Inside Politics

After three month hiatus, House of Commons reopens for business

After a three month summer hiatus, the House of Commons is set to reopen for regular parliamentary business later this morning

The first item on the government's legislative agenda:  Treasury Board President Tony Clement's bid to cut down red tape.

Second reading debate on the bill is scheduled to resume at noon, after Conservative MP Mark Adler gets a final hour to persuade his colleagues of the need to pass his private members' bill to crack down on partisan leanings amongst parliamentary officers.

Before that gets underway, however, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will kick off the fall sitting with a mid-morning speech at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

Meanwhile, the New Democrats have convened a noon-hour press conference to reveal what motion the party intends to put forward for the consideration of the House during the inaugural autumn opposition day, which will take place later this week.

According to the Notice Paper, the party filed two potential motions last week.

The first, standing in the name of NDP MP Libby Davies,  implores the government to "cancel its unilateral cuts to the Canadian Health Transfer."

The second, which is slated to be introduced by Alexandre Boulerice, calls for the reinstatement of the federal minimum wage, which was, of course, the subject of a major policy announcement by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair over the weekend.

This afternoon, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May teams up with New Democrat environment critic Megan Leslie and Liberal MP John McKay to welcome environmental activist Joseph Boutilier to the Hill as he wraps up his cross-country unicycle trek in support of "political action on climate change".

UPDATE - A just-in advisory reveals that May is also preparing to raise a question of privilege on "the unprecedented frequency of debate closure tactics" employed by the current government, which, she will argue, "prevents discussion on issues that could affect Canadians for generations" -- like, for instance, the just ratified Canada-China investment agreement.

Elsewhere in and around the parliamentary precinct:

    • Industry Minister James Moore heads to the Chateau Laurier to outline his ongoing campaign to ensure a "strong internal market" by eliminating interprovincial trade barriers at a breakfast speech hosted by the University of Calgary School of Public Policy as part of a day-long symposium on global commerce.
    • Back on the Hill, Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal takes part in the "Jumpstart Pedal for Kids," a Canadian Tire-backed cycling initiative to "give kids across Canada a sporting chance."

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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