An update on legislation, developments and political discussions affecting local businesses.
Monday, Nov. 19:
- The House of Commons resumed sitting after a break week.
- Statistics Canada released figures showing that most provinces and territories recorded slower economic growth in 2011 compared to 2010, with the exception of Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Yukon.
Tuesday, Nov. 20:
- The Senate resumed sitting after a break week.
- The House of Commons unanimously passed the Helping Families in Need Act and sent it to the Senate for review. The bill creates a new provision under the Employment Insurance Act that will make parents eligible for sickness benefits should they fall ill while collecting parental benefits.
- Statistics Canada released figures showing there were 270,000 job vacancies among Canadian businesses in August 2012, up from 22,000 in August 2011. For every job vacancy, there were 5.2 unemployed people, down from 5.8 in August 2011.
- Statistics Canada also released Wholesale Trade figures for September 2012. Wholesale sales were down 1.4 per cent to $48.8 billion in September, the third decline in four months with lower sales reported in every sector.
Wednesday, Nov. 21:
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tabled the Technical Tax Amendments Act, 2012, which brings together a suite of income tax and sales tax amendments, most of which had already been released for public consultation between December 2009 and October 2011.
- The Standing Committee on Public Accounts tabled its report on Chapter 2, Replacing Canada’s Fighter Jets, of the Spring 2012 Report of the Auditor General of Canada, calling on the government to replace the CF-18 fleet with a process that is accountable and provides complete information to parliamentarians. The committee called on the government to provide more information regarding this specific procurement process.
- The Speaker of the House tabled the House of Commons Report to Canadians, 2012 in the House of Commons.
- Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) Maxime Bernier addressed the Tourism Industry Association of Canada's 2012 Tourism Congress in Gatineau, highlighting the growth of Canada’s tourism industry and the federal government’s tourism strategy.
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Claire Dansereau as Canada’s nominee as Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, representing Canada, Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia. Ms. Dansereau will be replacing Suzanne Hurtubise, who will be retiring from the public service in January 2013.
Thursday, Nov. 22:
- Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty addressed the Toronto Board of Trade, stating that the 2013 federal budget will continue with pro-growth measures and will not include new taxes.
- Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose launched a roundtable bringing together government officials and representatives of the Information and Communications Technology sector on a regular basis to help direct the transformation of the government’s IT system and integration into Shared Services Canada.
- Statistics Canada released retail trade figures for September 2012. Retail sales rose 0.1 per cent to 39.1 billion in September, continuing increases from the past two months. In terms of volume, retail sales remained static.
- Statistics Canada also released Employment Insurance figures for September 2012. The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits in September was down 1.1 per cent to 525,900. This follows an increase in claimants for August.
Friday, Nov. 23:
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel addressed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Board of Directors meeting in Ottawa, emphasizing the government’s commitment to a new long-term plan for public infrastructure.
- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced two diplomatic appointments. Gaston (Gastone) Barban becomes High Commissioner in South Africa, with concurrent accreditation in the Republic of Namibia. Gérard Latulippe becomes High Commissioner in Trinidad and Tobago.
- Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs) Diane Ablonczy announced the launch of the newly revamped travel.gc.ca website.
- Statistics Canada released October 2012 results of the Consumer Price Index. Consumer prices rose 1.2 per cent year-over-year, matching increases in August and September.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.