FMM 2009: Lock up your jurisdictional powers, Ottawa

The premiers are in town!

Yes, it’s First Ministers’ Meeting Eve, everyone! Get excited!

The pre-preshow gets underway this afternoon at 1pm, when members of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities hold a media availability to reveal the results of their discussions on, in their words, the “ongoing economic challenges and opportunities leading into the First Ministers’ Meeting, Speech from the Throne and Federal Budget,” which, as far as ITQ can tell, basically involves using the phrase “shovel-ready” over and over and over again.

After the mayors’ newser draws to a close, an ad hoc first ministerial welcoming party – made up of everyone’s favourite greeters, the national media – set up camp in the foyer of the Chateau Laurier in anticipation of the Running of the Premiers, who will begin arriving shortly before 3pm for a secret strategy session.

Once the doors of the Chateau conference room close firmly behind the first ministers  – minus the PM, of course, who will doubtless be busy with last minute plotting of his own back at Langevin – it’s time for the journalistic camp followers to pull up stakes and head over the river and through the woods to Old City Hall for the last scheduled event of the day: a meeting between the first ministers – including the prime minister this time around – and the leaders of Canada’s five national aboriginal organizations. Once the meeting ends, it’s back to the Chateau for the premiers, 24 Sussex for the prime minister, and home for a few precious hours of sleep for the rest of us, who will be back there the following morning, bright and early, by 7am,  with the main event scheduled to get underway an hour later.

And yes, ITQ is planning to cover the full roster of first ministerial festivities, so check back this afternoon for liveblogging goodness.