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Oct 22, 2014 at 07:53 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


Sep 18, 2014 at 03:55 PM

Grimsby, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today participated in a roundtable meeting with Ontario businesses at Forty Creek Distillery in Grimsby. He was joined by Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and Dean Allison, Member of Parliament for Niagara West-Glanbrook.

During the roundtable, the Prime Minister discussed the economy and measures that our Government is taking to help Canadian businesses thrive, both at home and abroad. Some of the measures highlighted included support for businesses in Economic Action Plan 2014, tax reductions, the elimination of unnecessary regulatory burdens, the Canada Job Grant, and the recently announced Small Business Job Credit.

The Prime Minster also highlighted the Government’s unprecedented efforts to increase Canadian businesses’ access to international markets, including through the Canada-European Union (EU) Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA). In particular, he highlighted the many benefits that the Canada-EU Trade Agreement will bring to workers and businesses from a wide range of sectors throughout Southern Ontario and across Canada. Some of the benefits that were highlighted included eliminating the EU’s tariffs on almost all of Ontario's keys exports, providing access to new market opportunities in the EU, improving conditions for export by easing regulatory barriers to trade, reinforcing intellectual-property rights, and ensuring more transparent rules for market access.

Quick Facts

  • The Canada-EU Trade Agreement is by far the most ambitious trade agreement that Canada has ever reached. It covers most aspects of the Canada-EU bilateral economic relationship, including trade in goods and services, investment, and government procurement. It also grants the flexibility to include areas of mutual interest beyond those that have traditionally been included in Canada's trade agreements, such as regulatory cooperation. The EU is the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and an annual GDP of $18 trillion. It is projected that the Canada-EU Trade Agreement will boost Canada’s income by $12 billion annually and bilateral trade by 20 per cent.
  • The Canada-EU Trade Agreement represents thousands of new jobs for Canadians, and a half-billion new customers for Canadian businesses.
  • Ontarians stand to benefit significantly from this preferred access to the EU market. The EU is already Ontario’s second-largest export destination and trading partner. When the Canada-EU Trade Agreement comes into force, it will eliminate tariffs on almost all of Ontario’s key exports and provide access to new market opportunities in the EU. Exporters in these sectors will also benefit from other provisions that will improve conditions for export provisions, for example, that ease regulatory barriers to trade, reinforce intellectual-property rights and ensure more transparent rules for market access.
  • The Canada-EU Trade Agreement will benefit the spirits and wine industries in a number of ways. The Agreement will prohibit the use of the term “rye whisky” for spirits not originating in Canada, prohibit misleading use of the term “Canada” generally, and specifically protect geographical indications of the terms “Canadian Rye Whisky and Canadian Whisky.” Canadian wine producers, including Ontario's award-winning ice wine, will gain duty-free access to 500 million consumers in the world's largest economy. The Canada-EU Trade Agreement will also have number of mechanisms that will make it easier to discuss and potentially resolve any non-tariff trade barriers in the area of spirits. All of these elements will help Canadian exporters in the EU market.

Associated Links

• How the Canada-EU Trade Agreement will benefit Ontario
• Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
• Declaration by the President of the European Commission and the Prime Minister of Canada - ”A new era in EU-Canada relations”

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September 2014 Newsletter
Sep 18, 2014 at 03:07 PM

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: Revitalizing Downtown St. Catharines, Strengthening Canadian Citizenship, International Day of the Girl, Creating Canadian Jobs.

[Click here to download September 2014 Newsletter]

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PM to welcome Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to Canada
Sep 11, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, will make his first official visit to Canada on September 17, 2014. This visit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine, with a particular focus on the steps required to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity, as well as ensure its sovereignty in the face of the Putin regime’s illegal occupation of Ukraine’s CrimeaPeninsula and its military aggression in eastern Ukraine. They will also discuss the peace plan announced between Ukraine, Russia and pro-Russian separatists on September 5, 2014. President Poroshenko will also address Parliament during his visit.

Since the onset of the crisis, Canada has stood alongside the people of Ukraine and is taking a number of important steps to support the country. These include imposing a broad range of political and economic sanctions, providing support to help Ukraine stabilize its economy and promote economic and social development, and providing non-lethal security assistance and training for members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Canada is committed to contributing to free and fair elections in Ukraine and will send short and long-term observers to the October 26, 2014 Ukraine Parliamentary elections.

Quick Facts

  • Canada and Ukraine have enjoyed close bilateral relations since Canada became the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence on December 2, 1991. These relations have grown to encompass cooperation in the commercial, political and security spheres.
  • At over 1.2 million strong, the Ukrainian-Canadian community has contributed immensely to enriching the Canadian mosaic. The first Ukrainian immigrants settled in Canada over 120 years ago, and today, we salute the community for their impressive legacy and many achievements made from coast to coast to coast, which have helped ensure our collective prosperity.
  • As a result of the crisis, Canada is also providing over $250 million in support to Ukraine to help promote social and economic reforms, including through loans and loan guarantees. Our Government has also imposed sanctions against over 180 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities who bear responsibility for the crisis. Furthermore, Canada continues to provide training for Ukrainian military and civilian personnel through the Military Training Cooperation Program and has contributed non-lethal security assistance to Ukraine.

“It is a great honour to welcome President Poroshenko to Canada. We remain steadfast in our support for the people of Ukraine and are committed to helping the Government re-build itself into a democratic, independent, and prosperous European country, free from aggressors. Together with allies and partners, Canada stands prepared to apply further political and economic measures against those who continue to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Associated Links

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