After spending the last four days making the rounds on the summit circuit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is back on Canadian soil but don’t expect to see him back in his front bench seat in the House — or, for that matter, any other public venue — for the next two weeks.
As Canadian Press reports, Trudeau and those who joined him on the four-day overseas trip — which, it’s worth noting, includes a small contingent of journalists — are currently confined to quarters at a “three-star hotel near the Ottawa airport” to wait for the results of the COVID-19 tests they were given upon arrival, after which they’ll be allowed to finish their mandatory 14-day isolation period at home.
As per his daily itinerary, the prime minister is set to spend the day in “private” — and presumably virtual — “meetings.”
In his absence, it will be up to his cabinet second-in-command, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to face the opposition via webcam when the curtain rises on the House of Commons this afternoon.
She’ll also join her caucus colleagues for their weekly online meet-up later this morning.
Meanwhile, for the third day in a row, New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh will hold a press conference to call on the Liberals to “reverse their decision to cut the Canada Recovery Benefit,” a move that his party contends “will hurt workers who don’t have jobs to return to with pandemic lockdowns still in effect in several provinces.” (1 PM)
Later this morning, Bloc Québécois Yves-François Blanchet will hit the West Block press theatre to outline his party’s response to the government’s proposal to boost federal French language protection measures via changes to the Official Languages Act, which were tabled in the House yesterday morning. (9 AM)
Also making the rounds on the Hill media circuit: Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller, who will deliver his weekly update on COVID-19 in First Nations and Indigenous communities. (12 PM)
Finally, there’s no word yet on whether Green Party Leader Annamie Paul is planning to publicly address reports that the party’s federal council may be poised to trigger the first phase of a leadership review, which, according to multiple media outlets, was expected to go to a vote during a closed-door emergency session yesterday evening, but Hill politics watchers will nevertheless be keeping a close eye on any new communiques from either Paul’s office or the party’s central governing body.
IN THE CHAMBER
With exactly one week left until the Chamber is scheduled to shut down for the summer, the Liberals will launch a fresh attempt to get its pre-recess legislative agenda back on track this afternoon.
At the top of the to-do list, as per the latest projected order of business: Wrapping up report stage debate on Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s omnibus budget bill, which has exactly four hours and 39 minutes left on the clock, although it could end earlier if no member rises to speak.
Later this evening, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is set to initiate the first round of debate on a motion to fast-track his proposed new emissions reduction reporting requirements through the final stages of debate in less than two and a half hours, which will likely continue until midnight.
Before all that gets underway, however, MPs will vote on the Bloc Québécois call for the House to recognize Quebec’s constitutional right to formally designated French as the only official language of the province, as well as two Bloc Québécois-sponsored private members’ bills: C-254, which would affirm that Quebec language laws apply to all federal businesses operating in the province, and C-271, which would reduce the annual salary paid to the Governor General to $1, while simultaneously scrapping the existing pension and retirement allowances.
Also up for a vote this afternoon: New Democrat MP Jack Harris’s non-binding backbench pitch to urge the government to “establish a federal dental care plan as soon as possible for Canadian families earning less than $90,000 per year who are not covered by a dental care plan, as an interim measure toward the inclusion of full dental care in Canada’s healthcare system.”
OUTSIDE THE PRECINCT
Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna teams up with Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and Ottawa-area Liberal MP David McGuinty for the on-site reveal of new federal funding to “support infrastructure” at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. (9:30 AM)
Meanwhile, Minister At Large Jim Carr hits the virtual hustings to “highlight” a new program that, according to the notice, will “help farmers and agri-businesses develop and adopt clean technologies” during a “virtual tour” of Triple Green Products in Manitoba. (11:30 AM)
Finally, Small Business Minister Mary Ng is booked in for a keynote virtual appearance at an “international dialogue” focused on “gender and racial equality in the C-suite” hosted by “global talent management” firm Rosenzweig & Company. (4 PM)
FRESH FROM iPOLITICS
HOT OFF THE WIRES
Don’t miss today’s complete legislative brief in GovGuide.ca!