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Finance Minister Bill Morneau listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa last week.CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

Bill Morneau and Ahmed Hussen will each face a four-hour grilling on the floor of the House of Commons this week as the Conservatives target the ministers of finance and immigration.

Once a year, the Official Opposition can subject two cabinet ministers to lengthy questioning about spending in their departments. The Conservatives’ choice signals where they believe the government is most vulnerable politically.

“We want to know how he’s going to get us on track to a balanced budget,” said Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre, who will also be asking the finance minister about the government’s carbon-pricing plan.

Mr. Morneau has also emerged as the government’s point person on talks with Kinder Morgan aimed at keeping the Trans Mountain pipeline construction project alive.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen responds to a question in the House of Commons on Dec. 12.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Meanwhile, Mr. Hussen, the Immigration Minister, is expected to face questions over the government’s handling of asylum seekers at the Canada-U.S. border.

Parliamentary expert Jonathan Malloy, who chairs the political-science department at Carleton University, said the two ministers were likely chosen because of the importance of their files, but also because the opposition expects they may not perform well under lengthy scrutiny.

“Particularly Mr. Morneau – he’s had a lot of pressure placed on him in the last year and he hasn’t always been able to hold up as well as some other ministers,” Prof. Malloy said.

Mr. Morneau’s questioning is scheduled for Tuesday evening and Mr. Hussen’s will take place Thursday. While the sessions have received less attention since the process was introduced in 2002, political parties increasingly circulate video clips of parliamentary exchanges on social media to highlight the perceived errors of their rivals.

“It’s obviously a marathon,” Prof. Malloy said. “At the point of four hours, you wonder, what really is the point? It’s clearly about wearing the person down and embarrassing them. That is the nature of the parliamentary game, but I’m not sure that’s good public policy.”

Daniel Lauzon, a spokesperson for Mr. Morneau, said the minister welcomes the opportunity to highlight Canada’s strong job numbers and low unemployment since the Liberals were elected in 2015.

“It gives us a lot to talk about in these marathon sessions,” he said.

On the immigration front, the RCMP intercepted more than 7,600 people between legal ports of entry along the entire Canada-U.S. border from January to April this year – almost three times as many as in the same period last year. The majority of the asylum seekers have arrived through Quebec. If the numbers continue to increase into the summer months, Canada will be on track to significantly surpass the 20,593 border crossers it took in last year.

Canada is currently in high-level exploratory talks with the United States over the Safe Third Country Agreement, which requires both countries to refuse entry to asylum seekers who arrive at official ports of entry along the shared border, as both countries are considered safe for refugees. Since the agreement only applies to those who arrive at official ports of entry, asylum seekers can avoid being immediately turned away by crossing between border posts, forcing Canada to process most of their claims. The Conservatives have urged the government to close this loophole.

Former Liberal House leader Don Boudria, who introduced the marathon grilling sessions in 2002, said the process has strayed from its original goal of encouraging MPs to focus on government spending. He also said the late-night discussions tend to be ignored by the public and the media.

“Very few people are interested in evening debates,” he said. “They’re competing with the Stanley Cup.”

With files from Michelle Zilio