Inside Politics

Orders of the Day: One down, four to go.

Okay, gang: Chins up, heads down, keep calm and carry on and we may just make it to the holiday recess without irreparably damaging the founding principles of parliamentary democracy. 

On the House agenda: The bill to dismantle the wheat board is back in the House and ready for report stage consideration, which will begin later this morning, and likely continue into next week, right up until the moment when the government gets fed up and slaps down a time allocation motion.

Also making its first non-pro forma appearance in the Chamber today: Conservative MP John Carmichael's bid to force homeowners' associations, property managers and landlords to allow residents to fly the Maple Leaf free of inteference, on pain of fine, court order or even, in theory, jail time.

Meanwhile, Liberal MPs Stephane Dion and Marc Garneau will present the Third Party's alternative plan for divvying up the chairs in the Commons, which may or may not involve actually adding -- or, far more controversially, removing -- seats, or rejigging the current allotment of 308 to better reflect current provincial and regional population levels.

Also hitting the Hill media circuit today: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May teams up with International Council for Science president-elect Gordon McBean to discuss a special report from the International Panel on Climate Changeon "managing the risks of extreme events and disasters," which will be released later in the day in Uganda.

Meanwhile, in Montreal, Liberal MP Irwin Cotler makes himself available to the media at his Mount Royal constituency office.

Also heading outside the precinct: Defence Minister Peter MacKay, back in his home province for the weekend to kick off the third annual Halifax International Security Forum. Before the conference gets underway, the minister will meet privately with US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta to discuss "a variety of issues related to Canada-US defence relations."

In Toronto, Natural Resources Minister talks opportunities -- specifically, those presented by Canada's "abundant energy resources" -- in a speech to the Ontario Energy Association.

Elsewhere on the ministerial circuit, from east to west:

  • Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue is in Natuashish, where he will sign agreements related to Innu land claims
  • Meanwhile, in New Brunswick, ACOA Minister Bernard Valcourt delivers federal cash to Dieppe-based Malley Industries and Conservative MP Rodney Weston "officially" unveils new investments in affordable housing for seniors
  • Human Resources Minister Diane Finley "highlights ... support for several projects that improve accessibility for people with disabilities in southwestern Ontario"
  • Minister of State for Transport Steven Fletcher announces funding "to help children" at the John Bujler Research Centre in Winnipeg, while in Brandon, Agriculture parliamentary secretary David Anderson makes an appearance at an event related to Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers' program
  • Finally, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz delivers "significant positive news for Canadian livestock producers" at a ranch in Airdrie.
For up to the minute dispatches from the precinct and beyond, keep your eye on the Parliament Hill Ticker below -- or, alternatively, bookmark it and check back throughout the day. 

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