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Politics This Morning: LeBlanc fields questions in Senate; Singh, Julian to unveil NDP’s budget priorities; U.S. Congressman Sessions, Ambassador Craft headline Ottawa dinner event

By Marco Vigliotti      
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, pictured, and NDP MP and party finance critic Peter Julian are holding a press conference today to unveil the NDP’s top priorities for the upcoming federal budget.
The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Good Tuesday morning,

A powerful senior U.S. Congressman headlines the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s Canada-U.S. Dinner tonight at the Canadian War Museum.

Texas Republican Representative Pete Sessions, chairman of the House Rules Committee, is joining U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft, law professor Frank Buckley, and MLI Munk senior fellow Laura Dawson for a discussion about the future of Canada-U.S. relations. The sold-out event runs starts at 5:30 p.m.

Back to the Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is meeting with his cabinet in Centre Block at 9:30 a.m. He will then attend Question Period at 2 p.m.

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc is attending Senate Question Period this afternoon, where he will likely field questions about proposed reforms to the federal Fisheries Act he introduced last week. Mr. LeBlanc’s appearance in the Upper Chamber is scheduled to run from 3:30-4:10 p.m.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and party finance critic and NDP MP Peter Julian are holding court in the National Press Theatre at 10 a.m. to unveil the NDP’s top priorities for the upcoming federal budget.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is visiting Rome today to take part in a meeting of defence ministers from countries participating in the anti-ISIS mission in Syria and Iraq. The meeting is the first in a series held in Europe that Mr. Sajjan will attend over the next week.

He’ll appear at the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting in Brussels from Feb. 14 and 15, and then travel to Munich from Feb. 16-17 for the annual Munich Security Conference, a global forum focusing on defence and security related issues.

During his tour of Europe, Mr. Sajjan is expected to hold bilateral meetings with his foreign counterparts.

The Senate National Finance Committee is hearing this morning from Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis Fréchette and Canada Revenue Agency Commissioner Bob Hamilton during its 9:30 a.m. meeting in room nine of the Victoria Building.

Mr. Fréchette, who will joined by senior officials from the PBO, is up first, and will discuss his office’s recent reports: Economic and Fiscal Monitor—January 2018 and PBO and Finance Canada Long-term Projection Comparison.

Mr. Hamilton will be up afterwards and he’s there to talk about the auditor general’s damning findings about the Canada Revenue Agency’s call centres, which formed part of the spending watchdog’s fall 2017 reports.

And finally, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is providing an update to media on its fight for pay equity for rural and suburban mail carriers working at Canada Post. The 10 a.m. press conference at CUPW’s downtown Ottawa headquarters comes in advance of the start of pay equity arbitration hearings.

Have a great day!

The Hill Times 

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