Question of the Day

Power & Politics: The War Room podcast (July 29, 2011)

On today's Power & Politics: The War Room podcast:

The US debt ceiling discussions remain at a stalemate.  US President Barack Obama urges House leaders to compromise on a solution. But with the deadline now just four days away, will the US government find agreement before the default deadline? And just how much will it affect Canada?

Former Conservative Cabinet Minister Stockwell Day, Marcella Munro of Earnscliffe Strategy and former Liberal MP Karen Redman are in The War Room.

Full audio after the jump...

Strategic Leak Watch: About that whole 'Mulcair considered joining the Tories' meme ...

For a few minutes yesterday morning, it seemed that incoming interim opposition leader Nycole Turmel might find herself facing a political firestorm before the ink on her temporary installation papers had even had the chance to dry, courtesy of an incendiary tweet from CTV bureau chief Robert Fife that appeared just as the NDP federal council was gathering in a downtown Ottawa hotel to make her appointment official. 

 Hit the jump to see how it went all went down.

Orders of the Day - You Know It's Friday Before A Long Weekend When ...

... even the summer ministerial good news circuit slows to a gentle stroll in anticipation of the traditional August First mid-summer break. 

 Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore starts his day in Montreal, where he will make an "important announcement" about "several projects dealing with arts, culture, official languages, and Aboriginal women," after which he will make his way to Quebec City to take questions from the media. Also in Quebec: Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney, who will present the Aboriginal Veterans Millennium Medal to Colonel Jocelyn Paul, CD, at the 2011 International Pow-Wow of Wendake.

Back in Ontario, Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal addresses the inaugural Taekwondo Canada Awards Ceremony at the Toronto Hilton Hotel, while out west, Minister of State for Finance Ted Menzies heads to High River, where he will drop by Cargill Meat Solutions to reveal new support for Canadian farmers and food processors. 

Finally, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is in Washington, DC, where he will may at least provide a fleeting diversion in a Capitol catatonic over the debt crisis. (Word of advice, minister: As tempting as it may be, it's probably not the right moment to remind all and sundry of how comparatively well Canada weathered the recent recession. It might come across as gloating.)

Question of the Day

Liveblog: The NDP federal council meets to discuss interim leadership

Picking up where yesterday's emergency caucus meeting left off, the NDP federal council will meet at the Lord Elgin today to officially name Nycole Turmel as Interim Leader. 

I'll be staking out the lobby in anticipation of her very first media availability in her new position, so check back later this morning for full coverage! (We don't know exactly when the meeting will wrap up, but it shouldn't go more than two or three hours, max.) 

 Mobile-friendly text feed available here or hit the jump for the full CoveritLive experience. 

Orders of the Day - Welcome back to the good news circuit, Prime Minister!

With yesterday's emergency caucus meeting out of the way, there's just one more procedural box to tick off before Nycole Turmel can be referred to as Interim NDP Leader without an asterisk: the approval of the party's federal council, members of which will gather at the Lord Elgin Hotel later this morning to make it official. The meeting is expected to run for several hours, but should wrap up around noon, at which point Turmel will, for the first time since her abrupt ascension to the role, take questions from the media.  

Meanwhile, after all but vanishing from the public eye over the last few weeks, the prime minister holds one of his trademark mystery photo ops in his Centre Block office -- cameras only, so no questions and almost certainly no liveblogging. Rumour has it that he may be revealing the name of the new Lieutenant Governor for Prince Edward Island, but as yet, that is unconfirmed: they're a coy bunch at PMO communications, after all. In any case, I'll keep you posted! 

Hit the jump for the rest. 

Question of the Day

Power & Politics: The War Room podcast (July 27, 2011)

On today's Power & Politics: The War Room podcast:

The President of the Palestinian Authority extends an invitation to Canada. Hanan Ashrawi, the Special Envoy for the President, told Power and Politics last night that she hopes Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will visit the Palestinian territories before September. That's when the UN is set to vote on whether to recognize the Palestinian territories as a state. Will the government visit before the UN vote? And how would that affect Canada's relationship with Israel?

Geoff Norquay of Earnscliffe Strategy, Ian Capstick of MediaStyle and former Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay are in The War Room.

Full audio after the jump...

Orders of the Day - A (likely brief) return to caucus business for New Democrat MPs

Rattled but resolute NDP MPs will gather on the Hill later this morning for what is likely to be a largely pro forma, but constitutionally mandated consultation session on the proposal that Nycole Turmel serve as interim leader of the party until Jack Layton is able to resume his duties this fall. 

Once the caucus has given its collective nod of approval, NDP federal director Brian Topp will take their feedback to the party's federal council, whereupon after a similarly symbolic discussion it will be made official, likely before the end of the week. As far as anyone on the outside has been able to tell, there is no indication of any serious -- or even frivolous -- objection to Turmel's appointment within the caucus or the party, which means that it could end up being a fairly short meeting. Layton himself is not expected to be there in person, but will, we're told, participate by phone. 

Hit the jump for the full post.