iPolitics AM: Trudeau to unveil net-zero emissions plan ahead of closed-door COVID-19 briefing …

More than a year after convincing Canadians to give them a second go-round in government, the minority Liberals are set to unveil their plan to put Canada on track to reaching its goal of “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by setting “legally binding” reduction targets.

Against the backdrop of Ottawa’s Ornamental Gardens — albeit under strict social distancing protocols — Prime Minister will outline the details of the proposed new framework, which, as per the notice paper, will include new measures on“transparency and accountability,” although as CBC News reported earlier this week, is not expected to establish a formal enforcement mechanism. (12:15 PM)

Joining him for the occasion will be Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault and Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna .

Under standard House protocols, the legislation itself will be tabled shortly after the Chamber opens for business, with a not-for-attribution technical briefing slated to take place an hour before Trudeau and his team go before the cameras.

It’s a safe bet that the opposition parties will have comments to make on the proposed new framework, although as of press time, only Green Leader Annamie Paul has scheduled a press conference to respond to the bill, which is currently set to take place just before Trudeau speaks. (12 PM)

Later this afternoon, he’ll join all four of his opposition counterparts for a closed-door briefing with Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam and her deputy, Howard Njoo. (3:15 PM)

While the advisory offers no details on exactly what they’ll be discussing, it’s worth noting that this will be the first such get-together for Paul, who recently criticized her opposition colleagues for their “silence” on the “biggest national health crisis of our time” after they failed to back her call for a unified cross-country strategy to respond to the second wave of the pandemic.

IN THE CHAMBER

MPs are about to get their first chance to put their collective and respective thoughts on Team Trudeau’s bid to update Canada’s broadcasting laws on the parliamentary record today, courtesy of the opening round of debate on the proposed expansion of the existing rules.

Introduced earlier this month, the bill includes new provisions that would require global streaming giants like Netflix, Disney+ and Spotify to kick in hundreds of millions of dollars to promote the creation of new Canadian content, as well as giving the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) more power to enforce existing regulations.

Also on the Commons to-do list: Bloc Québécois MP Sylvie Bérubé’s backbench bid to boost French  fluency amongst immigrants applying for Canadian citizenship in Quebec, who would be obliged to demonstrate an “adequate knowledge” of the language.

As Canadian Press notes, the debate is set to begin just days “after Montreal Liberal MP Emmanuella Lambropoulos told the House of Commons official languages committee last week that the idea of a French-language decline is a ‘myth,’” although she later apologized for the remarks, which she described as “insensitive.”

ON AND AROUND THE HILL

  • Conservative MP Michael Cooper joins a group of physicians to raise concerns over what they contend ahs been “inadequate consultation” on the proposed changes to Canada’s laws on medical assistance in dying, which are currently before committee and expected to be put to a final House vote next week. (9:30 AM)
  • Bloc Québécois MPs Stéphane Bergeron, Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe and Christine Normandin call on the government to use the upcoming virtual G20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia to push for the release of dissident blogger Raif Badawi. (9:15 AM)
  • Also today: The Parliamentary Budget Office releases a new report on the estimated cost of scrapping the minimum withdrawal requirement for registered retirement funds, which has been temporarily reduced by 25 per cent for 2020 as part of the COVID-19 response.  (9 AM)

OUTSIDE THE PRECINCT

Small Business Minister Mary Ng marks Women’s Entrepreneurship Day by joining SheEO founder Vicki Saunders for an online “fireside chat,” during which, as per the advisory, she’ll highlight “Canada’s work to advance women’s entrepreneurship,” as well as outline how “helping women entrepreneurs … export and grow their businesses is key to a strong economic recovery from COVID-19.” (7 PM)

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