First, my deepest apologies for the tardiness of today's dispatch -- blame it on breaking robocall-related developments
, which is something that I suspect may become a regular occurrence over the next few days/weeks.
In any case, MPs have reconverged on the precinct after spending the last week in their respective ridings, and given the firestorm currently engulfing the Hill over the very same robocall story, one can only hope that they do so rested, rejuvenated and ready for what is likely to be an action-packed week.
On the House agenda
today: The government's proposal to revamp the Senate, which is currently at second reading -- and not, at least at press time, under time allocation, although that could change if the discussion drags on longer than Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan would like.
We're also expecting Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae to rise after Question Period to formally request an emergency debate on alleged voter suppression, which - spoiler alert - is unlikely to succeed, although depending on how long the speaker humours him before rejecting his plea, it may allow representatives from all parties to put their positions on the record before it wraps up.
On the committee front:
The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee is set to wrap up its work on the omnicrime bill later today, with the now infamous Cotler amendments
having been passed, with (presumably at least a little bit sheepish) government support earlier today.
That means the bill will have to go back to the House for concurrence before Royal Assent -- which is obtained through the passage of a motion in the Chamber that is both debate-able and amendment, although also potentially subject to time allocation and/or closure.
Still, the delay -- which, it bears repeating, was entirely avoidable had the government simply accepted the Cotler amendments at the time -- could jeopardize that 100 sitting day deadline imposed by the PM, which seemed positively generous back when the bill was introduced.
Meanwhile, back on the House side, C-11 (copyright)
committee officially kicks off
its study of the government's proposals to modernize the existing regime this afternoon, with witnesses to include various law professors, as well as the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, the Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators and the Canadian Photographers Coalition.
Over at Foreign Affairs,
the Mining Association of Canada, Canadian Labour Congress and Revenue Watch Institute provide perspective
on the role of the private sector in "achieving Canada's international development interests". (Style note: "Achieving"? Wouldn't "advancing" be more appropriate? Since when does a country "achieve" its "interests"?)
Agriculture continues its review
of Growing Forward 2, with appearances by representatives from the Canadian International Grains Institute, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, the Consumers' Association and Humane Society International, who will share their respective views on "meeting consumer demands".
Meanwhile, Fisheries resumes its investigation
of closed containment salmon farming, Human Resources looks into skills development in remote rural communities
"in an era of fiscal restraint" and Government Operations gets advice
on considering estimates and supply from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and former Liberal MP turned consultant Joe Jordan
Finally, Status of Women meets to discuss "committee business"
- in public, at least according to the schedule, and thus providing yet more evidence that, contrary to the assertions of some doubtless well-intended but misinformed Conservatives, such matters are not traditionally exclusively dealt with in private.
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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