Due to a lengthy series of votes, much-anticipated after-hoursession with Environment Minister Peter Kent didn't get rollinguntil 9:30, and didn't wrap up until nearly 2am. For those of you who missed the festivities, you can relive theexperience right here . In any case, it being Wednesday, the caucuses have sequesteredthemselves behind closed doors for their weekly confabs, with theusual post-caucus scrums likely to get started around noon. When the Chamber reopens later today, the House will consider thefollowing motion, which stands in the name of NDP environmentcritic Megan Leslie: That, in the opinion of the House, the Budget legislation guts theenvironmental assessment and fisheries laws, leaving Canada'slakes, rivers, oceans, ecosystems, and fisheries at risk whileunfairly downloading federal environmental responsibilities andtheir associated costs to the provinces, territories, and futuregenerations. Meanwhile, on the committee front, Finance gets down to serious omnibudget business this afternoon with an extra-super-sized six (!) hour meeting,during which members will hear from various senior departmentalofficials. |
Before that gets underway, however, the New Democratic Partyconvenes the first of what the party promises will be a "series ofpublic consultations" that will give Canadians an opportunity toshare their views on the bill. Under the theme of "Democracy, Ethics and Accountability," anall-NDP committee will hear from University of Ottawa professorErrol Mendes, PSAC regional vice-president Larry Rousseau,Leadnow.ca campaign director Matthew Carroll and Democracy Watchcoordinator Tyler Summers, and if this is starting to remind anyoneelse of what the Liberals did while waiting out the 2010prorogation, all I can say is that you're not alone. Not that it's necessarily a bad strategy, mind you, but unless theparty makes -- and, more importantly, is seen to make -- an effortto invite witnesses that represent a more diverse spectrum of viewsthat today's offering, it will likely be dismissed as a purelypartisan exercise. There is, after all, little less likely toprovoke lively and informative debate than the outburst of violentagreement in an echo chamber.
On the media circuit today: UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter willreveal his "preliminary observations" as he wraps up a 10 day "factfinding mission" that saw him visit First Nations and remotecommunities across Canada. Immediately following Schutter's press conference, NDP agriculturecritics Malcolm Allen and Ruth Ellen Brousseau will join aboriginalaffairs critic Jean Crowder to comment on what he had to say. Also on the Hill to provide reaction to the UN Food Rapporteur'spreliminary findings: representatives from Food Secure Canada, theInuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Centre for Science in the PublicInterest. Outside the precinct, the Historica-Dominion Institute celebratesAsian Heritage Month by bringing together Passages to Canadaspeakers, local community groups, politicians and "ethno-culturalorganizations" for an evening of speeches, with Conservative MPMichael Chong and UN representative Sunny Uppal amongst those setto "share their stories".
Finally, earlier today, the National Round Table on the Environmentand the Economy published what may well turn out to be its final report , which, rather fittingly, examines the need for "life cycleapproaches" to assessing economic and environmental sustainability. ' For up to the minute dispatches from the precinct and beyond,keep your eye on the Parliament Hill Ticker below -- or,alternatively, bookmark it and check back throughout the day.
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