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If an audit lands with no politicians around, does it make a sound?

Political Points is your daily guide to some of the stories we're watching in Ottawa and across Canada, by The Globe and Mail's team of political reporters

If an audit lands in a prorogued legislature and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Ontario Auditor-General Jim McCarter is expected to provide fresh fodder for opposition members when he releases his annual report on Wednesday.

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Mr. McCarter and his staff conducted 13 so-called value-for-money audits on everything from the province's mandatory Drive Clean emissions testing for cars and trucks and the prosecution of criminal cases to the quality of teaching in university undergraduate programs and multimillion-dollar transit projects managed by transportation planning agency Metrolinx.

But this time around, the report will not be tabled in the legislature. With the legislature prorogued, Mr. McCarter will instead deliver his report to the Clerk's Office. And it is not clear whether any cabinet ministers will be on hand to respond to the latest litany of problems uncovered by the auditor.

- Karen Howlett in Toronto

Who Canadians Google

Google's list of 2012's most-searched politicians is out, giving Canadians an idea of who we're searching for (and why). For instance: Peter MacKay's respectable showing at No. 5 is all because of his wife, while Justin Trudeau's ranking has a lot to do with his boxing match. No surprise, perhaps, that Canadians were largely fuelled to research their politicians because of their personalities and not their policies.

We won't spoil who came out at the top of the list – you'll have to read it for yourself.

Garneau tacks right Liberal MP and leadership contender Marc Garneau is scheduled to outline his economic platform today in a lunchtime speech in Toronto. Mr. Garneau made his first policy announcement on Monday, calling for more foreign competition in Canada's wireless market to give consumers a better deal. In a Globe opinion piece, Mr. Garneau called for a more efficient tax code , which economist Mike Moffatt calls wishful thinking.

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Mr. Garneau's policies of cutting taxes and removing regulations would put him on the right end of the leadership race, as the National Post's John Ivison points out. A policy of tackling youth unemployment head on would fit in with Mr. Garneau's recently defeated bill to create a federal youth commissioner.

A rare show of cross-party support

And speaking of youth, the Senate's human rights committee will update Canadians on a national strategy to address a (rare) issue that all parties agree is a problem: cyberbullying.

A Conservative Senator proposed the study last fall. A private member's bill from Liberal MP Hedy Fry that would make cyberbullying a criminal offence is currently at committee, while NDP MP Dany Morin proposed in October that Parliament further study the issue.

The Senate press conference will be available by webcast at 3:45 p.m. ET.

New faces on the hill

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Fresh off a by-election win, new Calgary Centre MP Joan Crockatt takes her seat in the House of Commons today. Ms. Crockatt, along with Durham MP Erin O'Toole and Victoria MP Murray Rankin, were sworn in yesterday.

All parties welcome a new member to the House. Heritage Minister James Moore tweeted at Mr. Rankin: "New Victoria NDP MP Murray Rankin has taken his seat in Parliament for the first time. Nice guy who I wish well in Ottawa." Mr. Rankin even got his first question in yesterday, asking about a mega-yacht marina in his B.C. city – to which minister Steven Fletcher responded: "I would like to welcome the member for Victoria to the House of Commons. He may not be here for a long time, but it will be a good time."

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About the Author
Assistant editor, Ottawa

Chris Hannay is assistant editor in The Globe's Ottawa bureau and author of the daily Politics newsletter. Previously, he was The Globe and Mail's digital politics editor, community editor for news and sports (working with social media and digital engagement) and a homepage editor. More

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