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Today on the Hill: Feds and the Que. election

OTTAWA - The push is on today for the federal government to stick its nose into the Quebec election campaign.

A group calling itself the Special Committee for Canadian Unity has scheduled a news conference calling on Ottawa, and anyone else who's interested, to intervene in the Quebec campaign.

The question of another potential sovereignty referendum played prominently at the beginning of the campaign, although issues of ethics, integrity and corruption dominated the campaign trail Wednesday.

Other happenings in and around Ottawa today include:

— Conservative proposals to reform Canada's electoral system are debated as the Commons house affairs committee hears from an electoral management consultant and others about Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act;

— The Supreme Court of Canada renders a decision in the appeal of Diane Knopf, the warden of B.C.'s Mission Institution, in a case involving convicted killer Gurkirpal Singh Khela, who won a court challenge in 2011 to be moved from a maximum-security to medium-security prison;

— Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will talk about the foreign policy legacy of former prime minister John Diefenbaker and look ahead to Canada's modern diplomatic moves.

— The commissioner of Correctional Services Canada and correctional investigator Howard Sapers are to appear at the Commons committee hearing witnesses on Bill C-483, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act;

— Liberal MP David McGuinty will hold a news conference to talk about government cuts to infrastructure funding;

— Parliamentarians will put on their running shoes to encourage Canadians to become more physically active;

— The Macdonald-Laurier hosts a debate looking at whether free speech is an endangered species in Canadian universities;

— The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission hears an oral presentation updating an incident involving uranium hexafluoride cylinders at the port of Halifax;

— And the news media will get a preview glimpse of the Canadian Stamp Collection, which contains more than 3,000 stamps — every stamp that Canada has issued since the first stamp in 1851.

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