Inside Politics

Anti-fracking protesters to erect mock rig, mock wastewater spill on the Hill

MPs may get the chance to grill Employment Minister Jason Kenney on the embattled Temporary Foreign Workers program when he appears before the Human Resources committee later this morning to field questions on his department's projected budget for the coming year, as well as the renewal of the Labour Market Development Agreements.

Also on the committee agenda toady:

    • Justice Minister Peter MacKay fields questions on his legislative efforts to crack down on 'online crime' -- including, but not limited to everything from cyber-bullying to cable theft at Justice.
    • Health kicks off a study into what the notice characterizes as the "risks and harms" of marijuana with the help of departmental and medical experts.
    • Government Operations hears from US open data experts before going behind closed doors to debate a motion put forward by Liberal MP Gerry Byrne to investigate the recent Heartbleed security breach at the Canada Revenue Agency.
    • Later this afternoon, Public Safety members will go over the main estimates with Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney, and Finance gets a briefing on the spring omnibudget bill.

After spending another four hours going through the fine print of the election bill on Wednesday night, Procedure and House Affairs will convene for a final round of clause-by-clause review, which is scheduled to begin later this morning, and will continue until 5pm, at which point every vote required to wrap up their study will be called without further debate.

Meanwhile, the Council of Canadians brings its anti-fracking campaign to Parliament Hill, which will serve as backdrop as the group erects what the advisory describes as a "mock fracking rig" and accompanying "mock fracking wastewater spill."

Elsewhere on the parliamentary media circuit:

    • Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney will make an appearance at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, where he's slated to unveil the details of a new pilot project to provide support for severely mentally ill federal offenders; an initiative that was developed in response to the coroner's report on th death of Ashley Smith.
    • Representatives from the Canadian Camping and RV Council make their annual pilgrimage to Ottawa to call on the government to address "critical infrastructure needs."
    • Accompanied by members of the Canadian Breast Cancer Network, Liberal MP Hedy Fry discusses her private members' bill to designate October 13th as National Metatastic Breast Cancer Day.

Back in the Commons, the government's bid to ensure efficient rail transport for grain farmers, which is set to begin report stage debate later this morning, and -- depending, as always, on the level of cooperation in the House -- could even make it to third reading by the end of the sitting.

Also on the legislative to-do list: the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nations Act and the First Nations education bill.

Later this evening, MPs will consider Conservative backbencher Dave Mackenzie's proposal to crack down on escorted temporary absences for offenders, which is now back from committee and in the queue for a final vote later this month.

Out and about outside the precinct:

    • Minister of State for Science Ed Holder drops in on Carleton University's Let's Talk Science event, where he'll meet with students and take questions from the media.
    • Prime Minister Stephen Harper heads to Montreal, where, alongside Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel, he'll make an mid-morning announcement at the Palais des congres.
    • Later this evening, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson is expected to be among the guests at a gale dinner to mark the anniversary, and honour veterans of the Battle of the Atlantic.

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