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Jul 29, 2015 at 03:59 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


April 2015 Newsletter
Apr 28, 2015 at 11:26 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: Growing Canada's Economy, Ensuring Safety for Canadians, Helping our Veterans, Supporting our Seniors.

[Click here to download April 2015 Newsletter]

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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.

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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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