Today in Politics and Podcast: Cannabis, Security Bill, CRA Wait Times

photo of centre block of Parliament Hill

Today in Politics and Podcast: Cannabis, Security Bill, CRA Wait Times

November 30, 2017 6amET

The cannabis bill (C-45) is on today’s Senate order paper after passing the House of Commons earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the NDP is holding an Ottawa news conference with Canadians for Fair Access to Medicinal Marijuana to criticize the government’s proposed excise tax.

Selling and Taxing Marijuana: Plans from Ottawa and the Provinces

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale goes before the Commons public safety committee to discuss his government’s sweeping national security bill (C-59). LIVE ONLINE at 8:45am ET / 5:45am PT

Alongside him are a slew of officials, including CSIS director David Vigneault and CSE chief Greta Bossenmaier.

Normally, debate on a bill would begin at the “second reading” stage, with committee hearings to follow.

In this case, the government wanted to formally refer Bill C-59 to committee before second reading.

That gives the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security more power to propose amendments on the scope of the bill, since the House of Commons has yet to vote on the principles and main object of the legislation.

Goodale called the plan an “open and inclusive approachlast week.

NDP MP François Choquette countered: “We are not even going to go to the second reading of the bill right away. We will be sending the government’s bill directly to committee, because it is so bad. Why did the government introduce the bill if it is so flawed? Why will it not withdraw the bill and introduce a better one? It makes no sense.”

Auditor General Michael Ferguson is back at the public accounts committee, this time to outline his report on wait times for Canada Revenue Agency call centres. CRA officials are also in attendance to answer questions from MPs. LIVE ONLINE at 8:45am ET / 5:45am PT

Bill S-3, which aims to rectify sex-based inequality in the Indian Act, is expected back on the House of Commons order paper.

Distracted driving, meanwhile, is the topic of Private Member’s Business this afternoon.

Liberal MP Doug Eyolfson has a bill to establish a federal framework aimed at deterring and preventing drivers who can’t resist their phones or other hand-held electronic devices while behind the wheel.

Eyolfson was a long-time Winnipeg emergency-room physician before winning a seat in 2015.

Also, be sure to listen to Mark Sutcliffe’s podcast for more Today in Politics:

-Andrew Thomson