Inside Politics

Rob Ford hits the capital as MPs hold special debate on Ukraine

As is usually the case when the House is in session, MPs will retreat behind closed doors for their weekly caucus confabs this morning, which will be followed, as is similarly traditional, by the weekly post-caucus scrums, during which at least one opposition party leader, and often all three, will make themselves available to the press.

While all that in camera chatter is underway, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation will host its signature black-tie press conference to dole out this year's Teddy Awards to the most noteworthy examples of government waste at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

Elsewhere on the Wednesday morning media circuit:

  • Senate Liberal caucus leader James Cowan will unveil what are being billed as "concrete measures" to make the Upper House "more accountable, transparent and open to Canadians."
  • Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis hits the Centre Block press theatre to "discuss the current situation in Venezuela" alongside representatives from the Canadian Venezuelan community.

This afternoon, the Chamber will reopen for regular parliamentary business -- in this instance, a final round of pro forma budget policy debate, which will wrap up this evening, at which point the Commons will reform as committee of the whole for a special take-note debate on the situation in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, after Question Period, Justice Minister Peter MacKay will hit the Foyer to share the details of his bid to install a "high risk sex offender database," which was on the Notice Paper yesterday, and will likely be tabled during routine proceedings this afternoon.

The state of affairs in Ukraine will also be the subject of a two-hour briefing at Foreign Affairs, during which committee members will get an update on the latest developments from departmental officials, as well as the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce.

Elsewhere on the committee front:

  • Public Accounts goes through the fine print of the auditor general's most recent report on offshore banking
  • Industry hears from Execution Labs CEO Jason Della Rocca and senior Ubisoft advisors as MPs resume their investigation into Canada's entertainment software industry.
  • Citizenship and Immigration looks into "strengthening the protection of women" in the current immigration system

Outside the precinct, New Democrat Agriculture Critic Malcolm Allen delivers a breakfast speech at the Canadian Federation of Agriculture's annual meeting, which got underway earlier this week.

Following Allen to the lectern will be Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

Also this morning: Parliamentary Secretary Kelly Block promotes her government's "investments in clean energy" during a Let's Talk Energy event at the Museum of Science and Technology.

Finally, Canada's "Big City Mayors' Caucus" -- including, but not limited to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford -- will gather at Ottawa City Hall to talk over what the advisory describes as "the growing housing crisis" as well as "questions that remain on how the federal government's New Building Canada Fund will be used to meet local needs."

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.

Tags: blackberry jungle, orders of the day

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