An update on legislation, developments and political discussions affecting local businesses.
Both the House of Commons and the Senate were on a break week. The House resumes sitting on Monday, November 19th, with the Senate returning on Tuesday, November 20th.
Monday, Nov. 12:
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper kicked off Global Entrepreneurship Week with a statement in Ottawa, highlighting the important contribution entrepreneurs make to the Canadian economy and the investments his government has made in the sector.
Tuesday, Nov. 13:
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty provided his fall economic update during an address to the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. The minister pushed back his goal of eliminating the federal deficit by one year to 2016-17, due to a weakening global economy. He also noted that the deficit for the current fiscal year will increase from the $21.1 billion estimated in the federal budget tabled in March to $26.2 billion. Canada’s economy and federal revenues are especially vulnerable to drops in commodity prices as a result of a weaker global economy.
- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced $1.2 million in financing to help the Canola Council of Canada implement its long-term international strategy of increasing awareness of canola oil and its health benefits. The investment comes through Agriculture Canada’s AgriMarketing Program.
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement highlighted the government’s efforts to cut red tape and keep taxes low during a meeting with members of the Comox Valley and Campbell River business community in Campbell River, B.C.
- Conservative MP Jacques Gourde announced federal funding to help Moto-Club Bois-Francs Inc. of Victoriaville, Que., acquire a new snow grooming machine. The $108,885 in non-repayable funding comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Community Diversification program.
Wednesday, Nov. 14:
- Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) Maxime Bernier addressed members of the Association québécoise des dépanneurs en alimentation, highlighting the actions taken by the federal government to cut red tape and support SMEs.
- Parliamentary secretary Pierre Lemieux announced federal funding to help the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada secure and develop new and existing global markets for Canadian pet food producers. The $125,000 investment comes through Agriculture Canada’s AgriMarketing Program.
- Minister of State for Finance Ted Menzies addressed the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, highlighting the importance of Financial Literacy and the role of private sector pensions in supporting a strong retirement income system for Canadians.
- Industry Minister Christian Paradis addressed business leaders from the manufacturing sector at Expoplast 2012 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, highlighting the importance of innovation and the need to invest in new machinery and equipment to increase the competitiveness of Canada's manufacturing sector.
Thursday, Nov. 15:
- Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and consular affairs) Diane Ablonczy announced that Canada has become an observer to the Pacific Alliance, a group of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies including, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
- Conservative MP Paul Calandra announced that the federal government has awarded a $284,746 contract to CriSys Ltd. of Markham, Ontario for its pre-qualified innovation through the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program. Several Ottawa companies also received contracts under the federal initiative.
- Human Resources Minister Diane Finley addressed the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Skills and Small Business Symposium in Toronto, highlighting the challenges of a fragile economy and the “‘mismatch’ that exists between the needs of employers and the skills and labour available to them.”
Friday, Nov. 16:
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement announced that the federal government has cut 10,980 public service jobs so far as part of Economic Action Plan 2012. The reductions came through a combination of attrition and positions eliminated under the collectively bargained workforce adjustment process.
- International Trade Minister Ed Fast highlighted the sixth round of negotiations toward a Canada-India comprehensive economic partnership agreement taking place in Ottawa November 15-17. The Minister also announced the Canadian members of the Canada-India CEO Forum, including: Tom Jenkins, the executive chairman and chief strategy officer of OpenText Corp., John Manley, president and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Murad Al-Katib, president and CEO of the Alliance Grain Traders, Pierre Beaudoin, president and CEO of Bombardier Inc., Robert Card, president and CEO of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., Steven Dechka, president and CEO of Canpotex, William A. Downe, president and CEO of BMO Financial Group, Tim Gitzel, president and CEO of Cameco, Serge Godin, founder and executive chair of CGI, Vikram Khurana, founder and CEO of Prudential Consulting Inc., Marc Parent, president and CEO of CAE Inc., Indira Samarasekera, president and vice-chancellor, University of Alberta, Baljit Sierra, president and CEO of Novo Plastics Inc., and Nordion Inc. CEO Steve West, CEO.
- Minister of State (Finance) Ted Menzies led a panel discussion on Financial Literacy, hosted by the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto.
- After a two-day meeting in Toronto, federal, provincial and territorial immigration ministers pledged to create a fast and flexible immigration system designed to respond to Canada’s changing economic and labour needs.
- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced the appointment of Patricia Fortier as Ambassador to the Republic of Peru, with concurrent accreditation to the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
- Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and consular affairs) Diane Ablonczy concluded her six-day, three-country infrastructure trade mission to the Americas, having visited Peru, Colombia and Panama.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.