First and foremost – and as previously announced with what some might see as unhealthy glee earlier this week – ITQ would like to extend a very special welcome back to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, back by popular four-members-of-the-opposition demand this afternoon, after a three-week hiatus. We can only cross our fingers that it won’t end up being a re-run – literally, in the case of chairman Art Hanger – and that the motion to investigate the Cadman Affair will finally be put to democratic vote; there is, alas, no guarantee that this will happen, since the government members may decide to spend the two hours of allotted time filiranting about the tyranny of the majority, which will leave the committee pretty much exactly where it is right now: smack in the middle of a Tarantino-style standoff between the Conservatives and everyone else.
Although ITQ couldn’t be more delighted at the return of the prodigal committee, the timing – from the liveblogger’s perspective – is unfortunate; due to a direct conflict in timeslots, it means that she will be unable to attend today’s meeting of the C-20 legislative committee, which will continue its perusal of the government’s salami tactics on Senate reform. Appearing this afternoon: a trio of political science professors (who really deserve their own noun of collection, come to think of it), who will share their thoughts on whether the kinda-sorta proposal for provincial Senate elections is constitutionally valid, legally binding and/or a good idea.
Fresh from yesterday’s fingershaking marathon, Auditor General Sheila Fraser goes before the Environment committee, where she will introduce members to her newly appointed Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development, Scott Vaughn, and discuss his mandate. The resulting Q&A session could get interesting if anyone brings up the circumstances surrounding the departure of his predecessor, Johanne Gelinas, fired by Fraser last year, which led to perhaps the most noteworthy burst of negative news coverage that she has experienced over the course of her tenure.
Over at Citizenship and Immigration, committee members will be talking business – serious business, ITQ has no doubt – as the Finance committee talks immigration policy. That’s just the way it worked out, what with C-50 including those (apparently slightly less) stealthy (than the government may have hoped) provisions to change the current system and all; at least over at Public Safety, members are sticking closer to the traditional mandate with their investigation into black market cigarettes.
Meanwhile, members of the Afghanistan Mission committee will be burning the midnight – okay, twilight – oil tonight, as they get together for an after hours meeting with Afghan ambassador Omar Samad.
Finally, the Standing Committee on International Trade goes behind closed doors for a briefing from Foreign Affairs officials on its members’ upcoming jaunt to Colombia and Panama, all in aid of better understanding the need to balance human rights and environmental concerns with free trade.