National News

Today on the Hill: Who is paying the toll?

By Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Federal Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre will try to bridge the gap, so to speak, when they meet in Ottawa.

The two are expected to talk today about how to proceed with the $5-billion plan to replace Montreal's aging Champlain bridge.

Newly elected Quebec premier Philippe Couillard is refusing Prime Minister Stephen Harper's offer to turn the project over to the province.

The previous Quebec Liberal government had agreed in 2011 to support tolls to pay for the project, but that's been taken off the table.

Mulcair, as well as federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, have lined up with Coderre to demand that Ottawa foot the bill for the entire project.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation calls the demand "delusional."

Some other events happening around Parliament Hill today:

— Statistics Canada will give a glimpse of how the workforce was faring in March as it releases payroll employment earnings and hours for the month, as well as Canada's balance of international payments;

— UN High Commissioner Antonio Guterres will hold a news conference on the challenges the world is facing over how to protect and assist the growing number of refugees and people displaced by conflict;

— International Trade Minister Ed Fast will be in front of a Commons committee to talk about his government's Global Markets Action Plan;

— Victims of Crime Ombudsman Sue O'Sullivan and Canada Research chair Michael Geist appear at the Commons justice committee studying Bill C-13, the proposed Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act;

— Heritage Minister Shelly Glover will speak at the official opening of the Canadian Museum of History's exhibition on the Empress of Ireland, dubbed "Canada's Titanic."

— And Public Works Minister Diane Finley gives the keynote address at the CANSEC trade show.

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