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Hill Life & People

MPs, Senators, staffers brace for Centre Block’s massive move-out, ‘a lot of us won’t be returning’

By Laura Ryckewaert      

Centre Block will be closed for at least 10 years for renovations which will change the culture of the Hill and some are feeling nostalgic about the grand old building that houses hundreds of staffers, MPs, Senators, and the prime minister.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured recently walking down the west staircase to the House Chamber. The Centre Block is supposed to be emptied for construction within the year and the hundreds of MPs, Senators, and staff who occupy the historic building are preparing for the big move. Some are feeling nostalgic about leaving the grand old building. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

PARLIAMENT HILL—Spring is not the only thing in the air these days. There’s also a feeling of nostalgia as MPs, Senators, and hundreds of staffers on the Hill brace themselves for the upcoming and massive move from Centre Block which could be closed for at least 10 years for renovations. The move could happen this summer.

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Feds strike working groups to tackle delayed MMIWG action plan

Groups say they're pleased to see Ottawa picking up the pace, while the Ontario Native Women’s Association says its exclusion 'makes zero sense' and means some women will fall through the cracks in the conversation.

Co-managed approach, self-governing fisheries the answer to long-simmering lobster dispute, says Senator

The Conservative, NDP, and Green Party critics all say the federal government has failed to act to address tensions.

New Senate art display is the first ever to feature Black artists

Manitoba Senator Patricia Bovey is pushing to see more diversity represented in the art hanging throughout the building the Upper Chamber calls home, calling the new display the ‘first iteration’ of those efforts.

Senate committee approves $460,000 budget for 11-member progressive group

The powerful Internal Economy Committee also agreed to move some procurement discussions from behind closed doors in a bid to be more transparent about its contracts.

Feds trumpet uncertain WTO reform to protect Canada from trade whims of superpowers

News|By Neil Moss
The efforts of the Ottawa Group were part of just a select few foreign policy priorities mentioned during the Throne Speech, ahead of a 'disappointing' move by the U.S. to appeal a WTO softwood lumber ruling.

Canada’s pandemic spending ‘barely sustainable,’ says PBO, projecting $328.5-billion deficit

News|By Palak Mangat
New PBO figures do not capture the possibility of any new government programs, and work off the assumption that there will be a 'gradual' relaxing of public health restrictions within the next 12 to 18 months.

‘Words alone will not be enough’: Black caucus, community cautiously optimistic about feds’ Throne Speech pledges

News|By Beatrice Paez
Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard says she had hoped the speech would have made specific references to the development of a Black-Canadian justice strategy.

‘It’s much lonelier’: MPs talk about doing politics in the age of the pandemic

News|By Abbas Rana
MPs from all parties are also watching the provincial election in British Columbia carefully to learn how to run a campaign in the midst of a pandemic.

Committee should study proposed changes to election rules to prepare for future vote, say MPs

News|By Palak Mangat
'What better time to innovate your election system than during a pandemic? Because you're going to have to start thinking outside of the regular way,' says Stéphanie Plante, who has worked with Elections Canada.
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