10/24/2013 04:30 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Great Canadian Debates series kicks off with scrap over 'ethical oil'

OTTAWA - Should President Barack Obama welcome Canadian "ethical oil"? That's the question as the Macdonald-Laurier Institute kicks off its 2013-14 Great Canadian Debates series on Thursday.

The debate at the Canadian War Museum pits former Alberta energy minister Ted Morton against Andrew Nikiforuk, a journalist and author who has written extensively against "dirty oil."

Touchy as that debate may be, it will likely pale beside the doings in question period as the Senate expense scandal continues to bubble.

Paul Dewar, the NDP foreign affairs critic, has called a news conference to comment on the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Liberal MP David McGuinty is to introduce a private member's bill aimed at curbing partisan government advertising.

Statistics Canada will have figures about the size of the employment insurance rolls.

Meanwhile, Richard Alvarez, president and CEO of Canada Health Infoway, will be talking to the Economic Club of Canada about how Infoway is working to improve access to digital health information systems.

The Supreme Court of Canada will release eight leave-to-appeal decisions.