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Quebec pride on full display as MPs, province marked national holiday

By Palak Mangat      

Plus, former veteran HoCer Jay Hill, who served in the House for 17 years, has been tapped to lead the newly emerged Wexit Party on an interim basis.

Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez is flanked by his senior communications adviser and former Ottawa Citizen parliamentary bureau chief Mark Kennedy as they jam out to mellow tunes to mark Quebec's national holiday on Wednesday, June 24, St-Jean-Baptiste Day. Image courtesy of Twitter

Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez, also known around the Hill for his smooth dance moves, ditched the dance floor and opted to groove along to some mellow guitar tunes with his staffer Mark Kennedy to celebrate Quebec’s Fête nationale on June 24. Mr. Kennedy, a former Ottawa Citizen parliamentary bureau chief who made the leap to the other side of the Hill in 2016, has been working with Mr. Rodriguez as his director of communications since early 2017. He took over the role in March months after the election when the prime minister named Mr. Rodriguez his Quebec lieutenant. Mr. Kennedy, now a senior communications adviser, joined his boss on the guitar in a video posted to Twitter on St-Jean-Baptiste Day. The 34 other Quebec Liberal MPs make appearances in the one-minute-and-55-second video and hold up signs with short descriptions of Quebecers and Quebec to the instrumental sounds of Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Kennedy on their guitars. The video ends with a happy looking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wishing everyone a Happy St-Jean-Baptiste Day.

MPs back more modest option for Parliament visitors’ centre as Centre Block renos roll on

'I appreciate we’re not going for the Cadillac option. …  The larger option was much more expensive,' says NDP House Leader Peter Julian. 'We’re talking about over $110-million in savings.'

Canada ‘ill-prepared’ for potential coronavirus second wave, says Senate committee

News|By Beatrice Paez
The committee noted that the Public Health Agency of Canada has yet to revise or finalize its guidance for long-term care homes in light of concerns about its current relevance.

Cultural assessments needed for sentencing reform, say advocates, amid calls to address high Black incarceration rates

Justice advocates agree with the Black Parliamentary Caucus’ recent call for pre-sentencing reports, similar to the Gladue reports for Indigenous offenders, to be used for racialized Canadians.

Disaggregated data key to ensuring representative workplaces, say experts, as PMO skirts Black staff statistic

The PMO declined to provide a specific breakdown of self-identified Black staffers among cabinet offices when asked, but says it plans to circulate further voluntary surveys to better understand its staff ‘later this sum

Argentina, Chile, DRC, Hungary, and Madagascar say they backed Canada’s UN Security Council bid, but closest allies are silent

News|By Neil Moss
The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand were among 17 countries that wouldn't comment on whether they backed Canada's recent bid for a Security Council seat.

Feds’ fiscal snapshot puts deficit at more than $340-billion, with promise of an update in fall

News|By Beatrice Paez
Finance Minister Bill Morneau says a decision on whether the government intends to release a full budget in the fall will be dependent on efforts at managing the pandemic and its economic fallout.

Feds should more clearly verify who is allowed to repay student loans at reduced rates, says auditor general

News|By Palak Mangat
According to an auditor general report, ESDC 'did not properly check the accuracy of applications.'

Poor data, deficiencies in case management to blame for slow pace in enforcing deportation orders, says auditor general

News|By Beatrice Paez
According to CBSA, most of the cases in its 'wanted' inventory involve individuals 'considered a low risk to public safety and are not an agency priority.'

Canada needs to protect Arctic sovereignty to confront emboldened Putin, say MP and expert

News|By Neil Moss
Liberal MP John McKay says there will be 'incursions and intrusions and aggressive actions taken increasingly in the Arctic' by Russia.
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