Inside Politics

Orders of the Day - Welcome to Ottawa, Chancellor Merkel!

The countdown to the much-anticipated arrival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has begun, with this summer's first (and possibly only) internationally VIP guest set to hit Canadian soil early this evening, whereupon she will be whisked away to Harrington Lake to meet with the PM in advance of tomorrow's official programme, which has yet to be officially released.    

Back on the Hill, in what has become a regularly occurring Wednesday tradition, a designated Liberal MP -- in this case, Marc Garneau -- will hold a press conference to demonstrate his party's commitment to the "focus on youth" strategy unveiled at the start of the summer break. On the agenda today: the need for a "Youth Advocate" to "address the needs and rights" of young Canadians.

Meanwhile, a few blocks outside the precinct, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is getting ready to host his annual summer policy retreat -- which is not, alas, open to media, although the minister will make himself available to reporters before disappearing behind closed doors for the clandestine confab.

Outside the precinct, War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations across the country will get a post-Olympics ad blitz boost in the form of new federal funding for various and sundry local festivities. Defence Minister Peter MacKay will do the honours at Toronto's historic Fort York, with thematically linked events scheduled for Windsor, and St. John's.

Elsewhere on the circuit:

International Trade Minister Ed Fast joins ACOA Minister of State Bernard Valcourt at Halifax-based LED Roadway Lighting Ltd., where the duo are set to discuss new initiatives to "open new markets for Canadian businesses in the Caribbean."

Later, Valcourt will fly solo at the "grand opening" of Biometica Diagnostics' "new manufacturing facility," during which he will mark the occasion by pointing out his government's support for the expansion, after which he'll head to Grand Pre to hand out money for "projects related to the Acadian community."

Also in Nova Scotia today: Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan, who will visit First Nations communities in Wagmatcook and Sydney, fresh federal funds for water and wastewater treatment and overall infrastructure development in hand.

In Toronto, Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong will convene a roundtable of "key stakeholders" to discuss measures to keep seniors "informed, engaged and active."

On the west coast, Democratic Reform Minister of State Tim Uppal delivers new funding to the University of Victoria for a research project that will "help older adults and their families navigate long-term care services more effectively," while up north, Yukon MP Ryan Leef announces new money for affordable housing.

Finally, both -- or, at least, two out of the three -- opposition leaders will celebrate Tintamarre, or "Acadian Day", with their respective New Brunswick caucuses. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair joins Yvon Godin in Caraquet, while Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae heads out on a tour of the region with Dominic LeBlanc, with stops in Dundas, Bouctouche and Dieppe.

 
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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Tags: blackberry jungle, orders of the day

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