Inside Politics

Indy MP Brent Rathgeber gets final chance to fix salary disclosure bill

In a rare instance of back-to-back appearances outside the capital, the PM will drop by Winnipeg-based Fort Garry Fire Trucks. where, alongside Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, CentrePort Canada CEO Diane Gray and local MP Shelly Glover, he'll pose for photos before making an otherwise unspecified announcement, and possibly taking a question or two from the assembled press.

Back on the Hill, however, the inner workings of his Ottawa office will be in the spotlight as Deputy Liberal Leader Ralph Goodale presents his party's next opposition day motion, which will, according to the advisory, address the "direct role" they believe it played in what the Liberals have dubbed "the PMO-Senate Ethics Scandal."

Meanwhile, in the Chamber, Independent MP Brent Rathgeber will get one more chance to repair the text of his bid to increase salary and expense disclosure requirements within government later this afternoon, when he will put forward a series of amendments that would, if adopted, undo the changes forcibly imposed upon his original bill by the Conservative majority at committee.

Under his latest proposal, the threshold for disclosing "total annual monetary income ... including performance bonuses" would be set at the very same level as the salary payable to a Member of Parliament, which is currently $160,200.

Those who earn less than that amount would be required to disclose salary range, as well as "classifications and responsibilities of the position" and all expenses reimbursed by the government.

Under the Standing Orders, Rathgeber will get one hour to try to convince his colleagues to back his play. If the debate doesn't wrap up up by 2:30 pm, he'll have a second hour when his name next comes up in the private members' rotation. 

On the ministerial circuit, from east to west:

  • Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson takes budget suggestion in Moncton, while in neighbouring Prince Edward Island, Fisheries Minister Gail Shea delivers a fresh load of federal support for BIO|FOOD|TECH and, later, the Canadian Red Cross outpost in Charlottetown.
  • Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson is set to attend the annual Halifax Security Forum for the first time in his new role, but before he officially launches the weekend conference later this today, he'll go behind closed doors with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to "discuss a variety of issues" before a public signing ceremony for the Canada-US Asia-Pacific Defense Policy Cooperation Framework.
  • Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel heads to Saint-Felicien to "highlight" his government's efforts on behalf of the Quebec forestry industry before making "an important funding announcement."
  • In Toronto, Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong joins Mississauga Conservative Senator Victor Oh for a funding reveal at the Canadian Chinese Gao Deng Yuan Xiao Alumni Association.
  • Elsewhere in the province, Treasury Board President Tony Clement takes his open data evangelism to Wilfrid Laurier University, where he will discuss, with "students and technology enthusiasts," the upcoming Canadian Open Data Experience, while in Kapuskasing, Minister of State for Science. Technology and the Ring of Fire hobnobs with "local stakeholders" before doling out FedNor money to "create jobs, support youth initiatives, enhance tourism and strengthen business growth across Northern Ontario."
  • Moving west, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Lynne Yelich brings glad tidings, in the form of federal cash, to Saskatoon.
  • Employment Minister Jason Kenney gives a keynote speech at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association lunch in Calgary.

Finally, as the final weekend before by-election day, New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair joins Toronto Centre hopeful Linda McQuaig for a morning meet-and-greet at the Sherbourne subway station, and then makes his way to Montreal to do the very same this evening with his Bourassa candidate Stephane Moraille. 

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. 

Mobile-friendly auto-updating text feed available here

NOTE: Updates added in reverse chronological (newer to older) order.

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