Inside Politics

MPs spend one last day on the Hill before House shuts down for the holidays

The skeleton crew of luckless MPs stuck on Friday-before-the-holidays House duty will dutifully run out the parliamentary clock for the five and a half hours remaining before the Chamber automatically shuts down for the season.

On the agenda for the last sitting day of 2014: Another -- possibly, but not necessarily final -- hour of debate on the government's attempt to create the Rouge National Urban Park, which needs only third reading approval of the House before it can be dispatched to the Senate for further consideration.

Later this afternoon, Conservative MP John Williamson will fend off opposition attempts to toughen up his backbench bid to revoke the pensions of parliamentarians convicted of certain offences.

In its current form, Williamson's bill would not cover charges related to offences under the Elections Act - an apparently deliberate omission that the New Democrats are keen to rectify.

At 2:30 PM ET -- or possibly earlier, depending on whether MPs decide to invoke their collective power to "see the clock" at a later hour than it actually is -- the Commons will, as noted above, adjourn for the rest of the year, with MPs not scheduled to return to their assigned seats until January 26, 2015.

On the Senate side of Centre Block, meanwhile, Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee members will hold an  emergency meeting to discuss a seemingly fatal flaw in a government-backed private members' bill to tighten the rules surrounding union organization, which may or may not turn out to be repairable at clause-by-clause review.  

Outside the precinct, the only two events on the political schedule are set to take place in Manitoba, where Conservative MPs Larry Maguire and Lawrence Toet are slated to represent the federal government at events in Brandon and Winnipeg, respectively.

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