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Jan 28, 2015 at 07:01 AM

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
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please share your thoughts and ideas.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Rick Dykstra

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage


PM participates in roundtable discussion on cyberbullying and the sexual exploitation of children
Oct 10, 2014 at 02:51 PM

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today participated in a roundtable meeting with members of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (CCCP), a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to reducing child victimization, and others that provide programs and services to the Canadian public to help protect children and stop online exploitation. He was joined by Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface, Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, and Joyce Bateman, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre.

The roundtable focused on national solutions to address cyberbullying and the online sexual exploitation of children. The Prime Minister moderated the session, discussing the scope of these problems, the barriers to solving them, global responses and effective practices in other countries, and the effectiveness of measures taken to date in Canada in cooperation with provincial, territorial and civil society partners.

Measures being initiated in Canada include:

  • Making it an offence to distribute intimate images without the consent of the person depicted;
  • Requiring those convicted of child pornography offences and contact child sexual offences to serve their sentences consecutively;
  • Ensuring that spousal testimony is available in child pornography cases;
  • Enabling information-sharing on certain registered sex offenders between officials responsible for the National Sex Offender Registry and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA);
  • Establishing a publicly accessible database of high-risk child sex offenders who have been the subject of a public notification in a provincial/territorial jurisdiction to assist in ensuring the safety of our communities; and,
  • Informing Canadian youth and their parents about the dangers and consequences of cyberbullying and child sexual exploitation through a national anti-cyberbullying awareness campaign.

In addition, the Government of Canada’s National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet increases law enforcement’s capacity to investigate and track down online predators, enhances public education and awareness, and supports further research on child sexual exploitation.

The Prime Minister also applauded the CCCP’s public awareness activities which are playing a major role in addressing online child sexual exploitation and helping to make our children safe.

Quick Facts

  • October is Cyber Security Awareness Month.
  • GetCyberSafe is Canada’s national cyber security public awareness campaign and a key component of Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy.
  • In Canada in 2013, there were 2,668 incidents of child pornography reported by police (nearly 500 more than 2012). This is a 21 per cent increase in the rate of child pornography offences from 2012 to 2013, and a 163 per cent increase from 2003 to 2013.
  • Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, would protect children from online predators and online exploitation, including by making it a criminal offence to distribute intimate images without the consent of the person depicted.
  • Bill C-26, the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act, would crack down on criminals who commit sexual offences against children, especially those who continue to violate their conditions while they are on probation or under prohibition orders, and would ensure that sentencing takes into account each young life that has been devastated by a sexual predator by requiring those convicted of contact child sexual offences against multiple children to serve their sentences consecutively – one after another.
  • In January 2014, the Government of Canada launched the anti-cyberbullying national awareness campaign, Stop Hating Online – a comprehensive resource for parents and youth that includes information, advice and tools needed to identify, prevent and stop cyberbullying. Now in its third phase, the campaign focuses on the consequences of cyberbullying and how this behaviour amounts to criminal activity.
  • Amongst other important initiatives that the Government of Canada supports to address sexual exploitation and cyberbullying are the Canadian Centre for Child Protection's Cybertip.ca and NeedHelpNow.ca websites, which Canadians can use to report online sexual exploitation of children and seek help from exploitation resulting from the non-consensual sharing of sexual images.

Related Product

  • Government of Canada actions to date to combat child sexual exploitation and cyberbullying

Associated Links

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Last Updated ( Oct 10, 2014 at 03:49 PM )
Enhancing the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit
Oct 10, 2014 at 01:50 PM

Our Government intends to enhance the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit (CFTC) by increasing the maximum amount that may be claimed under the credit to $1,000 from $500, and by making the credit refundable. The doubling of the maximum amount will be effective for the 2014 tax year and subsequent tax years, and the credit will be made refundable effective for the 2015 and subsequent tax years.

These proposed enhancements, which fulfill a commitment made by the Government in 2011, will provide tax relief for Canadian families of about $25 million in fiscal year 2014-2015, and $35 million annually thereafter. The CFTC currently provides tax relief to 1.4 million families who enrol their children in eligible fitness activities. When fully implemented, these enhancements will deliver additional tax relief to about 850,000 families.

Doubling the CFTC Amount

Our Government proposes to double the amount that can be claimed for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit to $1,000 from $500, effective for the 2014 and subsequent tax years.
The example below illustrates how doubling the credit will benefit a family.

Example – Doubling the CFTC amount

A couple with one child has $950 in eligible expenses in 2014 – including $300 for the child’s fall football program plus $650 for the child’s winter hockey program. Under the current Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, the couple’s tax liability is reduced by $75 (15 per cent of the maximum credit amount of $500). Under the proposed doubling of the credit, their tax liability would be reduced by about $142 (15 per cent of $950).

Making the CFTC Refundable

Our Government proposes to make the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit refundable, effective for the 2015 tax year and subsequent tax years. Making the credit refundable will increase benefits to low-income families claiming the credit.

