Both the House of Commons and the Senate rose for a break week and will resume sitting the week of March 18.
Monday, March 4:
- Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) Maxime Bernier addressed a group of entrepreneurs in Ottawa, highlighting the federal government’s ongoing efforts to improve Canada’s business environment.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Sherbrooke, Que., firm Sercovie Inc. renovate and expand its facilities. The $351,250 non-repayable contribution comes through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund.
Tuesday, March 5:
- Labour Minister Lisa Raitt addressed the sixth annual Women in Mining international reception in Toronto, highlighting the importance of including more women in non-traditional roles and expanding Canada’s workforce.
- The Canadian Transportation Agency announced that WestJet, Air Canada, Porter, Air Transat, Canadian North, First Air, Air Creebec, Sunwing, Air Inuit and Orca Airways are all now displaying all-inclusive air prices on their online booking systems, as required by new regulations which came into force on Dec. 18, 2012.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Rivière-à-Pierre, Que., firm Granite D.R.C. boost its productivity. The $500,000 in repayable funding comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Quebec Economic Development Program.
Wednesday, March 6:
- The Bank of Canada announced that is it maintaining its overnight lending rate at one per cent.
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the reappointment of Graham Fraser for another three-year term as Commissioner of Official Languages, effective Oct. 17.
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced the Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013, which implements tax agreements between Canada and Poland, Serbia, Namibia, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, and Switzerland for the avoidance of double taxation.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Joliette, Que., firm Liard Industries Inc. acquire specialized equipment. The $138,940 in repayable funding comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Quebec Economic Development Program.
Thursday, March 7:
- Industry Minister Christian Paradis announced a new plan to increase competition in Canada’s telecommunications industry.
- The Library of Parliament issued a notice of vacancy for the position of Parliamentary Budget Officer to replace outgoing PBO Kevin Page, whose term ends this month.
- The Government tabled its response to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development’s sixth report, “Driving Inclusive Economic Growth: The Role of the Private Sector in International Development.”
- Canada Post launched its AddressComplete web service which is designed to provide businesses with affordable and effective address data capture and validation.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Club Motoneige des Plaines Inc. of Sainte-Croix, Quebec acquire a new snow grooming machine for the upkeep of snowmobiling trails. The $115,875 non-repayable contribution comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Community Diversification program.
Friday, March 8:
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty met with private sector economists to discuss their views on Canada’s economic prospects and was told to expect modest GDP growth in 2013, but private sector forecasts have moved downwards.
- Industry Minister Christian Paradis announced the results of a study on the language of work in federally regulated private businesses in Quebec not subject to the Official Languages Act, stating that no legislation is needed to regulate language of work in Quebec.
- The federal government hosted the first of a series of technical consultation sessions for the Canadian surface combatant project in Gatineau.
- The Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food tabled its ninth report in the House of Commons, agreeing with the adoption of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s User Fee Proposal for Importer Licensing for Non-federally Registered Sector Products.
- The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology began its study of broadband and Internet access across Canada, with Canadian Chamber of Commerce Director of Intellectual Property and Innovation Policy Scott Smith appearing before the committee.
- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced that he will be undertaking a three-day trip to Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong with the hopes of strengthening bilateral relations and improving trade links.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.