That's right, it's time for another edition of Parliament After Dark, otherwise known as Committee of the Whole: Main Estimates Iteration.
in Orders of the Day, Environment Minister Peter Kent is the headliner for tonight's super-sized after-hours sitting, during which he will field questions on his department for four full hours.
For those who missed last week's super-sized session, a bit of background
on the Committee of the Whole process:
Every year, the opposition gets the chance to bypass the usual committee review and send the main estimates for two departments to Committee of the Whole, which is ... well, basically, the House of Commons, only with the Mace tucked under the Table and the Deputy Speaker -- in this case, NDP MP Denise Savoie -- in charge.
Over the course of two sessions -- which are typically, but not automatically, held on consecutive nights -- the relevant ministers will present themselves in the Chamber, and proceed to spend the next four hours fielding queries on their respective departments' main estimate requests for the next fiscal year.
The format is more like a committee meeting than a regular House sitting: 10 minutes allowed for statements, and 15 minute slots for MPs. Given the broad scope of subject at hand, members are generally given considerable leeway to question the ministers on a wide range of issues -- subject, of course, to the decision of the chair.
Now, normally, this is the point at which I'd invite you to check back at a particular time for full coverage, but as so often seems to be the case these days, at the moment, the House agenda is in flux, with votes expected to delay the post-adjournment estimates festivities until at least 10pm, and possibly even later.
That is, unless a last-minute deal is struck that would allow the results from the first vote to be applied to the other 20-odd amendments on the table, but that seems unlikely. In any case, I'll keep you all posted.
In the meantime, to wile away the minutes (read: hours) until tonight's instalment gets underway, you can relive Defence Minister Peter MacKay's evening under the #CotW spotlight here