Eye on the Hill: French PM signs bilateral agreements during Ottawa visit

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An update on legislation, developments and political discussions affecting local businesses.

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Both the House of Commons and the Senate were on break week and resume sitting the week of March 18.

Monday, March 11:

- Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the conclusion of negotiations surrounding the devolution of lands and resource management from the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories.

- Public Works and Government Services Canada announced the awarding of a $56,217.50 contract to Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton to conduct an independent review of life-cycle cost estimates for the replacement of Canada’s fleet of CF-18 fighter planes.

- Treasury Board President Tony Clement held a roundtable discussion with high tech innovators and municipal Open Data leaders in Toronto as part of the relaunch of the federal government’s Open Data Portal.


Tuesday, March 12:

- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the appointment of former BMO Financial Group president and CEO Anthony Comper as chairperson of the board of directors of PPP Canada Inc.

- International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced the selection of ten Canadian start-up companies as the inaugural class for a new Canadian Technology Accelerator program for the clean technology sector.

- Minister of State (Transport) Steven Fletcher addressed trucking industry partners during the annual meeting of the Manitoba Trucking Association, highlighting the importance of the sector to Canada’s transportation infrastructure and economy.


Wednesday, March 13:

- Labour Minister Lisa Raitt announced the re-appointment of Daniel Charbonneau and Cynthia Oliver to the Canada Industrial Relations Board as part-time and full-time members, respectively. Each will serve for another three-year term.

- Human Resources Minister Diane Finley announced the appointment of Murielle Brazeau as chairperson of the new Social Security Tribunal.

- International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino announced that 24 organizations have been selected to deliver internships for Canadian youth through the International Youth Internship Program.

- International Trade Minister Ed Fast marked the conclusion of the 16th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Singapore.


Thursday, March 14:

- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty hosted his final pre-budget consultation with representatives of charitable organization CIVIX in Toronto, and announced that the 2013 federal budget will be tabled on Thursday, March 21.

- Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue resigned from cabinet and stepped down as MP for Labrador as a result of improper campaign spending in the 2011 general election.

- Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of France announced the Joint Action Plan Canada-France 2013-2015 in the Fields of Science and Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

- Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of France announced the signing of a revised Social Security Agreement between Canada and France.

- Prime Minister Stephen Harper and French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault signed a new Youth Mobility Agreement.

- Public Safety Minister Vic Towes signed a Memorandum of Understanding with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano which allows for the creation of a United States Customs and Border Protection truck cargo pre-inspection pilot project on Canadian soil.


Friday, March 15:

- The Canada Revenue Agency announced the prescribed annual interest rates applicable to amounts owed to the CRA and to any amounts the CRA owes to individuals and corporations between April 1 and June 30. The interest rate charged on overdue taxes, Canada Pension Plan contributions, and Employment Insurance premiums will be five per cent. The interest rate to be paid on corporate taxpayer overpayments will be one per cent. The interest rate to be paid on non-corporate taxpayer overpayments will be three per cent. The interest rate used to calculate taxable benefits for employees and shareholders from interest-free and low-interest loans will be one per cent.

- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced the appointment of Judith St. George as High Commissioner in Malaysia.

- Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose and Industry Minister Christian Paradis announced the awarding of a $12,309 contract to Mawashi Protective Clothing Inc. under the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program for its Active Microclimate Cooling System.

- Transport Minister Denis Lebel announced federal funding to help Dolbeau-Mistassini, Que., non-profit La Route des mille et une histoires Inc. fund its stage shows. The $166,500 non-repayable financial contribution comes through Canada Economic Development’s Quebec Economic Development Program.

Eye on the Hill is prepared by Ottawa-based government relations and communications firm Flagship Solutions.

Organizations: House of Commons, International Trade, Public Works and Government Services Canada Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton BMO Financial Group PPP Canada Canada Revenue Agency Manitoba Trucking Association Canada Industrial Relations Board Trans-Pacific Partnership Joint Action Plan Canada-France 2013-2015 Homeland Security Employment Insurance Mawashi Protective Clothing Canada Economic Development

Geographic location: Canada, Ottawa, Toronto Northwest Territories France Labrador U.S. Malaysia

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