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Today on the Hill: Northern Gateway decision

The Peace Tower is seen on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on November 5, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick -
The Peace Tower is seen on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on November 5, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
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By Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Environmentalists and the markets will be watching today as the federal government announces whether the Northern Gateway pipeline project can go ahead.

The decision on the British Columbia project is expected to come down after markets close.

The $7-billion proposal has faced steep opposition from some First Nations and environmentalists who are concerned about the pipeline's effect on natural habitats.

Here are some other events taking place today on and around Parliament Hill:

— The Senate expenses scandal comes back into the spotlight as a lawyer for retired former Liberal Senator Mac Harb appears in court. Harb is facing fraud and breach of trust charges arising from the scandal, although he is not expected to be at the Ottawa courthouse for the hearing.

— Also in court, across the river in Gatineau, Que., is a lawyer for suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau. But that appearance has nothing to do with the Senate. Brazeau is up on five charges, including two counts of assault and possession of cocaine.

— Spending by the New Democrats will be the focus as the House of Commons house affairs committee hears from three Conservative members of the committee on the use of Commons resources by the Official Opposition;

— Health Minister Rona Ambrose delivers opening remarks at the Health Portfolio's Healthy and Safe Food Regulatory Forum;

— Statistics Canada releases job-vacancy numbers, over a three-month averaging period, ending in March;

— Laureen Harper will be on hand, along with Canada 2015 CEO Peter Montopoli, to welcome the official mascot for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada;

— And Canada 2020 presents a panel discussion on "Innovation in the Canadian Energy Sector." The panel includes Elyse Allan of GE Canada, Jim Balsillie from Sustainable Development Technology Canada, and Dan Wicklum of the Canadian Oil Sands Innovational Alliance.

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