Most recent entries for November 2013

Yesterday we asked: What is the most effective way to get answers on the senate scandal?

Here are the results:

Question Period: 1%
Public Inquiry: 79%
RCMP Investigation: 19%
Not sure: 1%

Total votes: 2437

All but overlooked amid the furore over yesterday's testimony by the Mike Duffy audit team from Deloitte was the news that Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella is the new chair of the committee that is handling the questions over Senate expenses.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

As another week of parliamentary business draws to a close, the House will return to debating the pros and cons of the government's bid to combat "online crime" -- from cable theft to cyberbullying. Also on the Chamber agenda, should time allow: the "drug-free prisons" bill, as well as legislation that would promote "priority hiring for injured veterans."

Later this afternoon, New Democrat Anne-Marie Day will get her first chance to defend her proposal to impose quotas for female and male representation on boards of crown corporations.

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More than a week after the latest RCMP court filings turned the spotlight on alleged communications between Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein and a senior partner at the auditing firm that crunched the numbers in Senator Mike Duffy's expense claims, the two lead auditors responsible for conducting that review appeared before the Senate committee that ordered the initial investigation last spring.

Here are three things that we learned from their testimony.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

Yesterday we asked: Do you think there was political interference in the audit of Mike Duffy's expenses?

Here are the results:

Yes: 96%
No: 3%
Not sure: 1% 

Total votes: 2053

Shortly after the House of Commons opens for business, Speaker Andrew Scheer will table her long-awaited special report from Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault, which examines the use of text messaging in federal institution.

It's worth noting this particular report was originally expected to be tabled at the same time as her even more keenly anticipated review of alleged political interference with access to information requests, but according to her office, those findings likely won't hit the Table until next year.

Once that bit of routine business is out of the way, MPs will turn their attention back to the question of community-based drug treatment -- and, specifically, the government's proposal to make it more difficult for programs based on the model in use at Vancouver-based InSite to garner the necessary approval to operate in future.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

Yesterday we asked: Are Duffy and Wright the only people who should be held accountable for the deal? Here are the results: Yes: 3% No: 97% Not sure: 0% Total votes: 2259
Hit the jump for the full post.

Thanks to New Democrat MP Matthew Dube, we now have a better idea of just how much the federal government is prepared to spend on the 2015 Pan American Parapan Games.

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It's Wednesday, which means MPs will spend the morning huddled in their respective party caucuses, well out of range of the prying eye of the press gallery.

Before the Liberals sequester themselves behind closed doors, however, they'll "welcome all four by-election candidates" -- MPs-in-waiting Emmanuel Dubourg and Chrystia Freeland, and second-place finishers Rolf Dinsdale and Terry Hayward -- to the Hill.

Later this morning, Liberal treasury board critic Gerry Byrne will hold what the advisory now describes as his "regular Wednesday press conference," during which he will, once again, "discuss wasteful spending and poor economic management by the Prime Minister's Office."

Also on the Hill media circuit this morning: University of Calgary economist Jack Mintz releases his Annual Global Tax Competitiveness ranking, as well as a report on the "threats" facing Canada on that front.

When the House reopens for business this afternoon, MPs will get their first chance to comment on the so-called 'cyberbullying bill', which, as it turns out, bears a remarkable resemblance to the ill-fated online surveillance bill that was left to languish on the Order Paper after rousing public ire against some of its more contentious measures, only to die, unmourned, at prorogation.

Those similarities will almost certainly be mentioned by opposition members, although it seems distinctly unlikely that Justice Minister Peter MacKay will follow the lead set by his predecessor, Vic Toews, and accuse them of being on the side of child pornographers. Then again, who knows? 

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