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Mar 04, 2015 at 03:30 AM

Oct 07, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-specific motion after two days of debate in Parliament:

“Since early 2014, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – or ISIL – has been carrying out a campaign of unspeakable atrocities against innocent children, women and men, as well as religious minorities in Iraq. Specifically, it has tortured and beheaded people, raped and sold women into slavery, slaughtered minorities and kidnapped innocent victims whose only crime was to have a different ideology than ISIL.

“Last summer when ISIL stood on the brink of committing genocide in Northern Iraq, Canada’s allies, led by U.S. President Barack Obama, intervened. We joined in this response by providing humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people. We also provided Canadian Armed Forces specialists to offer advice to security forces in Iraq on battling the terrorists, and provided aircraft to transport weapons and supplies to fight ISIL.

“For two days we have debated a motion in Parliament to participate in air strikes against ISIL along with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and likely others. Canada has committed up to six CF-18 fighter aircraft as part of a strike force.

“The motion also set out continued assistance to Iraq and other allies in the areas of ongoing advice to security forces in Iraq, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and aircraft refueling, including the provision of one CC-150 Polaris tanker, two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft and one dedicated airlift aircraft.

“To be absolutely clear, Canada’s engagement in Iraq is not a ground combat mission. It includes a number of targeted measures, being taken with allies, to severely limit the ability of ISIL to engage in full scale military movements and to operate bases in the open.

“We do not take this step lightly. The threat posed by ISIL is real. If left unchecked this terrorist organization will grow and grow quickly. They have already voiced their local and international terrorist intentions and identified Canada as a potential target.

“It is imperative that we act with our allies to halt ISIL’s spread in the region and reduce its capacity to launch terrorist attacks outside the region, including against Canada. 

“Our Government has a duty to protect Canadians and to shoulder our burden in efforts to combat threats such as ISIL. We must do our part.

“That is why we decided to seek support for this mission and support for the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces who would carry it out.”

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Sisters in Spirit Vigil - Saturday, Oct. 4th Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Oct 06, 2014 at 01:43 PM

On Saturday, October 4th, Rick, joined by two RCMP officers, attended the Sisters in Spirit Vigil, held by several local Aboriginal groups to remember missing and murdered Aboriginal women. 

The vigil was held just outside the Gatorade Garden City Complex and was attended by men, women and children, who sang songs and read the names of several southern Ontario Aboriginal women who have been murdered or gone missing. 

The two RCMP officers, Constables Craig Lickers and Keith Herechuk handed copies of the RCMP Report: Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women – A National Operational Overview http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/mmaw-faapd-eng.pdf to Marie Bowering of the Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative and Wendy Sturgeon, Executive Director of the Niagara Chapter-Native Women Inc.

Rick handed Marie and Wendy copies of the federal government’s Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/violence/efforts/action-eng.pdf .

Rick spoke briefly and told those in attendance that both he and the government take this issue very seriously and that constructive action must be taken immediately to solve any outstanding cases and to enact programs that will work to reduce the numbers of Aboriginal women and girls who experience any type of violence in our society.

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Last Updated ( Oct 08, 2014 at 11:54 AM )
Minister of Finance reports smaller-than-expected deficit of $5.2 billion in 2013–14 Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Oct 06, 2014 at 12:30 PM

October 6, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance

Finance Minister Joe Oliver today released the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 2013–14. The report shows a sharp downward trend in the Government’s annual deficit, reflecting Canada’s improving economic position. In 2013–14, the deficit fell to $5.2 billion, a $10.7-billion improvement from the projection in Economic Action Plan 2014. The 2013–14 deficit is down by more than 90 per cent from the $55.6-billion deficit recorded in 2009–10.

Lower-than-expected direct program spending and higher-than-anticipated revenues yielded a narrower deficit than forecast in Economic Action Plan 2014. Direct program spending has now fallen for four years in a row—the first time since 1961–62, the earliest year for which records are available—reflecting the Government of Canada’s continued responsible spending of taxpayers’ dollars.

The Government remains on track to return to budgetary balance in 2015. A revised fiscal outlook will be provided in the fall Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections.

Quick Facts

  • Revenues totalled $271.7 billion in 2013–14, $7.7 billion more than forecast in Economic Action Plan 2014, representing an improvement of 2.9 per cent.
  • Expenses totalled $276.8 billion in 2013–14, $3.0 billion less than forecast in Economic Action Plan 2014, representing a reduction in expenses of 1.1 per cent.
  • The 2012–13 budgetary deficit has been restated to $18.4 billion from $18.9 billion to reflect two accounting changes made in 2013–14.
  • To enhance the comparability of the forecast and actual results, the Economic Action Plan 2014 forecast of the 2013–14 budgetary deficit has also been restated, from $16.6 billion to $15.9 billion.
  • While returning to surplus, major federal transfers to provinces and territories in support of key areas such as health care and social programs have grown by 55 per cent since 2005–06.


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Canada’s Contribution to Fight ISIL Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Oct 03, 2014 at 02:38 PM

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today brought forward a motion asking the House of Commons to confirm its confidence for a Government decision to join our allies and partners: The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and others, in launching air strikes against ISIL. The motion is attached.

