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Apr 28, 2015 at 01:14 AM

Welcome to my online office. I have set up this website to give you a chance
to interact with me directly and to learn a little bit more about my work to
Stand Up for St. Catharines in Ottawa. I hope you will take the time to read
my blog, check out the community calendar and look at the services available
through my Community Office. Most of all, I hope you will take the time to
communicate your ideas and concerns by commenting on my blog, voting for the
online polls or sending me an e-mail. This website is here for you, so
please share your thoughts and ideas.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Rick Dykstra

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage


Budget 2015: Strong, Stable Leadership
Apr 21, 2015 at 04:59 PM

Federal government delivers balanced budget that offers relief for St. Catharines families and seniors

Ottawa – The federal government has introduced a balanced budget that continues to grow the economy while offering measures to offset the challenges facing many seniors and families raising children.  As world economics continue to fluctuate, Canada remains a leader among G-7 nations with consistently sound and prudent financial management.

St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra calls the budget focused and intuitive.  “Finance Minister Joe Oliver has taken the time to examine all the factors influencing our national economy”, said Dykstra. “And he has produced a budget that addresses the demands of St. Catharines taxpayers, especially families with children and our large population of senior citizens.”

Budget Highlights

  • Lowering the amount of money St. Catharines’ 14,500 seniors over the age of 71 have to take out of their Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) annually
  • Putting more money back into the pockets of St. Catharines’ 24,000 families with children under the age of 18, with a typical two earner family experiencing about $6600 in tax relief in 2015
  • Increasing the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) annual contribution limit from $5500 to $10,000 annually
  • Introducing a new Retirement Income Security Benefit to provide additional financial security after the age of 65 for moderately to severely disabled veterans
  • Ensuring that part-time Reserve Force Veterans have access to the same level of income support as Regular and full-time Reserve Force Veterans
  • Providing $288 million for repair and maintenance of small craft harbours.
  • Providing an additional $750 million over two years, starting in 2017–18, and $1 billion per year ongoing thereafter for a new and innovative Public Transit Fund
  • Reducing the tax rate for small businesses from 11% to 9% by 2019

“It’s great to see the federal government recognizing that small business is the engine that drives our economy,” said Mike Gammon, Owner of Brock Office Automation. “This reduction in the tax rate will result in more opportunity for growth and job creation.”

"It’s great to see significant investment in small craft harbours”, said St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik. “It’s an area that we can look to for potential investment and solutions for our community.’

“This budget strikes exactly the right balance,” said Dykstra. “By supporting hard-working families and seniors and ensuring that we continue to grow our economy, St. Catharines residents will reap the benefits of this government’s solid fiscal leadership.”

In order to get the enhanced UCCB payment retroactive to January 1st, families who are not currently getting the UCCB must register by May 1st. Applications can be found online here: www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/uccb-puge/menu-eng.html or at Rick Dykstra’s Community office at 61 Geneva St.

Niagara Regional Chair Alan Caslin welcomed the federal budget that will produce meaningful results for Niagara residents. "This budget will have a positive impact on our Region's families and business communities by keeping taxes low, supporting small businesses, and delivering important infrastructure dollars to Niagara." said Chair Caslin.

More information on the Budget 2015 can be found here: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2015/home-accueil-eng.html


  • Release: Increase to TFSA Annual Contribution Limit Available Immediately
  • Release: Prime Minister of Canada Announces Support for Small Business and Manufacturers - Action Plan 2015

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Last Updated ( Apr 24, 2015 at 03:23 PM )
Canada Provides Emergency Relief in Response to Earthquake in Nepal
Apr 25, 2015 at 12:00 AM

April 25, 2015 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced today that the Government of Canada will support experienced humanitarian organizations with $5 million to provide life-saving assistance to meet the urgent needs of people affected by the earthquake in Nepal. Canada is also a contributor to international rapid response mechanisms that ensure partner organizations are able to act immediately at the onset of a crisis.

“Canada is deeply concerned by the impact of this catastrophic earthquake in Nepal,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada remains committed to supporting the most vulnerable people in this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this natural disaster.”

Canada’s timely assistance will help to provide the affected with access to food, drinking water, shelter and health, hygiene and protection services.

The Government of Canada will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further assistance if required to help meet life-saving needs.

Quick Facts

  • On April 25, 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake centered 80 kilometres from the capital, Kathmandu, struck Nepal.
  • Canada’s support is in response to the Government of Nepal’s request for international assistance.
  • Canada’s humanitarian assistance helps save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain the dignity of people in developing countries affected by natural disasters requiring a humanitarian response.

Related Products

Emergency Contact Information

Canadian citizens in Nepal requiring emergency consular assistance should use the Registration of Canadians Abroad (http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration) service, and contact the Consulate of Canada in Kathmandu, Nepal, by calling + 977 (1) 444-1976,  or Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling +1 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted where available). An email can also be sent to .

Friends and relatives in Canada who are concerned about Canadian citizens known to be in the affected area should contact Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling 1-800-387-3124 (toll-free) or 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted) or sending an email to .

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Increase to TFSA Annual Contribution Limit Available Immediately
Apr 24, 2015 at 03:18 PM

Canadians can immediately take advantage of the proposed $10,000 Tax-Free Savings Account annual contribution limit

April 24, 2015 - Ottawa, Ontario - Canada Revenue Agency

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, and the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance, are advising Canadians that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is allowing individuals to immediately benefit from the proposed increase to the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) annual contribution limit announced in Economic Action Plan 2015.

Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to increase the TFSA annual contribution limit from $5,500 to $10,000, effective January 1, 2015. Canadians can immediately start contributing to their TFSA up to the proposed $10,000 annual contribution limit.

This proposed measure is subject to parliamentary approval. Consistent with its standard practice, the CRA is administering this measure on the basis of the Budget announcement. Financial institutions may immediately allow existing and new account holders to contribute up to the proposed maximum. The CRA will continue to work with financial institutions to ensure a smooth implementation of this new proposed measure.

The TFSA is a popular means of saving for Canadians at all income levels. Individuals with annual incomes of less than $80,000 accounted for more than 80 per cent of all TFSA holders and about 75 per cent of TFSA assets as of the end of 2013. About half of TFSA holders had annual incomes of less than $42,000.

Quick facts

  • TFSAs have proven to be popular. More than 10.7 million Canadians had opened a TFSA by the end of 2013.
  • The TFSA first became available in 2009. It allows Canadian residents, aged 18 or older and who have a valid social insurance number, to earn tax-free investment income throughout their lifetime.
  • Contributions to a TFSA are not deductible for income tax purposes, but investment income earned in a TFSA and withdrawals from it are tax-free.
  • The TFSA provides greater savings incentives for low-and modest-income individuals because, in addition to tax savings, neither the income earned in a TFSA nor withdrawals from it affect eligibility for federal income-tested benefits and credits, such as the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax Credit, the Age Credit, and Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits.
  • Canadians can track their annual TFSA contribution limit easily using the CRA's My Account secure online self-service portal.
  • TFSAs are an important savings tool for Canadians. Budget 2015 clearly states 60 per cent of the individuals contributing the maximum amount to their TFSAs had incomes of less than $60,000 in 2013.
  • Forty-six per cent of individuals who have maxed out their TFSAs were seniors and over 70 per cent were aged 55 or over.

Associated Links

Stay Connected

Follow CRA on Twitter and YouTube.

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Last Updated ( Apr 24, 2015 at 03:20 PM )
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