Inside Politics

Opposition MPs, 'concerned' scientists converge on the post-prorogation Hill

In an alternate timeline, today would mark the official return to parliamentary business as usual on the Hill, but thanks to the PM's decision to have the House prorogued until mid-October, in this instance of the multiverse, the precinct will soon be filled with the sound of frustrated opposition MPs - a din that, if past history is any guide, will steadily increase, in both volume and vehemence, between now and the eventual reopening of the Commons.

Later this afternoon, New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair is slated to make an appearance in the Foyer, where, alongside his house leader, Nathan Cullen and whip Nycole Turmel, he'll highlight "the real impact of prorogation on Canadians," and detail his party's plans for the next four weeks.

Before that gets underway, however, a gaggle of Liberal MPs, led by industry critic Judy Sgro, will take over an unused committee room to host a day-long roundtable on the wireless sector, during which "Parliamentarians and stakeholders will discuss how to ensure that all Canadians have ready access to affordable, high quality wireless and internet services ."

(Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, appears to be spending the day not back in the House in Toronto, where he's scheduled to speak to Ryerson students this afternoon. )

Meanwhile, far from the madding crowd, the PM will join Canadian Police Association president Tom Stamatakis and Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney for an otherwise unspecified announcement against the backdrop of the WestJet Hangar at the Vancouver International Airport.

Other events on the ministerial circuit:

  • International Trade Minister Ed Fast drops by the Frank Hasenfratz Centre of Manufacturing Excellence in Guelph to unveil a new -- and national -- funding initiative that, as per the advisory, will "will lead to the creation of jobs for Canadians across the country and help businesses reach their full potential in international markets."
  • Elsewhere in Ontario, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz teams up with his parliamentary secretary Pierre Lemieux to show their support for the Canadian dairy sector during a visit to an Embrun-area farm, while Minister of State for Science Greg Rickford delivers good news -- most likely in the form of an oversized cheque -- for social sciences and humanities research at Western University.
  • In Quebec, Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel does the honours at an "infrastructure event" at the Drummondville Exhibition Centrre, while his cabinet colleague Christian Paradis hands out money on his behalf in Saint-Pierre Baptiste, Saint-Fortunat and Adstock.

Finally, hundreds of scientists and supporters are expected to converge on the parliamentary lawn for the second annual Stand Up For Science! rally, which kicks off at noon, with more than a dozen satellite demonstrations set to take place across the country, including at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where Green Party Elizabeth May will be in attendance.

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