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Oct 25, 2014 at 09:49 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


PM of Canada announces the discovery of one of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition Ships lost in 1846
Sep 09, 2014 at 01:40 PM

Statement by the Prime minister of Canada announcing the discovery of one of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition Ships lost in 1846

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to announce the discovery of one of the ships belonging to the ill-fated Franklin Expedition which was lost in 1846:

“I am delighted to announce that this year’s Victoria Strait Expedition has solved one of Canada’s greatest mysteries, with the discovery of one of the two ships belonging to the Franklin Expedition lost in 1846.

“Although we do not know yet whether the discovery is Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Erebus or HMS Terror, we do have enough information to confirm its authenticity. This find was confirmed on Sunday, September 7, 2014, using a remotely operated underwater vehicle recently acquired by Parks Canada.

“This is truly a historic moment for Canada. Franklin’s ships are an important part of Canadian history given that his expeditions, which took place nearly 200 years ago, laid the foundations of Canada’s Arctic sovereignty.

“I would like to congratulate and pay tribute to all partners involved in this year’s momentous Victoria Strait Expedition, including Parks Canada, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS), the Arctic Research Foundation (ARF), the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), the Royal Canadian Navy and the Government of Nunavut. This discovery would not have been possible without their tireless efforts over the years, as well as their commitment, dedication and the perseverance of the many partners and explorers involved.

“Our Government has been deeply committed to finding HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, which were Canada’s only undiscovered national historical site. Since 2008, there have been six major Parks Canada-led searches for the lost Franklin Expedition ships, pain-stakingly covering many hundreds of square kilometres of the Arctic seabed. It is gratifying that the ship’s remains were found during the Government-supported 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition.

“Finding the first vessel will no doubt provide the momentum – or wind in our sails – necessary to locate its sister ship and find out even more about what happened to the Franklin Expedition’s crew.”

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Sep 05, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Newport, Wales
5 September 2014


Prime Minister Stephen Harper today marked the conclusion of a productive 2014 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, which took place in Newport and Cardiff (Wales), United Kingdom, from September 4 to 5. The Summit was part of a broader visit to the U.K., which also saw the Prime Minister taking part in a bilateral program and Canadian trade mission in London.

During the Summit, Prime Minister Harper joined leaders from the 28 member countries as well as a number of non-NATO partner countries and international organizations to discuss key issues facing the Alliance and its partners. In considering NATO’s vital role, leaders stressed the importance of the Alliance’s capability, readiness and solidarity to ensure our security and to build stability in an unpredictable world.

Discussions included NATO’s response to Russian military aggression in Ukraine, the Alliance’s ongoing relationship with Afghanistan post-2014, as well as the broader global security environment, including the barbaric actions and expansionist agenda of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which are further destabilizing the region and threatening global peace and security. Outcomes of the Summit were outlined in the Wales Summit Declaration.

The Prime Minister also met with the next Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. During their meeting, he highlighted Canada’s contributions to the Alliance, notably the leadership role it has played since the onset of the crisis in Ukraine, and its ongoing commitment to ensuring that NATO remains modern, flexible, and ready to face the security challenges of the 21st century. He also underscored Canada’s contribution to the delivery of military supplies to security forces fighting ISIL in Iraq.

Finally, in a show of Canada’s ongoing support for the Alliance, the Prime Minister had the opportunity to witness the fly-by of a Canadian CF-18, as well as aircraft from a number of NATO Allied nations. Canadian CF-18’s are currently stationed in Lithuania from September to December 2014 to participate in the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission designed to enhance peace, security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.

Quick Facts

  • Canada is a founding member of NATO, and has been a major contributor to Alliance operations over the past 65 years. Canada has played a significant role in Afghanistan, Libya, the Balkans and on the seas, and continues to provide modern, deployable capabilities to Allied missions and highly trained personnel to NATO’s command structure.
  • Canada has been at the forefront of the international community’s response to the situation inUkraine and is providing reassurance to NATO Allies by contributing aircraft, a ship and troops to promote security and stability in Eastern andCentral Europe.
  • Canada is also providing over $250 million to support Ukraine through the current crisis and to help implement key reforms and stabilize its economy, and has imposed sanctions against over 180 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities. 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.
  • On September 4, 2014, Prime Minister Harper announced support through the NATO Trust Funds, with a focus on building up Ukrainian command and control and communications and computer capabilities to assist in improving personnel management systems and reform logistics and standardization within the Armed Forces. In addition, the three NATO Centres of Excellence in the Baltic region – Cyber Security, Energy Security and Strategic Communications – will each receive support to help Baltic States strengthen the regional framework for addressing the crisis situation.
  • On September 5, 2014, Prime Minister Harper announced the deployment of several dozen members of the Canadian Armed Forces to Iraq.

“The Wales Summit demonstrated the strength of our Alliance and our shared commitment to the values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. As one of NATO’s founding members and major contributing Allies, Canada will continue to uphold these values and contribute resources toward the fulfillment of NATO’s mission and objectives. Specifically, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to working with our NATO Allies in promoting stability and security in Central and Eastern Europe, and in particular in Ukraine.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

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Sep 04, 2014 at 02:55 PM

London, United Kingdom
3 September 2014


Prime Minister Stephen Harper today concluded a productive official visit to London, United Kingdom (U.K.). The visit is part of a broader trip to the U.K., which will also see the Prime Minister travelling to Wales to participate in the 2014 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, from September 4 to 5.

While in London, Prime Minister Harper had fruitful discussions with Canadian and British business leaders on how to further promote trade and investment opportunities between the two countries, including through the historic Canada-European Union (EU) Trade Agreement.  The Agreement will give Canadian companies preferential access to the largest market in the world.

The Prime Minister also participated in various parts of a bilateral trade mission to the U.K. being led by Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, including a question and answer session on economic and trade issues as well as a business roundtable.  He used the meetings with key U.K. business leaders and Canadian business delegation members to highlight the many opportunities that will be created by the Canada-EU Trade Agreement, and to promote Canada as a premier trade and investment partner. Members of the Canadian business delegation included representatives from a broad range of sectors such as agri-food and seafood, life sciences, and information and communications technologies.

Quick Facts

Canada and the U.K. enjoy excellent and long-standing bilateral relations enhanced by strong cooperation in international fora including the Commonwealth, the G-7, the G-20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

The U.K. is Canada’s third-largest destination for exports and fifth-largest trade partner after the United States, China, Mexico, and Japan. Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and the U.K. reached $22.5 billion in 2013, and the U.K. is Canada’s third most important source of foreign direct investment which totalled over $56 billion in 2013.

This visit marks Prime Minister Harper’s fifth visit to the U.K. since Prime Minister Cameron took office in spring 2010. The Prime Minister last visited London in June 2013, on his way to the G-8 Summit in Northern Ireland.

On August 5, 2014, Canada and the EU announced that officials have reached an agreement on the complete text for the Canada-EU Trade Agreement. Once in force, the Agreement will provide Canada with preferential market access to the EU’s more than 500 million consumers and to its annual $17 trillion in economic activity.

According to a joint study conducted with the EU, the Canada-EU Trade Agreement could boost Canada’s income by $12 billion annually and bilateral trade by 20 per cent, which is equivalent to creating almost 80,000 new jobs or increasing the average Canadian family’s annual income by $1,000.

“I had productive discussions in London with Canadian and British business leaders on how to bring our commercial relations to the next level. During our discussions, we emphasized the many new opportunities provided by the Canada-EU Trade Agreement for both countries.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper


- See more at: pm.gc.ca

See next page for Quotes on CETA and related links...

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