IN THE NEWS ~ Day 2 in the House: No lessons learned

Thomas Mulcair was trying to keep the pressure on the prime minister.

"Mr. Speaker, we will not accept any lessons on trade from a government with a record $50 billion trade deficit," he said.

The idea, as he laid out Monday after question period, was to focus on things other than what the NDP seem to see as simply Conservative bait: the

charges of a so-called "carbon tax" lying in wait in the NDP's plans for the future of Canada.

The Conservatives had, again, pushed the issue in the minutes prior to question period. Three separate MPs rising during the time for members' statements and, like hostages to the messaging, recited prepared party talking points on how the NDP's "carbon tax" might, if it were somehow implemented by the Opposition party during a majority government, ruin the country. For the record, the NDP had their own mindless response something about journalists "having a field

day" uncovering government misinformation on the issue.

"Mr. Speaker," the prime minister said in response to Mulcair, "we all know we live in a challenging global environment." What "all serious analysts" understand, he said, is that the Canadian economy continues to "outperform our peers." The NDP, he alleged, would want to put an end to free trade, and do things that might "destroy Canadian jobs."

Mulcair was unimpressed.

"Canadians deserve better," he said.

A few minutes later to Mulcair's left, NDP industry critic, Peter Julian, stood and gave one example how.

"It is 25 days until the review deadline for the proposed takeover of Nexen by CNOOC," he reminded everyone. "Yesterday we asked the

minister what steps he will be taking to clarify the net benefit to us. There was no answer. We asked what they will be doing for public consultations. There

was dead silence and no answer at all."

When, he wondered, would the government agree to hold public consultations on the pending deal?

"This transaction will be scrutinized very closely," industry minister Christian Paradis replied, reminding Julian of "targeted amendments to the Canada Investment Act that provide better transparency to the public."

But there was one thing the Conservatives would not do, Paradis said.

"We do not have to take lessons from the NDP," he told the House.

The opposition refuses to learn any lessons from the government. The government is unwilling to learn any lessons from the opposition.

There are one thousand, one hundred and twenty-two days until the next scheduled federal election.

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