An update on legislation, developments and political discussions affecting local businesses.
The House of Commons is currently on its winter break and will resume sitting on Jan. 28. The Senate returns on Feb. 5.
Monday, Jan. 14:
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the Venture Capital Action Plan to increase access to venture capital financing for high-growth companies. The $400-million plan is part of the 2012 federal budget and is designed to support the creation of large private sector venture capital funds and improve private sector investments in innovative start-ups.
- Immigration Minister Jason Kenney completed a six-day visit to India as part of his three-country trip which will also include stops in Sri Lanka and Turkey.
- Statistics Canada released November 2012 employment insurance figures. The number of people receiving regular EI benefits in November was down by 4,500 claimants (0.8 per cent) to 528,000.
- Statistics Canada also released the November 2012 Monthly Survey of Manufacturing. Manufacturing sales increased 1.7 per cent in November, reaching $49.9 billion, and the highest level since May, 2012. The largest gains were recorded in transportation equipment, primary metal, and chemical industries.
Tuesday, Jan. 15:
- Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) Maxime Bernier met with Québec-area entrepreneurs at the offices of Québec International, discussing ways to further improve Canada’s business climate.
- Industry Minister Christian Paradis attended the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, promoting Canada as a destination for automotive investment.
Wednesday, Jan. 16:
- Human Resources Minister Diane Finley and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released a report by the panel on labour market opportunities for persons with disabilities, titled Rethinking disAbility in the Private Sector. The panel was formed as part of the 2012 federal budget and looks at best practices and areas of success in private-sector labour market participation for people with disabilities.
- Industry Minister Christian Paradis joined a Conference Board of Canada roundtable discussion with CEOs of international companies based in Canada as part of his ongoing economic consultations.
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty met with David Laidley, chair of the special committee of the board of directors of the Bank of Canada to review processes and discuss timelines on the selection of a new Governor of the Bank of Canada.
- Dean Del Mastro, the Conservative MP for Peterborough, announced federal funding to help Flying Colours Corporation’s business expansion at the Peterborough airport. The repayable contribution of up to $900,000 comes through FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative.
Thursday, Jan. 17:
- Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) Maxime Bernier met with entrepreneurs at Montréal's 6cent1 and Inno-centre, outlining the government’s effort to reduce red tape and support SMEs. The minister of state also discussed ways to further improve Canada’s business climate.
- Statistics Canada released fourth quarter 2012 figures on investment in nonresidential building construction, which came in at $12.0 billion, a one-per-cent increase from the previous quarter, and the third consecutive quarterly increase.
Friday, Jan. 18:
- Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose announced the start of one-on-one consultation meetings with military truck manufacturers for the standard military pattern component of the medium support vehicle system procurement project.
- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced the appointment of Donald Bobiash as Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, with concurrent accreditation to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and Permanent Representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in Jakarta.
- Governor General David Johnston received the credentials of three ambassadors: Nancy Ndiaye Ngom, ambassador-designate of the Republic of Senegal; Riadh Essid, ambassador-designate of the Republic of Tunisia; and Jean-Louis Wolzfeld, ambassador-designate of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.