Inside Politics

Orders of the Day - Helena Guergis vs. the PM et al (Round One) gets underway

An Ottawa courtroom will be the venue for a legal battle that could have profound implications for the future of parliamentary party politics in Canada as former Conservative MP Helena Guergis fights to keep her lawsuit against the prime minister, his former chief of staff and various senior ministers alive.

Earlier this spring, the PM -- or, at least, lawyers acting on his behalf -- filed a sweeping motion to dismiss the case, on the grounds that her claims "are not subject to the judicial process but relate instead to matters of Crown prerogative and parliamentary privilege." Arguments are set to begin later this morning, and are scheduled to run until Thursday.

Back in the precinct, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney heads to the National Press Theatre to talk monetary policy -- specifically, the most recent report thereon, which is set to be released today -- with reporters.

Later today, deputy Liberal leader Ralph Goodale will convene a press conference of his own to draw attention to what the advisory characterizes as "the recent string of negative economic reports."

Meanwhile, on the east coast, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae embarks on a tour of Newfoundland, starting with a community breakfast at the Clarenville Fire Hall before heading off to Gander, where he will speak to the local chamber of commerce and visit the New Fun Land -- and it took me FAR too long to fully appreciate that bit of homophonic whimsy-- Child Centre.

On the ministerial circuit:

  • Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue is in Halifax, where he will preside at an arts and culture-themed event at the Canadian Museum of Immigration.
  • In Toronto, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq welcomes participants to the inaugural meeting of the Advisory Council on Traditional Chinese Medicines.
  • Treasury Board President Tony Clement continues to wend his way through northern Ontario, stopping today in Kapuskasing, where he will meet with "local stakeholders" and reveal a new FedNor "investment".
  • Moving west, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews visits the Thompson Homeless Shelter, where he will highlight new support for the homeless, and those "at risk of becoming homeless."  Elsewhere in Manitoba, Minister of State for Transport Steven Fletcher holds still more consultations on long-term infrastructure planning.
  • In Saskatoon, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz addresses the crowd at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region annual summit, and then treks off to POS Bio-Sciences with federal funding for "agricultural innovation".
  • Also just outside Saskatoon today: International Trade Minister Ed Fast, who will take in the scope of the Cory Potash Mine
  • Finally, Environment Minister Peter Kent drops by the Annacis Wastewater Centre in Delta for an announcement on national wastewater regulations. According to the PMO teaser for today's event, the minister will reveal "new actions" to address "the greatest challenge to clean water in Canada."  
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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