Inside Politics

New Democrats boost ATM fees to the top of the Commons agenda

As the second week of the winter sitting begins, the New Democrats are set to take control of the House programming schedule once again.

On the opposition agenda for today's supply day debate, courtesy of the party's consumer critic, Glen Thibeault:

That, in the opinion of the House, Canadian consumers face unfair Automated Teller Machine (ATM) fees as a result of an uncompetitive marketplace and that the House call on the government to take action in Budget 2014 to protect consumers by limiting ATM fees.

Later this evening, MPs will vote on both the above motion and last week's last-ditch attempt to stop the closure of Veterans Affairs service offices, the final Commons verdict on which was postponed until today, much to the dissatisfaction of the New Democrats, who - quite correctly - pointed out that the closures in question were scheduled to take place on Friday, which renders today's vote somewhat redundant even if the outcome weren't all but assured.

On the committee front, International Trade takes a fact-finding trip to Vancouver to hear what West Coast denizens think about the putative Canada-European Union free trade deal, with industry associations representing dairy producers, wireless technology and forestry products on the witness list for today's all-day hearing, as well as the cities of Burnaby and Victoria, and the BC branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, among others.

Meanwhile, back in Ottawa, committees begin to reorganize themselves in their new, smaller configuration -- 10 members instead of 12, with the government and the NDP each giving up one seat -- by electing -- or, in most cases, re-electing -- their respective chairs and vice-chairs.

Outside the precinct, Health Minister Rona Ambrose heads to the Maplesoft Centre for Cancer Survivorship Care to highlight new research on the eve of World Cancer Day.

Also out and about on the ministerial circuit today:

  • Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney delivers an "important announcement" at Montreal's FACE School.
  • Canada's "grain logistics system" will be the beneficiary of a boost in federal support, which will be unveiled by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz during a visit to Winnipeg.

Finally, Governor General David Johnston will present the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) awards during an evening ceremony at Rideau Hall. 

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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