Good Wednesday morning, Today is technically ANTHONY ROTA’s last day as Speaker of the Commons, though he won’t be in the big chair. Rota resigned from the post yesterday following calls for him to do so from nearly all corners of the Commons. Those came because of his decision to unwittingly call for the House to honour a 98-year-old Second World War veteran who had fought in a Nazi unit in Ukraine. However, Rota announced yesterday that his resignation would take effect at the end of today, likely a move to minimize its impact on House proceedings. Once the Speaker’s position is vacant, the House cannot do any other business until its members have chosen a replacement. Rota signalled yesterday that his deputy Speakers—perhaps among the favourites to replace him—will oversee proceedings until his resignation takes effect. The parties agreed in the House yesterday to have Bloc MP LOUIS PLAMONDON, the longest-tenured MP in the House, to serve as an interim Speaker between the end of today until Oct. 3, when the House will elect Rota's replacement. Unfortunately, Rota cancelled the Speaker’s garden party that was scheduled to take place at his official residence last night, robbing members of the press gallery of a chance to rub shoulders with Speaker Rota one last time, and of the opportunity to encourage him to declare open season on the Kingsmere wine cellars as his final act. ZEVs on Sparks If you work in downtown Ottawa, you may see some fancy cars and trucks on your way into the office today. A lobby group for Canada’s zero-emission vehicle and parts makers is displaying some of the fruits of their labour on Sparks Street today, between Bank and Metcalfe. The “Canadian ZEV industry showcase” is supposed to include everything from passenger and heavy-duty vehicles to batteries, motors, and “critical minerals.” Accelerate ZEV, the lobby group for the industry, is behind the showcase. The goal is to underline the economic importance of the sector for those who tread on the streets around Parliament. What’s the cabinet up to? Natural Resources Minister JONATHAN WILKINSON is in France today. He’s there to meet with FATIH BIROL, the head of the International Energy Agency. The two will hold a virtual press conference at 9:50 a.m. Ottawa time. Justice Minister ARIF VIRANI will appear before the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee to defend his bail reform bill, C-48. The bill proposes to make changes to the rules around the granting of bail to some of those who are facing charges for a crime. Those changes include imposing a “reverse onus” procedure—in which the accused must prove why he or she should be released while awaiting trial, instead of the Crown proving why he or she should be detained—for those facing a charge for domestic violence, violence with a weapon, and some gun crimes, if they have a history of convictions for similar crimes. All parties agreed to speed C-48 through the House of Commons with limited debate and without a study by a Commons committee. Virani said in an interview yesterday that he believed the bill would survive the Charter challenges that are likely to come its way. Virani's government has introduced legal changes over the years to relax some parts of the criminal justice system—around sentencing, for example—in order to reduce the disproportionate incarceration of Black and Indigenous offenders. Now it is tightening up another part of the system. Virani argued that the bill responded to concerns raised by members of Black and Indigenous communities, which often fall victim to repeat violent offenders. Virani's interview will be available in full on Friday's episode of The Hill Times Hot Room podcast. Industry Minister FRANÇOIS-PHILIPPE CHAMPAGNE will be doing his thing today at the ALL IN conference in Montreal. The conference is a get-together for players in the artificial intelligence sector. Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne has sponsored legislation to create new rules governing the use of artificial intelligence in Canada. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade Remember that Champagne has sponsored Bill C-27, which proposes to introduce a new legal framework to govern the use of A.I. in Canada. Housing Minister SEAN FRASER will testify before the House Resources Committee today, to provide its members with what the committee is calling a briefing. Environment Minister STEVEN GUILBEAULT will make public remarks today about “finding a common path forward on climate policy in the age of misinformation” at an event in Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier hotel. The Canadian Club has organized the event. Deputy Prime Minister CHRYSTIA FREELAND is in Niagara Falls, Ont. today. She'll meet with leaders of the Power Workers' Union, and take part in a private "fireside conversation" hosted by the leadership. Tourism Minister SORAYA MARTINEZ FERRADA will announce cash for businesses in the tourism industry at a press event in Wendake, Que. Finally, International Development Minister AHMED HUSSEN will hold a press conference in Ottawa today to announce funding for flood relief for Afghan refugees in Pakistan. In committee The Senate Ethics Committee is holding a secret meeting today to discuss “an inquiry report of the Senate ethics officer.” The Ethics Committee often conducts its work out of view of the public. The last inquiry report issued by Senate Ethics Officer PIERRE LEGAULT concerned Senator MICHAEL MACDONALD, who was filmed in 2022 speaking of his admiration for the convoy protest that occupied downtown Ottawa, and insulting downtown Ottawa residents who were upset by that occupation. The Senate Audit and Oversight Committee is also meeting in camera today to discuss a draft report on audits of the Senate. The Senate Finance Committee, meanwhile, will gather to interview officials from Infrastructure Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada as part of its study of the main estimates, which detail the government’s spending plans for the year. The Senate Indigenous Peoples Committee will also meet to continue its hearings into organizations that have refused to make public their documents related to residential schools in Canada. A collection of House committees are meeting today. The Commons’ Ethics Committee is meeting in camera to work on a draft report for its study of foreign interference in Canada. The Science and Research Committee will meet again to examine the use of federal grants to fund research projects connected to China’s government. The Foreign Affairs Committee will hear witnesses as part of its study of Canada’s sanctions regime. The Natural Resources Committee will examine Canada’s clean energy programs. The Public Safety Committee will do a clause-by-clause examination of the government’s bill to create a Public Complaints and Review Commission to manage complaints against the RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency, C-20. The Health Committee will get a briefing from Health Canada officials about new regulations on natural health products. Conservative Leader PIERRE POILIEVRE has promised to roll back those regulations and reduce government controls on those products, and has organized public events to rally natural health enthusiasts to his cause. In the news NEIL MOSS covers Speaker Rota's resignation, and the scandal behind it. STUART BENSON spoke to Sikh MPs about the killing of HARDEEP SINGH NIJJAR, and the allegation that Indian agents were responsible. JESSE CNOCKAERT examines the effect of rising living costs on Canada's junior scientists. Benson reports on a dismissed court challenge by the Muslim Association of Canada to an audit by the Canada Revenue Agency. Last but not least, LAURA RYCKEWAERT has a feature on the Centre Block renovation. You can find that here. What else is happening today? NDP Leader JAGMEET SINGH is scheduled to speak with Toronto Mayor (and former NDP MP) OLIVIA CHOW today. Senator MARILOU MCPHEDRAN and MP DARREN FISHER are hosting a virtual international roundtable talk today on the use of non-disclosure agreements in the public and private sectors. Senator Marilou McPhedran is trying to block the government from imposing non-disclosure agreements on harassment victims. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade McPhedran has been an outspoken critic of the use of non-disclosure agreements by Canada’s government and Parliament, and tabled a bill that proposes barring the use of those agreements to silence victims of abuse who receive settlements. Canada’s Senate is among the public organizations that has used non-disclosure agreements in that way, including with former staff of disgraced ex-Senator DON MEREDITH. Fisher is the Liberal MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, N.S., and the government’s parliamentary secretary for mental health and addictions. In case you missed it Parliamentary Budget Officer YVES GIROUX issued a report yesterday that estimated the costs of maintaining the Canadian Armed Forces’ various capabilities. The report breaks down the approximate costs of a fleet of fighter jets, tanks, submarines, and the other major components of the CAF. You can see it for yourself here. The report comes as Canada’s military leadership grapples with how to manage a CAF stretched thin by recruitment troubles, aging equipment, demands for a Canadian presence in the Pacific and Europe, and domestic governments that are coming to rely on the military to help with natural disaster recovery. Moon-Wan wins copy of this week’s book, Wanda’s War: An Untold Story of Nazi Europe, Forced Labour, and a Canadian Immigration Scandal This week’s winner of our book giveaway is GREGORY MOON-WAN, a senior policy, planning, and performance analyst in the cabinet and parliamentary regulatory affairs division at the Canada Border Services Agency. Moon-Wan’s name was drawn for correctly answering that Canada entered World War II on Sept. 10, 1939, and he wins a copy of Wanda’s War: An Untold Story of Nazi Europe, Forced Labour, and a Canadian Immigration Scandal, by MARSHA FAUBERT, published by Goose Lane. Shout-out to all the others who took part: STEPHEN KNOWLES, JEREMY ELBAZ, ANGUS TOPSHEE, GRAEME STEWART, RÉMI HYPPIA, and GISLAINE HAMELIN. Thanks very much and look out for next week’s contest! Send your news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org Editor's note: This column was updated to include additional information about the Speaker of the House.