This Week In Ottawa April 14, 2023

Top news

  • Today the PM’s chief of staff Katie Telford testified before PROC, the House committee conducing hearing on allegations of foreign interference in Canadian elections. She warned the committee that security concerns meant she would be unable to specifically address many questions while defending the government’s handling of the issue and general concern about the dangers of foreign interference. 
  • In further fallout of foreign interference controversy the entire board of the Trudeau Foundation resigned amidst disagreement about how to handle the return of a donation that following a report in the Globe and Mail about concerns CSIS had about donation. The Foundation has request the Auditor General conduct a review of the donation. 
  • Members of the PSAC have voted in favour of giving the union a strike mandate as it tries to negotiate a new contract for nearly 150,000 federal employees. The vote gives the union an ability to call a strike any time between now and June. While a certain level of service will be maintained by workers who are deemed to be essential, it is expected that a strike would have broad impacts on access the federal government for the duration of the strike. The government has set up this website to provide information about which government departments and services it expects will be impacted by a PSAC strike.
  • Various Government of Canada websites including the Prime Minister Office’s site were temporarily impacted by a cyber-attack this week that a pro-Russian group of hackers has claimed credit for.  

Government announcements

  • Health Minister Duclos signed an agreement with the BC government that will see the federal government provide an additional $164 million in funding to the province to support home and community care, and mental health and addictions services.
  • The government made several announcements about Canada’s on-going support and cooperation with Ukraine during Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal’s visit to Canada this week. 
  • The Prime Minister announced that the Chantier Davie shipyard in Quebec has been added as the third strategic partner under the National Shipbuilding Strategy allowing the government to start talks with the shipyard on construction of ice breakers.
  • The federal government has signed an agreement to support Heidelberg Materials’ construction of a capture, utilization and storage system at its cement plant in Edmonton. 
  • Minister Guilbeault released the 2023 National Inventory Report Canada’s GHG emissions in 2021.The report found that emission rose in 2021 after the drop caused in 2020 by the pandemic but remained 53 MGT below the 2019 levels.  

Economic numbers of the week 

  • 35,000: The Labour Force Survey reported that Canada set 35,000 net new jobs created in March with the unemployment rate remaining at 5.0%. 
  • 4.5%: The Bank of Canada held interest rates at the same level as the previous month as it said it believes inflation is on track to drop back below 3% by the middle of 2023. 

Coming Up

  • The House of Commons returns on April 17th.
  • The Liberal Party will hold its 2023 National Convention in Ottawa from May 4-6th.

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