Inside Politics

Orders of the Day - Fix teleprompters, ministers! There's an Economic Action! Plan to tout!

Despite the awkward timing of the budget drop, which traditionally takes place on the eve of a constituency week, thus freeing up cabinet ministers and MPs across the country to tout its marvels, the good news circuit is, it seems, up and running at maximum capacity. 

At press time -- and the advisories keep flooding in, so this could change -- it appears that PMO has dispatched no fewer than 18 (!) ministers (and one backbench MP) to the four corners of the country to deliver what will almost certainly be virtually identical speeches on the wonders of the latest iteration of Canada's Economic Action! Plan, as well as pose for the cameras at what will almost certainly be virtually identical EA!P-themed photo ops.

The full list of participants, as of this morning:

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty: Toronto, ON
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird: Ottawa, ON
Industry Minister Christian Paradis: Montreal and Point-Claire, QC
Treasury Board President Tony Clement: Chelmsford, Copper Cliff and Sudbury ON
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews: Winnipeg, MB
Public Works and Government Services Minister Rona Ambrose: Edmonton, AB
Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore: Richmond and Kelowna, BC
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson: Niagara Falls and St. Catharine's, ON
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver: Hamilton, ON
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz: Regina, SK
International Trade Minister Ed Fast: Vancouver, Surrey and Abbotsford, BC
Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan: Victoria, BC
National Revenue Minister Gail Shea: Charlottetown, Borden Carleton and Summerside PEI
Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield: Fredericton, NB
Transport Minister Denis Lebel: Saint-Felicien, QC
Minister of State Ted Menzies: Calgary, AB
Minister of State Gary Goodyear: Kitchener, ON
Minister of State Lynne Yelich: Saskatoon, SK
Conservative MP Ed Holder: London, ON

Meanwhile, back in Ottawa, the budget debate kicks off later this morning, although due to the aforementioned unorthodox scheduling, neither Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair or interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae is expected to speak until next week, which will likely make for a low-key start to the supply cycle.

Finally, outside the Commons, Conservative MP Harold Albrecht will be joined by other MPs as he welcomes the Torch of Life, which promotes organ donation, to the Hill with a "recognition ceremony" at the Centennial Flame.  

 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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