Inside Politics

Spring omnibudget bill looms as progressives converge on the capital

As the skeleton crew of MPs stuck on Friday House duty count down the hours until the Commons shuts down for the weekend, the one potentially noteworthy bit of parliamentary business that may or may not be on the agenda for today is the introduction of the spring omnibudget bill, which popped up on the Notice Paper yesterday, leaving open the possibility that it may be tabled during routine proceedings today.

Then again, it may not.

Tune in after Question Period -- which is at 11am ET this morning -- to find out.

Meanwhile, the Broadbent Institute gets ready to kick off the inaugural Progress Summit, a sold-out three-day that will explore "fairer and more sustainable approaches to building a prosperous 21st century Canadian economy," with the help of a pantheon of guest speakers and panelists, including former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. 

Outside the precinct, the cross-country ministerial good news circuit is already up and running:

  • Employment Minister Jason Kenney heads off for a full day of events in the Toronto area, starting with an "important announcement that will help Ontario residents get jobs," which he will deliver alongside his provincial counterpart, Brad Duguid at Queen's Park.
  • This afternoon, he'll team up with Willowdale MP Chungsen Leung at Markham's Pacific Mall, which bills itself as "the largest Chinese indoor mall in North America," where the pair will, according to the advisory, "highlight support for families through new health-related tax relief."
  • Also out and about in the GTA today: Treasury Board President Tony Clement, who will take part in a "live judging event" to pick the ultimate winner of the "CODE appathon" that he's been so tirelessly promoting for the last few months.
  • Later in the day, he'll meet up with Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal for a "squash clinic" with Jane/Finch youth. According to the notice, both Clement and Gosal are, indeed, "avid squash enthusiasts, and true to the description, Gosal is also slated for a mid-morning reveal on the 2014 Women's World Squash Team Championships in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
  • Moving west to Winnipeg, Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover is set to spend her weekend celebrating the Juno Awards, while elsewhere in the city, Western Economic Diversification Minister Michelle Rempel shares the details of a new plan to "benefit foreign investment," while Minister of State for Social Development Candice Bergen "celebrates the official opening" of a new seniors' housing complex.
  • In Alberta, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz talks up his just-introduced legislative bid to deal with the ongoing grain crisis during an appearance in Calgary, although he likely won't highlight the fact that, despite being described as 'emergency', it hasn't even been called for second reading.
  • Newly minted Minister of State for Science Ed Holder delivers fresh federal cash earmarked for research and development to the National Institute for Nanotechnology in Edmonton, while his cabinet colleague Kerry-Lynne Findlay will dole out similarly designated funds on his behalf at the University of British Columbia.

On the opposition front, New Democrat MPs hit the hockey for the Hockey Helps The Homeless tournament, which will take place at the Pierrefonds Sportsplex.

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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