Inside Politics

NDP to force House debate on veterans' 'mental health crisis'

Earlier this week, House Speaker Andrew Scheer advised the New Democrats that he would not be granting their request for an emergency debate on veterans' mental health care, and pointed out that the party could devote a future opposition day to the topic.

It appears that they've taken his advice.

When the House reopens for business this morning, MPs will embark on a day-long debate on the following motion:

That, in the opinion of the House, the men and women who bravely serve Canada in the armed forces should be able to count on the government for support in their time of need, and that the government should demonstrate this support by (a) immediately addressing the mental health crisis facing Canadian soldiers and veterans by hiring appropriate mental health professionals; (b) reversing its decision to close veterans' offices; and (c) prioritizing and concluding the over 50 outstanding boards of inquiry on military suicides so that grieving families may have answers and closure.

Before that gets underway, however, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver will unveil his latest bid to boost the safety of "offshore and nuclear energy industries," which will be introduced during routine proceedings.

Also set to hit the table when the House reopens for business today: Public Service Commissioner Mario Dion's latest case report, which, according to the notice, "deals with findings following an investigation into wrongdoing at a federal organization."

Meanwhile, Procedure and House Affairs members meet this morning to officially recreate all other House standing committees, which will henceforth be composed of 10 members -- 2 fewer seats than under the previous formula, with the government and the Official Opposition each losing one slot, and the Liberals continuing to hold just one spot per committee.

Outside the Chamber, New Democrat immigration critics Lysane Blanhette-Lamothe and Andrew Cash hit the Centre Block Press Theatre to share their thoughts on "a host of new measures" set to come into effect this year that, they will aver, "will make it harder for families to reunite on Canadian soil."

Elsewhere in the capital, Governor General David Johnston will drop the puck at the inaugural Canadian Tire Canal Classic, which will see MPs, senators, journalists and athletes take to the ice on the Rideau Canal for what is being billed as a "friendly game."

Later today, Health Minister Rona Ambrose heads to the Chateau Laurier to speak at a lunch hosted by the Economic Club of Canada, while across the river in Gatineau, Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal will attend the Canadian Sport for Life National Summit.

Also out and about in Quebec: Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel will deliver an "important announcement" during a visit to Laval-based Orbite Aluminae Inc.

Finally, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau makes his way to Richmond to celebrate Chinese New Year.  

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.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.