Inside Politics

Orders of the Day - The KPMG F-35 report cometh ... but likely not today.

Having duly passed both the omnibudget and the supplementary estimates, just one more item remains on the government's pre-Christmas must-do list: the tabling of that much-anticipated KPMG report on the F-35s, which could happen as early as this morning, but almost certainly won't, since that would give the opposition three full days to hammer away at the PM during Question Period. Given those calculations, the most likely scenario would see the report unveiled on Wednesday afternoon -- or, alternately, Thursday morning.

In the meantime, the Commons will work its way through the list of pressing-but-not-drop-dead-urgent legislation remaining on the Order Paper, including C-15 (military justice) and C-37 (victim surcharges on offenders).

Once government business has wrapped up for the day, the House will spend a final hour debating the pros and cons of Conservative MP Russ Hiebert's bill to impose additional disclosure requirements on labour unions, which will go to a final vote tomorrow night -- assuming, that is, that a recorded division is demanded, which it almost certainly will be.

Outside the Chamber, New Democrat defence critics Jack Harris and Christine Moore team up with senior representatives from the Union of National Defence Employees to talk -- and, given the context, likely condemn -- "job cuts" at CFB Borden.

Later this afternoon, newly by-elected Victoria MP Murray Rankin will be sworn in as NDP Leader Tom Mulcair looks on approvingly.

Far outside the precinct in Winnipeg, Transport Minister Denis Lebel will hold a Q&A session on his bid to improve the laws governing rail freight services, which will be tabled in the House just after 10am. 

Back on the Hill, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is scheduled to hit the Commons Foyer at approximately the same time to share the details of his new bill, which deals with the witness protection program and, like Lebel's soon-to-be-introduced legislation, was listed on yesterday's Notice Paper.

Elsewhere on the ministerial circuit: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird convenes a "media teleconference" for an "announcement on Iran," CIDA Minister Julian Fantino heads to the Ottawa Westin to kick off the 2012 Grand Challenges meeting and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver takes his message to Saint John, where he'll take part in a photo op at the Irving Oil refinery, tour the Irving Paper Mill and speak to the board of trade. 

With the House set to rise within days, the committee circuit goes into in camera overdrive as members scramble to sign off on various and sundry reports on a variety of topics, including closed containment salmon aquaculture (Fisheries and Oceans), labour shortages and the "skills gap" (Human Resources), intellectual property (Industry), the Auditor General's findings on pharmaceutical drug regulation (Public Accounts) and "innovative transport technologies" (Transport).

Over at Government Operations, MPs go behind closed doors to give and/or receive "feedback" from Treasury Board officials on the government's response to recommendations on improvements to the estimates process.

Meanwhile, he Subcommittee on International Human Rights will revisit the case of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who allegedly uncovered evidence of government corruption, only to die under mysterious circumstances in prison, has been the object of a relentless campaign by Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who will hold a press conference to discuss the issues before the meeting begins.

Also on the afternoon agenda: After abruptly cancelling last week's appearance, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is back on the witness list at Canadian Heritage, which is studying the Canadian entertainment software industry, while Ethics continues its extensive investigation into privacy and social media and National Defence hears from retired military surgeon general Hans Jung.

Finally, with Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau wending his way back to the outskirts of the capital, his immediate travel plans would seem to allow him to accept that invitation to appear before Natural Resources to explain his comments on Albertan politicians, presuming the committee finally gets around to setting a date during today's in camera discussion on future business. 

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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NOTE: Updates added in reverse chronological (newer to older) order.

Tags: blackberry jungle, orders of the day

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