Politics This Morning: Grey Cup comes to Centre Block; Notley speaks at Economic Club; Petitpas Taylor participates in Facebook Live ‘coffee break’

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, pictured in 2015, is visiting Ottawa today to deliver a speech at the Chateau Laurier on her government's environmental and economic development policies. The Hill Times file photograph

PUBLISHED :Monday, Nov. 20, 2017 10:50 PM

Good Tuesday morning,

A storied special guest is making its way to Centre Block to mark the return of a Canadian staple to the nation’s capital for the first time in 13 years.

Yes, the Grey Cup is coming to Parliament on Tuesday, in advance of the CFL championship tilt Sunday, to be played at Ottawa’s TD Place stadium.

The game, the 105th Grey Cup match, marks the first time the CFL season finale has been played in Ottawa since 2004, back when the city was home to the beleaguered Renegades and Paul Martin was prime minister.


As for today, the Grey Cup will arrive on the front steps of Parliament Hill near Centre Block at 12:30 p.m., in a military transport, alongside CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance.

From there, Mr. Ambrosie will present the cup to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Kirby Whiteduck and Arlene Closter, chief and elder of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nations, respectively. Participants from the CFL NFL Flag Football Championship will also be in attendance.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who’s also attending a cabinet meeting at 9:30 a.m., will welcome the officials with the Grey Cup in Centre Block and deliver remarks at 12:30 p.m. Mr. Trudeau is scheduled to appear at Question Period in the House at 2 p.m.

After some speeches, the trophy will be moved to Rideau Hall for a 3 p.m. appearance with new Governor General Julie Payette.


On Sunday, the Toronto Argonauts will face off against the Calgary Stampeders for the right to hoist the Grey Cup.

The Argos won the last Grey Cup played in Ottawa 13 years prior, while the Stampeders are making their second consecutive appearance in the CFL title game. The team from Calgary fell to the Ottawa Redblacks 39-33 in a thrilling overtime finale in 2016.

The Argos and Stampeders last faced off for the Grey Cup in the 100th anniversary match in 2012, with the Argos winning the title on home turf by a 35-22 margin.

Speaking of the governor general, she’s expected to visit École élémentaire publique Kanata in Ottawa’s far west-end at 9:15 a.m. The school is to be renamed École élémentaire publique Julie Payette in her honour.


In Hill business, the 2017 fall reports of the Auditor General of Canada will be tabled in the House of Commons today. After the reports are tabled, the auditor general, Michael Ferguson, will attend a press conference at the National Press Theatre at 11 a.m.

At noon, members of the House Foreign Affairs and International Development Committee are meeting with Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi in room 415 of the Wellington Building.

Meanwhile, NDP MP Brian Masse is hosting an all-party event at 11:30 a.m. in Room 200 of the  Sir John A. Macdonald Building to raise awareness of the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, a new centre at the University of Windsor (in his riding) that seeks out alternatives to animal testing.

At the same time, at the nearby Chateau Laurier, Alberta’s NDP Premier Rachel Notley is speaking to the Economic Club of Canada on the western province’s environmental and economic development policies.

Meanwhile, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Ontario Federation of Labour’s 60th anniversary convention at the Sheraton Centre Toronto at 2 p.m. A media availability will follow at 2:30 p.m.

Back in Ottawa, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor will be discussing federal health care issues during a bilingual Facebook Live coffee break this morning, hosted by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA).

This event, which also offers an opportunity for viewers to pose health-care related questions to the minister, starts at 12:30 p.m. at the CNA’s Facebook page, @CNA.AIIC.

Then at 3:30 p.m., Assistant Deputy Speaker and NDP MP Carol Hughes, Liberal MP Kamal Khera, and Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu are joining with the CNA to host a reception at the House Speaker’s Salon in Centre Block on reducing the harms of non-medical cannabis use.

Ms. Petitpas Taylor is also scheduled to make an announcement on the regulation of cannabis alongside Liberal MP Bill Blair, the parliamentary secretary to both the health and justice ministers, at 3:30 p.m. in the House foyer. A technical briefing for media will follow at 4:15 p.m. across the street at the National Press Theatre.

Also of note, over 100 municipal leaders from every province and territory are convening on Parliament Hill from Tuesday to Thursday, meeting with cabinet ministers and parliamentarians on federal commitments on infrastructure, housing, and cannabis legislation.

As part of the meeting blitz, led by their advocacy body, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, municipal officials have more than 200 meetings scheduled and will hear keynote speeches from Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt, and Mr. Singh on Wednesday and Thursday during events at the Chateau Laurier.

In other Hill-related activities, the Parliamentary Budget Office is posting  new reports on federal support for low-income Canadians and on the 2017 fall economic statement on its website at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., respectively.

Across the ocean, International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau is travelling to Bangladesh for the start of a three-day trip to witness first-hand the impact of the Rohingya refugee crisis and determine the best way for Canada to assist the hundreds of thousands of people who have fled from Myanmar.

During her visit, Ms. Bibeau will also meet with senior Bangladeshi government officials, local women’s organizations, and other partners to discuss development needs.

Keeping with the international theme, Treasury Board President Scott Brison is travelling to Argentina today to attend the Open Government Partnership Americas Regional Meeting in Buenos Aires.

Canada is the incoming government co-chair of the OGP Steering Committee, and Mr. Brison will have a number of key speaking roles during the regional meeting, which runs from Nov. 21-22.

Have a great day!

The Hill Times