Inside Politics

Political fate of embattled former MP Peter Penashue in the hands of Labradorian voters

With MPs back in their respective ridings for the Victoria Day constituency break, all eyes turn to Labrador, where embattled once-and-possibly-future Conservative MP Peter Penashue will soon find out if he's coming back to Ottawa -- and, almost certainly, to his old seat at the cabinet table -- or destined to become a footnote in recent Canadian political history. 

Penashue isn't the only candidate under pressure to perform well, however: both opposition leaders have made a point of hitting the hustings with their respective candidates, which means that anything other than a photo finish will raise questions about the momentum -- or lack thereof -- of their respective parties. 

According to the Elections Canada schedule, poll-by-poll results will start to come in after the polls close at 7pm EST. 

Meanwhile, on the ministerial good news circuit:

  • In New Brunswick, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt starts his day by delivering fresh federal support for a youth centre in Chipman before making his way to Edmundston with new money to increase access for persons with disabilities.
  • Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield visits Gilbert Park in Minto, where he will unveil his government's plan to fund "improvements" to the area, and local MP Mike Allen makes "a major announcement" on economic development in Centreville.
  • In neighbouring Nova Scotia, Defence Minister Peter MacKay drops by Summer Street Industries in New Glasgow with assistance for local youth, while at Fortress Louisbourg, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt will be on hand for the launch of a new partnership between Parks Canada and Google, during which "the first official image collection" will begin.
  • Back on the mainland, Transport Minister Denis Lebel is scheduled to speak at a "conference luncheon" in Rouyn-Noranda, during which he will, according to the advisory, highlight his government's efforts to "stimulate the economic vitality of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region" while his cabinet colleague Christian Paradis, presents, on Lebel's behalf, a new round of cash for Saint-Adrien-d'Irlande before making his way to Lyster with still more cash destined for "local infrastructure," and Conservative MP Jacques Gourde attends the launch of a new biomass boiler at the Sanimax Plant.
  • In Toronto, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver kicks off National MIning Week by opening trading at the Toronto Stock Exchange before joining Mississauga MP Stella Ambler for a tour of the Holcim (Canada) Inc. cement plant.
  • Also out and about in Ontario: Government House Leader Peter Van Loan teams up with GO Transit President Gary McNeil and provincial transport parliamentary assistant Kevin Flynn for an announcement in East Gwillimbury, while in Markham, Seniors Minister of State Alice Wong hands out medals at the 2013 GTA Veteran Cup Table Tennis Tournament.
  • Moving west, Minister of State for Transport Steven Fletcher brings glad tidings to his hometown of Winnipeg, where Reaching E-Quality Employment Services will get new funding for an internship training centre, while in Regina, Maxime Bernier will join provincial and municipal dignitaries to "celebrate" the construction of a new affordable housing project.
  • In Calgary, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore pays a visit to EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts, where, alongside local MP Joan Crockatt, he'll share the details of new funding for arts and culture throughout the city.

Finally, later today, International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield will hand over the keys to the base, hop aboard a waiting Soyuz and head back to earth, touching down on Terra Firma in Kazakhstan at approximately 10:30 pm, after which he and his fellow returning colleagues will be whisked away to NASA headquarters in Houston.

UPDATE: As per an advisory issued this morning, New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair will deliver the closing address at the Forum economique de Lanaudiere.  

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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