Justin Trudeau – iPolitics AM: Trudeau’s virtual road trip, Senate’s final debate of MAiD law
With the House of Commons on hiatus until next week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to take advantage of the parliamentary downtime to embark on a closed-to-media virtual road trip, starting in Nova Scotia’s Eastern Passage, where he’ll join local MP Darrell Samson for a mid-afternoon chat with the student council at Island View High School.
Later this afternoon, he’ll team up with Toronto Centre MP Marci Ien for back-to-back online visits to two Greater Toronto Area businesses: Black Owned Toronto, which, as per its website, is an “online platform dedicated to highlighting Black owned businesses,” and Fara Coffee Roasters.
Meanwhile, Green Party leader Annamie Paul hits the digital stage via Facebook Live to host a roundtable discussion on a guaranteed livable income, which, according to the advisory, will include commentary from Green MPs Elizabeth May and Paul Manly, as well as UBI Works founder Floyd Marinescu and Basic Income Canada Network chair Sheila Regehr, and will offer a “forceful” response to last month’s report from the British Columbia Expert Panel on Basic Income, which concluded that a universal guaranteed income was “not the most just policy option.” (10:45 AM)
IN THE CHAMBER
After delaying its return from its scheduled six-week winter recess by a week in deference to the post-holiday COVID-19 lockdowns in Ontario and Quebec, the Senate is slated to reopen for business this afternoon. (2 PM)
Topping the legislative to-do list, as previewed in the iPolitics weekly lookahead: The government’s proposed changes to the laws governing access to medical assistance in dying.
Although the bill was initially tabled last February in response to a Quebec court ruling that found the existing rules to be unconstitutionally restrictive, it was put on pandemic-imposed hold until mid-October, and didn’t even make it onto the Upper House docket until December, which effectively nixed the government’s bid to have it in place by the original court-imposed deadline of December 18.
With the deadline now extended to February 26, senators are now on track to begin third-reading debate on the bill this afternoon, although that may be delayed by procedural wrangling.
As reported by iPolitics last week, several Conservative senators have served notice of their intention to bring forward amendments on the floor, which could also prolong the final round of deliberations, which is why it’s too early to predict whether the bill will be passed within the government’s new preferred timeline.
ON AND AROUND THE HILL
One group keeping a close eye on the Red Chamber today: Inclusion Canada, which is set to assemble a full contingent of disability rights advocates opposed to the bill for a virtual press conference to urge senators to reject the bill, which, they contend, “endangers the lives and human rights of people with disabilities in particular those who are Black, Indigenous, and poor.” (9:30 AM)
OUTSIDE THE PRECINCT
Rural Economic Development Minister Maryam Monsef fires up her webcam to share the details of new federal cash to boost high-speed internet in southwestern Ontario. (9:15 AM)
Also via Zoom, Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna teams up with Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante and Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez (who also serves as Team Trudeau’s Quebec Lieutenant) for what her office is billing as an “important infrastructure announcement” for the Montreal region. (1:30 PM)
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Don’t miss today’s complete legislative brief in GovGuide.ca!