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Today on the Hill: TFW debate continues

Centre Block
Centre Block's Peace Tower is shown through the gates of Parliament Hill, Feb. 11, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
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By Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - With much of the country's fast food industry in foreign worker hiring limbo, debate over where the Temporary Foreign Workers program goes next continues in Ottawa.

Questions around abuses of the program have continued to be raised since April 25, when Employment Minister Jason Kenney placed a moratorium on new applications for temporary foreign workers from food services employers.

Today, Liberal MP John McCallum will hold a news conference to talk about those abuses, and propose solutions.

Labour and business groups are urging Kenney to change the program, both to curb abuses by employers and to ensure industry needs for workers are met.

Here are some other happenings expected on Parliament Hill Monday:

— The NDP's Murray Rankin and Nathan Cullen will outline their party's concerns about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. The New Democrats want the intergovernmental agreement over the U.S. legislation removed from the Harper government's Budget Bill C-31, saying there are serious issues around the potential for violation of the privacy and constitutional rights of Canadians.

— Treasury Board President Tony Clement could facing a grilling as he appears at the Commons estimates committee to discuss the government's open data practices.

— A health care symposium is being held to look at the potential merits of Vitamin D supplements as part of a health intervention strategy.

— The governor general's wife, Sharon Johnston, visits Operation Come Home for a tour of the employment, education, and support centre for homeless and at-risk youth over 16 years of age.

— And retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield went viral when he recorded a rendition of "Major Tom" while he was heading up the International Space Station. Today, all ears will be on Hadfield once again as he takes part in a webcast with thousands of Canadian students to sing the official Music Monday theme song entitled I.S.S. - Is Somebody Singing.

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