Inside Politics

Orders of the Day - Pay no attention to the Vikileaking former Liberal staffer behind the curtain

Undaunted, it seems, by yesterday's revelations regarding the origins of the @Vikileaks30 twitter account -- short version: it was a now-former Liberal research staffer wot dun it -- Her Majesty's Loyal Backup Opposition Party will devote their sole allotted day of the current supply cycle to a motion that calls upon the House to recognize "the fundamental right of all Canadians to the freedoms of speech, communications and privacy," and for the prime minister to ensure that any legislation brought forward by his government "respects the provisions of the Charter and its commitment to the principles of due process, respect for privacy and the presumption of innocence."

(Yes, Bill C-30, they're talking about you.)

The full text of the motion, which will stand in the name of Interim Party Leader Bob Rae, reads as follows:

That the House recognize: (a) the fundamental right of all Canadians to the freedoms of speech, communication and privacy, and that there must be a clear affirmation on the need for these rights to be respected in all forms of communication; (b) that the collection by government of personal information and data from Canadians relating to their online activities without limits, rules, and judicial oversight constitutes a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms' protections against unreasonable search and seizure; (c) that Canadians who have expressed deep concerns about Bill C-30 should not be described as being friends of child pornography or advocates of criminal activity; (d) that the Charter is the guarantor of the basic rights and freedoms of all Canadians; and (e) that the Charter is paramount to any provision of the Criminal Code of Canada; and accordingly the House calls on the Prime Minister to ensure that any legislation put forward by his government respects the provisions of the Charter and its commitment to the principles of due process, respect for privacy and the presumption of innocence.

On the committee front: the C-11 (copyright) committee hears from the Canadian Federation of Musicians, Pinebridge Broadcasting and Re:Sound Music Licencing, as well as the Association nationale des editeurs de livres, the Canadian School Boards Association and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.

Over at Justice, the review of proposed changes to the citizens' arrest law resumes, with witnesses to include representatives from the Barreau du Quebec, the Criminal Lawyers' Association and Lucky Moose Food Mart owner David Chen himself.

Later this morning, Procedure and House Affairs meets behind closed doors -- boo! -- to debate possible changes to the Standing Orders, including those aired during the take-note debate on the issue earlier this month.

Also convening in camera today: three of the four opposition-chaired oversight committees.

Ethics and Public Accounts will gather behind closed doors to work out what, if any, conclusions can  be drawn from last year's hearings on the dispute between the CBC and the Information Commissioner, and the auditor general's report on the G8 legacy fund, respectively. 

Later this afternoon, the members of Government Operations will host a private meeting with their parliamentary counterparts from the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Conservative Senator Nicole Eaton -- whose most noteworthy moment in the Red Chamber thus far has been a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt to muster public support for a campaign to oust the beaver as Canada's national animal in favour of the polar bear -- seizes upon an issue guaranteed to attract the right kind of notice from certain pipeline-backing corners by launching an inquiry into "the interference of foreign foundations in Canada's domestic affairs," and the associated "abuse of ... Revenue Canada charitable status." She'll make her case on the floor of the Senate this afternoon.

Elsewhere on the Hill, Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page releases a new report on the "fiscal impact" of changes to eligibility for conditional sentences, which, depending on exactly what he finds, will almost certainly provide fresh fodder for either the government or the opposition parties to claim that they were right all along about the cost of the Conservative law-and-order agenda. 

Outside the precinct, International Trade Minister Ed Fast meets his with provincial and territorial counterparts.

On the road today:

  • Minister of State Gary Goodyear heads to downtown Toronto to unveil investments for "innovative GTA startups" in a speech to the Creative Economy Summit as his cabinet colleague, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, makes an appearance at the 10th anniversary celebration of Culture Montreal.
  • NDP leadership candidate Thomas Mulcair hits the prairie hustings with a "guest lecture" at the University of Winnipeg and a "public meeting" with local NDP supporters.
  • Finally, NDP status of women critic Francoise Boivin is in New York City, where she will attend the 56th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
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. 

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