An update on legislation, developments and political discussions affecting local businesses.
Monday, Dec. 3:
- International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced that Canada has officially joined the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations currently underway in Auckland, New Zealand.
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the governments of Canada, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have agreed on the terms for a federal loan guarantee for the Lower Churchill Projects.
- Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq and Ottawa-Orléans MP Royal Galipeau announced federal support for projects to reduce the number of sports and recreation-related injuries among children and youth across the country. The investments come through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Active and Safe initiative.
Tuesday, Dec. 4:
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with Kim Hwang-sik, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea in Ottawa, highlighting the importance of the relationship between the two countries.
- The Prime Minister also met with New Brunswick Premier David Alward, discussing the impact of a fragile global economic recovery on the Canadian economy.
- Minister of National Revenue Gail Shea addressed the Certified General Accountants Summit on Tax Simplification, highlighting the government’s efforts to help small businesses in Canada and reduce red tape.
Wednesday, Dec. 5:
- The House of Commons passed the government’s second Budget Implementation Bill C-45 in a marathon voting session. The bill now moves to the Senate for further review and approval.
- Ottawa-Orléans MP Royal Galipeau, along with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced that Ottawa city staff will be recommending to council that the Rideau Transit Group be awarded the contract to design, build, finance and maintain the Ottawa Light Rail Transit project.
- Industry Minister Christian Paradis outlined the federal government’s commitment to a competitive and sustainable Canadian Aerospace industry at the opening of the 2012 Canadian Aerospace Summit in Ottawa.
Thursday, Dec. 6:
- Human Resources Minister Diane Finley announced an update to Employment Insurance regulations requiring a valid Social Insurance number to collect special benefits.
- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced federal assistance to help Quebec livestock producers cope with pressures caused by this summer's dry growing conditions.
Friday, Dec. 7:
- Industry Minister Christian Paradis made a late announcement the government has approved foreign acquisitions of Canadian energy companies Nexen Inc. and Progress Energy by state-owned firms CNOOC Ltd. and Petronas after long delays and popular opposition. The government also offered some clarification on its policies regarding foreign acquisitions going forward, stating that such deals are not likely to be approved in the future.
- Steven Fletcher, the minister of state for transport announced the completion of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network backbone which will give businesses and individuals in the region improved access to high-speed Internet through a 5,500-kilometre fibre optic network.
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tabled the Department of Finance’s 2011–12 Debt Management Report in the House of Commons.
- Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver announced federal funding for Carleton University to create internship opportunities and fellowships for graduates and graduate students in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. The investment comes in the form of two non-repayable contributions totaling up to $2.38 million through FedDev Ontario.
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced that nationals of 29 countries and one territory will have to provide biometric information when travelling to Canada, starting in 2013.
- Alice Wong, the minister of state for seniors, addressed a roundtable meeting hosted by the National Seniors Council in Ottawa, highlighting the important contribution older workers can make to any workforce.
- Statistics Canada released employment figures for November, 2012. Employment increased by 59,000 jobs in November after little change in October. The unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 7.2 per cent.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.