Inside Politics

Orders of the Day - The Commons heads into the holiday home stretch!

As the Hill begins the final countdown to the Christmas break -- currently slated for Friday, but with precinct bookies currently accepting bets for anytime after Tuesday when the Commons is scheduled to hold a final vote on the seat redistribution bill, the last outstanding item of business on the must-do list -- all eyes are on Lobbying Commissioner Karen Shepherd, who is expected to hand down a report later today.

Although her office has been coy on who -- or what -- today's report will cover, one possibility would seem to be the long-awaited results of her investigation into former PMO aide Bruce Carson. If that's the case, and, of course, depending on exactly what she concludes, the prime minister may be keen to wrap up the fall semester earlier, rather than later.

Elsewhere on the Hill, the in camera committee circuit is in full swing as MPs race the clock to report back to the House before the Commons shuts down for the holidays, with just three set to meet in public: Health, which continues its recently launched study into health promotion and disease prevention; Natural Resources, which will be briefed on the state of the sector by the Forest Products Association of Canada, and the International Human Rights subcommittee, which will hear from Amnesty International and Entraide Missionaire as it investigates systematic sexual violence against women "as a weapon of war" in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Also on the Hill today: Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, whose office will post a new report comparing its estimates of the structural budget balance to those of the finance department.

Later this morning, Governor General David Johnston will honour teachers "and other outstanding Canadians" who have "furthered an interest in and understanding of Canadian history and heritage" at the eponymous Governor General's History Awards ceremony.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney will discuss "global deleveraging and the implications for Canada" during a speech to the Empire Club of Toronto.

Elsewhere on the ministerial circuit:

  • Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney heads to Montreal, where he's set to meet with "cultural groups" and deliver "a speech on the value of Canadian citizenship," which, according to QMI, may involve announcing a new regulation that would force Muslim women to deveil before taking the oath of citizenship. 

  • Back in Ottawa, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird joins Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, former-Ottawa-mayor-turned-provincial-Liberal-MPP Bob Chiarelli and Federation of Canadian Municipalities president Berry Vrbanovic to "celebrate the successful completion" of more than 2,000 CEA!P-funded infrastructure projects across Ontario at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Centrepointe Theatre Expansion. 

  • Treasury Board President Tony Clement heads to Sudbury for a joint infrastructure announcement at a local wastewater treatment plant. 

  • Minister of State for Science Gary Goodyear touts his government's commitment to "strengthening innovation and business competitiveness in Southern Ontario" during a visit to the Clean Energy Research Laboratory at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

  • Out east. Conservative MP (and, at least recently, on-demand simultaneous interpreter for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson) Rob Goguen attends the "official opening" of the Shediac Multi-Purpose Centre. 

  • Finally, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore heads to the National Arts Centre this evening to host "An Evening of Canadian Music" featuring the Jim Cuddy Band. 
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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