This Week in Ottawa: November 17, 2023

Top news

  • Finance Minister Freeland will table the Fall Economic Statement at 4PM on November 21st. Freeland noted this week her top two priorities for the Statement are measures to make life more affordable and action on housing. 
  • The NDP has agreed to support a motion to move Bill C-56 forward in exchange for the Liberals agreeing to adopt several amendments in the section on the Competition Act that draw from proposals Jagmeet Singh has made in his PMB.
  • A federal court found that the cabinet order that single-use plastics was too broad in declaring all single-use plastics as toxic. Environment Minister Guilbeault responded that the government will carefully review the ruling and will consider an appeal.
  • Senators will resume their consideration of Bill C-234 at 3rd reading next week. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has launched a campaign to encourage Senators to vote in favour of expanding the carbon tax exemption for farmers to fuels such as natural gas. 
  • The Ethics Commissioner has opened an investigation into the Chair of the Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and her decision to participate in discussions on COVID relief payments issued by SDTC, including payments to her own company.
  • The Parliamentary Budget Officer has released a new study on the cost of government support for EV battery manufacturing, which found that the federal and provincial commitments will cost $43.6 billion from 2022-23 to 2032-33.
  • Mandates letters for the newly created cabinet posts of Minister of Sport and Physical Activity and Minister of Citizens Services have now been made public. For all other ministers, the mandate letters issued in 2021 remain operative.  

Government announcements

  • Prime Minister Trudeau announced the federal government is contributing $204.5 million to support the construction of the E-One Moli lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facility in Burnaby, BC.
  • The government has announced it has allocated $248 million in funding to create 34 new Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERCs) at 18 Canadian postsecondary institutions.
  • Immigration Minister Miller announced the opening of the national settlement and resettlement funding call for settlement service providers who  assist newcomers.
  • Minister Khera announced the launch of the Canada Disability Benefit Regulations Online Engagement Tool, which will allow Canadians to provide input on the design of the Canada Disability Benefit as the government drafts the regulations for the new benefit.
  • Minister St-Onge has released the final policy direction to the CRTC for the Online Streaming Act. Next week, the CRTC will begin three weeks of hearing on its proposed regulations for streaming services.

In Parliament

  • Bill C-34: This bill to amend the Canada Investment Act was approved at Report Stage in the House.
  • Bill C-58:  Introduced in the House this week, this bill would implement a ban on using replacement workers in federally regulated industries. The legislation would allow for limited exceptions for serious health, safety, or environmental concerns. The introduction of this bill was a key demand of the NDP in their agreement with the Trudeau government.
  • Bill C-234: Senators rejected an amendment to this bill, which would have significantly narrowed the scope of the carbon tax exemption for farmers that it would create. However, some Senators have delayed this bill’s passing, leaving the question of whether the bill will pass before the year’s end. 
  • A Conservative motion calling on the government to extend the carbon tax exemption to all fuels used for home heating was defeated, with the Bloc caucus joining with the Liberals and Green MPs to oppose.
  • The House of Commons Ethics Committee continued investigating into whistleblower allegations at Sustainable Development Technologies Canada. 
  • The House of Commons Government Operations Committee continued to hear testimony about the contractors behind the ArriveCan app, with a government official alleging previous witnesses had provided misleading testimony.
  • The House of Commons Health Committee has begun a study into the $300M the federal government spent on a pharmaceutical company whose COVID-19 vaccine never reached market.

Economic numbers of the week

  • $2,881.6 billion: Statistics Canada reports that Canadians’ total level of credit liabilities rose by $6.2 billion in September, increasing the overall debt levels of households by 0.2%.

Coming Up

  • The House of Commons will resume sitting on November 20.
  • The Fall Economic Statement will be tabled on November 21 

Key Resources


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