The Senate and House of Commons stood adjourned for a break week with both houses resuming sitting on Monday, Oct. 15.
Tuesday, Oct. 9:
-Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he would be attending the 14th Summit of la Francophonie held in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Oct. 13 and 14.
- Heritage Minister James Moore announced that Canada has formally joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations. The trade agreement is currently being negotiated by the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, with Mexico joining Canada later on in the process. With Canada and Mexico, the TPP market represents more than 658 million people and a combined GDP of $20.5 trillion.
- The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada released its 2011-12 annual report, providing an overview of FCAC's activities and achievements over the 2011–12 fiscal year and its accomplishments in empowering Canadian financial consumers and promoting responsible financial market conduct.
- Member of Parliament for Lotbinière–Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Jacques Gourde announced federal funding to help industrial subcontracting firm RO-BOIS-TIC of Saint-Apollinaire, Que., acquire new equipment. The $210,000 repayable contribution comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec’s Forest Economies.
- Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) Maxime Bernier announced federal funding to help Saint-Georges, Que., firm Immobilisation 2010 Inc. strengthen its production capabilities. The $400,000 repayable contribution comes through Canada Economic Development’s Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec’s Forest Economies.
Wednesday, Oct. 10:
- Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, as well as a handful of Conservative MPs, parliamentary secretaries and ministers of state made announcements across the country, highlighting the government’s spending on Canadians with disabilities through the opportunities fund. The new initiative is designed to provide work experience to Canadians with disabilities that will lead to ongoing employment in small or medium-sized enterprises across Canada, and is expected to help 1,600 people.
- International Trade Minister Ed Fast concluded a five-day trade mission to Saudi Arabia and Jordan designed to help Canadian interests in the Middle East. With bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries in 2011 reaching $3.6 billion, Saudi Arabia is Canada’s largest trading partner in the region. Canada also recently implemented the Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, the first such agreement with an Arab country.
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was in Tokyo, Japan to discuss global economic developments during meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
- Statistics Canada released second quarter 2012 results of the commercial rents services price index, which remained unchanged following a 0.3 per cent increase in the first quarter. Year-over-year, the index rose 1.0 per cent compared to second quarter 2011.
Thursday, Oct. 11:
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Senegal for a two-day official visit.
- Industry Minister Christian Paradis confirmed that the review period for China National Offshore Oil Corp.'s proposed acquisition of Nexen Inc. under the Investment Canada Act has been extended by 30 days.
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced new tariff relief expected to save Canadian businesses about $1.7 million annually. The government is eliminating customs duties on certain products in the following categories: Palm oil flakes for use in the manufacture of food products; trays designed to hold discs for use in the manufacture of CD or DVD cases; fabric shells for use in the manufacture of bed linens such as duvets, comforters, featherbeds, cushions and pillows; crossing pieces for guard rails; and certain chassis and motors for use in the manufacture of ambulances.
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty also announced the appointment of Bell Aliant President and CEO Karen H. Sheriff to the board of directors of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced the appointment of Simon Barker to the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada as a part-time member for a four-year term.
- Minister of State (Transport) Steven Fletcher also made a handful of appointments, including: Lloyd McCoomb to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority for a three-year term; Lorraine Cunningham as chairperson of the board of directors of the Pacific Pilotage Authority for a three-year term; Elizabeth Van den Eynden and Ms. Ramona Materi to the board of VIA Rail Canada Inc. for three-year terms; Connie Graham to the board of directors of the Federal Bridge Corporation Ltd. for a three-year term; and Larry Kinley to the Blue Water Bridge Authority for a three-year term.
- Statistics Canada released August 2012 figures for Canadian international merchandise trade. Imports dropped 3.1 per cent, with exports decreasing by 0.1 per cent. Canada’s trade deficit narrowed from $2.5 billion in July to $1.3 billion in August.
- Statistics Canada also published the August 2012 new housing price index, which rose 0.2 per cent in August, following a 0.1 per cent increase in July.
Friday, Oct. 12:
- Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear celebrated the launch of National Science and Technology Week, inviting Canadians across the country to participate in events highlighting science and technology.
- Labour Minister Lisa Raitt announced the appointment of Patric Whyte as full-time vice‑chairperson of the Canada Industrial Relations Board, effective Nov. 5.
- Statistics Canada released second quarter 2012 results of the quarterly retail commodity survey. Retail sales increased 2.7 per cent year-over-year from second quarter 2011, with higher sales reported in 8 of 10 major commodity groups. The largest increase (+5.0 per cent) was reported in sales of motor vehicles, parts and services. Food and beverage sales increased 3.7 per cent. Retail sales of clothing, footwear and accessories increased 3.3 per cent. The commodity group of furniture, home furnishings and electronics saw its sales fall 2.6 per cent, with sales declining 3.5 per cent in indoor furniture, household appliances and electronics.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.