Inside Politics

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.

On the committee agenda today -- which, it should be noted, has been curtailed due to the aforementioned speech, which resulted in the cancellation of all meetings that normally take place during the 11 am to 1pm timeslot:

  • Natural Resources kicks off a new study into the "cross-Canada benefits of developing the oil and gas industries," with various and sundry departmental officials on the witness list for today's session.
  • At Environment, representatives from the cities of Hamilton, Toronto and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence share their thoughts on water quality in the Great Lakes basin
  • Over at Finance, committee members continue to explore the intricacies of "emerging digital payment systems" with the help of the Canadian Bankers Association, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, Securekey Technologies and other interested parties
  • Also this afternoon: Conservative MP David Sweet's backbench bid to tighten up the parole system hits clause-by-clause review at Public Safety
  • Finally, the Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women retreats behind closed doors to work on their draft report.

Outside the precinct, parliamentary secretary for international trade Lois Brown visits the Ismaili Imamat delegation on Sussex Drive for an "armchair discussion with Alice Albright, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education, David Morley, CEO and President of UNICEF Canada, and Sharif Ghalib, Senior Political Advisor, Government of Afghanistan," during which she will "reiterate Canada's commitment to education in fragile and conflict-affected states."

Also out and about today:

  • Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver drops by the Canadian Nuclear Association Conference and Trade Show to highlight the efforts being made by his government to "position Canada's nuclear industry for future success."
  • After wrapping up his hosting duties on the Hill, the PM will join Employment Minister Jason Kenney for the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards Ceremony at the International Plaza Hotel.
  • Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel delivers federal support for "market-leading aerospace innovation" during a visit to the Saint-Laurent outpost of CAE Inc., and takes part in the "official inauguration" of the Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence in Alma.
  • Elsewhere in Quebec, local-ish MP Jacques Gourde attends the opening ceremonies of the 35th Salon du livre de l'Outaouais.

On the opposition front, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is scheduled to speak to the "Ottawa business community" at a breakfast hosted by Mayor Jim Watson.

Finally, Conservatives, conservatives and, in theory, at least, even a few non-C/conservatives will begin to converge on the Ottawa Convention Centre, where the 2014 Manning Centre Networking Conference is set to get underway tonight. 

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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