Members of the House FINANCE committee are set to gather via video this afternoon to consider Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre’s pitch to hold mid-recess hearings on what he describes as “Canada’s housing inflation crisis,” which now seems all but guaranteed to succeed with the support of both the Bloc Québécois and the New Democrats. (2:30 PM)
Although the request to recall the committee was initiated by Poilievre, it was co-signed by Bloc Québécois finance critic Gabriel Ste-Marie, while lone New Democrat committee member Daniel Blaikie told iPolitics yesterday that he’s “eager to tackle the problem” — and not just the “increasing cost pressures in the housing market,” but “inflation in general.”
As yet, there’s no word on whether the four Liberal members will back the proposal, but even if they vote against it, the combined force of the opposition parties gives them a working majority at the committee table.
Before that gets underway, however, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is booked in for a mid-morning media availability at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building, where, as per his itinerary, he’ll deliver one of his regularly-scheduled updates on “the COVID-19 situation” before opening the floor to questions from reporters. (11:30 AM)
According to the advisory, he’ll be joined by Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, while Trade Minister Mary Ng — whose portfolio also includes “small business” and “economic development — and Public Services Minister Filomena will “participate virtually.”
Given the latest developments in their shared home province, both Trudeau and Duclos should be prepared to offer their thoughts — or, alternately, explicitly decline to do so — on Quebec Premier François Legault’s move to impose a financial penalty on those who choose to remain unvaccinated, who, as iPolitics reports, would “pay at least $100 into Quebec’s public pharmacare plan.”
For his part, Duclos may also find himself facing follow-up questions about his comments last week on mandatory vaccination policies — and specifically, his prediction that provincial and territorial governments may be poised to begin discussions on implementing such measures.
Also this morning: New Democrat MPs Don Davies and Daniel Blaikie, who currently serve as the party’s critics for health and employment, respectively, team up via Zoom to outline “the steps needed to help keep Canadians safe in this new wave of the pandemic,” and “call on the Liberal government to use all tools necessary to help Canadians get through this crisis.” (10 AM)
IN THE CHAMBER
Regular parliamentary proceedings are scheduled to resume on Jan. 31, 2022.
OUTSIDE THE PRECINCT
Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne unveils what the advisory is billing as “major funding in support of science and research in Canada” during a virtual appearance alongside the heads of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, as well as “profiled recipients from across Canada.” (10 AM)
Elsewhere on the ministerial circuit, Helena Jaczek, who was recently assigned to serve as cabinet lead for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, fires up her webcam for an “important announcement” on federal support for an unnamed “family-owned [food]manufacturer in Barrie.” (1 PM)
FRESH FROM iPOLITICS
Geoff Norquay: Dog-whistling a risky reaction to universal mandatory vaccinesRob Farrelly: Small-business owners need help to bow out gracefully
HOT OFF THE WIRES
Don’t miss today’s complete legislative brief in GovGuide.ca!
Committee highlights courtesy of our friends at iPoliticsINTEL.