Inside Politics

Conservative EI changes bring critics, Quebec employment minister on the Hill

New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair will kick off the day with a morning appearance in the House of Commons Foyer, during which he will, according to the advisory, "slam Conservative EI reform" before heading behind closed doors for the regular weekly Wednesday caucus confab.

Later today, representatives from the Eastern Quebec Employment Insurance Coalition will make themselves available to the media, as will Quebec employment, labour and social solidarity minister Agnes Maltais.

Elsewhere on the Hill, New Democrat digital issues critic Charmaine Borg, who will share the details of her new privacy protection bill, which, among other 'concrete measures', would boost the power of the privacy commissioner to issue orders and alert those victimized by breaches.

Back in the Foyer, Veterans Affairs parliamentary secretary Eve Adams joins Queen's University Chancellor Daniel Woolf for an announcement on post-service hiring.

Meanwhile, when the Chamber re-opens for parliamentary business this afternoon, MPs will return to parsing the fine print of the raft of technical tax amendments currently topping the government legislative to-do list -- which, it's worth noting, have already inspired the designated committee to launch a preemptive study of the 'subject matter' of the bill in question, presumably to ensure it will be sent back to the Commons in (comparatively) short order.

Later this evening, members will gather to vote on three private members' initiatives, including NDP-backed bills that would, respectively, require all parliamentary officers to be functionally bilingual (C-416), and guarantee 'secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing,' (C-400) as well as Conservative MP Devinder Shory's constitutionally contentious bid to strip the citizenship of dual nationals found to have committed 'acts of war' against the Canadian Forces.

Given the enthusiasm with which the government has embraced the ostensibly backbench-originating C-425, its passage at 2nd reading appears all but assured; the only question is whether opposition members will join with their colleagues across the aisle to send it to committee for further consideration.

After the votes are counted, those MPs remaining in the Chamber for private members' hour will begin report stage debate on C-279, NDP MP Randall Garrison's proposal to enshrine gender identity and expression in the Canadian Human Rights Code, which managed to garner sufficient support from the Conservative caucus to make it through second reading, only to end up the object of a standoff at committee during the amendment process.

As a result, the bill was eventually being sent back to the House in its original form -- a state of affairs that may very well be its ultimate undoing, as most of those same government members who voted in favour at second reading did so under the understanding that it would be tweaked at committee.

A similar fate may be in store for Liberal MP Hedy Fry's anti-cyberbullying initiative, which is currently before Justice. Later this afternoon, the committee will hear from several witnesses -- Institute of Marriage and Family 'senior researcher' Peter Jon Mitchell, the Canadian Teachers Federation and Calgary-based president Bill Belsey -- before beginning clause-by-clause review.

Also on the committee agenda this afternoon:

Outside the precinct, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will meet with his Greek counterpart, Dimitris Avramopolous, who is, according to the nightly PMO Notable Events bulletin "on his first trip to Canada as foreign minister."

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz will deliver a breakfast address to delegates at the annual Canadian Federation of Agriculture conference, with NDP agriculture critic also scheduled to speak to the group later this morning.

Finally, on the Liberal leadership circuit, Justin Trudeau continues his swing through New Brunswick with stops in Edmundston and Paquetville. 

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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NOTE: Updates added in reverse chronological (newer to older) order.

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