Politics This Morning: Garneau at House Transport Committee; Trudeau and Duncan to make announcement

Transport Minister Marc Garneau is appearing before the House Transport Committee today to discuss the government's Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act. NACC photograph courtesy of Denis Drever

PUBLISHED :Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 11:50 PM

Good Tuesday morning,

Transport Minister Marc Garneau is appearing before the House Transport Committee to discuss the government’s Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act, which if passed would allow the Transport minister the power to order company recall notices and to make manufacturers and importers repair a recalled vehicle at no cost to the customer, among other provisions.

The prospective law also gives the Transport minister the power to order manufacturers and importers to repair new vehicles before they are sold, permits Transport Canada to levy fines to bolster safety compliance, and requires companies to provide more safety data and conduct additional testing.

Mr. Garneau is scheduled to appear before the committee from 3:30-4:30 p.m., in the first half of the two-hour meeting. In the latter hour, the committee will hear from Auditor General Michael Ferguson and his staff, who are also set to discuss the Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act.

  

The meeting is being held in room 415 of the Wellington Building.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Garneau will join with his front bench colleagues for the traditional weekly cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill, set to start at 9:30 a.m. The ministers will be available to the media after the meeting at noon.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to appear at Question Period today, and will then make an announcement with Science Minister Kirsty Duncan in the Centre Block foyer at 4 p.m.

Mr. Trudeau will then host a student science fair at the Prime Minister’s Office at 4:40 p.m.

  

In other Hill business, Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi is appearing at Senate Question Period this afternoon. He’s scheduled to appear in the Upper Chamber from 3:30-4:10 p.m. 

Also on the Hill, NDP MP Linda Duncan is discussing the national opioid crisis during an 11:30 a.m. media availability in the Charles Lynch Press Room in Centre Block. She will be joined by Petra Schulz, the co-founder of Moms Stop the Harm, an advocacy network composed of Canadian mothers and families that have lost loved ones due to illicit drug use. The group advocates for an end to the war on drugs in favour of a new approach prioritizing harm reduction.

Staying with Ottawa, Families, Children, and Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is attending an evening screening of the film Us and Them, a documentary about the realities of homelessness in Canada. The filmmaker, Krista Loughton, will also be in attendance at the 6:30 p.m. showing, hosted at the offices Impact Hub Ottawa, located on the sixth floor of 123 Slater St.

Meanwhile, new Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is looking to better familiarize himself with members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery by hosting a ‘Welcome Back’ garden party for Hill media this evening at Stornoway, the Ottawa residence of the Official Opposition leader.

  

Mr. Scheer’s reception will run from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

On Monday, Mr. Scheer announced a handful of changes to his shadow cabinet, necessitated by the pending departure of Dianne Watts, who plans on resigning her House seat to seek the leadership of the B.C. Liberals, which, despite its name, is a coalition of liberal and conservative voters that serves as the main right-of-centre party in the province.

Ms. Watts was replaced as critic for employment, workforce development, and labour by former cabinet minister Steven Blaney, who was in turn replaced as veterans affairs critic by Ontario MP Phil McColeman.

In turn, Mr. McColeman was replaced as deputy labour critic by Manitoba’s Ted Falk, while B.C. MP Mark Warawa was named the shadow cabinet secretary for seniors (income security and palliative care).

Switching gears, Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains is spending today in Turin, Italy, for the conclusion of the meeting of G7 ministers for industry and information and communications technologies. At the two-day event, which started Monday, Mr. Bains will talk-up the Liberal government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy aimed at supporting innovation and lifelong learning, according to the minister’s office.

The G7 is composed of the world’s largest advanced economies: the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and Canada. The presidency of the G7 rotates annually, with Italy sitting at the helm for 2017. Canada will take over the presidency next year.

Shifting to Toronto, Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan is attending the 8th annual Canadian Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, organized by the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research. He will address attendees at the forum, hosted at the Beanfield Centre, at 9 a.m.

Also in Toronto today, Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton is giving a lunchtime talk today entitled Direct from D.C.: Canada-U.S. Relations More Crucial Than Ever. His speech will be hosted at the Fairmont Royal York, and starts at 12:40 p.m.

And finally, the federal Information Commissioner’s Office is hosting a day-long conference in Ottawa on access to information being a fundamental human right. The Right to Know Conference, which runs from 1-5 p.m. at Ottawa’s Shaw Centre, features a keynote address from Laura Neuman, the director of the global access to information program at the Carter Center, a human rights NGO founded by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.

Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault will deliver the opening remarks.

The event will feature two main panels, one on access to information and human rights, and the other on Bill C-58, a Liberal government piece of legislation that will grant new powers to the information commissioner to compel the disclosure of government information, among other changes.

The bill also grants government institutions the right to decline to act on an access to information request for various reasons, though the decision can be challenged by the request applicant through the information commissioner.

The conference coincides with the international Right to Know Week, which runs from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1. It’s designed to raise awareness of an individual’s right to access government information, and promote freedom of information as essential to democracy and good governance.

Following the conclusion of the conference, there’s a reception from 5-7 p.m. at the Shaw Centre’s Colonel By Foyer.

Have a great day!

The Hill Times