Amid a fresh wave of debate over the eventual re-opening of the border between Canada and its largest trading partner, Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau is booked in for a one-hour session with the SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON CANADA-UNITED STATES ECONOMIC RELATIONS, which is expected to file an interim report shortly after the House reopens for business next week. (3 – 5 PM)
Also on the virtual witness list for this afternoon: Canada’s chief trade negotiator, Steven Verheul, and assistant deputy minister Michael Grant, as well as Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives researcher Stuart Trew and Canadian Global Affairs Institute vice-president Colin Robertson.
Elsewhere on committee circuit: STATUS OF WOMEN members hold another round of hearings on sexual misconduct within the Canadian Armed Forces, during which they’ll hear expert testimony from Julie S. Lalonde, It’s Just 700 strategic engagement chief Christine Wood and Stéphanie Raymond before heading behind closed doors to discuss other business.
Over at ETHICS, meanwhile, MPs will continue their ongoing investigation into the WE Charity controversy — and specifically, “questions of conflict of interest and lobbying” stemming from the now-nixed deal to put the embattled organization in charge of divvying up over $500 million in pandemic-related student volunteer funding. (2 – 4 PM)
According to the motion adopted by the House before the two-week Easter recess, the star witness for today was supposed to be Ben Chin, who currently serves as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s policy director, but as yet, there’s no word yet on whether he’ll show up as ordered.
As explained by the iPolitics Process Nerd yesterday, the government has taken the position that such matters fall under the overall aegis of ministerial responsibility, and will likely send a designated Team Trudeau front bencher to field questions on his behalf, although committee members are under no obligation to accept such an unsanctioned substitution. (2 – 4 PM)
As for the prime minister himself, in addition to the standard “private meetings,” his itinerary notes that he’ll also co-chair a virtual meeting of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee. (11 AM)
Finally, Liberal supporters from across Canada gather for the party’s first ever virtual convention, which gets underway this evening and continues through Saturday.
On the speakers list for the opening ceremonies: Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who will join former prime minister Paul Martin for a “keynote conversation” on building a “better, stronger and more resilient Canada.” (7 PM)
IN THE CHAMBER
Regular House sittings will resume on April 12, 2021, while the Senate is slated to return on April 20, 2021.
ON AND AROUND THE HILL
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet heads to the West Block press theatre to share the details of his party’s plan to “maximize the potential” of Quebec’s forestry sector — which, in a rare move for an opposition party, will be provided to media under embargo at a technical briefing that will be held an hour before Blanchet and his team hit the stage. (10:30 AM)
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller delivers his weekly status update on efforts to manage the spread of COVID-19 within First Nations and Indigenous communities. (1 PM)
OUTSIDE THE PRECINCT
Before hitting the digital stage at the Liberal convention this evening, Canadian Heritage Minister Stephen Guilbeault will team up with Halifax Liberal MP Andy Filmore to unveil new federal funding to “expand” African Canadian History Education. (11 AM)
Also on the Atlantic Canadian ministerial hustings: Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc makes an in-person appearance at the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre in Moncton to “highlight the last milestone in the construction management” of its new offices. (11:15 AM)
Back on the mainland, Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez, who also serves as his party’s Quebec lieutenant, announces another round of funding for “winter tourism organizations” across the province. (10:30 AM)
Justice Minister David Lametti joins Niagara-area MP Vance Badaway and representatives from the Foyer Richelieu Welland Foundation to highlight new federal assistance to boost French-language long-term care services in the region. (9:15 AM)
Finally, Seniors Minister Deb Schulte joins representatives from the United Way of the Lower Mainland and HelpAge Canada to announce new funding to “support the development of the national online knowledge hub, Healthy Aging CORE,” which, according to the advisory, will “strengthen supports that contribute to seniors’ well-being and help them remain connected with their communities.” (2 PM)
FRESH FROM iPOLITICS
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HOT OFF THE WIRES
Don’t miss today’s complete legislative brief in GovGuide.ca!