Newspapers might be the first thing news junkies read every morning, but their impact on the day’s agenda can vanish in the blink of an eye. Just look at Auditor-General Michael Ferguson’s report earlier this week, which was released mid-morning and took over the conversation on Parliament Hill. Today, all eyes are on the Supreme Court. That’s because the election of Ted Opitz, the Conservative MP from Etobicoke Centre who squeaked out a win by a mere 26 votes, might be nullified. Depending on what the court rules, we might have a raucous day—more than usual, even—filled with posturing about who loves democracy the most. Expect to hear “democracy” a whole lot. Democracy.
What’s above the fold this morning?
The Globe and Mail leads with billionaire Sam Katz’s $430,000 in donations to the Alberta PC Party. The National Post front a John Ivison column that claims the NDP’s being hamstrung by the left-leaning Broadbent Institute. The Toronto Star‘s top story is the slaying of a 55-year-old Eritrean refugee in Toronto. The Ottawa Citizen leads with Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak predicting a spring election. iPolitics fronts a story about effects cuts to the Canada Revenue Agency have on its ability to hunt down “tax cheats.” National Newswatch teases the Supreme Court’s decision this morning about what will happen in Etobicoke Centre.
|Stories that will dominate Question Period||Stories that will be (mostly) missed|
|1. Omnibus budget. The opposition isn’t finished pushing the government to split up several elements of the omnibus bill before the House, including changes to navigable waters legislation and dozens of other laws.||1. Veteran burials. The association that represents funeral directors says its members and vets’ families end up covering costs of veterans’ burials, which aren’t covered completely by government funding that hasn’t increased in years.|
|2. OAS cuts. Yesterday saw a number of questions about perceived cuts to Old Age Security. The opposition’s not finished hammering the government on that file. (Also still on the opposition’s radar: the foreign investment file.)||2. Fair play in the House. The former top legal counsel for the House of Commons says parliamentarians should adopt a new rule that would give Canadians who feel abused or defamed by Parliament some form of recourse.|
What should I cover?
I’m going to tell you about a few things happening today on Parliament Hill, and then you tell me what I should go watch—and, following that, report on. There’s plenty of action on the Hill today. Twenty-two parliamentary committees, including three Senate committees, are talking about various studies and pieces of legislation. The list of meetings I can attend, if we’re being realistic, is below, along with the orders of the day for each. So tell me: Where should I go?
|Industry, Science and Technology||Intellectual Property Regime in Canada|
|Official Languages||2011-2012 Annual Report of the Commissioner of Official Languages|
|Public Accounts||Fall 2012 Report of the Auditor General of Canada|
|Natural Resources||Innovation in the Energy Sector|
|Foreign Affairs and International Development (sub)||Human Rights Situation in North Korea|
|Canadian Heritage||Study on the Canadian entertainment software industry|
|Finance||Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act|
|Justice and Human Rights||Bill C-37, An Act to amend the Criminal Code|
|National Defence||NATO’s Strategic Concept and Canada’s Role in International Defence Cooperation|
If you think those committees are boring and know about something, you know, more interesting, pop it in a comment. You could also send it in an email or—gasp!—a Twitter DM, but why keep secrets from everyone?
Scorecard for yesterday’s Tease: On Tuesday, I missed the impact the auditor-general report would have on Question Period. The two issues I thought would dominate that day, foreign investment and the government’s omnibus legislation, were big in yesterday’s QP. So were several elements of the auditor-general’s report, which didn’t make the Tease.