Roundup: Incoming procedural shenanigans

Hang onto your hats, dear readers, because it looks like we’re up for another week of procedural gamesmanship as the Conservatives continue to try to make the Atwal Affair happen. Our hint is that the Conservative whip, Mark Strahl, has taken the unusual action of cancelling all MP travel, and wants to ensure that it’s all hands on deck for this short week (but one wonders if that includes Andrew Scheer, who has been barely in Ottawa lately, including on sitting weeks, as he continues his various tours across the country). That, and the fact that it seems that this is the time of year that there is some kind of procedural showdown, judging from the past couple of years. (Recall that around this time last year, the Commons ground to a halt over Bardish Chagger’s proposals for reforming the Standing Orders).

So what can we expect? No idea yet, but one imagines that the stops will be pulled out, whether it’s interminable points of privilege, filibusters at committees, or attempts to force concurrence motions on committee reports. Whatever it is, we’ll see how long they either have the stamina for it (unlike last week’s vote-a-thon tantrum), given the upcoming long weekend/two-week constituency break, or whether the government will back down (as they have tended to in the face of such obstruction techniques). Maybe the government will be able to issues manage/communicate their way out of a wet paper bag this time and effectively say that the opposition is wasting time that could be better spent debating gun control/the budget implementation bill/etc, etc. Or maybe the Conservatives will have better traction with their disingenuous narratives about the Atwal Affair and the absurd notion that the government is “muzzling” the National Security Advisor from appearing at committee (never mind that he shouldn’t appear based on Westminster norms, and that the government has pointed to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians to investigate the issue if the Conservatives are so motivated, if they actually cared about accountability and were not simply looking to public humiliate a senior public servant and the government). Suffice to say, nobody is going to cover themselves in glory over this, everyone’s patience will be tested, and nothing will be accomplished in the long run. But what else is new?

Good reads:

  • The roadmap toward the government legislating a “right to housing” has been revealed, and a bill should be tabled before the end of the year.
  • Harjit Sajjan says our troops will likely arrive in Mali by August.
  • In case you missed it last week, Liberal MP Ruby Sahota lashed out at the Conservatives for referring to Indian attire as “costumes” on the PM’s trip.
  • Here’s a look at how the billionaire behind Cambridge Analytica got his big break using bilingual Hansard transcripts from Canada’s Parliament.
  • An increasingly diverse group of gangs are becoming difficult for Correctional Services to manage.
  • The recent stories about Facebook privacy have the Privacy Commissioner calling for updates to privacy laws in this country.
  • Suzanne Cowan, daughter of the former senator, has been acclaimed as the new Liberal Party president.
  • One of the candidates whom Kellie Leitch deemed to be insufficiently Conservative won the nomination to replace her in Simcoe-Grey.
  • Chantal Hébert raises questions about the government not filling the post of Chief Electoral Officer, 15 months after it was vacated.

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