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Oct 25, 2014 at 07:29 PM

Local Charities are Big Winners at Hockey Night in St. Catharines 5! Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Aug 15, 2014 at 09:39 AM

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — The 66 programs delivered by 39 agencies supported by the United Way of St. Catharines and District and the Parkinson’s Disease rehab program at Hotel Dieu Shaver were winners of the fifth annual Hockey Night in St. Catharines charity event.

While local fans were entertained by past, present and future NHLers on the ice at the Jack Gatecliff Arena in the Gatorade Garden City Complex — a game that saw Steve Ludzik’s Reds  defeat Rick Vaive’s Blues 11-10 — the more important score is the thousands of dollars raised for important local programs.

“There is a reason Hockey Night in St. Catharines has been the four-time winner of the United Ways Event of the Year honour,” says France Hallworth, executive director of the United Way of St. Catharines and District. “Year in and year out, it provides a fun, entertaining evening while supporting our after school programs, The RAFT, the CNIB, Community Living of St. Catharines, Community Care and a host of other initiatives that help your family, friends and neighbours.”

With five games now in the books, Hockey Night in St. Catharines, an effort spearheaded by St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra, has raised more than $600,000. Dykstra, who skated with Rick Vaive’s Blues in this year’s game, is ecstatic to see the game continue to grow year after year.

“It has been an incredible run over the past five years, with amazing support from the local community and the hockey community,” Dykstra says. “The game continues to grow year after year, and we set the bar higher and higher. Every year, the people of Niagara help us exceed our goals. This is likely the last major event at Jack Gatecliff Arena, and we sent the old barn out in style.”

The Gatorade Garden City Complex was home to the Niagara IceDogs, who are moving into the new Meridian Centre this fall. While the Garden City complex will remain open for community use, major events will follow the IceDogs to the Meridian Centre.

Hockey Night in St. Catharines 5 saw incredible support from its sponsors, including presenting sponsor Winery and Grower Alliance of Ontario and platinum sponsors BallHockey.com, Niagara Global Developments, Music Canada, Music Counts, Walker Industries, Algoma Central Corporation, Air Canada and the IceDogs.

However, it is the players the fans pay to see, and they were not disappointed with guys like Vaive, Ludzik, Eric Lindros, Riley Sheahan, Matthew Barnaby, Olympic Gold winner Laura Fortino and Andrew Peters toiling around the ice.

“When there is a need, the hockey community rallies,” says Ludzik, who is also a co-chair of the game’s organizing committee with Dykstra. “I can’t say enough about these guys who took time out of their summer in support of some great local causes.”

Stay tuned for news about Hockey Night in St. Catharines 6, coming in the summer of 2015!

Follow the United Way of St. Catharines and District on Twitter @uwaysc. Follow Hockey Night in St. Catharines on Twitter @HNISC and keep up with the conversation with the hashtag #HNISC5. Get more information at www.hockeynightinstcatharines.com.

About Hockey Night in St. Catharines 5:

Hockey Night in St. Catharines 5 is a charity hockey game featuring Canadian MPs and elite hockey players that raises funds for the United Way of St. Catharines and District and Parkinson’s Disease Rehabilitation Program at the Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre. Since the initial game in 2010, Hockey Night in St. Catharines has been named the United Way’s top fundraising event three years running, and raised more than $516,000 over its first four years.


For more information, please call
Kalvin Reid
Mobile: 289-241-7936; Office: 905-346-1233

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Last Updated ( Aug 15, 2014 at 09:41 AM )
Statement by Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament, on the situation in Gaza Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Aug 08, 2014 at 04:53 PM

The loss of life in the Gaza conflict is regrettable, and the Government of Canada hopes for a solution that will provide long term peace in Israel and Gaza.

Israel left Gaza in 2005. This was a positive action and a great step forward towards these two peoples living together in peace and security.

That outcome will continue to prove difficult to achieve as long as Hamas resorts to terrorism.

Hamas is a terrorist entity under Canadian law.  Hamas seeks the destruction of a democratic State, Israel, and the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy through Jihad.  This is clearly outlined in the Hamas Covenant.

It is misleading and disingenuous to frame this conflict merely by the numbers of casualties on either side.  At a quick glance, with the number of dead and wounded Palestinians far greater than the Israelis, the knee jerk reaction is to blame the Israelis for this disparity.  If you couple that with the daily barrage of heart-wrenching photographs and news video of bloodied children and destroyed buildings, it is easy to understand why people react so strongly, but in fairness, there is more to this situation than the numbers of casualties demonstrate.

