Inside Politics

Liberals to challenge Commons colleagues over expense disclosure

After being briefly pre-empted by yesterday's day-long debate over Conservative MP Brad Butt's possible breach of privilege, the Liberals will finally get the chance to seize control of the Chamber this afternoon, when they will challenge their Commons colleagues to support their motion to authorize House administration to disclose the details of MPs' travel and hospitality expenses.

The full text of that motion:

That the House recognize the importance of transparency and accountability in the expenditure of taxpayers' money and also recognize that the majority of parties have already begun disclosing the travel and hospitality expenses of their Members; and therefore call on the Board of Internal Economy to instruct the non-partisan professional administrative staff of the House of Commons to begin posting all travel expenses incurred under the travel point system as well as hospitality expenses of Members to the Parliament of Canada website in a manner similar to the guidelines used by the government for proactive disclosure of ministerial expenses.

On the committee front:

  • Foreign Affairs gets an update on the latest developments in Syria, courtesy of United Nations regional humanitarian coordinator Nigel Fisher, as well as Doctors Without Borders director Stephen Cornish, who, according to the notice, will testify behind closed doors.
  • Meanwhile, at Industry, after spending the first two hours of today's meeting learning more about the state of the Canadian entertainment software industry, MPs will switch to the supplementary estimates, with witnesses from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Natural Research Council scheduled to appear during the half-hour session.

Also this afternoon: House Speaker Andrew Scheer lends his support to Magna Carta Canada by holding a reception to spread the word on the group's plan to mark the 800th anniversary of the document by "bringing an original copy ... to Canada."

Outside the precinct, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver continues his visit to Houston by joining Alberta Energy Minister Diana McQueen for a tour of the TransCanada Houston Lateral Project pipe yard, which, according to the advisory, "will" -- not, mind you, "would" or "may" or "is intended to" -- "become an integrated component of the Keystone Pipeline system."

Back in Canada, Minister of State for Social Development Candice Bergen kicks off the Abilities in Mind conference in Vancouver. 

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