Inside Politics

Orders of the Day - Let the doors be opened!

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.  

 According to the projected order of business, today's festivities will begin with a second hour of debate over Conservative MP John Carmichael's bill to ban property owners from preventing residents from displaying the Canadian flag.

Once the time allotted to private business has expired, MPs will turn their attention to the government's proposal for pooled registered pension plans -- specifically, C-25, which was introduced last year but makes its debut on the Order Paper priority list today.

At 2pm, the first Question Period of 2012 will unfold in front of an uncharacteristically packed gallery of narrative-hungry Hill reporters. Inevitably, it will fail to live up to expectations -- in fairness, it usually does take a few days for the combatants to return to full fighting form -- but that won't halt the narrative, which has already been sketched out, albeit in pencil, at least for the next few weeks.

Finally, on the committee front, there are, alas, no public meetings on the schedule for today, although the agenda subcommittees for both Government Operations and Status of Women are slated to meet behind closed doors to consider future business.
Before all that gets underway, however, the Foyer will serve as venue for separate media appearances with Government House Leader Peter Van Loan and NDP Finance Critic Peter Julian, who are set to unveil their respective parties' priorities for what both advisories incorrectly refer to as "the upcoming [sic] parliamentary session."

(As I have noted more than once in recent days, the series of sitting days on which MPs are about to embark is not, in fact, a new session, but simply a continuation of that which began last year. As such, it cannot be accurately described as 'upcoming', since it never stopped, but simply went on hiatus for the winter break.)

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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