Inside Politics

PM heads to Quebec in wake of new Duffy/Wright allegations

Despite the aftershocks from the latest Duffy/Wright court documents reverberating across Parliament Hill, it appears that the PM may not be in the House to field further questions on the matter this afternoon.

Instead, he's set to spend the afternoon in Lac-Megantic, where he's slated to make an announcement at a golf club alongside local MP Christian Paradis and Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche.

Back in the precinct, Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth convenes a mid-afternoon press conference to unveil the "next steps" in his campaign to secure legal protection for the unborn, which, in this case, involves putting forward a new motion to recognize the "worth and dignity" of "all human beings."

As noted earlier this week, however, his latest gambit is unlikely to make it onto the floor of the House of Commons for months, and very possibly won't come up for debate before the next election.

Also on the Hill today: The Munk School of Global Affairs' Citizens Lab's Ron Deibert shares his thoughts on the post-Snowdon prospects for "an open and free Internet" at a "Big Thinking" breakfast lecture.

When the curtain rises on the Commons Chamber, members will return their attention to the government's bid to impose stringent new approval requirements on community drug treatment programs -- a proposal that, according to Government House Leader Peter Van Loan, is of such critical, time-sensitive importance that the lack of progress towards initial passage thus far forced him to cancel a planned Liberal opposition day debate on preventing potential election fraud in the upcoming by-elections.

Oddly, though, he has yet to serve notice that he intends to impose time allocation on the bill, which means the discussion will continue to focus on a reasoned amendment to drop the whole idea, which was put forward by NDP health critic Libby Davies earlier this month.

Meanwhile, on the committee front:

On the ministerial circuit:

  • A trio of cabinet ministers -- Public Works Minister Diane Finley, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Minister of State for Small Business Maxime Bernier -- are on the speakers' list for Start Up Canada Day, a one-day event that, according to the advisory, will "make history by gathering the largest ever contingent of Canadian entrepreneurs" on Parliament Hill, where they will "meet with the nation's elected representatives tp advance the national entrepreneurial agenda."
  • In Toronto, Minister of State for Technology Greg Rickford will speak at the Canadian Science Policy Conference.
  • Moving east, Justice Minister Peter MacKay returns to his home province to reveal his government's "renewed long-term commitment to the Halifax International Security Forum," which will get underway on Friday:
  • Finally, Minister of State for Social Development Candice Bergen hits the Twin Rainbows Co-op in Vancouver, where she'll share the details of "changes that will help support some existing social housing projects."

Also out and about outside the precinct today: New Democrat science and technology critic Kennedy Stewart, who will also be at the Canadian Science Policy Conference to announce his latest private members' initiative: a bill to "promote scientific transparency and provide Parliament with independent scientific advice."

Finally, later this evening, the Broadbent Institute will hold its first annual "Progress Gala" at the Art Gallery of Ontario, with former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs headlining the festivities as keynote speaker. 

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. 

Mobile-friendly auto-updating text feed available here

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

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