Inside Politics

Surprise! They're still here!

Is it too early to say I told you so?

Much to the surprise of those parliamentary denizens and political pundits who were so confidentially predicting an early end to the sitting, the House of Commons is still chugging along towards the calendar-imposed adjournment date of June 21, although there's a faint hope that the occupants may manage to muster up the necessary unanimity to break a day or so early.

Until and unless that happy day arrives, however, MPs will continue to work their way through the government's legislative to-do list, starting with the already all-but-official renaming of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, which will resume report stage consideration with a little over an hour left on the clock before the time allocation hammer comes down.

Next in the priority queue is the distinctly more controversial bill to tighten up the rules for those deemed not criminally responsible, which is not yet under a government-imposed deadline for the final two stages of debate, but likely will be by tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the standoff at Citizenship and Immigration may come to a reasonably peaceful conclusion when the committee reconvenes later this morning, particularly if permanent chair David Tilson is back in charge.

If he is, he'll almost certainly , he'll call the vote on the Conservative-backed motion to request a 30 day extension for the further consideration of backbencher Devinder Shory's proposal to strip citizenship from dual nationals who commit 'acts of war' against Canadian Forces, which would bring the four-days-and-counting delaying tactics by opposition members to an abrupt halt, and almost certainly ensure that the battle over the bill itself will be postponed until the fall.

Elsewhere on the committee front:

  • Finance whips through the fine print of a tax treaty between Canada and Namibia, Serbia, Poland, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Switzerland, which is slated to go to clause-by-clause review after MPs get an overview on the contents from a panel of departmental officials and tax experts.
  • Meanwhile, during a rare evening sitting, Environment will hear from Nova Scotia communities and heritage minister Leonard Preyra, as well as representatives from the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, ExxonMobil Canada and, via video conference from Halifax, the Ecology Action Centre, as members continue their study of the government's bid to make Sable Island a national park, but allow limited 'seismic activity' and exploration nearby.

Also on the Hill today: Representatives from national health organizations join health care workers with "direct experience treating refugees" to call on the government to reverse the cuts that have been made to the program during an appearance at the Centre Block press theatre.

Later this evening, Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent will hold a town hall session with local veterans at an Ottawa branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

On the ministerial circuit:

  • Justice Minister Rob Nicholson heads to Toronto, where, alongside representatives from the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness and BOOST Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention, he will announce a new initiative related to abuse prevention.
  • Back in Halifax, Defence Minister Peter MacKay unveils a "major investment" under the Atlantic Innovation Fund during an appearance at Medusa Medical Technologies Inc., while on the opposing coast, Pierre Lemieux will perform parliamentary secretary duties on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz at the International Agricultural Risk, Finance and Insurance Conference in Vancouver.

Finally, in Ireland, the PM wraps up his week-long European tour by going behind closed doors with his G8 counterparts in Ireland.   

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