Inside Politics

Orders of the Day - Welcome back, public accounts committee members!

As the two-week parliamentary recess draws to a close, members of the public accounts committee will be making an early return to the precinct, thanks to an opposition request for an emergency meeting to discuss the upcoming review of the auditor general's report on the F-35 procurement process.

The motion to reconvene outside regular sitting hours was spearheaded by lone Liberal member Gerry Byrne, who submitted his proposed F-35 witness wish list before the House broke for the Easter break, and who will hold a pre-meeting press conference to explain his reasoning.

His bid to call the committee back during the Easter break was supported by the New Democrats, who have since put forward a separate motion with additional witness suggestions, including chief of defence staff Walt Natynczyk, former associate deputy minister Alan Williams and University of Ottawa professor Philippe Lagasse.

Those motions will almost certainly go down to defeat, however, as the government, it seems, would prefer to go through the traditional selection process, which typically takes place behind closed doors, and results in a single list of witnesses that has been agreed to, in camera, by the committee as a whole, with no details on which witnesses were proposed -- and, possibly more importantly, opposed -- by a particular party.

In any case, the meeting kicks off at 2pm, so stay tuned for the live blog.  

Elsewhere on the Hill, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews heads to the Charles Lynch Press Theatre for an announcement related to federal prisons -- or, as the advisory puts it, "Correctional Service of Canada institutions."

Outside the capital, Ministers of State Gary Goodyear (science and technology) Steven Fletcher (transport) and Lynne Yelich (western economic diversification) hit the good news circuit to tout the government's efforts to ensure "responsible resource development" by streamlining the environmental assessment process at events in Cambridge, Winnipeg and Saskatoon, respectively.

Meanwhile, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney talks up the most recent budget at a chamber of commerce-hosted lunch in Halifax.

Finally, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is in Washington, DC for a gathering of G8 finance ministers.  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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