Politics Insider delivers premium analysis and access to Canada's policymakers and politicians. Visit the Politics Insider homepage for insight available only to subscribers.
There will be signs of life on Parliament Hill Monday as opposition MPs hope to embarrass the government for imposing a one-month delay on the fall sitting.
Members of Parliament were originally scheduled to be back in Ottawa Monday but Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament until Wednesday, Oct. 16, when his government will release a Throne Speech with a new policy agenda for the next two years.
The Liberals have organized a panel discussion on Canadian wireless policy that will include senior officials from Canada's major telecommunications firms. Meanwhile NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is holding a news conference to outline how NDP MPs plan on spending the next four weeks. The official opposition leader is expected to say that with the House of Commons closed, his MPs will be asking their questions to ministers via Twitter and other social media.
"Stephen Harper is essentially hiding from his responsibility," said Mr. Mulcair, in an interview broadcast Sunday on CTV's Question Period. "He can run but he can't hide. He's got the worst record in modern history for the number of days he's prorogued Parliament."
The Liberal event on Parliament Hill will focus on a sensitive issue for the government, given that Conservative hopes of expanded competition in Canada's wireless sector hit a snag when the U.S. firm Verizon announced earlier this month that it would not be entering the Canadian market.
The federal government wants to use an upcoming spectrum auction as an opportunity to increase competition in the sector. A spokesperson for Industry Minister James Moore said Sunday that the government's plans will continue to place the consumer "up front."
But Ottawa's approach has met with strong resistance from Canada's existing wireless players.
Monay's panel includes senior representatives from Bell, Rogers, MTS Allstream, Quebecor, Telus, and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, as well as pollster Nik Nanos and a few other interested groups including the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Canadian Independent Telecommunications Association.
"I'm hoping we can get them engaged in open discussion back and forth about what does the future look like and how do we get there," said Ms. Sgro, the Liberal industry critic. "I'm hoping that they actually get into arguing with each other."
Ms. Sgro said all Liberal MPs are being asked to be in Ottawa for three days this week, even though the House is not sitting.
"I think the taxpayers would appreciate the fact that we're back to work," she said. "We've been off since the middle of June."
The Prime Minister will be at the Vancouver airport Monday for a justice announcement with the Canadian Police Association. A spokesperson for Mr. Harper said Conservative MPs are working hard in their constituencies.
The original schedule had MPs sitting in Ottawa for 55 days from Sept. 16 to Dec. 13. While the calendar might still be updated, prorogation appears to have reduced the fall sitting to 38 days, which is a decrease of 17 days or 31 per cent of the sitting.
Bill Curry is a parliamentary reporter at The Globe's Ottawa bureau.