POLITICS

Former budget watchdog Kevin Page to speak at NDP caucus confab

01/16/2015 06:20 EST | Updated 03/18/2015 05:59 EDT
New Democrat MPs spend another morning behind the firmly closed doors of caucus, where the party will wrap up two days of pre-sitting strategizing with a special guest appearance by former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page.   

Later this morning, party leader Tom Mulcair is scheduled to make himself available to the media.    

Also on the Hill this morning: Public Works and Government Services officials hold a "technical briefing" on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, during which unnamed senior officials "will make a short presentation" before taking questions for reporters. 

According to the advisory, while the briefing itself is NOT FOR BROADCAST [sic], with no cameras permitted, although the information provided therein can be attributed to "senior government sources."

Outside the precinct, all eyes will be on the Supreme Court, which is slated to hand down a landmark decision on the rights of RCMP officers to unionize.

Meanwhile, in Moncton, the RCMP releases the results of a review on the response to Justin Bourque's June 2014 shooting spree, which left three members of the local Codiac detachment dead and one wounded.

Out and about on the ministerial circuit: 

- Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt spends the day close to home as he delivers fresh federal support to Fiready Inc., a firewood manufacturing firm in his riding of Madawaska-Restigouche.

- Meanwhile, International Development Minister Christian Paradis takes the stage at the Engineers Without Borders National Conference in Montreal, where he will "highlight the importance Canada places on the transformative role science, technology and innovation can play to alleviate poverty, accelerate economic growth and improve the lives of people in developing countries."

- Back in Toronto, Finance Minister Joe Oliver — who is, it seems, taking a brief break from holding consultations on his now delayed annual budget — drops by Rose Avenue Jr. Public School for an "important announcement about healthy living" before making his way to Brampton for an "important infrastructure event" alongside local MP Kyle Seeback at the Sandalwood transit facility.

- Elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario Gary Goodyear joins York Centre MP Mark Adler for a tour of North York-based Dalton Pharma Services, where the pair is slated to unveil new federal cash for "business growth and productivity" in the area.

- Also out and about in Ontario, today: Justice Minister Peter MacKay continues his cross-country tour with a stop at Welsey Urban Ministries in Hamilton, while Treasury Board President Tony Clement  hands out still more financial support in his home riding during an appearance at the West Parry Sound District Museum.

- On the west coast, Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay teams up with Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney to host a pre-budget consultation roundtable on Vancouver Island, while in Vancouver, Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong launches a new initiative aimed at helping "vulnerable seniors" at the Union Gospel Mission.

- Finally, Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford heads to Freeport, Texas, where he will, as per the notice, "mark a new milestone in Canada's contribution to energy security" — and, specifically, the competition of the Seaway and Flanagan South pipelines.

Mobile readers: Follow the Parliament Hill ticker here.