06/14/2012 05:59 EDT | Updated 08/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Allies to discuss cybercrime in Ottawa; Commons votes nix one-on-one with U.S.

OTTAWA - The marathon voting session on the government's budget bill forced Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to scrub a meeting with his American counterpart.

Nicholson was unable to take part in a scheduled bilateral meeting Thursday with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder because he was needed to help the government vote down a series of opposition amendments.

However, Nicholson plans to meet Holder and representatives of three other close allies Friday in Ottawa to discuss issues including cybercrime, national security and legal co-operation.

The closed-door meeting will include Holder and the attorneys general of Britain and New Zealand, as well as the home affairs and justice minister of Australia.

It will be the fourth such annual meeting of attorneys general from the five longtime allies and the first to be held in Canada.

Building on their session last year in Sydney, Australia, the officials will discuss ways law enforcement agencies could step up the fight against cybercrime, including through mutual legal assistance.