Both the Senate and the House of Commons will resume sitting on Monday, Sept. 19.
Monday, July 16:
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel highlighted the $6.6 million in government funding for the establishment of the Université de Sherbrooke’s Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT) in Sherbrooke, QC. The $6.6 million in non-repayable funding was granted through the Canada Economic Development Regional Strategic Initiatives program.
- Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced the expansion of a pilot project for Alberta employers to hire highly skilled foreign workers for certain in demand occupations. Under the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration, the pilot project is expanding beyond the steamfitter/pipefitter occupation to now include welders, heavy duty equipment mechanics, ironworkers, millwrights and industrial mechanics, carpenters and estimators.
- Jacques Gourde, MP for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière announced federal funding to help Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, firm CTT Group acquire specialized equipment for the testing and analysis of protective clothing used by first responders. The $990,000 non-repayable contribution comes through the Canada Economic Development Business and Regional Growth program.
- Minister of State (Transport) Steven Fletcher met Doug Horner, president of the Treasury Board and minister of finance for the government of Alberta, as well as municipal sector and community and business leaders from Alberta to discuss a long-term infrastructure plan for Canada beyond 2014.
- Minister of State (Finance) Ted Menzies met with the Salmon Arm Rotary Club in Salmon Arm, BC, to discuss pooled registered pension plans for Canadians currently without access to a workplace pension plan. The plans will become available once all provinces and territories pass their enabling legislation.
Tuesday, July 17:
- Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney announced that the Bank of Canada will maintain its overnight rate target at 1 per cent.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to the Fédération des pourvoiries du Québec (FPQ) for the implementation of its out-of-province and international marketing plan in Québec City. The $1.5 million in non-repayable funding comes through the Canada Economic Development Community Diversification program.
- Jacques Gourde, MP for Lotbinière–Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, announced federal funding to assist Carrefour Québec International (CQI) and the firm Derco Horticulture Inc. of Saint-Germain-de-Grantham in their efforts to break into international markets. The $1,233,000 non-repayable contribution to CQI has been granted under the Canada Economic Development Business and Regional Growth program. CQI also received $144,985 in non-repayable funding through the Canada Economic Development Quebec Economic Development program. Derco Horticulture Inc. received $96,575 in repayable funding through the Canada Economic Development’s Quebec Economic Development program.
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement addressed leading innovators from Sault Ste. Marie, highlighting the opportunities for innovation created by the federal government’s distribution of data through the Open Government initiative.
- National Revenue Minister Gail Shea met with members of the local business community in Yellowknife to highlight a number of initiatives that the Canada Revenue Agency has introduced to reduce the burden placed on small businesses.
- Statistics Canada released May 2012 results for the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing. Manufacturing sales declined 0.4 per cent to $48.7 billion in May, the fourth decrease in five months. Sales fell in 13 of 21 industries, representing approximately two-thirds of manufacturing. Despite four monthly declines in overall manufacturing sales in 2012, manufacturing employment has continued to increase, rising 2.0 per cent in May.
- Statistics Canada also released second quarter 2012 figures for investment in non-residential building construction, which increased 1.8 per cent to $11.2 billion during the quarter. The rise is mostly attributable to higher spending in the commercial and industrial components.
Wednesday, July 18:
- International Trade Minister Ed Fast welcomed a favourable ruling in trade disputes with the United States over the timber-pricing system for British Columbia’s Interior. A tribunal of the London Court of International Arbitration, under the Softwood Lumber Agreement, ruled that Canada had not circumvented the agreement, as alleged by the United States.
- Minister of State (Transport) Steven Fletcher met with Ron Lemieux (Minister of Local Government for Manitoba), the municipal sector and community and business leaders from Manitoba to discuss a long-term infrastructure plan for Canada beyond 2014.
- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz addressed the Pacific Northwest Economic Region's 22nd annual summit in Saskatoon, highlighting the importance of the Canada-US agriculture trade relationship for the creation of jobs and economic growth.
- Statistics Canada released preliminary data on the three month average for job vacancies, ending in April, 2012. There was an average of 252,000 job vacancies during the three-month period, a rise of 17,000 from the same period in 2011. For every job vacancy, there were 5.6 unemployed people, a decrease from 6.3 in April 2011. The national job vacancy rate was 1.8 per cent during the three-month period ending in April, a slight increase from the previous year’s 1.7 per cent.
- Statistics Canada also released May 2012 figures on travel between Canada and other countries. Travel both into and out of Canada declined in May compared with April, particularly for Canadians travelling to the United States. Canadian residents made 5.3 million trips abroad in May, down 1.7 per cent from April. The majority of these trips (4.5 million) were to the U.S., a decrease of 1.9 per cent from April. Travel by residents from abroad to Canada fell 0.6 per cent in May to 2.1 million trips, with travel from the U.S. decreasing by 0.5 per cent. Travel from countries overseas declined 0.8 per cent.
Thursday, July 19:
- Chief Government Whip Gordon O’Connor announced that the federal government has awarded a $564,965 contract to Edgewater Computer Systems Inc. of Ottawa for their pre-qualified innovation through the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program. Edgewater Computer Systems Inc.’s Avionics Network Interface is a network interface solution which provides a 100-fold increase in the data handling capacity of integrated airborne networks for the rapid and affordable modernization of weapons systems.
- Labour Minister Lisa Raitt appointed William Kaplan as the arbitrator in disputes between the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, which represents approximately 220 rail traffic controllers, and 4,200 locomotive engineers, conductors, trainspersons and yardmen. Mr. Kaplan, an experienced mediator and arbitrator, was suggested by both the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.
- While in Beijing, China, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced the signing of a supplementary protocol to the long-standing Canada-China Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, which will help Canadian uranium companies increase their exports to China.
- Statistics Canada released employment insurance and wholesale trade figures for May 2012. The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits totalled 512,600 in May, remaining essentially unchanged from April after three months of declines. The number of beneficiaries decreased slightly in Alberta, while slowly increasing in New Brunswick. Wholesale sales rose 0.9 per cent in May to reach $49.8 billion, mostly as a result of higher sales in the computer and communications equipment and supplies industry, the motor vehicle industry and the food industry. In volume terms, wholesale sales were up 0.4 per cent in May.
- Statistics Canada released results of the commercial and industrial machinery and equipment rental and leasing services price index for the first quarter of 2012. The index increased 0.2 per cent in the first quarter, following no change in the fourth quarter of 2011, mostly as a result of changes in market conditions.
Friday, July 20:
- Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq highlighted the work of researchers carrying out innovative health research projects with funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Similar events were held across Canada, including Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield, and Conservative MPs Eve Adams, Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Kellie Leitch, Devinder Shory, Bernard Trottier and Lynne Yelich.
- Statistics Canada released the Consumer Price Index for June 2012. Consumer prices rose 1.5 per cent over the past 12 months before June 2012. This was led mostly by higher prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles, and by increased costs of electricity.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.