This Week In Ottawa July 7, 2023

Top news

  • Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez announced that the government will suspend all its advertising on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms in response to the company’s decision to block links to Canadian media contents when Bill C-18 is implemented. Minister Rodriguez and the Prime Minister reiterated this week their determination to move ahead with the bill’s regulatory regime despite the decisions by Google and Meta to opt out of news content when it comes into force.
  • The federal and Ontario governments have agreed on a renegotiated deal on the Stellantis-LEG battery plant in Windsor. Construction of the plant was halted as Stellantis sought a new deal that matched the incentives provided to VW’s battery plant or that it could receive in the United States. The new agreement commits up to $15B in government funded performance incentives for the plant if the required conditions are met. The government of Ontario has agreed that it will cover one third of the costs of the performance incentives for the deals with both Stellantis and VW. This is a change from previous agreements in which the federal government had accepted all the costs of performance incentives. 
  • The government and opposition parties have yet to come to an agreement on a mandate for a public inquiry into foreign interference. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre rejected a claim by the Prime Minister that the Conservatives were blocking a consensus. The Opposition Leader noted that the Conservatives have been waiting for the government to set up a meeting to discuss the final text of a proposed mandate.

Government announcements

  • Minister Boissonnault released the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy “Canada 365: Welcoming the world”. The Strategy identifies 5 priorities to cement Canada as a “top global destination” for tourists.
  • The government has announced a new category of the Express Entry program. This category is for French speaking immigrants settling in areas outside of Quebec. The program allows immigrants invite to the program to join a streamlined process for immigrating to Canada.
  • The Canadian Coast Guard has a new Compliance and Enforcement program to enforce the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act’s requirements that vessel owners take responsibility for vessels that are at risk of becoming hazardous.
  • The federal government has finalized new health funding agreements with the three territories. Quebec is the only provincial  or territorial government which has yet to come to terms with Ottawa on a new health agreement.
  • The one-time “Grocery Rebate” was delivered this week to Canadian families who were eligible for the payment. The government promoted the payment as a targeted way of helping low-income families with the impacts of inflation especially on groceries.

Economic numbers of the week

  • 60,000: The June Labour Force Survey found that 60,000 net new jobs were created last month. The unemployment rate rose by 0.2% to 5.4% due to an increase in the number of people searching for work. Economists expect that the positive job creation numbers will encourage the Bank of Canada to move ahead with another rate hike next week. 

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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