Inside Politics

Chow's imminent exit from the Commons opens door for trio of June by-elections

In what could easily qualify as one of the least surprising political moves of the year thus far, soon-to-be-former Toronto MP Olivia Chow is reportedly finally -- finally! -- ready to make her bid for the Toronto mayor's gig official: first, by stepping down her current post, which is expected to happen at some point today, and ultimately -- which, in this case, means 'Thursday' -- making a formal declaration of her municipal electoral ambitions.

From a federal perspective, that means one more empty seat in the Commons when MPs return from their two-week parliamentary break, bringing the total number of vacancies to three: Macleod, Fort McMurray and, soon, Trinity-Spadina.

Under the current election laws, the PM has until May 17th to call the by-election in Macleod, although there's no strict requirement that the vote be held within a standard 36 days -- or, indeed, that he call all three at once.

Still, given his fondness for bundling by-elections, it's a good bet that voters in all three ridings could find themselves making a late June trip to the polls.

Meanwhile, speaking of the PM, he's set for a quick swing through British Columbia en route back from his whirlwind South Korea trade deal signing tour, where he'll take part in "a moderated question and answer session" hosted by the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce before making his way to Burnaby, where he'll join Senator Yonah Martin at a meeting with "members of the Canadian Korean community."

Elsewhere on the ministerial circuit, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is slated to speak at the East Coast Energy Conference in New York City.

Back in Canada, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt delivers fresh federal cash in his home province of New Brunswick.

Finally, New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair continues his visit to Whitehorse with a speech at the Yukon Chamber of Commerce.  

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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