Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

We asked: Will the Canada Job Grant solve Canada's skills shortage?

Here are the results:

Yes: 146 votes (9%)
No: 1483 votes (89%)
Not sure: 39 votes (2%)

Gone Manning Centre Network Conferencin'

For full coverage of the annual C/conservative confab, check out our #MNC14 primer here.

Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

Yesterday we asked: Where should mentally ill offenders be housed? Here are the results: Prisons: 86 votes (8%) Hospitals: 939 votes (88%) Not sure: 37 votes (3%)

Score one for Rathgeber: Speaker agrees to drop bill rewritten by government

C-461 (CBC and Public Service Disclosure and Transparency Act)

November 5, 2012 - February 26, 2014

So this, it seems, is how it all ends for a private members' bill spurned by its own sponsor after being forcibly rewritten by a government-controlled House committee: Not with a bang, nor a whimper, but a historic -- and precedent-setting -- speaker's ruling.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

Parliament Hill rolls out the red carpet for Aga Khan

As yet another snowy day dawns on the capital, the Hill protocol team is preparing to roll out the red carpet for the Aga Khan, who will address a joint session of Parliament later today.

First, though, he'll be greeted by a welcome party led by the prime minister, with whom he will hold a private tete-a-tete before heading into the House for his scheduled speech.

Meanwhile, New Democrat MP Pierre Dionne Labelle hits the stage at the Centre Block press theatre, where, alongside his party's revenue critic Murray Rankin, he'll outline his private members' motion to "combat tax havens," which is scheduled to hit the House floor for an opening round of debate this evening.

Later this afternoon, New Democrat MP Yvon Godin will present his bill to ensure all Supreme Court justices are fully bilingual.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

Power & Politics Ballot Box question

Yesterday we asked: Was it right for the Montreal mayor to ignore Rob Ford at today's meeting?

Here are the results: 
Yes: 1279 votes (81%)
No: 292 votes (18%)
Not sure: 11 votes (1%)

Rob Ford hits the capital as MPs hold special debate on Ukraine

As is usually the case when the House is in session, MPs will retreat behind closed doors for their weekly caucus confabs this morning, which will be followed, as is similarly traditional, by the weekly post-caucus scrums, during which at least one opposition party leader, and often all three, will make themselves available to the press.

While all that in camera chatter is underway, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation will host its signature black-tie press conference to dole out this year's Teddy Awards to the most noteworthy examples of government waste at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

Elsewhere on the Wednesday morning media circuit:

  • Senate Liberal caucus leader James Cowan will unveil what are being billed as "concrete measures" to make the Upper House "more accountable, transparent and open to Canadians."
  • Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis hits the Centre Block press theatre to "discuss the current situation in Venezuela" alongside representatives from the Canadian Venezuelan community.

This afternoon, the Chamber will reopen for regular parliamentary business -- in this instance, a final round of pro forma budget policy debate, which will wrap up this evening, at which point the Commons will reform as committee of the whole for a special take-note debate on the situation in Ukraine.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

House law clerk steps down after just 9 months on the job

Wanted: One parliamentary law clerk. Yes, again. 

Less than a year after accepting the post of Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, Richard Fujarczuk has stepped down for "personal and medical reasons," according to a notice sent out by House of Commons Clerk Audrey O'Brien earlier today.

Fujarczuk, who previously served as general counsel at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) was named to the senior parliamentary post last spring.

His immediate predecessor, Rob Walsh, held the job from 1999 until his retirement in 2013. 

Under the current rules, it will be up to the Prime Minister's Office to kickstart the selection process, although traditionally, all party leaders are consulted, at least informally, due to the nature of the gig. 

(The law clerk, like all table officers, is, ultimately, a servant of the House.)   

In the interim, deputy law clerk Richard Denis will hold down the fort.   

Hit the jump to read the letter from the clerk. 

Power & Politics Ballot Box question

We asked: Should Canada contribute money to bailout the Ukrainian economy?

Yes 15%
No   83%
Not sure  2%

Total votes: 1,338

Trio of parliamentary watchdogs on the Ethics witness list

A trio of parliamentary watchdogs is set to appear before the House Ethics committee this morning, as Auditor General Michael Ferguson, Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson and Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand share their respective and collective thoughts on Conservative backbencher Mark Adler's bid to force agents of parliament and their staff to publicly declare past political activity -- including, but not limited to ministerial staff gigs, riding association executive positions and part-time work for a political party-- as part of the job application process.

Adler himself will also be given one hour to explain the rationale behind his private members' bill, which has already managed to garner the preliminary support of the government at second reading.

Under Adler's bill, successful applicants would also have to sign an undertaking vowing to "conduct themselves in a non-partisan manner," and could find themselves under investigation if an MP or senator files a written request alleging partisan conduct.

Hit the jump for the rest of today's post.