Orders of the Day

Tory MPs may end up on House admin hot seat over mailouts

The secretive Board of Internal Economy is slated to meet behind closed doors later today to discuss still more allegations of improper use of taxpayer-funded House resources — this time, involving Conservative MPs. Also on the Hill agenda: Magna Carta, Iraq military costs and protection for interns.

Also today: Budget watchdog releases estimates on cost of Iraq mission

Centre Block's Peace Tower is shown through the gates of Parliament Hill. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

As MPs return to regular parliamentary business following the week-long constituency break, the CBC's Rosemary Barton reports that the secretive Board of Internal Economy is slated to meet behind closed doors later today to discuss still more allegations of improper use of taxpayer-funded House resources — this time, involving Conservative MPs.

According to Barton, a new report from House administration will show that as many as 10 backbenchers may have crossed the line between parliamentary and party business by sending out leaflets with links to party-run websites.

A similar investigation launched last year led the Board to hit NDP MPs with repayment requests totalling $1.7 million — and sparked a legal challenge by the New Democrats that is still underway.

Later this morning, newly minted Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre will share new details on his government's plans to mark the 800th (!) anniversary of MagnaCarta.

This evening, he'll take part in a panel discussion on the significance of the occasion — and the document — to Canada, which will be moderated by House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer. Other participants include University of Ottawa Law School Dean Nathalie Des Rosiers and UN Women National Committee Canada president Almas Jiwani

Meanwhile, New Democrat MPs Lauren Liu and Andrew Cash will hold a mid-morning media availability to brief reporters on her proposal to bring in better protection for interns working in federally regulated industries, which will undergo an opening round of House debate this evening.

Also on the House agenda today: the government's proposal to crack down on "barbaric cultural practices," which has already been passed by the Senate, but still requires the approval of the Commons.

Outside the Chamber, the Parliamentary Budget Office is expected to release its analysis of the ongoing cost of Canada's military operations in Iraq, which Defence Minister Jason Kenney pegged as "approximately $122 million" in a statement released on Monday afternoon.

On the committee front:

  • Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien highlights his previously articulated concerns over the government's proposed changes to Canada's digital security regime at Industry, which will also hear from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Marketing Association.
  • Foreign Affairs continues its marathon-length study into Canada's response to ISIS-related "violence, religious persecution and dislocation" with testimony from the United Nations World Health Programme, World Vision Canada and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
  • Meanwhile, the Subcommittee on International Human Rights looks at the situation in Sudan.
  • Finance members get an update on efforts to establish a Canadian Renminbi trading centre, courtesy of the Bank of Canada, BMO Capital Markets, Export Development Canada and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, as well as departmental officials.
  • Correctional Service of Canada Commissioner Don Head briefs Public Safety on "employment and skills training for offenders."
  • Later this afternoon, Natural Resources kicks off an investigation into the "renewal of Canada's forest industry" with representatives from the Forest Products Association of Canada and the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.
  • Finally, Procedure and House Affairs goes back behind closed doors to work on a report into an incident last fall in which RCMP officers briefly blocked NDP MP Yvon Godin from Parliament Hill.

Mobile readers: Follow the Parliament Hill ticker here.


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