Inside Politics

Call in the members!

As the Hill holds its collective breath to see whether yesterday's unexpectedly substantive leaders' exchange in Question Period over the ongoing Senate expense scandal will turn out to be an irreproducible fluke occurrence, MPs will spend the morning sequestered in their respective caucus rooms, plotting their attack -- or, in the case of the Conservatives, defence -- for the days and weeks ahead.

Once the hurly-burly of QP's done -- although the battle will likely have been neither lost nor won -- MPs will burn off a backlog of deferred votes, including third reading of the technical tax tweak package ands second reading of the bill to rename the Canadian Museum of Civilization, as well as private members' business on the Last Post fund and National Charities Week standing in the names of Liberal MP Judy Foote and Conservative Peter Braid, respectively.

After that wraps up, it's onto routine proceedings,which may or may not be superseded midway through by a motion to go straight to Orders of the Day, courtesy of Government House Leader Peter Van Loan, who is also expected to move for time allocation on final reading of the freight rail bill, which would require a 30 minute debate, followed by a 30 minute bell, before the actual discussion can get underway.

On the committee front -- which, due to the above-noted time allocation debate that will almost certainly follow the post-QP votes, may well be interrupted once again by the bells:

For the second time in under a week, Ethics will endeavour to hear what the National Citizens Coalition and Canadian Taxpayers Federation have to say about Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber's bid to expand salary and expense disclosure requirement to include all government staff who make more than $188,000 a year, as well as 'clarify' the journalistic and editorial exemptions that CBC enjoys under the Access to Information Act.

Depending on how the afternoon unfolds, however, those witnesses may be preempted by parliamentary democracy once again, as the committee is currently slated to spend the first hour with Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault.

Over at Foreign Affairs, a veritable battalion of bureaucrats will be on hand to answer any remaining questions on the pros and cons of signing on as a full member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

While all that is going on, Defence and Canadian Heritage will retreat behind closed doors, with the former set to begin work on its draft report on NATO and international defence cooperation, and the latter, unspecified committee business.

Outside the precinct, Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose heads to the Ernst-Young Centre for a 'networking reception and luncheon' at CANSEC 2013, which the official advisory describes as "Canada's leading defence and security trade show," but anti-war activists -- including the local branch of the Raging Grannies -- who intend to be outside the venue to protest the event characterize as "Canada's largest weapons fair."

Also out and about in the capital: Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, who will unveil the artists slated to take part in this year's Canada Day celebrations during an appearance at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Elsewhere on the ministerial circuit, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz joins his Nova Scotian counterpart, John MacDonnell, to share good news with, and for, the province's agricultural sector.

Meanwhile, in Toronto, Kevin Page -- who is billed as "Canada's outspoken first parliamentary budget officer" -- receive the 013 Alexander Gorlick Humanitarian Award for "his exemplary public service" during a mid-afternoon ceremony at City Hall.

Finally, Governor General David Johnston takes in the sublime splendour of New York City, where he's scheduled to visit the NASDAQ stock exchange and take part in a panel discussion on "urban innovation." 

Comments are closed.