Ontario will help agri-food businesses successfully expand into international markets and improve their readiness to do business internationally by developing a Food Export Roadmap - a reference guide about exporting products to foreign markets.
Ontario is investing in forest roads which connect industry to Ontario's natural resources, supporting local communities by growing the economy and creating jobs in the forestry, mining and tourism sectors.
Just launched a test version of a new alerts system. Check it out. (Though I should warn you that it's a test, and it may change or disappear.)
Email alerts were one of the things I thought were necessary to launch this site—which is now, at 2.5 years, well into its toddler years. Actually, I built the signup page before launching the site, but I wasn't sure people would actually sign up. When lots did, I scrambled to finish the actual email-sending code before Hansard was published.
But till now, email alerts were restricted to everything a given MP said. The new system lets you get alerts for any given search query—every time someone says climate change in the Environment committee, every bill that mentions the CBC, all that talk about carbon taxes, and so on.
To get started, sign up. Then you should start seeing Create an alert buttons on search pages.
The House of Commons is on summer break, and doesn't meet again until September 17.
Wednesday and Thursday—though, according to Parliamentary convention, it was just an exceptionally long Wednesday—Parliament didn't get much sleep. The opposition parties forced a long series of votes on Bill C-38, the omnibus budget bill that opponents say forces through hundreds of major changes unrelated to the budget.
The full transcripts have just been released, and I've updated this site with all votes. If you're interested in seeing who's best at timing their bathroom breaks, here's the league table of how many votes MPs missed during the marathon.
Two big, long-in-the-making additions to this site today. Whee!
The first is the addition of House committees and their transcripts. Committees can be really interesting. Even though this current Parliament certainly doesn't mark their heyday, they're still the most productive part of the House. There's way less theatre and name-calling than in debates—and, unlike in the House chamber, nobody's ever speaking to a vast empty room. And since they revolve around external witnesses, you can hear some surprising perspectives that go beyond the familiar party talking points.
Adding committees about doubled the amount of data we have, so I figured the search engine needed a bit of a facelift to deal with it. I ended up doing full reconstructive surgery. The new search does quite a bit more than its predecessor. It's not easy designing a search interface to be powerful and information-dense without also being complicated and overwhelming, and so feedback and suggestions are very welcome. And please tell me if anything doesn't work: it's a complex piece of software, and there are likely bugs.
Ontario is honouring 15 individuals and organizations dedicated to helping victims of crime.
Ontario is opening a new international-marketing office in Chongqing, China that will help Ontario companies develop strategic partnerships and find investment opportunities in southwest China.
Ontario is expanding the mandate of the ongoing independent review into the Motherisk hair analysis program at the Hospital for Sick Children.
Ontario is creating a new Beijing-based agri-food trade advisor position to help the province's agri-food sector expand into the Chinese market. The new in-market trade advisor will be a seasoned food industry professional with business experience in global markets.
Ontario has approved the Essex Region Source Protection Plan to strengthen local source-to-tap drinking water protection.
The 2013-14 Chief Drinking Water Inspector's Annual Report confirms that Ontario's drinking water is among the best protected in the world.