Inside Politics

Tories to invoke closure on midnight sittings motion

As reported yesterday, the government has set the stage to keep the Chamber open until midnight every night but Thursday until MPs head home for the summer.

Later this afternoon, Government House Leader Peter Van Loan -- or his duly designated substitute -- will invoke closure to end the debate on the motion to extend the sitting day, which was introduced on Monday and will almost certainly get the necessary nod of House approval in time to tack a night shift on to the end of today's schedule.

Before that gets underway, however, the Commons will devote the morning to second reading discussion of the government's proposal to "strengthen safety oversight" for prescription drugs and other "therapeutic products," as well as tighten the rules surrounding reporting of adverse reactions and "medical device incidents".

Later tonight, Conservative MP Michael Chong will get his first chance to sell his Commons colleagues on his pitch to rebalance caucus dynamicsby providing a mechanism that would allow MPs to trigger a leadership review, and take away a party leader's ability to veto a particular candidate. 

His bill is set to undergo an opening round of second reading debate today, after which it will likely not return to the parliamentary spotlight until the fall.

On the committee front:

    • At National Defence, Chief of Defence Staff General Tom Lawson will field questions on sexual assault in the military, with Judge Advocate General Blaise Cathcart, Military Personnel Chief David Millar and Canadian Forces Provost Marshal Robert Delaney also slated to be in attendance.
    • The Ethics committee resumes its investigation into what the terms of reference describe as "the growing problem of identity theft," with Equifax, Forrest Green Group and TransUnion Canada set to appear today.
    • Over at Justice, representatives from the Canadian Bar Association and the Criminal Lawyers Association will outline their concerns over the government's bid to crack down on "cyberbullying" while expanding online surveillance powers.
    • Government Operations goes through the latest batch of mid-year budget requests from the Treasury Board Secretariat before going behind closed doors to deal with unspecified "committee business"
    • Also meeting in camera today: International Trade, which is in the midst of drafting its report on the committee's lengthy hearings on the proposed Canada-European free trade agreement.
    • Health continues to look into the "health risks and harms" of marijuana
    • Later this afternoon, Finance will begin clause-by-clause review of the spring omnibudget bill, which, as noted previously, is one of the few pieces of legislation that really has to get through the House before the summer recess.

Also on the Hill today:

    • The Parliamentary Budget Office releases a new report that analyses the "revenue and distribution of federal tax changes" from 2005 to 2013, which will be posted online at 9am, with a technical briefing for reporters set to follow later this morning.
    • New Democrat MP Brian Masse unveils his just-tabled private members' motion expressing "concerns" over the approval process that will allow "low and intermediate-level nuclear waste" to be stored near the Great Lakes in Kincardine.
    • Via teleconference, Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion will take questions on the results of his investigation into Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation CEO John Lynn.

Meanwhile, House and Senate Speakers Andrew Scheer and Noel Kinsella will be on hand for a mid-morning event in the Library of Parliament that will "celebrate" its now realized efforts to "complete the record" by painstakingly reconstituting Canada's pre-Hansard parliamentary debates through archived documents, contemporaneous media reports and other historical sources.

Outside the precinct, Finance Minister Joe Oliver drops by a seniors' centre in downtown Ottawa to reveal "new action by [the government] to protect consumers and save Canadians money."

Elsewhere in the capital, Western Economic Diversification Minister Michelle Rempel, who is slated to "highlight [government] priorities" and discuss the "current state of the hydropower industry" in a speech to the Canadian Hydropower Association.

Finally, Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford joins local First Nations chiefs at the Prince Rupert Port Authority, where the trio will announce new energy infrastructure-related "engagement initiatives."

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