Inside Politics

MPs talk NDP spending as Northern Gateway decision looms

As reported in detail elsewhere on CBC News, as the clock ticks down to a midnight deadline, the government will have to reveal its final decision on Enbridge's controversial Northern Gateway pipeline proposal before the end of the day, with the verdict likely to be handed down shortly after the markets close this afternoon.

The project has been before cabinet since last December, when it garnered the approval -- albeit with conditions -- of the National Energy Board.

It's not clear whether today's announcement will be delivered in person, or via tersely worded press release.

Either way, it's a safe bet that both the New Democrats and the Liberals -- and, almost certainly, Green Party Elizabeth May -- will hit the Hill media circuit to share their reaction as soon as it hits the wire, as all three parties have been vociferous in lodging their respective and collective objections to the putative pipeline.

Meanwhile, the ongoing controversy over the NDP's allegedly improper use of House resources is back on the agenda at Procedure and House Affairs, where MPs are set to discuss the next steps in recovering more than $1 million in expenses related to mass mail-outs retroactively deemed ineligible by the all-party Board of Internal Economy.

Elsewhere on the committee front: the review of Canada's transportation safety regime continues at Transport, with representatives from the Canadian Airports Council and the Northern Air Transport Association on the witness list for today.

Back in the Chamber, MPs will likely wrap up the final round of debate on the government's bid to implement the anti-landmine treaty.

Outside the precinct:

    • Health Minister Rona Ambrose starts her day across the river in Gatineau, where she'll kick off a day-long Healthy and Safe Food Regulatory Forum hosted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Later this morning, she heads back to Ottawa to "celebrate" Sarcoma Cancer Awareness Week alongside "researchers, clinicians, and sarcoma cancer survivors" at the Ottawa Hospital.
    • Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal joins the prime minister's wife, Laureen Harper, at the Canadian Museum of Nature for the official unveiling of the FIFA Woman's World Cup 20125 mascot.
    • Ministers of State for Finance and Seniors Kevin Sorenson and Alice Wong launch a new series of consultations to "strengthen financial literacy in Canada."

Also on the Ottawa agenda this afternoon: A Canada 2020 "panel event" with Sustainable Development Technology Canada chairman Jim Balsillie, Canadian Oil Sands Industry Alliance Dan Wicklum and GE Canada president Elyse Allan, who are currently scheduled to discuss "innovation in the Canadian energy sector," but who may well be confronted with a last-minute topic change if the Northern Gateway decision drops midway through the discussion.


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 link available here.

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