Inside Politics

Halifax Forum to be launched by Rob Nicholson, Peter MacKay

As Parliament Hill prepares to shut down for the weekend, the Halifax International Security Forum is set to get underway later this morning.

According to the advisory, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson will kick off the annual event alongside Justice Minister Peter MacKay -- who is not only his predecessor at Defence, but also the regional minister for Nova Scotia -- at 11:30 AST. 

Among those scheduled to speak over the course of the three-day event: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, Chief of Defence Staff Tom Lawson, United States Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman and US senators John McCain and Ted Cruz.

Meanwhile, Employment Minister Jason Kenney is in Toronto, where he'll go behind closed doors with his provincial and territorial counterparts to to discuss "skills training and labour market challenges."  

Elsewhere on the Friday ministerial circuit:

    • Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover shows her government's support for what the event notice bills as "Francophone Economic Development in Western Canada" during a visit to the TransCanada Centre in Ile-des-ChĂȘnes.
    • Also in Manitoba today: Minister of State for Science Ed Holder, who will deliver a new round of financial assistance to Red River College, which is preparing to launch a new pilot project "to encourage community-college collaboration."
    • Health Minister Rona Ambrose drops by TEC Edmonton with still more federal cash -- this time, in support of "innovative businesses" in the region -- while in Calgary, Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford talks up "the importance of partnerships" at the Economic Club of Canada's annual energy summit.
    • On the west coast, Industry Minister James Moore is in Vancouver to provide additional backing for "innovative start-up businesses" through the  BC Technology Industry Association.
    • In Delta, Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay touts her government's efforts to reduce red tape in Delta.
    • International Trade Minister Ed Fast heads to Richmond to launch "the first in a series of export workshops" for small and medium-sized businesses seeking to "reach their full export potential."

Back in the precinct, MPs stuck on end-of-week House duty will continue to debate the government's bid to hike sentences for certain offences committed against children and set up a publicly accessible high-risk sex offender registry.

Finally, members of Quebec-based social activist collective FRAPRU mark Canadian Housing Day by "simultaneously moving bed, stove, fridge, sofa and other furniture" on to the sidewalk outside Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Wellington Street office, with a similar event to take place outside Quebec Premier Couillard's constituency office in Lac-Saint-Jean.

According to the explanatory bulletin, the demonstrations are aimed at reminding both leaders "of their responsibilities regarding the right to housing and in particular the funding of social housing."

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