Inside Politics

Tories launch bid to keep Chamber open until midnight

With four weeks left to go before the Commons shuts down for the summer , Government House Leader Peter Van Loan is so keen to kick off the traditional pre-recess legislative blitz that he wants to switch to extended sitting hours immediately, rather than wait until June 9th when it would automatically come up for consideration.

Later this morning, Van Loan will put forward his bid to keep the Chamber open until midnight every night but Friday, which could well prompt a debate that could keep the Commons busy for much of the afternoon -- depending, as always, on the degree of orneriness with which his gambit is greeted by the opposition parties.

Before that gets underway, however, MPs will begin third reading consideration of Conservative MP Dave Mackenzie's proposal to tighten the rules for "escorted temporary absences" from federal institutions.

On the committee front:

    • Alongside a gaggle of senior departmental officials, Industry Minister James Moore fields questions on the latest main estimates.
    • The latest batch of estimates is also on the agenda at Foreign Affairs and International Trade, which is also slated to go in camera to deal with unspecified "committee business".
    • Over at Citizenship and Immigration, meanwhile, MPs resume their study on "strengthening the protection of women" within the immigration system, with representatives from the Afghan Women's Center of Montreal and Muslims Facing Tomorrow on the witness list for this afternoon's session.
    • Finally, Public Accounts retreats behind closed doors to work on a draft report on the auditor general's latest findings on rail safety oversight, which were released last fall.

Also on the Hill today:

House and Senate Speakers Andrew Scheer and Noel Kinsella host a noon-hour reception for visiting VIP Rufus Ewing, Premier of Turks and Caicos, who is also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and eventually make himself to reporters during a pre-QP appearance in the Commons Foyer.

New Democrat MPs Charlie Angus and Francoise Boivin take the stage at the National Press Theatre to outline the details of their party's new proposal to "improve the protection of Canadians' private and personal information."

UPDATE - New Democrat MP Rosane Doré-Lefebvre joins Quebec Mounted Police Members' Association president Gaétan Delisle to discuss changes made to the rules governing the RCMP last year.

Out and about on the ministerial circuit:

    • Employment Minister Jason Kenney drops by the Ottawa Convention Centre to speak at the Association of Canadian Community Colleges Conference.
    • Transport Minister Lisa Raitt heads to the Ottawa International Airport to share the latest news on what the advisory describes as "improvements that will benefit air travellers."
    • During an appearance in Saskatoon, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz demonstrates his government's support by launching a new program to bolster the agricultural food sector.
    • Finally, Health Minister Rona Ambrose heads to the South Campus/Fort Edmonton LRT station, where she'll join Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson for an "important infrastructure announcement"

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 link available here.

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