This weekend on the House...

Everyone on Parliament Hill was waiting for it...

And this week, it finally came.

Speaker of the House Peter Milliken finally ruled on the opposition's demand to turn over uncensored documents connected to the Afghan detainee issue.

Jack Layton is on the show to share his thoughts about the ruling, and what he thinks the ultimate solution is. One thing is already clear, whatever it is, it won't come easily.

Question of the Day


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Putting Milliken's 'historic' ruling in perspective

Peter Milliken was barely done reading his ruling that experts and commentators were already using the word "historic" to describe it.

No doubt, it was interesting to listen to the Speaker of the House of Commons explain how he came to the conclusion that the federal government's refusal to share uncensored documents about the treatment of Afghan detainees constitutes a breach of parliamentary privilege.

But I wanted to get a better idea of how significant the ruling was -- both from a historical and a political perspective.

Orders of the Day: Happy Birthday, Prime Minister!

As far as we know, there are no pink flamingos festooning the front lawn of 24 Sussex this time around -- nor, luckily for them, hapless PMO staffers who have been summoned to awkwardly serenade the boss as he leaves for work. Instead, he's heading to the Beauregard sugar shack with Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, along with any accredited camera crews willing to make the trek to Val-des-Monts for the ensuing photo op.  

Question of the Day


Got a question? Have a story to tell? We want to hear from you.

Email us at You can also share your views on Twitter and follow us @CBCPolitics.

Update: PMO responds to ethics commish 'big' cheques report

The Prime Ministers' Office (PMO) has responded to Mary Dawson's reports (here and here) on the use of Conservative Party logos on ceremonial cheques, and the like.

Dawson said today that the practice did not break the ethics code for MPs nor the Conflict of Interest Act, but that it was "inappropriate." See our full news story here.

A penny for your thoughts - and memories

The Senate Finance Committee wants to know if the penny has a future.

In an announcement today, the committee says it wants to explore:
-the direct cost to taxpayers of producing and distributing 1 cent coins in relation to their actual value;
-the costs and productivity implications for Canadian businesses in light of the counting, handling and redistribution requirements of the coin; and,
-international experiences with eliminating low-denomination coins.

Michigan governor scoops Baird on Detroit River bridge announcement

The news conference is set for 1 p.m.  and little media relations birdies are drowning reporters with emails about why it's so important to cover Transport Minister John Baird's announcement. 

The thing is, as has become routine on joint U.S.-Canada announcements, we already know the news ... because we checked in with our media colleagues south of the border.

The Detroit Free Press reported this morning that the Canadian government has offered to chip in $550 million to build a new bridge between Windsor and Detroit.  

Spoiler alert: It didn't survive the vote -- (Virtually) Liveblogging the del Mastro motion debate

Alright, I wasn't able to get to today's Canadian Heritage meeting to witness the (possible) debate over the del Mastro motion -- blame the craziness that is Thursday -- but I've tuned into the audio feed, and I'm ready to liveblog from afar, with apologies for not being able to capture quite as much colour as is possible when one is right there, watching from the sidelines. I'm also going to post the whole thing after the fact, since there are only fifteen minutes left in the meeting. 

At the moment, they're still dealing with Carole Lavallee's motion in support of community television -- at least, I think that's what it is; I gather they're picking up debate where it left off, so there hasn't been much discussion of the substance. There's an amendment, which would  specify that it applies to independent community television in Quebec, and is not intended to be seen as supportive of any other positions before the CRTC. Everyone seems to be pretty much in agreement, but time is quickly running out, so they'd better vet votin' before too much  longer or poor Dean del Mastro will have to wait until next week to put forward his argument in favour of calling CBC executives forward to discuss the relationship between CBC, EKOS, Frank Graves and the Liberal Party of Canada. (Then again, at least he'd have a bit more time to elaborate.)

Read on for the rest of the liveblog!

Paging former Justice Frank Iacobucci to the House of Commons Courtesy Phone ...

The recent flurry of Speaker's-ruling-sparked speculation over whether Justice Iacobucci's mandate had been rendered moot by his conclusion that it is for parliamentarians to decide which detainee-related documents may eventually be made public got me wondering as to exactly how he's doing in accomplishing his appointed task -- which, if you'll recall, the terms  of reference stated was "to be completed expeditiously". 

According to Order in Council 2010-0295, Iacobucci was officially appointed as a special advisor to the Minister of Justice on March 13, 2010, which means that he's been on the job for over a month. So, how's it going so far? To find out, I dropped a note to the minister's office yesterday morning, which included the following questions: 
  • Has [Iacobucci] started his work yet?
  • How many documents has he been given?
  • Has he hired any staff to assist him? If so, can you give any details on who they are, and the process for issuing security clearance for anyone who will also have access to the documents?
At 5:28 PM, I received the following response from Carol Saindon, senior advisor for media and public relations with the Department of Justice: