Inside Politics

Warawa on warpath after House speech on sex-selective abortion squelched

As reported by CBC's very own Laura Payton, newly controversial Conservative backbencher Mark Warawa will be back in the parliamentary spotlight later today when he rises in the House to seek what he describes, somewhat coyly, as a 'clarification' of the rules for pre-QP members' statements after he was reportedly blocked from speaking out on his efforts to condemn sex-selective abortion.

The move comes just one day before Warawa is expected to appeal the all-party ruling that effectively squelched his attempt to have the House vote on his non-binding motion to do just that, which will take place on Wednesday afternoon.

Also on the Commons agenda today: The third day of the budget debate, which will end with the traditional defeat of NDP and Liberal-backed amendments to the pro forma motion stating approval in principle of the government's fiscal plans.

MPs will also vote on whether to proceed with Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett's bid to crack down on bullying, with New Democrats expected to join with the government to put the boots to the bill by supporting the committee's recommendation that it proceed no further.

Outside the Chamber, two pairs of New Democrat critics highlight just-tabled private members' bids: Paul Dewar and Charmaine Borg, who will join representatives from the Canada Africa Partnership and Terrebonne students to share the details on a bill to end the use of 'conflict minerals'; and Claude Gravelle and Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, who will team up with CANGRANDS National Kinship support spokesperson Betty Cornelius to discuss a new initiative to "provide greater financial support" to grandparents raising grandchildren.

Later this morning, Saskatchewan MPs converge on Procedure and House Affairs to voice what will almost certainly be all but unanimous displeasure over the independent review commission's contentious proposal to rejig the ridings in their province, with the sole supporter of the putative new electoral map likely to be lone Liberal Ralph Goodale.

Meanwhile, Citizenship and Immigration continues its examination of the fine print in Conservative MP Devinder Shory's double-barrelled pitch to strip citizenship from foreign nationals who commit "acts of war" against Canadian Forces while dropping the residency requirements for hopeful citizens who enlist in the Canadian military.

On the witness list today: Representatives from the Muslim Canadian Congress and Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at and the Canadian office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as Royal Military College professor Grazia Scoppio.

Also on the committee schedule today:

  • Finance MPs wrap up clause-by-clause review of technical tax amendments, with Public Safety also poised to finish up its work on the government's bid to tighten up the witness protection regime, thus allowing both bills to be reported back to the House before the upcoming two-week Easter break.
  • New Democrat MP Alexandrine Latendresse goes before Official Languages to discuss her efforts to ensure that officers and agents who report to parliamentarians have the necessary language skills,
  • The newly created Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women will gather for the first time in order to elect a chair.

Later today, the Hill will mark its first official recognition of Purple Day, which promotes epilepsy awareness, with a reception co-hosted by Liberal MP Geoff Regan, who sponsored the bill to do so.

This evening, One Free World International will host a discussion on "human rights and Canada-China relations," with a special focus on the Canada-China FIPA and last year's Nexen takeover.

According to the advisory, keynote speakers for the event include Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Conservative MP John Weston, New Democrat Wayne Marston and Liberal Mark Eyking, and representatives from the Falun Dafa Association, the Federation for a Democratic China, the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario and the Uyghar Society of Canada also expected to attend.

Outside the precinct, a second wave of ministers hits the post-budget good news circuit, with events scheduled for Halifax, Ottawa and Calgary.

Also out and about today:

  • Conservative MP Royal Galipeau attends Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson's seventh annual "Rendez-Vous Francophone" at City Hall, while his caucus colleague Joy Smith unveils new health research projects during a visit to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
  • Minister of State for Science Gary Goodyear drops by Chris Hadfield Public School for an awards ceremony to "celebrate a unique project" involving experiments on tomatoes grown from seeds taken into space.
  • Veterans Affairs Minister Steve Blaney speaks at "Military Families Matter," a "collaborative initiative" with the Vanier Institute for the Family
  • Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney talks immigration backlogs during an appearance at a Mississauga airport hotel.

Finally, New Democrat leader Tom Mulcair heads to Labrador City, where he's slated to take part in a "public meeting" alongside candidate-in-waiting Harry Borlase, who has been tagged to run under the party's banner in the still-uncalled by-election. 

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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