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Hill Life & People

Inside West Block, the House Chamber’s home for the next decade

By Laura Ryckewaert      

The West Block building is now set to be in full use as the House of Commons’ interim home in January 2019.

There will 40 per cent less space for visitors in the galleries that ring the interim Chamber, with seating for 346 people, down from the 581 seats available for visitors in Centre Block. Visitors will access the galleries via catwalks that connect from the third floor, going through archways that used to hold windows. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

With seven years of renovations nearly complete, the media got a tour on June 15 inside the West Block building, the interim home for the House of Commons Chamber for at least a decade once Centre Block closes in 2019.

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Easing of restrictions to non-U.S. travellers into Canada unlikely to be met with Trump backlash, could pave way for reopening of 49th parallel, say experts

News|By Neil Moss
'The core operating ideal within ... Ottawa is evidence-based policymaking and there are clearly other jurisdictions out there besides the U.S. that have done a better job in containing [the virus],' says Eric Miller.

WE Charity highlights loopholes for ‘celebrity’ and secret lobbying, warn observers who call for long overdue review

'I’m of the opinion that organizations understand the rules so well that we have seen that they will make sure they don't have to report if they don't want to,' says ethics scholar Ian Stedman.

Public services too ‘stretched’ to deliver student-grant program, says employment minister

Small Business Minister Mary Ng says the extent of her interactions with the organization was limited to that initial pitch, and did not extend to the since-cancelled contract for the student-grant program.

‘Weak’ trade growth in 2019 caused by ‘trade policy uncertainty’ and ‘mixed economic signals’, Global Affairs report suggests

News|By Neil Moss
Canada's export growth with China declined by 16 per cent in 2019 and growth in exports to the United States slowed to 2.5 per cent.

Venezuela winter elections will be fraudulent, warns envoy, calling for continued support

Last November, Canada officially recognized Orlando Viera-Blanco, a representative of interim president Juan Guaidó, as the country’s ambassador.

Official Languages Committee to probe WE Charity deal

News|By Palak Mangat
Liberal MP Sherry Sherry Romanado, who voted along party lines to oppose the motion, says the probe falls outside the scope of the committee's mandate.

‘Extraterritorial reach’ of national security law in Hong Kong could have chilling effect on freedom of speech in Canada, say activists

News|By Beatrice Paez
Cherie Wong of the Alliance Canada Hong Kong says Canada’s intelligence and police agencies appear to be ill-equipped to respond to the 'malicious and sophisticated' ways in which Beijing allegedly suppresses criticism.

WE was ‘at no point’ creating a program for feds, says top bureaucrat

News|By Palak Mangat
'There were many sources. Public servants wanted to help; ministers wanted to help. A problem had been identified and a multitude of ideas were put forward,' says Privy Council Clerk Ian Shugart.

Upper Chamber staff harassment ‘more widespread,’ and could happen again, say former Don Meredith Senate employees

Sexual harassment is ‘more widespread’ in the Senate than the Don Meredith case, says one of his former staffers.
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