Inside Politics

Info watchdog to release new report on text messaging

Shortly after the House of Commons opens for business, Speaker Andrew Scheer will table her long-awaited special report from Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault, which examines the use of text messaging in federal institution.

It's worth noting this particular report was originally expected to be tabled at the same time as her even more keenly anticipated review of alleged political interference with access to information requests, but according to her office, those findings likely won't hit the Table until next year.

Once that bit of routine business is out of the way, MPs will turn their attention back to the question of community-based drug treatment -- and, specifically, the government's proposal to make it more difficult for programs based on the model in use at Vancouver-based InSite to garner the necessary approval to operate in future.

Outside the Chamber:

  • New Democrat MP Tarik Brahmi teams up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving for the introduction of a new private members' bill that would "allow for the use of random breath testing."
  • Later this morning, his caucus colleague Paul Dewar will share his thoughts on the United Nations treaty on cluster munitions, and specifically, his proposal to amend the government's proposal for implementing it, which is currently at committee.
  • Representatives from the National Farmers Union will "call for the reinstatement of real democratic process" -- specifically, making "the complete texts and annexes of all trade and economic agreements available to Canadians."
  • A few blocks from the Hill, New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair will give a lunch speech at a meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities board of directors.

Meanwhile, two days after the government unveiled the latest iteration of its bid to crack down on "online crime", Justice department officials will hold a "technical briefing" on the bill, presumably to counter claims that it's simply a slightly tweaked version of the late, unlamented online surveillance legislation brought forward by former minister Vic Toews.

On the committee front, the supplementary estimates circuit is in full swing, with no fewer than seven ministers slated to field questions on their respective departments' latest budget requests, including Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover, Justice Minister Peter MacKay, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Human Resources Minister Jason Kenney.

Two committees will, however, have to make do with senior officials instead: Fisheries and Oceans and Government Operations.

Outside the precinct, Health Minister Rona Ambrose delivers fresh support for HIV/AIDS research at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, while in Toronto, Minister of State for Small Business Maxime Bernier will chat with "some of Canada's most successful entrepreneurs" at the Entrepreneur of the Year awards celebration.

Finally, the PM heads to Newmarket, where he's scheduled to pose for pictures at the Canadian Plastics Group, but will not, at least according to the advisory, submit to even a lightning round of questions from reporters.

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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