Most recent entries for December 2014

With just days to go before the holidays are officially underway, the federal political circuit has, at least for the most part, effectively shut down for the season -- except, that is, for the two tireless ministers of the crown with events slated for Friday.

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Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq makes what the advisory is billing as an "important announcement about the lost Franklin Expedition" during a morning visit to the Royal Ontario Museum.

Also in Toronto today: Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, who is slated to meet with her US counterpart, Anthony Foxx, "to discuss bilateral transportation issues, including proposals for rail safety standard harmonization."

Meanwhile, Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford drops by the Dryden District Agricultural Society with fresh federal cash earmarked for "community economic development and growth."

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Transport Minister Lisa Raitt celebrates the coming holiday travel crunch by teaming up with the public safety minister's parliamentary secretary, Roxanne James, at Pearson Airport, where the pair will unveil "new initiatives" that will, according to the advisory, "make transiting through airports faster and more convenient."

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper kicks off a one-day pre-holiday tour of Quebec with a mid-morning stop at Chateau Frontenac, where --  alongside Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney, Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume and local MP Jacques Gourde -- he'll share the details of an otherwise unspecified announcement.

Later this afternoon, the prime minister will make his way to Montreal for a Chanukah ceremony at the Gelber Centre, with his wife, Laureen and Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel also slated to be in attendance.

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With the House of Commons now officially shuttered for the holidays, Finance Minister Joe Oliver is set to host his provincial and territorial counterparts at a closed-door pre-Christmas confab at his downtown Ottawa offices. 

Topping the agenda for the two-day meeting, according to the advisory,will be "the state of the global economy and medium-term priorities."  

Meanwhile, New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair kicks off a West Coast mini-tour with back-to-back meetings on child care in Courtenay and Nanaimo, respectively.

Later this afternoon, he'll make his way to Victoria, where he'll team up with British Columbia MPs Murray Rankin and Randall Garrison to reveal new details on his party's position on proportional representation. 

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Friday we asked: Should mentally ill inmates be placed in solitary confinement?

- Yes: 117 votes (11%)
- No: 870 votes (85%)
- Not sure: 35 votes (3%) 

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.

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Thursday we asked: Should police be allowed to search your cellphone without a warrant?

- Yes: 138 votes (15%)
- No: 760 votes (83%)
- Not sure: 19 votes (2%)

With just one day left before the House is set to shut down for the holidays, MPs will pay tribute to the House of Commons security team, who will be invited into the Chamber to be formally thanked by House Speaker Andrew Scheer.

The ceremony is scheduled to take place after question period this afternoon.  

Before that gets underway, however, Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal will join Conservative MP John Weston and Conservative Senator Nancy Greene Raine in the House Foyer, where the trio will  "celebrate" the success of the senator's bid to create a day to promote health and fitness, which was passed by the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Shortly after those festivities wrap up, New Democrat House Leader Peter Julian take centre stage in the Foyer as he provides a year-end recap of the government's "legislative agenda" for 2014.

Later this afternoon,  Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover teams up with Employment and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney to unveil the winning design for the National Monument to Victims of Communism, which is set to be installed on the lawn next to the Supreme Court of Canada next year.

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Wednesday we asked: What impact is the falling price of oil having on you?

- Positive: 458 votes (66%)
- Negative: 92 votes (13%)
- No impact: 110 votes (16%)
- Not sure: 32 votes (5%)

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