Most recent entries for June 2014

As the first wave of byelection voters head to the polls, New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair joins Trinity - Spadina hopeful Joe Cressy and his b-day volunteers for a morning photo at campaign headquarters, where, according to the notice, get-out-the-vote efforts will already be underway.

Meanwhile, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander gets an early start on Canada Day by attending a "special citizenship ceremony" at Toronto's Pearson Airport -- a "fitting venue," the advisory notes, given the role the airport has played in welcoming so many to Canada -- where "100 new Canadians from 43 countries" are set to make it official later today. 

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After what has undoubtedly felt like a very long week on the defensive over his now infamous alleged comments on women in the judiciary, Justice Minister Peter MacKay heads off to an event he likely hopes will make news in a far less contentious way: the ceremonial sod-turning for the Highway 104 Heatherton Bridge project in his riding of Antigonish.

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Fresh off his two-day tour of Quebec, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will hold a noon-hour photo op in his Langevin offices to introduce Ontario's next Lieutenant Governor.

Back on the Hill, meanwhile, Canadian Taxpayers Federation director Gregory Thomas joins campus outreach campaign director Tyler Lively and a ceremonial gown-clad Porky the Waste Hater at a mid-morning press conference to "honour" an unnamed federal government agency with an "doctorate in wasteful spending" for funding academic research deemed, at least by the CTF, to be of "questionable value."

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After celebrating Ste. Jean Baptiste Day in Saint-Lazare-de-Bellechase, Prime Minister Stephen Harper heads to Roberval for an otherwise unspecified announcement at La Place de La Traversee, which he will deliver alongside Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel, who, as it happens, is also the local MP.

Back on the Hill, members of the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides -- an international group that includes more than 50 scientists from 15 countries -- hit the Centre Block press theatre to reveal the results of their four-year study into the impact of pesticides on "the decline of global insect populations." 

With the House of Commons now shut down for the summer, Prime Minister Stephen Harper heads to Quebec to mark St. Jean Baptiste Day at the Saint-Lazare-de-Bellechasse community centre, with Quebec cabinet ministers Steven Blaney and Denis Lebel also expected to be in attendance for the festivities.

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We asked: What will the new TFW rules mean for Canadians? Your responses:

More jobs 21%
Higher wages 4%
Higher prices 7%
Not sure 68%
Total votes: 1,448

The Ballot Box is now closed for the summer.

Employment Minister Jason Kenney will lift the curtain on his long-promised plan to tighten up the rules governing the controversial Temporary Foreign Workers Program at a mid-afternoon press conference.

(Some of those details, it's worth noting, have already leaked out to the press in advance of today's announcement.) 

Back in the Chamber, meanwhile, the few luckless MPs still on House duty will run down the Commons clock on the final scheduled sitting day before the House automatically adjourns for the summer.

On the agenda for the last day: A final round of second reading debate on the government's proposed 'bill of rights' for victims. 

If time allows, they'll also consider the current iteration of Conservative MP Mark Adler's bid to force staff serving independent parliamentary officers and agents to disclose the details of any past partisan activity, which underwent a substantial rewrite at the committee table.

Also out and about in the capital today: Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, who will mark World Refugee Day at Ottawa City Hall, where, alongside representatives from the Office of the UN Commissioner for Refugees and the Refugee Network of Ottawa, he'll share the details of new money "to protect the rights and well-being of refugees and other displaced persons worldwide."

Across the river in Gatineau, Public Works Minister Diane Finley will deliver what the advisory, intriguingly, describes as "a national announcement in support of Canadian innovation, and job creation and economic growth in Canada" during a visit to TekTrap Systems Inc.

Meanwhile, no fewer than three ministers will descend on the Greater Toronto Area: Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, who will outline "new regulations for the identification of dangerous goods in transport," Finance Minister Joe Oliver, who will "welcome a new vessel" -- CCGS Corporal Teather, CV -- to the Canadian Coast Guard Fleet", and Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal, who will do the honours at the opening ceremonies for the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship.

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Yesterday we asked: Are Minister MacKay's comments:

- Sexist: 1282 votes (84%)
- Realistic: 227 votes (15%)
- Not sure: 16 votes (1%)
With the House now seemingly set to shut down for the summer later tonight -- or, if it keeps going until the calendar-imposed deadline kicks in, Friday afternoon at the latest -- Government House Leader Peter Van Loan has already booked a spot in the Commons Foyer for his traditional post-sitting legislative wrap, which is slated to take place this morning, "in anticipation of a Royal Assent ceremony" that will see more than a dozen pieces of legislation signed into law.

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Yesterday we asked: 
Will the Northern Gateway pipeline eventually be built?

Yes: 204 votes (12%)
No: 1527 votes (86%)
Not sure: 41 votes (2%) 
View all June 2014 posts »