Inside Politics

PM rallies the troops at briefly-open-to-media caucus confab

While the other parties gather for their weekly closed-door caucus confabs, the PM has summoned reporters to the Conservative inner sanctum to chronicle his opening remarks, which will almost certainly involve the words "jobs," "growth" and "long-term prosperity," but, alas for those luckless scribes, virtually nothing that could be described, even tactfully, as news.

(What can I say -- I'm playing a hunch here.) 

No questions will, alas/of course, be permitted, and as soon as the final round of applause has faded, the media will be gently, but firmly, escorted from the room. (To be fair (and balanced), it should be pointed out that this is precisely the same protocol followed by all parties when arranging such extended photo ops.)

Once the Chamber re-opens for regular parliamentary business this afternoon -- and after the usual storm and fury of a post-caucus Question Period -- MPs are scheduled to resume consideration of a raft of undoubtedly doomed amendments to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's bid to speed up the deportation process.

Given its appearance on the Notice Paper, it seems that the government may soon be ready to unveil the so-called "royal baby bill" to update the rules of succession, which, as colleague Janyce McGregor explains in detail here, could spark a constitutional debate -- or, at the very least, a lively conversation. 

That important legislative business will, however, almost certainly be postponed for at least an hour, as Government House Leader Peter Van Loan has served notice that he intends to move for time allocation, which requires a half-hour debate, 30 minutes of bells and a recorded division.

As a result, it seems highly probable that Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson's much-anticipated appearance before committee to discuss the Conflict of Interest Act may be curtailed -- which is a pity, really, since it's almost certain that she will be quizzed on her recent findings on the propriety -- or, in this case, impropriety -- of ministers and parliamentary secretaries writing letters of support to federal tribunals, a decision with which the government has obliquely indicated that it may not entirely agree.

Over at Defence, meanwhile, Peter MacKay will field questions on his bill to modernize the military justice system.

Also on the Hill today: Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada National Grand Chiefs Guy Frigon and Billy Carle, who, "following a long reflection in the following matters," will "communicate the position" of the group on the Daniels decision and the Idle No More movement.

Outside the precinct, Governor General David Johnston pays a visit to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, where, surrounded by local students, he will chat with Canadian astronaut and ISS superstar Chris Hadfield as he orbits the planet. 

Also this morning: Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal heads across the river to Gatineau, where he will share his thoughts at the Canadian Sport for Life National Summit.

Meanwhile, CIDA Minister Julian Fantino will make himself virtually available to reporters via teleconference from Ethiopia, where he has been taking part in African Union meetings convened to discuss the situation in Mali.

Finally, on the Liberal leadership circuit today: Joyce Murray tours the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto's Regent Park, where she's slated to unveil her policy on the "digital economy." Out west, both Justin Trudeau and Martha Hall Findlay hit the campaign trail in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. 

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. 

Mobile-friendly auto-updating text feed available here

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

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