Inside Politics

Orders of the Day - One Day More!

Well, technically, a half day, really, but that's not nearly as likely to earworm you all on this, the (almost certainly) final day of the fortieth iteration of the Grand Inquest of the Nation, or, as Government House Leader John Baird put it while trying -- and failing -- to get through his traditional Thursday statement of House business without cracking up, "the most functional dysfunctional parliament in Canadian history." (Oddly, Hansard seems to omit the "functional", which -- is somehow fitting, really.)

In any case, barring some sort of seriously unforeseen development,  the government is scheduled to fall at approximately 1:45pm today when the House is expected to vote in favour of the following motion, which will stand in the name of the Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition:

That the House agree with the finding of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs that the government is in contempt of Parliament, which is unprecedented in Canadian parliamentary history, and consequently, the House has lost confidence in the government.
Preordained though its ultimate conclusion may seem, the debate will kick off at 10am, starting with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, and whose attempt at parliamentary indictment will be followed, one assumes, by a vigorous defence of the government from the PM, or, more likely, his designate du jour. My bet is on the aforementioned Baird, but one never knows, really. The other two opposition leaders will likely get the chance to put their respective thoughts on the record as well, although with Question Period set to get underway at 11am, and the Speaker having given notice that he'll be delivering his parting remarks immediately after it winds down, it's a surprisingly tight schedule for such a momentous occasion.

Before that final recorded division, however, there is still one important bit of outstanding House business to wrap up -- or, alternately, leave forever in limbo; namely, the final report from Procedure and House Affairs on CIDA Minister Bev Oda's alleged breach of privilege. In an effort to meet the deadline set by the House, the committee will hold one final meeting this afternoon; given the acrimonious tone at the table during yesterday's confab, it's an open question as to whether they'll be able to get through those crucial final clauses as the clock runs down. Sniff. I know I say this about every fractious minority parliament, but I'm going to miss the 40th so much, you guys. 

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