  • Our Government is committed to the safety and security of all Canadians.
  • ISIL has established a self-proclaimed “caliphate,” at present stretching over a vast territory, roughly from Aleppo to near Baghdad, from which it intends to launch a terrorist jihad, not merely against the region, but on a global basis.
  • ISIL has specifically targeted Canada and Canadians, urging supporters to attack “disbelieving Canadians in any manner,” vowing that that we should not feel secure, even in our homes.
  • In the territory ISIL has occupied, it has conducted a campaign of unspeakable atrocities against the most innocent of people; it has tortured and beheaded children; it has raped and sold women into slavery; it has slaughtered minorities; captured prisoners, and innocent civilians whose only crime is being or thinking differently from ISIL.
  • On September 5, the Prime Minister announced that members of the Canadian Army, in a non-combat role, would advise and assist security forces in Iraq battling the terrorists. And we indicated that Canada was prepared to do more.
    • Today, we are bringing forward a motion asking this House to confirm its confidence for a Government decision to join our allies and partners: The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and (likely) others, in launching air strikes against ISIL.
    • We will also contribute one air-to-air refuelling aircraft, two Aurora surveillance aircraft, and the necessary air crews and support personnel.
    • In addition, we are extending the deployment, in a non-combat role, of up to 69 members of the Canadian Army to continue advising and assisting security forces in Iraq.
  • There will, however, be no ground combat mission, which is explicitly ruled out in the resolution.
    • These contributions are for a period of up to six months.
  • Left unchecked, this terrorist threat can only grow – and grow quickly.
  • We should be under no illusion. If Canada wants to keep its voice in the world and we should since so many of our challenges are global, being a free rider means you are not taken seriously.
    • As a Government, we know our ultimate responsibility is to protect Canadians, and to defend our citizens from those who would do harm to us and to our families.
    • And when our allies recognize and respond to a threat that would also harm us, we Canadians do not stand on the sidelines. We do our part.
  • We call on all Members of this House to show their support for this mission and, of course, our support for the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, who are, now and always, ready and willing to answer the call of their country.

PM Delivers Remarks in the House of Commons - October 04, 2014

See next page for motion...

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Last Updated ( Oct 06, 2014 at 02:58 PM )
Government of Canada Celebrates Most Successful Month for Trade and Investment in Canadian History Print E-mail Share to FacebookTweet This!
Oct 03, 2014 at 11:00 AM

October 1, 2014 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today took stock of the recent historic trade achievements in key markets, which directly benefit hard-working Canadians. A number of significant milestones in opening markets for Canadian businesses were accomplished in September 2014, making it a historic month in Canada’s job-creating, pro-trade plan.

On September 26, Prime Minister Stephen Harper hosted Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, on the occasion of the Canada-European Union (EU) Summit. The three leaders celebrated a new era in the Canada-EU relationship, with the end of negotiations and the release of the complete text of the Canada-EU trade agreement. The agreement opens the way to vastly increased trade, job creation and greater prosperity with preferred access to the world’s largest and most lucrative market, with more than 500 million consumers. Canada’s leading business associations—representing firms from all sectors and regions of the country—also announced the launch of the Coalition for Canada-EU Trade, ensuring that the agreement achieves its full potential. Export Development Canada and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters also recently launched the Enterprise Canada Network, providing small to medium-sized enterprises in Canada with more than 30,000 business opportunity profiles posted through the European ‎Commission’s Enterprise Europe Network.

On September 22, Prime Minister Harper hosted Park Geun-hye, President of South Korea, and witnessed the signature of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region. The agreement will open the door to Canadian businesses and workers and provide them with a gateway in Asia, enhancing their global competitiveness.

On September 17, Prime Minister Harper and Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, directed officials to accelerate work on the Canada-Ukraine free trade negotiations.

On September 15, Canada and Honduras announced that the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement would enter into force on October 1. This is Canada’s seventh free trade agreement in the Americas.

On September 12, Canada announced that the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) between Canada and China will come into force on October 1, helping to ensure that Canadian companies doing business in China are treated fairly and benefit from a more predictable, secure and transparent business environment. Canada also signed a FIPA with Serbia on September 1 and announced the coming into force soon of the Canada-Cameroon FIPA, bringing to a total of 23 the number of investment agreements concluded since 2006. Including the agreement with China, Canada now has 28 FIPAs in force around the world.

Given these historic achievements, and under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, the Harper government is clearly committed to continuing to provide the tools to ensure Canadian businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), seize these new opportunities to boost their exports. Therefore, vigorous trade promotion efforts and activities are being planned so SMEs can realize their full export potential, creating jobs and opportunities in every region of the country.

Quick Facts

  • Canada is a trading nation, with trade generating the equivalent of approximately 60 percent of GDP and being responsible for one in five jobs in Canada.
  • Since 2006, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with no less than 38 countries, bringing the total to 43, making up more than half of the global economy and representing nearly one quarter of the world’s countries.
  • In fact, a joint study concluded that a trade agreement with the EU could boost Canada’s income by $12 billion annually and bilateral trade by 20 percent. This is equivalent to creating almost 80,000 new jobs or increasing the average Canadian family’s annual income by $1,000.
  • The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is expected to create thousands of new jobs in Canada, boost Canada’s GDP by $1.7 billion and increase Canadian exports to South Korea by 32 percent.
  • According to Export Development Canada, of the more than 1 million SMEs active in Canada, 41,000 are currently exporting. Under the Global Markets Action Plan, the Government of Canada is working with SMEs to grow their export presence in priority markets.

“Opening new markets around the world to boost Canadian exports and providing the protection to Canadians to invest abroad are key to creating jobs and opportunities for hard-working Canadians in every region of the country.

“Our government is delivering results on every continent, and we are committed to continue helping Canadian businesses succeed abroad, which creates jobs and prosperity at home. We are doing this by removing tariffs and trade barriers, providing preferred market access, investment protection and sustained trade promotion efforts, such as trade missions and the support of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, working together with Export Development Canada, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Business Development Bank of Canada.”
- Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

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