The example below illustrates how making the credit refundable will benefit a family.

Example – Making the CFTC refundable

A couple has two children in a soccer program at a cost of $240 per child in 2015. The family’s income is too low for them to have net tax liability. Since the original non-refundable Children’s Fitness Tax Credit can only be used to reduce tax owing, the credit, as it currently stands is of no benefit to them. By making the credit refundable as proposed, the couple will be better off by $72 ($36 per child based on 15 per cent of $240). The family’s tax refund would include this $72.

Origin of the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit

The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit was introduced in Budget 2006 by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, who was Minister of Finance at the time. The credit became effective in 2007, and was designed according to the recommendations of the Expert Panel for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. In 2011, our Government committed, upon return to budget balance, to doubling the maximum amount that can be claimed under this credit and to making the credit refundable.

Eligibility for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit

Eligible activities include strenuous games such as hockey or soccer, activities such as golf lessons, horseback riding, sailing, and bowling, as well as others that require a similar level of physical activity. Fees charged for extracurricular programs that take place in school may be eligible.
For more information on the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website: cra-arc.gc.ca   .

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Minister Moore announces new measures to improve trade within Canada
Oct 09, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Consumer-led research projects part of Harper Government's continued push for free trade within Canada

Industry Minister James Moore today announced support for four new research projects to demonstrate the benefits to Canadian consumers of having free trade within Canada. The projects are another step in the concrete actions that the Government of Canada has been taking to free Canadian businesses, workers and consumers from the protectionist barriers that limit their success, movement and choice.

This important work will be completed by the following consumer organizations:

  • The Consumers Council of Canada will identify ways in which consumer groups can harmonize trade among the provinces and territories.
  • Option consommateurs will examine means of improving Canadians' views on consumer protection safeguards across Canada.
  • The Public Interest Advocacy Centre will work with Canadians to determine how a new internal trade agreement could amend the dispute resolution and enforcement regimes to include direct access for consumers.
  • Union des consommateurs will identify best practices in the European Union and Australia for addressing internal trade barriers and how similar barriers can be broken down in Canada.
  • The results of this important work will be released in June 2015.

Quick facts

  • When the Agreement on Internal Trade came into effect nearly 20 years ago, Canada had concluded trade agreements with only two countries. Today, we have agreements in force or being finalized with 43 countries, giving Canadian businesses preferential access to over 1.1 billion consumers worldwide.
  • The Agreement on Internal Trade is an intergovernmental accord on trade within Canada focused on eliminating barriers to establish an open, efficient and stable domestic market.
  • Nearly 40 percent of Canada's trade occurs within its borders.
  • On August 20, 2014, Minister Moore unveiled One Canada, One National Economy: Modernizing Internal Trade in Canada, which outlines two potential paths for federal, provincial and territorial partners to advance a modern internal trade framework: targeted reform that addresses priority areas of concern or a complete redesign of the Agreement on Internal Trade to bring it in line with recent international trade agreements.
  • A request for proposals to create a new Internal Trade Barriers Index was launched on September 5, 2014. As outlined in Economic Action Plan 2014, the index will increase knowledge of the barriers to domestic trade and help governments identify priority areas for action.
  • The Government will provide $330,000 for four consumer-focused research projects conducted by Canada's largest consumer organizations.
  • The Office of Consumers Affairs' Contributions Program for Non-profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations works to strengthen the consumer's role in the marketplace by promoting sound research and analysis and by encouraging the financial self-sufficiency of consumer and voluntary organizations.


"Eliminating internal trade barriers will create jobs, boost economic growth and lead to more choices for Canadian consumers. While I am encouraged by the progress to date, there is still work to be done to strengthen our national economy and global competitiveness. The contribution announced today will support essential work to show how free trade within Canada will directly benefit Canadians and their families."
– James Moore, Minister of Industry

"The Consumers Council of Canada appreciates the support from the Office of Consumer Affairs, Industry Canada, for its investigation of ways consumer groups can play a strong role in achieving trade harmonization that will benefit the country's consumers. It's important that consumer groups take part in the process of interprovincial trade reform as effectively and efficiently as possible. Our research, devoted to the improvement of consumer representation in a reform effort of national significance, will be among the Council's most important ever. We hope the outcome of the research will reward all Canadians in their roles as both consumers and taxpayers."
– Aubrey LeBlanc, President, Consumers Council of Canada

"The research conducted by Option consommateurs will give the government insight into Canadians' views on standardizing consumer protection safeguards. Being a consumer organization, we think it's important to take those views into account."
– Maryse Guénette, Head of the Representation and Research Department, Option consommateurs

"Our research will seek to improve access by consumers to transparent, effective interprovincial trade dispute resolution and enforcement regimes in Canada. This should benefit all stakeholders, including Canadian businesses and their customers."
– John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel, Public Interest Advocacy Centre

Associated links

  • Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program for Non-profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations
  • Follow @industrycanada on Twitter and use #internaltrade to let us know how internal trade is affecting your business.

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