The Senate and House of Commons resumed sitting on Monday, Oct. 15 after a break week.
Sunday Oct. 14:
- Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) Maxime Bernier kicked off the Business Development Bank of Canada's Small Business Week, which ran from Oct. 14 to 20.
Monday, Oct. 15:
- The standing committee on finance began hearings as part of its pre-budget consultations.
- International Trade Minister Ed Fast kicked off Small Business Week by highlighting the benefits a Canada-EU trade and economic agreement would generate for Canadian SMEs.
- National Revenue Minister Gail Shea marked Small Business Week by highlighting the government’s efforts to help SMEs through red tape reduction at the Canada Revenue Agency.
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement addressed a meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in Toronto, highlighting the government’s efforts through the open data initiative and its support for a multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Saint-Antonin, Que., firm Usinage F. R. Inc. acquire more efficient equipment and increase its competitiveness. The $192,744 in repayable funding comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Quebec Economic Development Program.
-Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a large change to senior ranks of the public service:
François Guimont, currently deputy minister of Public Works and Government Services, becomes deputy minister of Public Safety, effective Nov. 12.
Michelle d’Auray, currently Secretary of the Treasury Board, becomes deputy minister of Public Works and Government Services, effective Nov. 12.
Yaprak Baltacioğlu, currently deputy minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, becomes Secretary of the Treasury Board, effective Nov. 12.
Louis Lévesque, currently deputy minister for International Trade, becomes deputy minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, effective Nov. 12.
Simon Kennedy, currently senior associate deputy minister of Industry, becomes deputy minister for International Trade, effective Nov. 12.
Marta Morgan, currently assistant deputy minister in the industry sector of Industry Canada, becomes associate deputy minister of Industry, effective Nov. 12.
Guy McKenzie, currently president of the Canada School of Public Service, becomes president of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, effective Oct. 29.
Linda Lizotte-MacPherson, currently commissioner of revenue, becomes president of the Canada School of Public Service, effective Oct. 29.
Jean Boivin, currently deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, becomes associate deputy minister of finance, effective Oct. 25.
William F. Pentney, currently deputy secretary to cabinet for plans and consultations in the Privy Council Office, becomes deputy minister of Justice and deputy attorney general of Canada, effective Nov. 5.
Myles J. Kirvan, currently deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general of Canada will retire as of Nov. 5.
Tuesday, Oct. 16:
- International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced that he will be leading a trade mission to Ghana and Nigeria in early 2013, accompanied by Canadian companies in the extractive and infrastructure sectors.
- As part of Small Business Week, the Canada Revenue Agency announced of instructional videos to its website designed to help businesses make the best use of CRA’s services and better understand their relationship with the agency.
Wednesday, Oct. 17:
- Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) Maxime Bernier addressed a gathering of Ottawa-area entrepreneurs during a Small Business Week breakfast event and highlighted the government’s efforts to create the best business environment for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
- Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear addressed the 31st annual National Manning Innovation Awards gala in Ottawa, where he emphasized the importance of industry-driven research.
Thursday, Oct. 18:
- Statistics Canada released wholesale trade figures for August, 2012. Wholesale sales rose by 0.5 per cent to reach $49.7 billion in August, and rebounding from two consecutive monthly declines. The growth was mainly contributed to higher sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector, as well as the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector.
- Statistics Canada also released employment insurance figures for August, 2012. After three static months, the number of EI recipients increase by 16,400 (+3.2 per cent) from July to August, reaching 534,400 people. The sharpest increase was recorded in Quebec.
- The government tabbed its fall budget implementation Bill C-45 in the House of Commons. The 443-page omnibus bill implements several initiatives outlined in the 2012 federal budget as well as some previously unannounced regulatory changes. The government estimates that changes enacted in the bill will save taxpayers $2.5 billion over five years.
In addition to extending the Small Business Hiring Tax Credit for a year, the bill makes significant changes to public sector pensions. Beginning Jan. 1, MPs and public servants will have to contribute 50 per cent of the payments into their pension plans. Also beginning in 2013, newly hired public servants will have a retirement age of 65, compared to the current 60. Starting Jan. 1, 2016, the retirement age for MPs will rise to 65 years from 55.
Other changes include:
Dissolution of the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board and the establishment of an interim method of establishing EI premium rates;
New rules for the financial services sector regarding the administration of GST/HST;
Implementing the tax framework for pooled registered pension plans;
Improving the legislative framework governing Canada’s financial institutions;
The implementation of new pension income-splitting arrangements;
Amendments to registered disability savings plans, employee health benefits and profit sharing plans;
Introduction of rules to prevent the avoidance of corporate income tax through the use of partnerships to convert income gains into capital gains.
Friday, Oct. 19:
-In a surprisingly cooperative manner, the government and opposition parties in the House Commons came together to expeditiously pass Bill C-46, the Pension Reform Act that separated out the portions of the Budget Implementation Bill C-45 dealing with changes to MP pensions. The bill now goes to the Senate where it is expected to pass quickly as well.
- International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced $2.6 million in funding to help 44 associations across Canada expand their international business activities through the Global Opportunities for Associations program. (Click here for the complete list)
-Statistics Canada release September 2012 results of the consumer price index. Consumer prices rose 1.2 per cent year-over-year, equalling the rise in August. The increase was led by energy prices.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.