iPolitics AM: Trudeau set for full day of 'private meetings' as Freeland fields questions in the House

After spending most of the weekend making the virtual rounds at the G20 summit — where he teamed up with his U.K. counterpart via webcam to announce an “interim” post-Brexit trade dealPrime Minister will start the week with what his official itinerary describes only as “private meetings,” including a closed-door huddle with his front-bench team and an online “visit” with fifth and sixth graders at a Catholic high school near Kingston, Ont., where he’ll be joined by local MP Mark Garretsen.

Notably absent from his public schedule, however, is any scheduled appearance in the House of Commons, which means that it will be up to Deputy Minister Chrystia Freeland to field questions from across the aisle this afternoon. (2 PM)

According to her office, Freeland is also slated to hold a midday media briefing with Small Business Minister Mary Ng and Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier — which, it’s worth noting, will take place via tele-conference only with no in-person availability, as was standard practice at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year. (12:15 PM)

UPDATE: As per a just-in update to the original advisory, the ministers are now expected to be physically present for the event, which will take place in the Sir John A. Macdonald Building, although journalists are still “strongly encouraged” to participate via tele-conference.

Also making the rounds on the Hill media circuit: Conservative MPs Pat Kelly and Bernard Généreux hit the West Block press theatre to reiterate their party’s call for the government to “finally end their punishing audits on small businesses.” (10 AM)

Meanwhile, as the House JUSTICE committee continues its line-by-line review of the government’s proposed changes to the laws on medical assistance in dying, Justice Minister David Lametti is booked in for a 90-minute session with the Senate LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS committee, which will kick off its pre-study of the bill with an opening round of expert testimony later this morning. (10:30 – 2 PM)

In addition to the minister, senators are set to hear from the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, the Canadian Association of MAiD Assessors and Providers, the Canadian Mental Health Association and Dying With Dignity Canada, as well as representatives from the Council of Canadians With Disabilities, the DIsAbled Women’s Network and Inclusion Canada. (1 PM – 6 PM)

IN THE CHAMBER

With just three weeks left on the parliamentary clock until the Chamber shuts down for the holidays, the government seems to be planning to kick off the traditional pre-recess legislative blitz with legislation that has already secured support on both sides of the aisle.

At the top of the agenda: Citizenship and Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino’s bid to update Canada’s citizenship oath to include a “solemn promise to respect the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples,” which is set to wrap up second-reading debate this afternoon.

MPs are also set to hold a final vote on the proposed new rules requiring federal judges to undergo specialized training on dealing with sexual assault cases and victims, which was initially put forward as a backbench bill by then-interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose.

Depending on how the day unfolds, they may also launch the opening round of debate on the government’s long-awaited plan to overhaul Canada’s broadcasting regime for the digital age, which would include new measures to compel foreign-owned streaming giants like Netflix and Disney+ to contribute millions of dollars to creating and promoting Canadian content.

Before all that gets underway, however, Conservative MP Philip Lawrence will make the case for his private members’ pitch to expand the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act to include “marketable natural gas and propane,” which, according to the notice paper, is co-signed by no fewer than seven of his caucus colleagues.

OUTSIDE THE PRECINCT

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna teams up with Taber Reeve Merrill Harris for a virtual reveal on new funding for the Alberta community. (12 PM ET)

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