Inside Politics

Election bill back in the spotlight as House returns from extended constituency break

When the curtain rises on the House of Commons later this morning, the proposed rewrite of the election bill will once again take centre stage, thanks to a New Democrat-backed opposition day motion that calls on the government to "abandon" its efforts to "prohibit vouching, voter education programming by Elections Canada and the use of voter cards as identification," which, the Official Opposition avers, " could disenfranchise many Canadians, particularly first-time voters like youth and new Canadians, Aboriginal Canadians and seniors living in residence."

Before that debate gets underway, however, Conservative MP Peter Goldring will get an hour to sell his colleagues on his backbench bid to establish a "nationally standardized 'point in time'" to be used when conducting "homeless counts," as well as a similarly universal methodology for conducting such surveys and an "agreed-upon" determination of who, precisely, is "considered to be homeless."

Also on the parliamentary to-do list today: With the current supply cycle set to expire on Wednesday, the most recent batch of supplementary estimates will go to a vote this afternoon.

Outside the Chamber, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair joins BC MP and deputy leader Libby Davies on stage at the National Press Theatre for a mid-morning press conference to lament what the advisory describes as "the Conservative government's inaction on the expiry of the Health Accord."

Elsewhere in the precinct, La Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal teams up with le mouvement Impératif français to launch a joint campaign against "la francophobie."

Later this evening, meanwhile, Hill denizens -- including, but not limited to politicos, pundits, press and assorted and sundry other political animals -- will descend, very possibly en masse, on the Parliament Pub for the official launch of Halifax author Dan Leger's much-anticipated chronicle of the triumphs, trials and tribulations of embattled former Conservative Senator Mike Duffy.   

On the committee front:

  • Foreign Affairs members get an update on the situation in Ukraine, courtesy of the International Republican Institute and DC-based think tank National Endowment for Democracy, as well as a second, unrelated briefing on World Tuberculosis Day from Doctors Without Borders.
  • Over at Industry, meanwhile, the committee resumes its investigation into the state of the Canadian entertainment software sector, with representatives from Warner Brothers Games Montreal, the Centre for Digital Media and, via video link, London-based Digital Extremes expected to share their respective perspectives this afternoon.
  • Public Accounts goes behind closed doors once again, this time to work on its draft reports on the auditor general's most recent findings on access to online services and offshore banking.

Finally, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May makes her way to Montreal this evening, where she's scheduled to deliver the 2014 Mallory Lecture at McGill University. 

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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