An update on legislation, developments and political discussions affecting local businesses.
Both the House of Commons and the Senate rose for a break week. The House is scheduled to resume sitting on Monday, May 20, with the Senate returning on Tuesday, May 21.
Monday, May 6:
- Transport Canada announced that it had granted WestJet permission to employ a ratio of one flight attendant for every 50 passenger seats on board its aircraft.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Embrionix Design Inc. of Laval, Que., acquire technological equipment. The $210,000 repayable financial contribution comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Quebec Economic Development Program.
Tuesday, May 7:
- The National Research Council of Canada was re-launched with a new focus on industry-related research and working with Canadian businesses to bridge technological gaps.
- Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced the country experienced a 15 per cent increase in immigration to Canada under the family class in 2012.
Wednesday, May 8:
- Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced that the primary responsibility for Passport Canada will move from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, effective July 2.
- Revenue Minister Gail Shea announced a $30 million plan designed to combat international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, and the creation of a dedicated team at the Canada Revenue Agency to deal with such issues.
- Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced amendments to Canada's Food and Drug Regulations, extending the requirements for Good Manufacturing Practices to active ingredients used in pharmaceutical drugs, coming into force in the fall of 2013.
- The Office of the Privacy Commissioner announced the availability of a privacy emergency kit to help public and private organizations appropriately protect and share private information in times of crisis. The Privacy Emergency Kit is available online.
- Statistics Canada began releasing the first datasets from the 2011 National Household Survey, the first since the elimination of the mandatory long-form census.
Thursday, May 9:
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement met with met with high-tech innovators and municipal open data leaders in the Ottawa area during a roundtable discussion marking the re-launch of the Government of Canada's Open Data Portal.
- Human Resources Minister Diane Finley announced that 36,000 summer jobs will be created through the Canada Summer Jobs initiative this year.
- The House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade tabled its report on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India.
- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Pourvoirie Club Fontbrune Ltd. of Ferme-Neuve, Que., improve the quality of its tourist accommodations. The $85,000 repayable financial contribution comes through the Canada Economic Development’s Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec’s Forest Economies.
- Statistics Canada released figures on foreign direct investment for 2012. Canadian direct investment abroad increased 5.5 per cent in 2012. Foreign direct investment in Canada rose 5.8 per cent, with the growth coming mostly from Europe and the U.S. Canadian direct investment abroad increased by $37 billion to $711.6 billion in 2012. Foreign direct investment in Canada was up $34.6 billion to $633.9 billion.
Friday, April 10:
- Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced the Citizenship and Immigration Canada will re-open the parent and grandparent program for new applications on Jan. 2, 2014.
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement tabled the Supplementary Estimates (A), 2013–14 in the House of Commons.
- Labour Minister Lisa Raitt addressed the Davis LLP national Employment and Labour Law Conference in Toronto, discussing the current state of Canadian labour relations.
- Statistics Canada released April, 2013 results of the Labour Force Survey. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.2 per cent. April saw the creation of 12,500 net new jobs, all full-time.
Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.