An update on legislation, developments and political discussions affecting local businesses.
Both the Senate and House of Commons have risen for a break week. The House resumes sitting on Monday, Nov. 19, and the Senate returns on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
Saturday, Nov. 3
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper departed for a trip to India, the Philippines and Hong Kong, accompanied by International Trade Minister Ed Fast, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and others.
Monday, Nov. 5:
- International Trade Minister Ed Fast welcomed 14 trade and investment agreements and announcements amounting to $2.5 billion during the prime minister’s visit to India.
Tuesday, Nov. 6:
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the conclusion of negotiations on a Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. The arrangement will allow Canadian firms to import and export controlled nuclear substances to and from India.
- The Canadian prime minister also announced that the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnership to Accelerate Transformation and Sustainability was selected by the Government of Canada as the winner of the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence competition announced in the 2011 federal budget.
- Finally, the prime minister announced the signing of a social security agreement between Canada and India that will allow the two countries to coordinate certain pension programs.
- Human Resources Minister Diane Finley launched Skilled Trades and Technology Week in Gatineau to promote careers in skilled trades. Skilled Trades and Technology Week was created by Skills/Compétences Canada to raise awareness of skilled trades and technology careers among parents, youth and the general public with events held across the country.
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement addressed the Government Technology Exhibition and Conference in Ottawa where he highlighted a proposed new license for the Open Data Portal, which will make it easier to download and reuse government data.
- The Parliamentary Budget Officer released a monitoring framework update for the 2012 budget, noting that while 91 per cent departments have responded to his requests for data on spending cuts, the information provided is a small subset of the data actually requested. As a result of this lack of cooperation, the PBO will not be able to issue a mid-year report on the government’s finances.
- Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong met with local seniors’ organizations in Ottawa to discuss ways in which seniors can stay informed, engaged, and active. The meeting is part of roundtable discussion held around the country.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Shawinigan, Que., firm Synapse Électronique Inc. acquire specialized equipment. The $247,653 in repayable funding comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Quebec Economic Development Program.
Wednesday, Nov. 7:
- The House of Commons passed the Canada-Panama Economic Growth and Prosperity Act, moving the Bill to the Senate for final scrutiny.
- Industry Minister Christian Paradis announced regulations which will exempt microSD memory cards from levies under the private copying regime.
- The Bank of Canada released the new $20 polymer bank note.
Thursday, Nov. 8:
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced plans to open a new consulate in Bangalore, India.
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement presented supplementary estimates (B) for the financial year ending March 31, 2013, in the House of Commons. The estimates support a request for Parliament to approve $2.5 billion in voted appropriations for 63 organizations.
- Mr. Clement also tabled the 2011–12 Departmental Performance Reports on behalf of 95 federal departments and agencies in the House of Commons.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Québec City firm Eddyfi NDT Inc. intensify its foreign commercialization activities and improve its capacity to develop new products. The $275,000 repayable contribution comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Quebec Economic Development Program.
- Mr. Lebel also announced federal funding to help Malartic, Que., firm ASDR Fabrication Inc. acquire higher-performance equipment and improve its competitiveness. The $441,000 repayable contribution comes through Canada Economic Development’s Quebec Economic Development Program.
- NDP MP Nycole Turmel introduced Bill C-465, An Act to amend the National Capital Act (Gatineau Park) which would enshrine Gatineau Park’s boundaries in the National Capital Act and prohibit the sale of public lands located within the park.
- The federal government announced it is proposing to amend the Maple Products Regulations to improve confidence in the safety and quality of maple syrup and to enhance export opportunities for Canadian producers of maple syrup.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.