Inside Politics

Speakers converge on the Hill as the first week of the winter sitting wraps up

As the first week of the winter sitting winds to what would seem, at least at press time, to be a reassuringly post-climactic close, MPs still on the parliamentary clock will spend the half-day remaining before the Chamber shuts down for the weekend discussing the merits and drawbacks of the government's bid to crack down on counterfeit products, which is currently at report stage.

Should that debate wrap up early, they will turn their attention back to the proposal to impose stringent restrictions on community-based safe injection sites, which is still at second reading despite having been the very first piece of legislation to hit the Order Paper following the Throne Speech reboot last fall, largely due to the seemingly implacable opposition of -- well, the opposition. That is, after all, their job.

Elsewhere on the Hill this morning: House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer joins his Senate counterpart Noel Kinsella for the launch of the Canadian Presiding Officers' Conference, which brings together speakers, deputy speakers, clerks and other presiding officers from legislative assembles across Canada to share tips, tricks and tales from behind the curtains.

Outside the precinct, newly minted Green MP and deputy party leader Bruce Hyer will speak at a rally outside the soon-to-be-closed Veterans Affairs office in Thunder Bay.

Out and about on the ministerial circuit today:

  • Treasury Board President Tony Clement is set to spend the day in Montreal, where he'll kick off his visit by talking open data with McGill University students, spend his lunch hour discussing red tape reduction strategies at a roundtable with "local business leaders," and finish up by dropping off a fresh load of federal support for local water filter manufacturer Sonitec-Vortisand.
  • Elsewhere in Quebec, Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel spreads largess amongst several unnamed firms in the Trois-Rivieres area, while Minister of State for Science Greg Rickford "celebrates the establishment" of a new Business-Led Network of Centres of Excellence in Quebec City.
  • Closer to the capital, Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover will be front and centre for the grand opening of Winterlude's Snowflake Kingdom in Gatineau.
  • Back in Ontario, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird opens up his Toronto ministerial office for consultations with members of the Ukrainian-Canadian community, with MPs Ted Opitz, James Bezan and Rick Dykstra also expected to be in attendance.
  • In Oakville, Labour and Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch drops by the Ontario Sheer Metal Workers Training Centre in Oakville to show her government's support for a project that will, according to the advisory, "advance more women into non-traditional careers" -- presumably, in this case, those involving sheet metal in some form.
  • Moving west to Saskatoon, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt heads to the Saskatchewan Aviation Learning Centre to deliver what is being billed as an "important announcement on major investments to be made for First Nations Youth job training and skills."

Finally, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau continues his Chinese New Year-themed swing through British Columbia with meet and greet with the Chinese Freemasons at Vancouver's Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant. 

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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