Inside Politics

NDP to issue final plea to Tory backbenchers to reject election bill

As Hill denizens begin the countdown to the Victoria Day constituency break -- which is, it's worth noting, the last extended respite from each others' company before they head home for the summer in mid-June -- MPs will have just two more days to share their thoughts on the government's now amended bid to rewrite Canada's election laws, which is set to wrap up report stage this evening, and be put to a final vote on Tuesday night.

A few hours before that process is slated to get underway, New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair will hit the Commons Foyer to deliver one last plea to certain Conservative backbenchers to "join with the New Democrats to stop C-23," which seems virtually certain to be ignored by the target audience.

Either way, the 16 votes scheduled for this evening are expected to keep MPs on their feet for at least two hours, and very possibly considerably longer should the New Democrats decide to exercise their parliamentary right to take their collective, and respective time during the roll call.

Once that House business is complete, the Chamber will turn its attention to the kidnapped Nigerian girls, whose current plight will be the subject of an after-hours emergency debate scheduled to run until midnight.

On the committee front:

    • Citizenship and Immigration resumes its ongoing pre-study of the government's proposal to tighten up Canada's citizenship rules, with representatives from the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, Immigrants for Canada, Canadian War Brides and the Jewish Refugee Action Network on the witness list for today, along with several British Columbia-based lawyers.
    • Over at Industry, MPs will hear from, the Canadian Bar Association and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre as they continue their review of sections of the spring omnibudget bill that would revamp of Canada's trademark regime.

Earlier in the day, Mulcair will make a stop outside Centre Block to speak to participants at the 24 Hour Sacred Gathering of Drums in honour of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Outside the precinct, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Canadian Heritage Minister Sheila Glover head to the Canadian War Museum to announce the winning design for the soon-to-be-erected National Holocaust Monument

Elsewhere on the ministerial circuit:

    • Transport Minister Lisa Raitt teams up with New Brunswick Premier David Alward for what the advisory bills as an "important announcement" on passenger rail service within the province.
    • Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander outlines how his government "is facilitating legitimate trade and travel to Canada" during an appearance at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, while elsewhere in the city, Industry Minister James Moore delivers fresh federal support for "high-tech business development."
    • Meanwhile, in nearby Mirabel, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea joins Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel share news on Canadian Coast Guard's Fleet Renewal Program.
    • Finally, Prime Minister Stephen Harper starts his week in his home province of Alberta, where he'll join his wife Laureen, as well as Health Minister Rona Ambrose for a photo op at the Edmonton Police Service Canine Unit.

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