Inside Politics

Long-awaited 'cyberbullying' bill expected to be unveiled today

In an announcement timed to coincide with Bullying Awareness Week, Justice Minister Peter MacKay will reveal his government's long-promised plan to crack down on cyberbullying later today.

The bill itself will be tabled in the House of Commons after Question Period, at which point both MacKay and Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney will hit the Centre Block press theatre to discuss the details.

Elsewhere on the parliamentary media circuit:

  • Liberal treasury board critic Gerry Byrne convenes what the notice advises will be "the first of a series of Wednesday press conferences to discuss wasteful spending and bad economic management by the Prime Minister's Office."
  • PSAC public health and safety officials outline their concerns over the fall omnibudget bill, which, they claim, will make work "more dangerous."
  • The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada teams up with a Toronto-based women's support network and "one of the world's leading researchers," Dr. Gail Dines, to highlight "the effects of pornography on youth."

Later this morning, New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau are both expected to make themselves available to the media after their respective weekly caucus meetings wrap up.

UPDATE - According to a just-in advisory from PMO, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt will join Blaney to announce a new initiative that will, it avers, "improve the safety of Canadians." 

Meanwhile, outside Centre Block, the Peace Tower will serve as "breathtaking backdrop" as Eliza-Jane Scott "kicks off the count-down to the opening of the NAC English Theatre's production of The Sound of Music" with an al fresco rendition of Maria's signature song.

When the Commons reopens for business later today, MPs will begin debate on a bill that would, according to the short title, ensure "priority hiring for injured veterans."

This evening, Conservative MP Mark Adler will get his first chance to persuade his colleagues to back his proposal to require all officers of parliament to publicly disclose any "politically partisan positions" -- specifically, electoral candidate, riding association official or ministerial/parliamentary/political staffer -- that they may have held during the ten years before taking the job and whether they "intend to occupy a politically partisan position" while serving, as well as "provide written undertaking that they will conduct themselves in a non-partisan manner."

On the committee front, Natural Resources members will spend the afternoon huddled around a TV screen as they interview, via video conference, five recent order-in-council appointees: National Energy Board members Kenneth Bateman, Shane Parrish, Ron Wallace and Don Young, as well as newly anointed Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development Technology Chair James Balsillie and incoming Atomic Energy of Canada Limited director James Hall.

Also on today's committee agenda:

  • Finance holds another round of pre-budget consultations.
  • Industry continues to study the government's proposal to tighten Canada's trademark laws to combat counterfeiters
  • Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse CEO Michel Perron gives his perspective on the government's role in addressing prescription drug abuse at Health
  • Public Accounts embarks on its annual review of the government's balance sheets, with assistance from Comptroller General Jim Ralston and officials from Finance and the Auditor General's office.

Outside the precinct, Health Minister Rona Ambrose drops by the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, where she'll join Canada Health Infoway officials for a tour to "observe its progress in implementing and using Electronic Health Records."

On the out-of-town ministerial circuit:

  • In Mississauga, International Cooperation Minister Christian Paradis provides an update on "additional support for those impacted by Typhoon Haiyan."
  • FedDev Ontario Minister Gary Goodyear shows his government's support for small and medium-sized businesses at a Canada Business Ontario event in Windsor
  • Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver ends his current European tour with a conference call for reporters back home in Canada.

Finally, later this evening, Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover will do the honours at the annual Shaw Rocket Prize awards gala at the Chateau Laurier.  

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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