Inside Politics

Canada Post on the agenda as House committee meets

Cancel -- or, at least, postpone -- that parliamentary holiday shutdown: there's a don't-call-it-an-emergency committee meeting on the agenda!

Later this afternoon, members of the House transport committee reconvene for a three-hour Q&A on those proposed service cuts at Canada Post.

First on the witness list, according to the information we were able to glean from various and sundry sources last night: Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra himself, who will make his first public comment on the crown corporation's plan to eliminate most urban door-to-door service, reduce post office hours and hike the price of stamps.

MPs will also hear from representatives of groups that could be affected by the changes, including the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Conference Board of Canada, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, the CD Howe Institute and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Although the New Democrats can - and almost certainly will - claim partial credit for triggering today's confab after threatening to file a formal recall request last week, it's worth noting this particular meeting was actually called by the chair, Conservative MP Larry Miller.

It also appears to be a one-shot deal, as the set-up motion to be adopted at the start of the meeting states that the committee will spend no more than the allotted three hours on the issue.

That likely won't go over well with the opposition New Democrats, who have made it clear that they want to hear from Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, who will not be appearing today, a view that will likely be emphasized by the party's deputy transport critic Hoang Mai during his pre-meeting scrum.

Meanwhile, New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair is also back on the Hill for a year-end press conference, which will take place at the National Press Theatre later this morning.

Outside the precinct, the ministerial good news circuit is in full swing, with Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander set to headline the PMO-endorsed Notable Event agenda by providing an update on family reunification and the Parent and Grandparent program at the Brampton Multicultural Centre later today.

Also out and about today:

  • Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel delivers fresh federal aid for Quebec's forestry sector during a visit to the Kruger mill in Trois-Rivieres, while elsewhere in the province, Minister of State for Small Business Maxime Bernier spreads glad tidings throughout Paroisse de Notre-Dame-des-Pins.
  • In Winnipeg, Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover pays a visit to the Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store to show her government's support for the Manitoban arts community, with "a local artist" scheduled to perform at the event as well.
  • On the west coast, Health Minister Rona Ambrose drops by Cedars at Cobble Hill Treatment Centre for "a roundtable on recovery," while back in Vancouver, her cabinet colleague Bernard Valcourt highlights the coming into force of his government's successful bid to amend the laws governing family home and matrimonial rights on First Nations reserves.
  • Finally, in Burnaby, Ministers of State Michelle Rempel and Alice Wong announce support for innovation and a local multicultural centre, respectively.  

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