After garnering final Commons approval on Tuesday night, the government’s proposed new laws on physician-assisted dying is set to hit the Senate this afternoon, where its ministerial co-sponsors Jody Wilson-Raybould (justice) and Jane Philpott (Health) are each expected to spend several hours taking questions on the floor of the upper house during an extended committee of the whole session that will begin at 2pm EDT.
While the likelihood that the legislation will receive royal assent before the June 6 deadline expires continues to dwindle, senators are reportedly ready to sit on Friday, if necessary, in order to hasten its progress, although if the bill is amended as expected, it will have to be sent back to the House for concurrence before the Governor General can sign off on it.
The arrival of the apparently permanently contentious bill will also provide the denizens of the Red Chamber with the opportunity to demonstrate just how the independent, arms-length nonpartisan Senate envisioned by the Liberals will — or, alternately, won’t — actually work in practice.
Outside the Chamber, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition vice-president and lawyer Amy Hasbrouck will join other opponents of the proposed new rules to reiterate their concerns.
At noon, they’ll head outside to the parliamentary lawn for a rally against the bill alongside representatives from the Living With Dignity Network and the Physicians Alliance Against Euthanasia.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will start the day by heading behind closed doors for the weekly caucus confab, where he may or may not face a barrage of questions from concerned MPs over now former fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo’s abrupt departure from both cabinet and caucus to deal with “addiction issues.”
Later this morning, Trudeau will meet with Chinese foreign affairs minister Wang Yi – who is also scheduled to undergo more extensive discussions with his Canadian counterpart, Stephane Dion – before heading to the House for what will undoubtedly be a typically raucous Wednesday session of Question Period, after which he’ll make an appearance at the Pride Flag Raising Ceremony in Centre Block.
Also out and about in and around the precinct today:
One day after Conservative leadership candidate Maxime Bernier formally came out against supply management, Dairy Farmers of Canada president Wally Smith will mark World Milk Day by briefing reporters on its “importance” to Canada.
Cardus Family program director Andrea Mrozek shares fresh polling data “examining Canadians’ aspirations for family life and their current realities.”
Prince’s Charities Canada director Matthew Rowe outlines how “military entrepreneurship” will be the focus of the Canadian office’s “Ottawa celebrations.”
Elsewhere in the capital:
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna “will highlight the role Ottawa businesses can play in growing Canada’s clean economy” in a breakfast speech hosted by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, and show her support for the Elizabeth Fry Society by attending the 60th anniversary celebrations at an Ottawa banquet hall this evening.
For the second day in a row, Health Minister Jane Philpott will pay a visit to a local high school – Glebe Collegiate Institute, in this case, where she’ll discuss a “new health-related mobile app” that will, according to the notice. “help Canadians prevent, recognize and care for concussions.
Against the backdrop of the Canadian War Museum’s River View Salon, Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly will share the latest news on the official festivities planned for Canada Day 2016, while Science Minister Kirsty Duncan will give the keynote address at a “stakeholder luncheon” taking place during Research Canada’s annual general meeting.
Sports and Women with Disabilities Minister Carla Qualtrough will be front and centre at AccessAbility Day at Ottawa City Hall.
Finally, Parks Canada officials team up with Library and Archives Canada and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier to launch a new exhibit that, according to the advisory, will “celebrate” Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s “sunny legacy.”