An update on legislation, developments and political discussions affecting local businesses.
The Senate resumed sitting after its winter break on Feb. 5.
Monday, Feb. 4:
- Industry Minister Christian Paradis announced the awarding of a $546,936 contract to Montreal firm 3DSemantix under the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program. DSemantix’s innovation, 3DPartFinder, is a search engine for three-dimensional models that allows the reuse of parts and their related information.
- Industry Canada’s Small Business Brach published its Q3 2012 issue of the Venture Capital Monitor. The Venture Capital Market declined slightly in the third quarter following a strong second quarter. Approximately $363 million was invested into 88 companies, a decrease of six per cent year-over-year.
- The Royal Canadian Mint announced that it is no longer distributing pennies to financial institutions. The coin will retain its value indefinitely, and can still be used in cash transaction by businesses which choose to accept them. The government also offered guidelines for rounding cash payments up or down to the nearest nickel.
Tuesday, Feb. 5
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment of Frank Fagan as Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced a new biosecurity standard designed to help dairy producers protect the health of their herds.
Wednesday, Feb. 6:
- Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) Maxime Bernier delivered a keynote address to 10th Anniversary and Annual Business and Professional Achievement Awards Gala of Ottawa's Canadian-Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, highlighting the government’s efforts to support SME’s and reduce red tape.
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty addressed the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa on the seventh anniversary of his of his swearing-in as minister of finance. The minister reaffirmed his commitment to deficit reduction, and prioritizing economic growth and job creation.
- International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced the conclusion of the seventh round of negotiations toward a Canada-India comprehensive economic partnership agreement, which took place in New Delhi on February 5 and 6.
- Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear marked the opening of the Brazil-Canada Innovation, Science and Technology Forum in Canada which brought together representatives of the private, public, and academic sectors from both countries to discuss cooperation on science, technology, and innovation.
- The Senate Committee on National Finance released the report on its study of price discrepancies between Canada and the U.S.
Thursday, Feb. 7:
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Montmagny, Que. firm Étiquettes PDF Inc. acquire specialized equipment. The $200,750 repayable contribution comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec’s Forest Economies.
- Public Safety Minister Vic Toews hosted a pre-budget consultation with representatives of the Canadian Police Association in Ottawa.
Friday, Feb. 8:
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the appointment of energy sector executive Nicholas Wemyss to the Board of Directors of the Canada Development Investment Corporation.
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement announced new measures under the Standard on Identity and Credential Assurance designed improve ease of access to online government services. The new measures will allow government departments to standardize their authentication systems and users will only have to provide personal information once in order to access multiple government services.
- Statistics Canada released January 2013 results of the Labour Force Survey. Employment was down 22,000 positions in January after two months of gains. The unemployment rate actually decreased 0.1 percentage points, down to 7.0 per cent as a result of less people looking for work. Compared to January 2012, employment increased by 1.6 per cent or 286,000 jobs.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.