Inside Politics

Budget bill, union disclosure on Senate pre-recess must-do list

The House of Commons may be shuttered, but the Senate is still very much in session as Upper House denizens continue to work their way through the legislative to-do list, which, at press time, still includes that all-important final approval of the budget bill -- one of the few things that actually does have to make it through to Royal Assent before the Red Chamber can close down for the summer -- as well as the government's efforts to tighten up the witness protection regime, modernize the rail safety laws, and perform technical tweaks to various and sundry tax laws.

The most contentious item of urgent business on the pending list, however, is Conservative MP Russ Hiebert's bid to force unions to make public detailed financial information.

At the moment, the bill is the object of lively third reading debate as senators consider a Liberal amendment to raise the threshold for mandatory disclosure of compensation to the very same level at which the government set for the senior ranks of the civil service as part of its forcible amending of now independent backbench MP Brent Rathgeber's transparency initiative, a discussion that may well resume when the Senate convenes later this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the lone entry on the PMO-issued Notable Event list is an appearance by Environment Minister Peter Kent, who will join local MP Royal Galipeau at the Ottawa Lockstation for the official unveiling of a plaque "formally recognizing the the contribution of the construction workers who built the Rideau Canal National Historic Site."

Before meeting up with Kent, Galipeau is slated to make a stop at the National Aboriginal Veterans Memorial, where he'll stand in for the absent veterans affairs minister at a wreath-laying ceremony alongside Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Vice-Chief Ron Swain and aboriginal veterans.

Later this evening, the MacDonald-Laurier Institute hosts a debate on Quebec sovereignty, with Liberal MP Stephane Dion and former Bloc Quebecois law professor Daniel Turp set to take the stage at the Canadian War Museum.

Also on the after-hours agenda in the capital: the Ottawa premiere of 'WHIPPED,' a "groundbreaking documentary" billed as a "an investigation into the secret world of political party discipline" presented by Your Canada, Your Constitution and Democracy Watch.

Finally, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau kicks off his summer tour with a visit to the Operating Engineers Training Institute in Oakville, which will be followed by a stop at a Burlington food court to meet members of the public.

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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