This Week In Ottawa July 14, 2023

Top news

  • Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez released a summary of the regulations he intends to propose under the Online News Act (Bill C-18). The regulations include a commitment to capping how much Google and Meta would have to pay under the legislation. Meta indicated that the proposal does not satisfy its concerns, and it will go ahead with blocking Canadian news.
  • The 13 day strike at BC’s ports has ended after the employers and union gave tentative approval to a four year contract proposal from the federally appointed mediator.
  • Minister Freeland said Canada intends to introduce a Digital Services Tax despite pressure from the US government to delay the tax while OECD members continue discussions on a unified approach.
  • Canadian premiers met in Winnipeg for the annual Council of the Federation meeting this week. The communique highlighted their discussions on competitiveness, strategic infrastructure, energy security and critical minerals, sustainable development and climate action.

Government announcements

  • At the NATO Leader’s Summit, the Prime Minister announced Canada is committing $2.6 billion to renew and extend Operation REASSURANCE. The new funding will double the number of Canadian Forces participating in the mission in Latvia to 2200.
  • Minister Guilbeault announced Canada is making a $450 million contribution to the Global Climate Fund (GCF). This is a 50% increase over Canada’s first contribution to the GFC in 2019. The GFC provides support to green transition and adaptation projects in developing nations.
  • The government has committed $500,000 to start the process of developing a national strategy on autism.
  • The Canada Food Inspection Agency has launched a consultation on origin labelling on imported foods from contested territories.
  • The government is removing the education requirement for Hong Kong residents seeking to immigrant to Canada through the Canadian work experience stream.
  • The Canadian Transportation Agency released a discussion paper to consult Canadians on proposed changes to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations. The changes would tighten the requirements for airlines to provide compensation for flight delays by narrowing the exception to “exceptional circumstances.” The consultation will be open until August 10.
  • Minister Blair announced $82 million in new funding for NGOs like the Red Cross and Salvation Army that provide volunteer emergency response assistance who can deploy with short notice during emergencies.

Economic numbers of the week

  • 5%: The Bank of Canada announced it was raising its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, bringing it up to 5%, the highest interest rates have been since April 2001. 

Coming Up

The Prime Minister will visit Latvia and Lithuania from July 10 to 12. He will make a bilateral visit to Latvia on the 10th before going to Lithuania for the NATO Leaders Summit on the 11th and 12th. 

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