According to this week’s Hill Times, the government and opposition parties are going to try to get the rest of the committees up and running before the winter break — which is just three weeks away; tick tick tick, y’all — in order to “deal with” (House Leader Jay Hill’s words, not ours) “some of the economic issues” that are pretty much completely preoccupying parliamentarians at the moment. Liberal Whip Rodger Cuzner suggests that, with the fiscal update and pre-budget consultations, the Finance committee, in particular, may be putting in some long hours over the next few weeks.
Tomorrow morning, the mother of all committees, ITQ’s beloved Procedure and House Affairs will meet for the first time since last March – yes, it’s been that long – to begin the process of bringing all the other committees out of suspended animation with the traditional striking of the membership lists — which shouldn’t take too long now that they’ve worked out the seating arrangements.
First, though, they have to elect a chair, which would normally be an excellent test of the New Spirit of Cross-Party Cooperation — that is, if anyone had even mentioned the words “In and out” since August. Luckily for lovers of parliamentary harmony, however, that scandal appears to have fallen into the political memory hole, and is likely to stay there until the Conservative Party makes its case for judicial review at the Federal Court – which, according to the docket, could be a ways off – or the Commissioner of Elections wraps up his investigation into the ad expense back-and-forthing — whichever comes first. As a result, it’s unlikely that Tuesday’s meeting will end in the same sort of standoff that put the last iteration of Procedure and House Affairs into an induced coma for much of spring session.
(And yes, of course ITQ will be there to liveblog it – you think we’d miss this?)