Inside Politics

InSite bill hits the Commons floor

As the precinct pores over the fine print of the (finally) finalized Canada-European Union free trade deal, the Commons will turn its attention to Health Minister Rona Ambrose's first major legislative salvo since assuming her new portfolio: the Respect for Communities Act, which responds to the landmark Supreme Court ruling on the InSite safe injection program by laying out a framework for establishing similar sites in future.

It will also almost certainly give the Conservative backbenchers stuck on Friday House duty ample opportunity to accuse the opposition parties of being soft on drugs, those addicted to drugs and crime in general, with bonus points for working in a reference to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's pro-pot stance.

In any case, on the off chance that the ensuing debate wraps up before MPs head home for the weekend, the Chamber will resume its consideration of the government's omnimotion bid to resurrect bills from the previous session remains the second item on the to-do list.

Also on the Hill today: Liberal veterans affairs critic Jim Karygiannis hits the Centre Block press theatre for a joint press conference with Kate MacEachren, a veteran who, according to the advisory, "has walked from Halifax to Ottawa to raise awareness about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is affecting many members of the Canadian Armed Forces."

Elsewhere in the capital, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples will hold its annual General Assembly, which "brings together Aboriginal representatives from across Canada to address issues affecting Aboriginal Peoples living off-reserve."

Out and about on the ministerial circuit today:

  • Justice Minister Peter MacKay holds a post-Throne Speech roundtable discussion on "justice priorities" for the upcoming session at his ministerial office in Halifax.
  • Public Works Minister Diane Finley joins Ontario deputy premier Deb Matthews for an "important infrastructure event" at the Lake Huron Waste Treatment Plant.
  • Moving west to Winnipeg, Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover shows her support for official languages during a visit to the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities.
  • In Regina, Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson meets with "various stakeholders" while his caucus colleague Gerry Ritz delivers fresh federal cash for the Canadian bison industry.
  • Meanwhile, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander spends the day in Calgary, where he will chat with Bow Valley College students before delivering the closing address at a conference on "skilled migration."
  • Finally, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver shares the details of what the advisory deems a "successful visit to South Korea and China" via teleconference call. 
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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