  • Hamas has built tunnels to launch terrorist attacks into Israel. 
  • Evidence shows that they have been using residential areas and schools to store weapons and launch rocket attacks.
  • Journalists have verified that Hamas is using Palestinians as human shields, drawing Israeli fire to their own civilians. Rockets and mortars are fired indiscriminately at civilian areas inside Israel from civilian areas inside Gaza.  Hamas launches missiles and stores weapons from homes, schools, Mosques and even UN facilities.
  • The Hamas authorities diverted tons of concrete and building materials intended for humanitarian use to the construction of the terror tunnels.

Israel has an obligation to protect its citizens from rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilians. It has done so through the Iron Dome and precision airstrikes designed to minimize civilian casualties. The Israeli Defense Forces provides warnings for civilians include text messaging, phone calls, leaflet drops and other means.

The question to be asked of those who have written to criticize Canada’s support for Israel is have you written a similar letter to the Hamas Authorities demanding they cease holding the civilian population of Gaza hostage and stop violating international law by firing indiscriminately on Israeli population centres.

There is a critical need for a long term strategy to be implemented that prevents Hamas from re-arming and involves the demilitarization of Gaza.

I was saddened to see the latest ceasefire violated by Hamas and it is my hope in the future we can move from ceasefires that are measured in hours and days, to a situation where peace is the status quo. I support Israel for protecting its citizens. I support Israel for minimizing the loss of life in Gaza. I support Israel for its efforts to achieve a lasting peace.  If similar efforts were made by their opponents, the conflict would be over and there would be peace.

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Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the 100th anniversary of the start of the WWI Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Aug 04, 2014 at 12:00 AM

August 4, 2014
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War:

“Today, Canadians join the international community in commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, which engulfed Europe in conflict from 1914 to 1918 and killed at least ten million combatants and millions more civilians. 

“It is a time to remember and honour the sacrifices and tremendous achievements of the more than 650,000 brave Canadians and Newfoundlanders who left their families and the comfort of their homes to serve their King and country, as well as to preserve the universal values of freedom, peace and democracy that we hold most dear.

“It is a time to remember the more than 66,000 of our selfless men and women who gave their lives during the First World War, and the estimated 172,000 more who were wounded.

“It is a source of deep national pride that the bravery and courage of our service members helped ensure Allied victories in important battles at places like Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele and Amiens. These efforts played a vital role in finally bringing about the negotiation and conclusion of the Armistice, which ended the First World War at precisely 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918.

“The dedication, courage and determination demonstrated by our brave soldiers, sailors and airmen, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with like-minded allies to fight for what they believed in, resulted in Canada emerging as a proud, victorious nation with newfound standing in the world.

“On this important anniversary, let us recall and honour our heroes who put their lives on the line during the First World War so that right would prevail and so that Canadians and other peoples would have the opportunity to live in peace and freedom. Let us also extend our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families – past and present – who courageously serve our great country with the same proud Canadian tradition.

“Lest we forget.”

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Last Updated ( Aug 05, 2014 at 10:19 AM )
Canada supports refugee children in the Middle East Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Jul 25, 2014 at 09:10 AM

Canada will provide greater learning opportunities to vulnerable children from Syria and Lebanon

July 25, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, announced on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, that Canada will contribute to UNICEF’s Improving Access to Quality Education for all Children initiative in Lebanon. Minister Kenney made the announcement during a visit to the Maallaqa Aradi Zahle informal refugee settlement in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

"I am proud to announce Canada’s contribution to improve education service delivery in Lebanon," said Minister Kenney. "This project will address the challenges of providing good quality education to vulnerable girls and boys from Syria and Lebanon and also contributes to Canada’s comprehensive development, humanitarian and security response to the Syrian crisis."

Today’s announcement will help provide increased access for vulnerable school-aged girls and boys from Syria and Lebanon to quality learning opportunities within the public education system in Lebanon, reaching up to 125,000 children in 500 public schools. Children will also benefit from rehabilitated water and sanitation facilities in schools where these needs are particularly acute.

"This announcement is another example of Canada’s leadership in addressing the education needs of children affected by the Syrian conflict," added Minister Paradis. "We are pleased to be working with UNICEF and Lebanon’s Ministry of Education to provide the best quality education and learning opportunities, while also rehabilitating and improving school buildings to make them safe and healthy learning environments conducive to enhancing student learning outcomes."

