An update on legislation, developments and political discussions affecting local businesses.
The House of Commons resumed sitting on Monday, Jan. 28after its winter break. The Senate is scheduled to return on Feb. 5.
Sunday, Jan. 27:
- International Trade Minister Ed Fast set off on the first international trade mission of the year, visiting Nigeria and Ghana from Jan. 27 to Feb. 1.
Monday, Jan. 28:
- Government House Leader Peter Van Loan outlined the government’s legislative priorities for the coming session of Parliament. They included a new federal budget; the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act; the Fair Rail Freight Service Act; the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act; the First Nations Financial Transparency Act; the Increasing Offender Accountability for Victims Act; the Northern Jobs and Growth Act; and the Safer Witnesses Act.
- Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose announced the conclusion of one-on-one consultation meetings with military truck manufacturers for the Standard Military Pattern component of the Medium Support Vehicle System project. The government will be issuing a new request for proposals for the project based on these consultations.
Wednesday, Jan. 30:
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the first Conservative caucus meeting of the new year, informing them that the economy and job creation will continue to be the government’s top priority.
- Statistics Canada released November, 2012 figures on payroll employment, earnings, and hours. Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees came to $911 in November, a 0.5 per cent increase from October, and up 3.2 per cent year-over-year.
Thursday, Jan. 31:
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the signing of a tax information exchange agreement between Canada and Liechtenstein as part of the government’s steps to combat tax evasion.
- Public Safety Minister Vic Toews hosted a pre-budget consultation with stakeholders related to the Public Safety portfolio in Ottawa.
- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced that the AgriMarketing Program, which comes into effect on April 1, 2013, is now accepting applications. The five-year, $341 million initiative is designed to help industry improve its capacity to adopt assurance systems, and help the industry reach new markets.
- Statistics Canada released real gross domestic product figures by industry for November 2012. Real GDP increased by 0.3 per cent in November, after a 0.1 per cent rise in October, with most industrial sectors reporting increased production.
Friday, Feb. 1:
- Human Resources Minister Diane Finley announced that employers may now apply for funding to hire summer students under the Canada Summer Jobs Program. The program is expected to provide employment for up to 36,000 students across the country this year.
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement hosted economic consultations with business representatives in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Les Loisirs de Desbiens Inc. restore the municipal community hall in Desbiens, Que. The $119,500 non-repayable contribution comes through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund.
- Governor General David Johnston officially kicked off the start of Winterlude in Ottawa.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.