Inside Politics

Citizenship bill standoff could keep committee sitting through the weekend

With just five days left before the Commons calendar runs out on the spring sitting, the few luckless MPs stuck on House duty will spend the half day remaining before the Commons rises for the weekend on the government's proposal to rebrand the Canadian Museum of Civilization as the Canadian Museum of History, which was reported back from committee earlier this week, and will almost certainly soon be placed under one of Government House Leader Peter Van Loan's trademark time allocation motions, thus ensuring that it will at least make it to the Senate before the summer recess.

Meanwhile, the ongoing filibuster at Citizenship and Immigration is set to head into a fourth day as opposition members continue to block a Conservative attempt to buy a little more time -- 30 days, to be precise -- to consider backbench MP Devinder Shory's bid to strip the citizenship of dual nationals convicted of acts of war, which is due to be automatically reported back to the House without amendments on June 21.

Both Shory and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney are keen to expand the bill to cover those convicted of acts of terrorism as well -- a particularly crucial change, as there is currently no legal definition for 'acts of war', which renders a good chunk of the original draft effectively moot.

The opposition parties, however, have been steadfast in their collective resistance to what they see as a transparent attempt by the government to launch a non-hostile takeover of a likely fatally flawed private members' bill when the minister could easily bring in his own legislation to accomplish the very same thing.

According to Conservative MP David Wilks, the committee broke just after midnight last night, and is scheduled to reconvene at 10am, at which point they may well wind up sitting right through the weekend.

Outside the precinct, the union representing Canadian foreign service officers reveals their plans for an "escalated eleventh week of job action", which will include "continued pickets and service withdrawals at key international locations."

On the pre-weekend good news circuit today:

  • Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong will "recognize" World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which will, as per the advisory, soon be observed at the United Nations in New York, during a "broadcasted event" that will also allow her to "answer questions from the media."
  • In Toronto, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq joins local MP Terence Young at Etobicoke-based Drugtown Pharmacy, where an "important announcement" will be made.
  • Labour Minister Lisa Raitt heads to North American Trade Schools Shoppers World in Brampton, where she will present the "fan favourite award" for the It's Your Job! video contest that "challenged" youth between the ages of 18 and 25 to "use their creativity to develop an original video that can be used in social media to illustrate to younger workers the importance of working safely on the job or about their rights to being paid fairly for the work they do."
  • Elsewhere in Ontario, Treasury Board President Tony Clement dons his FedNor cap and heads to Timmins with fresh support to bolster the local economy, which will be unveiled at a family-owned rigging company.
  • Moving west to Winnipeg, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore will share the details of a "new partnership between Canadian museums" during a visit to the Manitoba Museum, while Public Safety Minister Vic Toews brings glad tidings to a local senior citizens club.
  • In neighbouring Saskatchewan, Conservative MP Tom Lukiwksi teams up with Regina Mayor Michael Fougere for an unspecified announcement on behalf of absent Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

Also out and about today: New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair tours Quebec City, where he's slated to meet with supporters of the Quebec Search and Rescue Centre, including its former director, Hubert Desgagnes.

Finally, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May journeys to Montreal, where she'll "kick off" the 2013 AGM for the Quebec wing of the party at an opening cocktail party. 

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