Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

Friday we asked: Should Dean Del Mastro be allowed to remain an MP?

- Yes: 50 votes (3%)
- No: 1480 votes (96%)
- Not sure: 11 votes (1%)

Hallowe'en goodies await trick-or-treaters at 24 Sussex, Stornoway and Rideau Hall

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen, will be front and centre as the gates of 24 Sussex swing open to welcome visiting trick-or-treaters this evening.

Meanwhile just down the road, the grounds of Rideau Hall will be transformed into a haunted circus, complete with clowns, fortune tellers, snake charmers, sword swallowers and a funhouse maze.

New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair and his family will also be handing out goodies at Stornoway.  

Before that gets underway, however,  a phalanx of senior cabinet ministers fans out across the country to serve as a sales force for yesterday's announcement on limited income splitting and expanded child benefits -- or, as the flurry of identical advisories describes it, "new measures to help make  life more affordable for Canadian families to help them prosper."

According to the nightly itinerary sent out by the Prime Minister's Office, "highlighting" events are set to take place in Halifax (Justice Minister Peter MacKay), Saint John (ACOA Minister of State Rob Moore),  Quebec City (Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel), Kitchener and London (Public Works Minister Diane Finley), Winnipeg (Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover), Saskatoon (Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz), Calgary (Employment Minister Jason Kenney) and Port Moody (Industry Minister James Moore).

The prime minister will remain in Ottawa, where he's also slated to hold a photo opportunity alongside Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui.


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Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

Yesterday we asked: Do you support extending the universal childcare benefit to the age of 17? Here are the results: Yes: 164 votes (15%) No: 904 votes (83%) Not sure: 21 votes (2%) Total votes: 1089

PM could reveal details of income-splitting plan during Vaughan visit

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to unveil the details of his party's much-discussed pledge to bring in income splitting during a mid-afternoon visit to a Jewish community centre in Vaughan.  

According to CBC News sources, the proposal to be outlined today may turn out to be a somewhat scaled-down plan that would cap any potential tax savings at $2,000 per couple.

Also out and about outside the capital today: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who hits the byelection hustings in Whitby-Oshawa alongside Liberal standard-bearer, Celina Caesar-Chavannes, with scheduled stops at the local GO station and an evening rally at his candidate's campaign headquarters.

Back on Parliament Hill, MPs will continue discussing the pros and cons of the fall omnibus budget bill, which appears destined to be dispatched to committee early next week, courtesy of a time allocation motion to be introduced today that will impose a three-day deadline on the ongoing second-reading debate.

Later this evening, Liberal MP Joyce Murray will get her first opportunity to convince her colleagues to back her unexpectedly topical pitch to set up a special parliamentary oversight committee to keep tabs on national security policy, as well as the operations of CSIS, CSEC and other agencies engaged on that front. 

Unless she's able to persuade House Speaker Andrew Scheer that her bill would not impose any additional cost on the treasury, however, she'll need the official endorsement of the government -- and, specifically, a ministerial co-sponsor -- for it to be passed at third reading. 

Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

Yesterday we asked: Should some of the bullet holes on Parliament Hill be preserved? - Yes: 244 votes (19%) - No: 1055 votes (80%) - Not sure: 15 votes (1%)

Fall omnibus bill on the House agenda as caucuses meet

Exactly one week after the attacks on the National War Memorial and Centre Block, MPs are slated to retreat back behind the very same closed doors that, in some cases, now include bullet holes, as the regular Wednesday morning caucus confabs resume.

When the House reopens for business this afternoon, the first item of business on the agenda will be the fall omnibus budget bill, a 458-page doorstopper that has already raised the ire of opposition parties with the inclusion of numerous entirely non-budgetary measures, including changes that would allow the provinces to limit refugee access to social services.

That debate is scheduled to begin this afternoon, and will likely continue for the rest of the week.    

Before that gets underway, however, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt is set to unveil "further measures" to respond to the final recommendations made by the Transportation Safety Board following the Lac-Megantic derailment, which she will present just outside the House of Commons, alongside Senate government leader Claude Carignan.


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Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

Yesterday we asked: Do you consider the Ottawa shootings to be a terrorist attack? 

Here are the results:

Yes: 266 votes (17%)
No: 1333 votes (83%) 
Not sure: 12 votes (1%)

Total votes: 1611

PM, opposition party leaders head to Hamilton for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's funeral.

Tuesday is set to begin on a sombre note as Prime Minister Stephen Harper joins New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and others for the full regimental funeral for Corporal Nathan Cirillo, one of the two soldiers slain during last week's attacks, which will take place at Christ's Church Cathedral in Hamilton.

Later this afternoon, the prime minister returns to Ottawa for a meeting with Foreign Affaires Minister John Baird and visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Back on the Hill, MPs will begin the final round of debate on the proposed Canada-Korea free trade deal, which is supported by all but the Green Party, and likely to be dispatched to the Senate by the end of the week.


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Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

Should police have more powers to limit movements of suspected radicals?

- Yes: 293 votes (19%)
- No: 1209 votes (79%)
- Not sure: 27 votes (2%)

Details of new anti-terrorism bill expected to be revealed today

As a new week dawns on Parliament Hill, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney is expected to formally introduce a bill to toughen up Canada's anti-terror laws, which was originally slated to be introduced last week, before the attacks at the National War Memorial and in Centre Block took place, but has reportedly not been amended to take into account subsequent events.

Also this afternoon: the Senate national security committee will get the opportunity to quiz RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) assistant director Michael Peirce as as part of an ongoing study into "security threats against Canada."

Before that gets underway, however, the House will spend an hour debating the pros and cons of Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux's bid to make political advertising more transparent by requiring all such messages to include a message from either the party leader, the sponsoring candidate or the relevant third party organization that explicitly states their responsibility for the content.

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