Most recent entries for October 2012

We asked: Will we ever know who is responsible for the robocall affair?

a) Yes - 35%
b) No - 58%
c) Not sure - 7%

(Note: This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
With the omnibudget now heading to the finance committee in its original, intact form, the time for passive aggressive parliamentary resistance would seem to have, well, passed, at least until the behemoth bill returns to the Chamber for a final round of debate later this month. 

So far, the NDP has kept admirably, if somewhat infuriatingly mum on exactly what tricks and/or treats it may have in store for the government during the next stage of the battle  -- other than the launch of the Hallowe'en-themed monsterbill.ca, that is. 

But a quick check of recent committee minutes may provide some clues on what we can expect to see from the opposition in the days to come. 

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As Parliament Hill prepares to mark the first weeknight Hallowe'en in years, MPs will spend the morning sequestered behind the closed doors of their respective party caucus rooms. 

When the House re-opens for business this afternoon, Chamber watchers should take note of a last-minute change to the usual Wednesday afternoon programme:  private members' votes will be held immediately after Question Period, and not at 5:30 as is usually the case.

Among the bills up for final approval is Conservative MP Blake Richards' bid to make it a crime to wear mask during a riot or otherwise unlawful assembly, which is all but guaranteed passage, thanks to the enthusiastic support of the government -- so much so, in fact, that Richards will join Conservative Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais for a noon appearance in the Commons Foyer to celebrate its imminent sendoff to the Senate before the vote even takes place. 

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We asked: Will Hurricane Sandy have an impact on the outcome of the U.S. election?

a) Yes - 71%
b) No - 24%
c) Not sure - 5%

(Note: This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
As noted in Orders of the Day, the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics is in the midst of what has turned into a lengthy, wide-ranging investigation into the privacy implications of an increasingly social media-connected world.

Today, MPs got their chance to question Google Canada manager Colin McKay on his company's policies on protecting the terrabytes of personal data that stream through its servers on a daily basis.

Read a recap of the Scribblelive-powered live blog after the jump.

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As noted by John Ivison in today's National Post, it appears that the Official Opposition is trying its hand at practicing what the party's house leader Nathan Cullen describes as Obama-inspired pragmatism, which could just as accurately be described as the path of preemptive parliamentary resistance. 


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That is, unless the Official Opposition - or, for that matter, the unofficial opposition that is the Third Party Liberals, the Bloc Quebecois quartet, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May or Independents Bruce Hyer and Peter Goldring - still has some sort of procedural gambit up its collective sleeve to stop the clock during the final day allotted for second reading consideration of the behemoth bill. 

Outside the Chamber, despite a concerted effort by the government to fast track its much-vaunted food safety bill, it appears that Agriculture intends to spend at least a few hours going over the fine print with the help of expert witnesses. On the speaking list for today: the Canadian Meat Council, Retail Council of Canada, Canadian Association of Regulated Importers and Dairy Farmers of Canada. 

Elsewhere on the committee front, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney goes before Finance this afternoon to discuss his most recent monetary policy report, with his scheduled hour-long appearance set to be bookended by Parliamentary Budget Office Kevin Page, who will take the floor to share the latest updates to his projections on Canada's economic and fiscal outlook. 

Meanwhile, Government Operations risks vanishing in a puff of Escheresque smoke by holding a 'feedback session' to question Treasury Board and Finance officials on the government's response to the committee's original report on strengthening the estimates process. 

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We asked: Are you confident in Canada's ability to deal with natural disasters?

a) Yes - 15%
b) No - 82%
c) Not sure - 3%

(Note: This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
As the Hill braces itself for the remnants of Hurricane Sandy, the omnibudget will once again dominate the conversation in the Chamber. 

Before that gets underway, however, the Commons will spend one final hour debating Conservative MP Blake Richard's bid to make it a crime to wear a mask during a riot, which is currently scheduled for third reading approval on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May will make a second attempt to convince the speaker to allow an emergency debate on the Canada-China Investment Treaty, a request that was rebuffed earlier this month.

Also expected on the Hill this morning, courtesy of the "Powershift convergence": A Frankenstorm-themed "Toxic Trick or Treat March" that will, according to the advisory, see "hundreds of youth" take to the streets of Ottawa to "demand action against fossil fuel corporations responsible for climate change and extreme weather" with "creative costumes, puppets and theatrical displays."  

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