- Federal employees represented by the PSAC union started striking on Wednesday after talks with the federal government failed to resolve the disagreement between the federal government and the union. The two major points of contention are reported to be wages and PSAC’s demand that workers be given a contractual right to work from home. The government has indicated it believes it has made a fair offer and does not intend to make further concessions on wages. It has also rejected the idea that working from home should be subject to contract talks.
- The Prime Minister visited St Thomas, Ontario to announce federal support for Volkswagen’s planned battery manufacturing plant. To secure the facility the federal government has committed up to $13 billion in federal funding to Volkswagen.
- Another vacation of the Prime Minister became a source of controversy following a report that Justin Trudeau spent his Christmas vacation in Jamaica at the home of a wealthy businessman who is a donor to the Trudeau Foundation.
- Martine Richard resigned as Canada’s interim Ethics Commissioner following a move by opposition parties to launch a House of Commons study into whether she was an appropriate choice for the job given she is the sister-in-law of cabinet minister Dominic Leblanc.
- The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development tabled his spring reports this week. He looked at issues like whether the government is on track to meet its promise to plant 2 billion trees and how effectively the government is tracking the emission reduction impact of its GHG regulations.
- Minister Alghabra announced the government is issuing a RFP for a study to consider the requirements for airport capacity in southern Ontario over the next couple of decades.
- Minister Joly announced that Canada’s Ambassador to Japan Ian Mackay will take on the additional role as Canada’s Special Envoy to the Indo-Pacific in which he will help lead Canada’s efforts to engage more in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Prime Minister Trudeau announced with wireless networking technology company Ericsson Canada that the government will support Ericsson’s $470 million investment in research and development in Canada with funding from the Strategic Innovation Fund.
- The federal government has approved the Port of Vancouver’s proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project. The government gave a permit for the major expansion of the port with a set of 370 conditions.
In the House of Commons
- Bill C-34: This bill to amend the Investment Canada Act was approved at 2nd reading and sent to the Industry Committee for study.
- Bill C-47: The spring budget implementation bill was tabled in the House this week.
- The House passed the Budget Ways and Means motion giving its approval to the budget Minister Freeland tabled before the Parliamentary break.
- Bill C-239: This BQ PMB to allow the government of Quebec to tax over federal tax collecting in the province was defeated at 2nd reading.
Economic numbers of the week
- 4.3%: The Consumer Price Index rose by 4.3% in March continuing a trend of declining inflation with the rate now at the lowest level it has been since August 2021.
- The Coronation of Charles III will be held on May 6th.
- The Liberal Party will hold its national convention in Ottawa from May-4th-6th.