January was not a boring time for the Conservative front bench. Stephen Harper went to Israel, where he serenaded the prime minister. Jim Flaherty grew excited about a coming budget surplus, which may be in the billions. Jason Kenney hammered away at his job grant program, which he hopes every province grows to love. Israel! Surplus! Jobs!
Today, parliamentarians return to the House of Commons. What awaits them?
Republicans want to see the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada is offering ever more money to landowners along the pipeline’s proposed route. Ukraine’s opposition movement badly wants western support. Canada’s religious freedom ambassador warns of religious persecution in Ukraine. Canada’s ambassador to China attacked the country for jailing an activist. The Navy’s northern hub is slowly sinking. Conservatives plan further reforms to temporary foreign worker programs. The Canadian Armed Forces seem to be hiring more mental-health workers. Auditor General Michael Ferguson has completed part of his investigation of Senate expenses. Canada Post employees turned out in droves to protest the crown corporation’s planned service cuts and fee hikes. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson complained about parliamentarians’ free mailing privileges in the wake of Canada Post’s cuts. Federal officials warn Canadians against travelling to Sochi, Russia in advance of next month’s Olympics. Federal officials will share cross-border visitors’ data across departments. Ontario’s cabinet and the federal Conservative cabinet seem to be at odds. The feds dropped a request to seal records from a residential school allegedly rife with abuse. A Canadian tortured in Syria is suing the federal government. Public service unions refuse to make concessions on sick-leave benefits. Cuts at federal libraries could lead to a knowledge gap for researchers. The federal corrections ombudsman says the government should restart discussions about prison death prevention. A second train in three weeks derailed in New Brunswick, this time in Saint-Basile.
Welcome back, Parliament. Seems you have some things to talk over.
ABOVE THE FOLD
Globe: U.S. Republicans may force Barack Obama to approve or reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Post: The owners of the Quebec seniors’ home that burned down were applauded at a local church.
Star: Canadian border officials will share the data of cross-border visitors with other departments.
Citizen: Ottawa researchers may have discovered a pair of groundbreaking cancer treatments (not online).
CBC: Daft Punk took home five Grammy Awards.
CTV: A second freight train in three weeks derailed in New Brunswick.
NNW: MP Dean Del Mastro says the government’s claims have devalued the Canadian dollar.
Near: Correctional service meetings into preventing prison deaths quietly came to an end.
Far: Egypt’s voters will elect a new president before they elect a new parliament.