Politics This Morning: Obama in Toronto for speaking engagement; MacAulay in Winnipeg; Morneau hosting town hall in Oakville

Former U.S. president Barack Obama is the guest speaker at a Canada 2020 lunch event in Toronto today. The Hill Times file photograph

PUBLISHED :Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 11:50 PM

Good Friday morning,

Former U.S. president Barack Obama is in Toronto today for a lunch event sponsored by Liberal-connected think tank Canada 2020.

Mr. Obama, a Democrat who served as president from 2009-2017, will deliver a keynote speech and then participate in an on-stage interview. The noon event, expected to attract thousands, is being hosted at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

A table of 10 for the event went for $10,000 each (not including sales tax).

  

Also today, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay is joining with Manitoba counterpart Ralph Eichler and Liberal MP Doug Eyolfson at the regional consultation session for A Food Policy for Canada in Winnipeg.

Minister MacAulay will address attendees at the RBC Convention Centre at 10 a.m. EST, with a media and photo availability to follow after.

Mr. Eyolfson represents a suburban Winnipeg riding.

Keeping with cabinet members, Finance Minister Bill Morneau is hosting a town hall and Facebook Live event in Oakville, Ont., from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. to discuss the Liberal government’s proposed tax reforms. He will be joined at the town hall event, broadcast live on the Canada Business Facebook page, by Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould, who represents the nearby Burlington riding, and other local MPs.

  

Afterwards, Mr. Morneau will talk to reporters.

Meanwhile, the federal, provincial, and territorial ministers responsible for tourism are gathering in Ottawa Friday to discuss the country’s tourism sector.

Federal Small Business and Tourism Minister Bardish Chagger, who also serves as government House leader, and Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon are holding a joint media availability discussing the meeting with their provincial and territorial colleagues at 2 p.m. at Ottawa’s Shaw Centre.

Shifting to the Hill, Bloc Québécois MPs Xavier Barsalou-Duval and Gabriel Ste-Marie are available in the House foyer at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the Liberal government’s proposed tax reforms.

  

Across the ocean in Latvia, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan is speaking on a panel regarding NATO at this year’s Riga Conference.

Looking ahead, the NDP could have a new leader by the end of the weekend.

The first round of voting in the NDP leadership race closes on Sunday, with the results to be publicly released that afternoon during an event at the Westin Harbour Castle in downtown Toronto.

According to the party, mail ballots must be received before 5 p.m. today to count in the first round, while the deadline for online ballots is 2 p.m., the same time the results announcement is set to commence. The event runs until 4 p.m.

If none of the four candidates—Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton, Guy Caron, and Jagmeet Singh—receive more than 50 per cent of the vote in the first round, a second series of voting starts on Oct. 2, with the lowest performing candidate dropped from the ballot.

The second round of voting runs for six days, and if no candidate breaches the majority threshold, the lowest performer is again dropped and the third and final round would start on Oct. 9 and run until the 15th.

In the mail ballots, voters are allowed to rank the candidates by preference, allowing their results to be used in further rounds of voting, should their number one choice be eliminated.

Speaking of the weekend, Liberal MP and former cabinet minister Judy Foote, who was commemorated by colleagues yesterday, will have her resignation from the House go into effect on Saturday.

And finally, happy birthday to Liberal Senator Art Eggleton, who turns 74 today.

Have a great weekend!