Inside Politics

Government Crime Tackler in Chief Rob Nicholson to reveal his justice priority list

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is set to reveal his government's law-and-order to-do list for the 2013 in Toronto later this morning at a roundtable discussion, which will be attended by, among unidentified others, former NHL player and "victims advocate" Sheldon Kennedy and OPP deputy commissioner Vince Hawkes. 

Back in the capital, the House begins the second week of the winter sitting on a low-impact legislative note as MPs resume second reading consideration of the so-called "fair rail freight service" bill, as well as the technical tax amendments previously debated last week.

Before that gets underway, however, New Democrat MP Sana Hassainia will get her first opportunity to convince her Commons colleagues to support her private members' bid to extend parental leave to cover adoptions and multiple births

Outside the Chamber, Ethics holds a rare Monday afternoon meeting -- likely to make up for last week's vote-related cancellation -- to hear from York University professor Ian Green and London-based lawyer, "ethics consultant" and social scientist Gregory Levine, who will share their thoughts on the Conflict of Interest Act, after which committee members will debate -- most likely, alas, in camera -- whether to launch a full inquiry into the HRSDC student loans data loss. 

Over at Justice, the recent ascension of former chair Dave Mackenzie to the newly created post of deputy government whip has left the committee without a gavel-wielder, a shortcoming that will be rectified this afternoon.

As a result of the membership shuffle announced last week, the committee has also added four new members to the permanent roster: Conservatives Scott Armstrong and Mike Wallace -- either of whom may be poised to take the chair -- as well as New Democrats Wayne Marston and Huang Mai. (Interestingly, Conservative MP Brian Jean, who took the lead during the marathon debate over the omnicrime bill, has been demoted to associate member.)

Meanwhile, Canadian Forces Ombudsman Pierre Daigle heads to Defence to discuss the government's proposals to change the military justice system, and International Trade members retreat behind closed doors to work on a draft report on free trade with Japan.

Also on the Hill today: the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman will release a new report on the right to disclosure, which, according to the title, is "a matter of procedural fairness," and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students "brings tomorrow's physicians" to the Hill as part of its annual Lobby Day.

Hitting the Monday morning ministerial circuit: Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism Maxime Bernier, who is scheduled to give the keynote address at the Hotel Association of Canada Centennial Celebration and Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence Dinner

Back in the capital, finance parliamentary secretary Shelly Glover joins Royal Canadian Mint president Ian Bennett at a Shoppers Drug Mart to "mark the transition date" for the Great Penny Phase-Out of 2013, and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird drops by Ottawa-based EODC Inc. to remind all and sundry, once again, how defence spending supports jobs across the country. 

Meanwhile, in Montreal, Industry Minister Christian Paradis visits the Ecole de technologie superieure to unveil the latest investment in "Canadian innovation and the Canadian economy." Finally, Calgary MP Diane Ablonczy ferries federal cash to a local youth employment centre. 

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.

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