UPDATE: According to the press release that just popped up in my inbox, the NDP does indeed intend to call this motion during today's meeting, which is, as noted below, scheduled to take place in camera. YES YES WE APPRECIATE THE IRONY OF IT ALL, but will no one think of the logistics? Specifically, the logistics for one now possibly double-booked liveblogger? I had a previously scheduled engagement at Ethics? Man, this is becoming my own personal Appointment in Samarra. 

In any case, I'm trying to find out if there's any chance that the doors could open, albeit likely just long enough for the government to move to have them slammed shut. I'll keep you posted. 

---

Duly submitted with appropriate notice before the House broke for the holidays, the following motion could, in theory, be called for debate as soon as today, although since the committee is, somewhat fittingly, scheduled to sit in camera to work on a draft report, we wouldn't find that out unless it passed, which seems unlikely, given the circumstances. 

Still, just to get it on the record, hit the jump for the text. 
As noted in OotD, Ethics will resume its much-anticipated statutory review of the Lobbying Act later today as it hears from its first non-government witness: former Liberal MP Joe Jordan, now a senior consultant at Capital Hill Group. 

Check back at 11am for full coverage! 

Mobile-friendly auto-updating text feed available here or hit the jump for the full CoverItLive experience. 
After a somewhat haphazard First Day Back that saw a widespread, if mercifully fleeting, outburst of cartoonishly high expectations on the parts of both the occupants and their ever-faithful observers in the gallery over the return from an extended parliamentary hiatus, the nadir of which involved opposition members lambasting the government for not preempting private members' hour to present what amounted to a hybrid of a Speech from the Throne and a budget, the House of Commons will, one hopes, return to something approaching business as usual when the Chamber reopens this morning. 

Hit the jump for the rest. 
Regular readers will doubtless recall last month's aborted attempt by Conservative MP Mike Wallace to rewrite the government operations committee rules on the fly in order to force all discussion of future business behind closed doors, "as," he remarked at the time to the amazement of certain liveblogging onlookers, "it should be." 

At the time, the chair -- NDP MP Pat Martin -- deemed the motion too substantive to have been brought forward without proper notice, which, given the then rapidly approaching break, pushed the whole issue off until ... well, now, apparently. 

Orders of the Day - Let the doors be opened!

Tags: blackberry jungle, orders of the day

After spending the last six weeks basking in the serene, yet eerie silence that pervades the precinct during the post-holiday winter hiatus, the House of Commons will once again creak back to life later today as MPs return from an extended dose of quality of time with their constituents, primed and ready to fill the Chamber with the sound and fury of political rhetoric.  

Set your watches to Peace Tower time, everyone: as of 11am it's show time for the Grand Inquest of the Nation.  
The NDP leadership race hits Halifax today as the eight remaining contenders gather at a local high school for the second of six debates organized by the party under various themes. 

On the agenda for today: "Giving Families A Break," a topic sufficiently wide in scope to allow the candidates to expound on everything from tax reform to child care, although given the flurry of speculation regarding possible changes to Old Age Security, it could easily turn into a preview of what we might see emanating from the party when the Commons gets back to business next week.

Mobile-friendly text feed available here or hit the jump for the full liveblog experience. 
UPDATE: For your contextual perusing pleasure, here's the news release that seems to have triggered the after-hours response from PMO, in which "foreign radicals" EcoJustice, ForestEthics, Raincoast Conservation Society and the Living Oceans Society call on the review panel to "affirm its impartiality in the face of government interference." 

The groups have also filed a motion (PDF) that, if accepted, would oblige the panel to determine if "recent statements by the Prime Minister or by the Minister of Natural Resources ... constitute an attempt by those ministers to undermine or to have had the effect of undermining the Panel hearing process or the credibility of any intervenor or any Person appearing before the Panel ... and identify the steps that it will take to correct such unfairness".  Read the supporting documents here

---

When it comes to keeping Canadians -- or, at least, those on its mailing list -- apprised of the very latest nefarious pipeline approval-delaying schemes allegedly being cooked up by "foreign radicals" within our midst, the PMO InfoAlerteBot is ever vigilant. 

(For the record, as far as I can tell, all three four groups listed in this evening's dispatch are, in fact, Canadian.) 
Hit the jump for the full post. 

Question of the Day

Tags: ower & politics

Hot off the PMO InfoAlerteBot presses comes a lengthy dispatch on Old Age Security, which opens with the unnamed writer grumbling about "media ... speculating that the government may make changes" to the current system -- which is not, strictly speaking, untrue, but omits the perhaps pertinent fact that said speculation was sparked by the prime minister's own words during his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos. 

In any case, the hoped-for lowest common denominator message takeaway for even the most attention-challenged recipient is likely the fourth line -- "To be clear: there will be no changes to the benefits seniors currently receive" -- but it's definitely worth reading the missive in its entirety, if only to admire how carefully it avoids giving any further details on what might be simmering away on the policy back burner. 

It is also the first instance that I can recall of the inclusion of defensive talking points -- or, as the InfoAlerteBot puts it, "lines to define the expected opposition attack" -- specifically, the attack expected from the New Democratic Party which, it seems is not only "irresponsible" and "reckless", but also too "dangerous" for Canadians planning their retirement. (Interestingly, the Liberals didn't even make the cut.) 

Hit the jump for the full text. 

Orders of the Day - See you Monday, 41st parliamentarians!

Tags: blackberry jungle, orders of the day

With just two days to go before the Commons returns to regularly scheduled parliamentary business, ministers and local MPs hit the good news circuit for one last hurrah. 

Hit the jump for the full post.