Inside Politics

Warawa to ask committee to overturn all-party ruling on sex-selective abortion vote

After spending the last few days making his case before the cameras, Conservative MP Mark Warawa will finally get his first chance to formally appeal the all-party decision to moot his non-binding motion to condemn sex-selective abortion when he goes before the full procedure committee this afternoon.

According to the posted schedule, Warawa will have 45 minutes to convince his colleagues to reject the unanimous recommendation to declare M-408 non-votable, after which the committee will go in camera to discuss the matter before reporting its conclusions back to the House, which will likely occur tomorrow morning.

The political and parliamentary implications of the Warawa motion -- which, as reported yesterday, has now mushroomed into a full-fledged privilege war -- will almost certainly come up as MPs retreat behind closed doors for their weekly caucus confabs.

The New Democrats, however, will have to get by without the direct presence of their leader, as Tom Mulcair will be spending a second day in Labrador, where he will join the party's by-election candidate-in-waiting at the Wabush mine, where the pair will meet with union workers.

When the Chamber reopens this afternoon, MPs will devote themselves to a final round of pro forma approval-in-principle debate on the budget, although not before taking a brief break from the usual partisan wrangling to pay tribute to outgoing interim Liberal leader Bob Rae with post-QP tributes -- and, almost certainly, more than a little affectionate ribbing.

Later this evening, the Commons will pass judgement on the latest batch of private members' business poised for second reading approval: a trio of NDP-backed bids to ban shark fin imports, boost parental leave for parents of multiples, and codify the rights of air passengers.

Also up for a vote this evening: Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber's proposal to clarify the CBC's journalistic, programming and other exemptions from the Access to Information Act, as well as -- and, it's fair to say, more contentiously, at least as far as the government -- expand expense disclosure requirements for anyone who gets a federal government salary at or above the starting salary at the DM1 level, or $188,600.

Meanwhile, New Democrat MPs Yvon Godin and Annick Papillon hit the Centre Block press theatre to pressure the government to reconsider its decision to move Quebec's maritime search and rescue services to Halifax, a move that, according to the NDP, "compromises the maritime safety of Francophones."

Outside the precinct, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews speaks at the Symposium on Countering Violent Extremism underway at the Ottawa Convention Centre, while at a nearby hotel, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq talks prescription drug abuse with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

Also out and about in the capital today: Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who will drop by the Catholic Centre for Immigrants to meet with "recently settled Bhutanese refugees."

Elsewhere on the ministerial circuit today:

  • Labour Minister Lisa Raitt and Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose head back to their respective ridings with good news for Halton and Calgary community infrastructure projects, with Minister of State for Transport Steven Fletcher scheduled to join local MP Andrew Saxton for a similar announcement in North Vancouver.
  • In Quebec, Transport Minister Denis Lebel delivers fresh federal cash during a stop at Boucherville-based Robert Trucking Inc.
  • Moving west, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt shares the latest on "financial transparency for First Nations communities" in Winnipeg.
  • In Bangkok, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty continues his extraterritorial post-budget tour by meeting with his Thai counterpart, as well as the country's trade representative, after which he will update journalists on his visit by teleconference.

Finally, Liberal leadership candidate Joyce Murray hits a lunchtime meet 'n' greet with Kingston-area Liberals, while Justin Trudeau campaigns in Toronto.

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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