This Week in Ottawa: March 15, 2024

Top news

  • Several premiers are calling on the federal government to cancel the planned the carbon tax increase on April 1. Their calls come as Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre held a series of rallies to call on the Prime Minister to “Spike the Hike.” Prime Minister Trudeau rejected these calls in a press conference this week where he defended the policy and insisted he would stay the course.
  • NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is urging that the upcoming budget include funding for a national school lunch program.  The party’s finance critic is also urging the Liberals to hike corporate taxes to pay for additional spending, such as the lunch program.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford offered his own wish list for the federal budget in a letter to the Prime Minister where he asked for support for key infrastructure projects both in terms of funding and reducing regulatory barriers, as well as endorsing the call to end the carbon tax.
  • The federal government is appealing a court ruling that the government must appoint more judges in a reasonable time to end the lack of access to timely justice caused by the current shortage of judges. The appeal argues that the judge overstepped his jurisdiction in making the ruling.
  • Following a meeting with Premier Francois Legault this morning, Prime Minister Trudeau said he has rejected the premier’s request that Ottawa give Quebec full powers over immigration to the province.

Government announcements

  • Finance Minister Freeland announced the government will cap the alcohol excise duty increase at 2% for the next two years.
  • The government published regulatory amendments and financial security regulations required to fully implement the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management system. CBSA intends to deploy the new system on May 13.
  • The CRTC has launched a new round of consultations on the Online News Act, asking for submissions on how to set up the bargaining process required under the Act.
  • Fisheries Minister Lebouthillier announced the government will not open the elver fishery in 2024 in response to concerns about the high levels of illegal elver fishing and the impact on conservation.
  • Agriculture Minister MacAulay and Trade Minister Ng released a statement expressing disappointment with the US government’s decision to approve regulations allowing the voluntary use of the “Made in the USA” label on meat, poultry and egg products and concern that the labels will disrupt the integrated North American market.
  • Environment Minister Guilbeault announced the opening of a new stream, the Low Carbon Economy Fund’s Indigenous Leadership Fund, that will support Indigenous-owned businesses and not-for-profit organizations with renewable energy, energy efficiency, or low-carbon heating projects.

Economic numbers of the week

  • 0.2%: Manufacturing sales rose by 0.2% in January, up to $71.1 billion. The largest gains were in the transportation equipment and chemical sectors.

Coming Up

  • The House of Commons returns on Monday for a one week sitting.
  • The State Funeral for the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney will be held in Montreal on March 23.
  • The federal budget will be tabled on April 16.  

Key Resources


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