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Sep 02, 2014 at 10:05 PM

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


August 2014 Newsletter
Sep 02, 2014 at 09:57 AM

If you would like to be placed on the list to receive notices of newsletters by e-mail, please call our office at 905-934-6767 or e-mail your request to .

In this month's newsletter: Hockey Night in St. Catharines Raises $182,200 for Charity, Fairness at the Pumps, Supporting Students, Creating Canadian Jobs.

[Click here to download August 2014 Newsletter]

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Canada and U.S. release the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Forward Plan
Aug 29, 2014 at 02:10 PM


Today, the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Joint Forward Plan was released. The plan sets the stage for fundamental changes in the way regulatory departments and agencies in both countries work together, making it easier for businesses to operate in both countries.

The Joint Forward Plan, which builds on the RCC Joint Action Plan launched in December 2011 by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama, will deepen Canada-U.S. regulatory cooperation through new bi-national processes and partnerships. This approach will institutionalize joint planning and collaboration between Canadian and U.S. regulatory agencies.

The Joint Forward Plan also includes specific commitments to align 24 areas of regulatory business.  Work will continue in areas such as marine safety and security, pharmaceuticals, food safety, plant and animal health, and crop protection products. The RCC Forward Plan also expands work into new areas such as energy efficiency, toy safety, medical devices, chemicals management, and the use of natural gas in transportation.

The Joint Forward Plan will help regulators address a greater number of specific issues and make the broad changes necessary to prevent misalignments from happening in the future.
Following the launch of the Plan, Canadian and U.S. regulatory departments will establish formal partnerships as well as annual work plans and joint planning processes for each of the initial 24 areas of business. Going forward, the planning process will also open the door for discussion on other areas of regulatory cooperation that could be initiated. 

Quick Facts

  • The new RCC Joint Forward Plan enhances the work initiated in the 2011 RCC Joint Action Plan by moving from a focus on individual initiatives toward the development of more ambitious regulatory partnerships. The goal of these new partnerships is to have bilateral regulatory cooperation across a broad range of issues, entrenched within the regular planning and operational activities of regulatory agencies in both countries.
  • From August 31 to November 8, 2013, the RCC invited public input on the next phase of Canada-U.S. regulatory cooperation. Submissions were received from 160 stakeholders from a wide range of sectors and regions in Canada and the United States. These informed the three key components of the Joint Forward Plan’s future work: departmental-level bi-national processes to strengthen regulatory partnership; department-to-department commitments and work plans; and work on cross-cutting issues.
  • Canada and the United States enjoy one of the closest and largest trading relationships in the world. Bilateral trade in goods and services surpassed $781 billion in 2013, with more than $2.1 billion worth of goods and services crossing the border daily – or almost $1.5 million traded every minute.

“Input from industry will continue to play a critical role as regulators on both sides of the border set priorities and focus work in areas that will generate the greatest benefit for business and consumers.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

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Seaway Announces Next Phase of Work to Rebuild Tie-up Walls
Aug 29, 2014 at 01:53 PM

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced today that that the next phase of its project to rebuild the tie-up walls along the Welland Canal will commence on or about September 1, 2014, and is projected to end in April, 2015.\

The activity that will occur along the upper tie-up wall at Lock 3 and will consist of:

  • clearing of brush and small trees to be completed in September;?
  • pile driving on the west side of the tie-up wall to occur from mid-September to December; and
  • granular fill to be placed west of the tie-up wall from January to March 2015.

To permit the construction work to proceed, the stretch of the Welland Canal Parkway Trail (WCPT) that runs alongside the tie-up wall (see attached map) will be closed on or about September 1, 2014, and is slated to re-open around April 30, 2015.

Signage erected along the Canal will keep the public informed about the activity and the resulting detours as outlined above.

The Welland Canal is a vital transportation artery, enabling tens of millions of tonnes of cargo to be shipped every year via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Between 2013 and 2017, the SLSMC is investing almost $100 million to replace four ship tie-up walls.

The SLSMC wishes to extend its thanks to area residents and businesses for their patience and accommodation during the completion of this work to renew a portion of the Welland Canal.


Alvina Ghirardi
Manager, Maintenance Planning & Logistics
(905) 641-1932, ext. 5464

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