Back to Parliament: MPs return to the Hill

OTTAWA – It’s back to the business of politics in Ottawa today with a throne speech from the Harper Conservatives.

But before that happens (5 p.m. ET), politicians of various stripes will gather together in separate locations to map out their respective plans for the second session of the 41st Parliament.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will address his caucus in what is sure to be a rousing speech. Cameras are allowed, but reporters are not.

Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair will join his troops at the NDP caucus meeting, all thumping feet and clapping hands, for a number of speeches about what the government is doing wrong.

Not to be outdone, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will also meet with his party caucus, albeit in a much smaller room.

Interestingly, today is “Global Dignity Day,” and promoters say thousands of students will celebrate the event with a videoconference being held in the centre block of Parliament Hill.

Harper’s wife, Laureen, will be taking part in her own videoconference event with music students at the National Arts Centre. They’ll alll be linked up with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

And Canadian Medical Association president-elect Dr. Chris Simpson is promising to be among those available to comment in the House of Commons foyer once the throne speech is read in the Senate.

The speech will touch on several familiar themes, including economic stability, law and order and Canadian historical celebrations and there will be fresher material catering to consumers and rail safety, among other things.

It will also include a declarartion making Malala Yousafzai an honorary Canadian citizen. The 16-year-old advocate for girls’ education was the target of a Taliban assassination attempt in October 2012.

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