinks for the first time since the recession. Does this mean a double dip recession is on the horizon? Finally, Bob Rae says the Liberals have ruled out a merger, but both Liberal and NDP MPs are stepping forward to support the idea.
Jim Armour of Summa Strategies, Ian Capstick of MediaStyle and Rob Silver of Crestview Strategy are in The War Room.
Hot off the prime ministerial presses comes word that Angelo Persichilli has been tipped to take over the top comms job at the centre of power, and, as I noted on twitter, I think it's safe to say that pretty much nobody had him in the pool. That's our PM for you, though -- just when you think you've figured things out, you get pegged in the forehead by a curve ball. Keeps life interesting, he does!
After three magical days of being mobbed by merger-crazed media between each and every closed-door meeting, the Liberal caucus will take down the Big (at least in Bob Rae's mind) Red Tent early this afternoon, thus returning the Hill to its traditional end-of-summer stasis until next week, when the Conservatives will hold a pre-session confab of their own.
Meanwhile, the PM will pause to pose for the cameras at what is described as a "brief" photo opportunity before embarking on a breakneck jaunt through Italy before landing in Paris to take part in a high-level meeting on Libya. Don't blink or you'll miss him! (In fact, by the time this post goes up, he'll already be gone, but the images of him boarding the Challenger will last forever.)
Turns out that someone -- or, in this case, three organizations representing any number of interested someones -- certainly do, and they're hoping to jog the collective memory of the members of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Newspapers Canada and the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association have joined forces to call on the committee to reopen the investigation into the alleged interference in the access to information process by Sebastien Togneri, at the time an aide to then-Public Works Minister Christian Paradis.
Earlier this month, the RCMP announced that it had wrapped up a "preliminary probe" of the case after determining that a criminal investigation was "unwarranted" -- no pun intended, presumably -- which, according the aforementioned ad hoc triumvirate, leaves unsettlingly open the question of whether the law itself has been rendered moot, at least as far as the actions of ministerial staffers.