Inside Politics

Tory MP Michael Chong unveils new bid to boost backbench power

When the curtain lifts on the Chamber this morning, all eyes will be on Conservative backbench MP Michael Chong as he rises in the House to unveil the details of his ambitious -- and already controversial -- proposal to rejig the parliamentary dynamic by giving MPs the power to trigger a leadership review from within caucus as well as, eject -- or, just as importantly, choose not to eject -- recalcitrant colleagues from their midst.

Perhaps most contentiously, it's also expected to give local riding associations the ultimate authority to choose who runs under the party banner by removing the current requirement that the leader sign off on all candidates.

After tabling the bill -- which will likely happen just after 10am during routine proceedings -- Chong will hit the National Press Theatre to take questions from reporters.

Also running the Hill media circuit today: Liberal MP Marc Garneau, who will "discuss" the almost certainly doomed amendments he intends to bring forward to improve the government's bid to implement the UN treaty on cluster munitions, which will undergo clause-by-clause review at committee later this morning.

Later this morning, Garneau will join forces with housing advocacy group Réseau solidarité Itinérance du Québec, which is calling on the government to "sustain the current orientation of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy."

New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair is also expected to make an appearance, as is Bloc Quebecois Leader Daniel Paille.

Back in the Commons, the government is expected to bring down the time allocation on the fall omnibudget bill, which is currently at report stage, but will likely be forced to a final vote by the end of the week.

Undaunted by that timeline, a squadron of national and local Unifor leaders will make their way to the Hill later today for a final "organized lobby effort" against the bill.

On the committee front:

    • Citizenship and Immigration kicks off a new study on temporary resident visas for visitors with appearances by representatives from the Canadian Airports Council and the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, as well as immigration lawyers and academics.
    • Over at Justice, MPs get briefed on the government's revived bid to crack down on contraband tobacco by departmental officials, the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco and the Ontario Korean Businessmen's Association.
    • Meanwhile, at Public Safety, MPs will get to question not just the minister, but the heads of the RCMP, the RCMP Public Complaints Commission, the Correctional Service of Canada and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service as they work their way through the latest batch of supplementary estimates.
    • Also on the estimates rotation this afternoon: Government Operations, which also have the opportunity to discuss the most departmental performance reports with senior Privy Council Office corporate services and planning officials, as well as Shared Services Canada president Liseanne Forand.
    • Behind closed doors, Ethics will continue to hammer out the details of its report on the Conflict of Interest Act, while Finance will begin to compile a recap of what they've heard during their pre-budget consultations.

Outside the precinct:

    • Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson teams up with junior ministerial colleague Maxime Bernier and Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Commissioner Lucie Tedesco to highlight "further measures to protect consumers."
    • Elsewhere in the capital, Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch heads to Carleton University for an "important announcement" on new support to "help prevent" what the advisory describes as "violence against women committed in the name of so-called 'honour'."
    • Meanwhile, the PM is in Montreal, where he and his wife will attend the memorial service for Paul Desmarais Sr.
    • Finally, in Vancouver, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt outlines her government's plan to "strengthen Canada's oil tanker safety system."  
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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