Inside Politics

Anti-terror bill amendments continue to dominate House debate

As the country -- and the world -- anxiously await more information on those alleged Via train plotters, MPs are scheduled to pick up where they left off in giving the government's proposed amendments to the current anti-terror regime a final round of debate, which will kick off when the Chamber opens for business at 10am, and carry on as long as the New Democratic Party can keep putting up speakers, as, despite their insistence that swift passage of the bill is of crucial importance, the Conservatives have yet to give notice that they intend to move time allocation to bring the discussion to a close.

Later this morning, representatives from the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, which describes itself as "a national Muslim civil liberties organization," will join members of the Ottawa Muslim community to share their thoughts on "the need for community cohesion against threats of terror," and "reflect about the need for the anti-terror legislation given that the plot was thwarted without the need to claw back civil liberties."

Also on the Hill this morning:

  • A coalition of human rights groups, including Amnesty International, the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, Canada Without Poverty and the Indigenous Rights Centre, "outline the issues" that the United Nations Human Rights Council should address in its review of Canada's record on human rights, which is scheduled to take place on Friday in Geneva
  • B'Nai Brith releases its latest annual audit of "Antisemitism incidents"
  • The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science issues a call for regulation of medical lab assistants "in all jurisdictions across Canada," which, they aver, would "enhance patient safety."
  • New Democrat MP Libby Davies teas up with Hypertension Canada to hold a blood pressure clinic for parliamentarians and other Hill denizens

On the committee front:

Outgoing Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney makes what will likely be his final appearance before Finance, where he will take questions on the latest monetary policy report.

Over at Status of Women, meanwhile, the committee breaks away from its ongoing study on sexual harassment in the federal workplace to consider the government's bid to modernize the laws on family homes and matrimonial property on First Nations reserves, with both Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt slated to appear at this morning's opening session.

Later this afternoon, Public Accounts will review last year's auditor general's report on protecting 'critical infrastructure' from 'cyber threats', with the AG himself set to appear, as well as Public Safety deputy minister Francois Guimont, Treasury Board chief information officer Corinne Charette, Communications Security Establishment IT security deputy chief Toni Moffa and officials from Shared Services Canada.

Finally, the formerly largely overlooked all-party subcommittee charged with deciding which items of private members' business should be deemed votable will begin to go through the next batch of backbencher-driven proposals later this morning, which suggests that the next refreshing of the precedent list may take place sooner than expected.

UPDATE - Unpush the private members' panic button. 

According to the speaker's office, today's meeting will deal with just one item of business: the pro-victim protection bill brought in by Conservative MP Mark Warawa to replace his now defunct motion on sex-selective abortion, which will almost certainly be deemed votable.  

Also on the committee agenda today:

  • Conservative MP Devinder Shory's proposal to strip citizenship from dual nationals who commit "acts of war" -- and, if the anticipated government-backed amendments go through, "acts of terrorism" -- against the Canadian military goes to clause-by-clause review at Citizenship and Immigration, while over at Aboriginal Affairs, representatives from the Canadian Bar Association, the Peguis Accountability Coalition, Sawridge First Nation and the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations will provide their respective perspectives on his caucus colleague Rob Clarke's attempt to increase transparency for First Nations band councils.
  • Procedure and House Affairs hears from 11 Quebec MPs as it embarks on its study of the proposed riding changes for that province, and goes behind closed doors to work on its report on the recommendations for British Columbia.

Outside the precinct, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney joins Holocaust survivors for the National Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Canadian War Museum.

Elsewhere in the capital, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews will "consult with key victims stakeholders" on the promised Victims' Bill of Rights during a "roundtable discussion" at a downtown hotel. 

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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