The eyes of Official -- or, at least, Politically Obsessed -- Ottawa will focus like a laser on Halifax today as the clock ticks down to what could well be the most internally rancorous gathering of first ministers (minus, of course, the prime minister)
in years, which will kick off with a welcome reception this evening, and get down to serious interprovincial business on Thursday. Before the main event gets underway tomorrow, however, a meeting between premiers and First Nations and aboriginal leaders is set to take place in Lunenburg later today.
Meanwhile, back in the capital, representatives from the Syrian National Council, the Syrian Canadian Council and others meet with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to "suggest different political, economic and humanitarian options that Canada can pursue to support the Syrian people in their struggle."
Although the discussion itself is, not surprisingly, slated to be held behind closed doors, later this afternoon, the groups involved will head to the Charles Lynch Press Theatre to make themselves available to reporters.
: According to a just-released advisory, the minister is now scheduled to hold a "brief" media availability of his own after the meeting wraps up at 11:30.
Elsewhere on the Hill, the Special Committee on Cooperatives continues
its week-long series of hearings on the state of cooperatives in Canada with a full days' worth of witnesses, including the Conseil canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité, Ag Energy Co-operative, La Coop federee, Desjardins Group and other interested parties.
A Canadian Tire parking lot in the east end of Ottawa will serve as backdrop as the Canadian Taxpayers Federation unveils -- literally -- a new billboard campaign with a familiar target: the "lavish" MPs' pension plan, which the CTF maintains must be reformed.
Hit the jump for the full post.