Since the start of the Syrian uprising in March of 2011, Canada has worked to support the Syrian people and has given generously to the various international efforts to support the Syrian people, including those living as refugees in neighboring countries. We have been active in calling on the international community to come together and defend the rights of the Syrian people to determine their own future. To date, Canada has committed more than $630 million in humanitarian, development and security assistance in response to the Syria crisis.

The situation in Syria is a humanitarian catastrophe and the source of countless human rights abuses, including gross violations of religious freedom. Canada deplores the continued persecution of Christians resulting from the conflict in Syria, in particular brutal attacks carried out by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]. ISIS has made it clear that it seeks to eradicate the fragile, but nevertheless resilient tradition of religious tolerance that people in the region have enjoyed for centuries. Canada will continue to express its support for the Syrian and Iraqi people as they struggle to defend their freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Quick Facts

  • This project delivers on the Government of Canada’s commitment of $25 million for Jordan and Lebanon to build the resilience of government services and infrastructure, including in education and the delivery of basic services.
  • Today’s announcement also responds to calls from the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, for a $10-million Canadian contribution to education programming in Lebanon.
  • This project advances Canada’s foreign policy commitment to help regional governments mitigate the impact of the Syrian crisis and aligns with Lebanon’s National Stabilization Roadmap.
  • The project complements the "No Lost Generation" initiative’s activities in Lebanon.

Related Products

  • Backgrounder: Canada providing support for public education in Lebanon

Associated Links

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Last Updated ( Jul 25, 2014 at 09:10 AM )
Seafarers’ International Union of Canada Supports Veterans as They Transition to Civilian Life Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Jul 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM

S.I.U. and the Government of Canada join forces and focus on a Priority Veteran Hiring Initiative

Thorold, Ontario, Canada- July 23, 2014- Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (S.I.U), the most important sailors’ union in Canada, representing the majority of unlicensed and licensed sailors working aboard vessels across Canada, today announced that it has launched a new initiative that will focus on priority training and hiring for members of the Canadian Armed Forces as they transition from military to civilian life.

The Priority Veteran Hiring Initiative will create synergy and opportunities for both the shipping industry and Veterans Affairs Canada.  By matching the skill sets, training and experience of the Canadian Armed Forces within the shipping industry, the S.I.U. is further investing in Canada’s future by providing opportunities in the seafaring industry.  “All of our partner companies, from coast to coast, support the initiative to recruit and train tomorrow’s seafarers,” said James Given, President, S.I.U.  “With the valuable skill sets, ambition and dedication to the Canadian Flag that veterans bring to our industry, it is welcomed on all fronts”.

“I am pleased that Seafarers’ International Union of Canada is committed to helping our Veterans find opportunities that will utilize their skills and experience at sea. By doing this, Seafarers are affirming what we already know: Canada’s men and women in uniform are skilled individuals, with the experience to be top notch employees,” said The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs.

“Canadian Veterans are hardworking and dedicated individuals who can contribute immensely to our country’s economic growth and prosperity.  I’m confident this new partnership will lead to good things for both Veterans and the Seafarers’,” said Parm Gill, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

“Our Government is committed to supporting Veterans and their families as they leave military service and become productive members of the civilian workforce. I applaud the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada for having the insight to tap into this highly-skilled pool of talented individuals,” said Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The S.I.U. looks forward to continuing its work with its partner companies and the Government of Canada in promoting this important initiative and providing opportunities for the men and women who have served in the Canadian Armed Forces.


About the Seafarers' International Union of Canada: A Sailors' Union by Sailors for the benefit of Sailors.  The Seafarers' International Union of Canada has been serving unlicensed seafarers since 1938 and is affiliated with the Seafarers' International Union of North America, presently representing 60,000 unlicensed seafarers across the continent. The most important sailors' union in Canada, the Seafarers' International Union, better known as the S.I.U., represents the majority of unlicensed sailors working aboard vessels on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, on the East Coast and the West Coast and in the Arctic.  In addition to vessels operated in Canadian waters, S.I.U. members also have the opportunity to work aboard vessels delivering cargoes in the United States, Europe and South America.
For more information please contact:


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Last Updated ( Jul 23, 2014 at 07:34 PM )
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