Parliament resumes Monday: what to expect

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

They're baaack!

Over this past weekend MPs from across the country have been making their way back to Ottawa for the Fall sitting of Parliament which begins Monday.

Analysts and pundits are predicting a tumultuous Fall — both inside and outside the House of Commons — with debates about foreign investment rules, another contentious omnibus budget bill, free-trade and Quebec's new sovereignist government.

[ Related: Highlights of summer politics season ]

Here's what we can expect to see from the three major parties over the next several weeks:


Stop me if you've heard this one before: the Tories' say that their focus in this session of Parliament will be "job creation" and "economic growth."

According to PostMedia News, the cornerstone of the Harper government's legislative agenda this fall will be a large — and maybe omnibus — budget implementation bill which will include changes to civil servant and parliamentarian pension plans, a potential sell-off of government assets and new legislation on First Nations education.

[ Related: Opposition parties ready to battle another omnibus bill ]

Aside from the new budget bill, the Tories will be forced to make a decision on foreign investment rules in response to China National Offshore Oil Company's $15.1-billion offer to buy Calgary-based Nexen.

And, as chronicled by Mia Rabson of the Winnipeg Free Press, we can also expect debate on previously introduced but not yet passed legislation on fiscal accountability for First Nations, human smuggling and tightening internal investigations at the RCMP.

[ Related: Poll says Conservatives are leading ]

New Democrats:

According to NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, his party's top priority in this session will be highlighting the shortcomings of the Harper government when it comes to jobs and the economy.

"We found out last week that Canada has got the largest trade deficit in its history," Mulcair told Global News' The West Block.

"The government is...not taking care of the future and it's certainly not taking care of those good-paying manufacturing jobs that are being lost right now."

Also of interest with the NDP will be the way they 'walk the political tightrope' in light of the new sovereignist Parti Quebecois government in Quebec.

[ Related: David vs. David on PQ victory's impact on Canada ]

With 58 Quebec MPs, will Mulcair be forced to choose sides when the new Quebec premier calls Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking for more powers and more money?


Like the NDP last year, the Liberals are entering the Fall session at the beginning of long drawn-out leadership race.

While the NDP's leadership contest hurt that party's performance in the House, deputy Liberal Leader Ralph Goodale told Yahoo! Canada News that it won't be a distraction for his party.

"While [the leadership race] is going on the rest of the caucus is going to have to focus very seriously on House business," he said in an interview Friday.

"We have two advantages there. One is that we do have the most experienced caucus on the Hill in terms people who have been in parliament the longest and have cabinet experience. Plus, we have very strong interim leadership with Bob Rae."

Goodale provided Yahoo! with a laundry list of issues the Liberals will focus on including youth unemployment, sustainable development (i.e.: the environment) and foreign investment rules.

They also want to hold the government's feet to the fire on what Goodale calls 'democratic rights,' which include the misuse of omnibus bills and the so-called 'robocall scandal.'

Buckle-up, this session in Parliament promises to be a wild ride.

[ More Politics: Would you trade Stephen Harper for Barack Obama? ]