Inside Politics

NDP motion kicks off 'Kevin Page Appreciation Day' in the Commons

As reported yesterday, the House of Commons will spend the day debating an NDP motion that, if passed, would not only recommend that current parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page stay on the job until a suitable replacement can be found, but also call on the government to bring forward legislation to boost the post to a fully fledged Officer of Parliament.

Meanwhile, outside the Chamber, Conservative MP Mark Warawa will kick off his campaign to build support for his bid to condemn sex-selective terminations -- which, it's worth noting, is due to be added to the private members' priority list in early March -- by arranging a press conference for Reggie Littlejohn, who is, according to the advisory, a "leading expert" on China's One Child Policy "leading expert."

According to the notice, Littlejohn will 'call on Canadian leaders to condemn ... gendercide," which is, of course, precisely what the Warawa motion would do.

On the committee front:

  • Foreign Affairs members get an update on the situation in Mali, courtesy of that country's ambassador to Canada, Traore Ami Diallo and his French counterpart, Philippe Zeller, as well as representatives from CARE Canada and World Vision Canada.
  • Also this morning: Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson shares her thoughts on sexual harassment within the federal workplace with Status of Women, which, as part of its continuing investigation into the issue, will also hear from two unions: United Steelworkers and Canadian Auto Workers.
  • Over at Procedure and House Affairs, the ongoing review of proposed electoral boundary changes shifts its focus to Alberta, with Conservative MPs Brian Jean, Christ Warkentin and Blaine Calkins on the witness list for today. (Two additional meetings have been scheduled for this particular report.)
  • Later this afternoon, Industry will be briefed on "the current state of engineering in Canada" with the doubtless able and informed assistance of various and sundry associations, academics and agencies.
  • Official Languages is set to devote an entire meeting to the mounting stack of motions currently on the agenda -- in public, even, at least according to the notice, although that could, of course, change.

Out and about in the capital today: Conservative senator Yonah Martin will light up an ice sculpture honouring Canadian Korean War veterans at Winterlude's Crystal Park.

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair will be the guest of honour at a Montreal Council on Foreign Relations lunch, after which he will make himself available to local reporters.

On the Liberal leadership circuit: Marc Garneau -- whose advisories, it's worth noting, now give first billing to his status as "Canada's first astronaut" -- heads to Willowdale for a chili cook off and "friend-raiser" organized by the local Liberal association, while Martha Hall Findlay will be feted at a cocktail fundraiser at the Montreal offices of Heenan Blaikie, and Justin Trudeau treks to Guelph.

Finally, current International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield will hold a live chat with former fictional starship captain (and galactic hearthrob) William Shatner -- from space! Tune into the Canadian Space Agency livestream for full coverage of what will almost certainly be a memorable virtual encounter. 

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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