The Senate and House of Commons adjourned for a break week and will both resume sitting on Monday, Oct 15.
Monday, Oct. 1:
- Industry Minister Christian Paradis was in Québec City to announce changes to Statistics Canada's survey of small businesses as part of the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan. According to the plan, by 2014, small businesses will save an estimated $640,000 per year in time and paperwork.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced financial assistance to help Sherbrooke, Que., firm Métosak Inc. enhance its productivity. The $270,000 in repayable funding comes through the Quebec Economic Development Program.
Tuesday, Oct. 2:
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Justice Richard Wagner as the government’s nominee for the Supreme Court of Canada.
- Bill C-44, The Helping Families in Need Act, passed unanimously through second reading in the House and will proceed to study in committee. The Bill would create a new provision under the Employment Insurance Act making parents eligible for sickness benefits should they fall ill during or after collecting parental benefits, as well as creating a new EI benefit for parents of critically ill or injured children. The bill would also introduce amendments to the Canada Labour Code to protect the jobs of parents who take a leave of absence to care for a critically ill child.
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement addressed the Ottawa Economic Club, highlighting the government’s effort to cut red tape and keep taxes low.
- International Trade Minister Ed Fast met with his Global Commerce Strategy Advisory Panel to discuss the next phase of the government’s free trade expansion plans.
- Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear addressed Spinoffs and Startups, a conference examining partnerships between universities, government and business that lead to international collaborations at Carleton University.
Wednesday, Oct. 3:
- The Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer released its Expenditure Monitor: 2012-13 Q1. Based on data from the first three months, total federal expenditures were unchanged compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year. Budget 2012 planned on a 1.1 per cent increase in expenditures from 2011-12 to 2012-13. Increases in major transfer payment programs were offset by cuts to operating expenditures.
- The Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer also released its report, Monitoring Implementation of the Government’s Expense Plan. The PBO was once again critical of the government’s refusal to provide detailed information on expenditure cuts, and the inconsistency of information that has been provided.
Thursday, Oct. 4:
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the nomination of Lyse Ricard as the new Senate Ethics Officer.
- Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) Maxime Bernier highlighted the government’s efforts to support entrepreneurs at the National SME 2012 Expo and Conference in Montreal.
- The Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates held its first meeting dealing with its study of effectiveness of public-private partnerships in the delivery of government services. PPP Canada CEO John McBride appeared before the Committee.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal assistance to help Ampère-Proto Inc. of La Pocatière, Que., acquire new equipment to assemble electronic components and management software for its operations. The $87,650 repayable contribution comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec’s Forest Economies.
Friday, Oct. 5:
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 2011-12. The report notes a deficit of $26.2 billion, down from a $33.4 billion in the previous fiscal year, but higher than Mr. Flaherty’s prediction of $24.9-billion.
- Statistics Canada released September 2012 findings of the Labour Force Survey. Employment was up 52,000, for the second consecutive monthly increase. The unemployment rate rose 0.1 per cent to 7.4 per cent as a result of more people participating in the labour market. The unemployment rate in Ottawa-Gatineau climbed to 6.5 per cent, an increase of 20 basis points.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.