On April 3, 2014, I presented a petition in the House of Commons on behalf of thousands of Canadians who were asking the Government of Canada to consider designating the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt as a terrorist organization.
MPs regularly present petitions on behalf of people on all sorts of topics. MPs are not required to agree or disagree with the contents of a petition but most MPs believe that presenting these gives voice to Canadians directly in the House of Commons.
After a petition is presented, the Goverment has 45 days to respond and that response may result in further action by the Government or by the petitioners.
The rules governing petitions are clearly set out in the House of Commons policies and procedures which can be viewed at www.parl.gc.ca.
On Friday, April 25, 2014, please join MP Brad Butt as he hosts his annual Seniors’ Forum.
Vic Johnston Community Centre
335 Church Street, Mississauga
Space is limited!
To RSVP, please call (905) 812-1811 or email email@example.com
Presentations by several local organizations. Please see flyer below for more details.
Jim’s dedication to his country and to making it a better place for all Canadians was something that all of his colleagues respected.
As an economic leader on the world stage during the recent worldwide economic crisis Jim’s steady hand, leadership, and charm led Canada through these challenges and back to prosperity.
That was the public man, but those of us who have known him personally for years are saddened for the friend we lost and we send our prayers to his wife Christine and his children on this sad day.
Rhonda and I want to send our thoughts to the Flaherty family for the loss of a truly special person.
Canada will not forget him.
April 9, 2014
Last Friday night, I attended the 6th annual SMILE Canada fundraising gala at the Swagat Banquet Centre in my riding of Mississauga-Streetsville attended by many families supported by this program.
During National Volunteers Week, I wish to pay tribute to SMILE which is 100% volunteer run.
SMILE Canada is an organization dedicated to supporting children and their families from minority communities living with a disability and/or critical illness.
Through a very active volunteer framework, SMILE offers a support system, integrative events, educational workshops, scholarships, and a buddy program supporting children with different abilities.
I encourage people in our community to help support SMILE through a donation of time, talent or resources. Go to www.smilecan.org.
Our communities are only stronger when we all make the effort to help each other.
And Mr. Speaker as this organization rightly says “we all smile in the same language.”
Federal Government seeks to better protect victims of crime and give them a stronger voice in our justice system
April 3, 2014 Mississauga, Ontario Prime Minister’s Office
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the introduction of legislation to create a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights that would transform the criminal justice system by creating, at the federal level, clear rights for victims of crime – a first in Canadian history. The Prime Minister was joined by Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
During consultations held by the federal Government over the past year, many victims of crime shared stories of their interactions with the criminal justice system. Many participants expressed a desire for victims of crime to be kept better informed and involved at every stage of the justice process, and called for an increased understanding of the needs of victims.
Our Government is delivering on its commitment in the 2013 Speech from the Throne to introduce a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, a commitment reiterated in Budget 2014. The legislation is part of our Government’s Plan for Safe Streets and Communities, which focuses on holding violent offenders accountable, enhancing the rights of victims, and increasing the efficiency of our justice system.
• The legislation would create the following statutory rights for victims of crime:
o Right to information: Victims would have the right to general information about the criminal justice system and available victim services and programs, as well as specific information about the progress of the case, including information relating to the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of the person who harmed them.
o Right to protection: Victims would have the right to have their security and privacy considered at all stages of the criminal justice process, to have reasonable and necessary measures to protect them from intimidation and retaliation, and to request their identity be protected from public disclosure.
o Right to participation: Victims would have a right to convey their views about decisions to be made by criminal justice professionals and have them considered at various stages of the criminal justice process, and to present a victim impact statement.
o Right to restitution: Victims would have the right to have the court consider making a restitution order for all offences for which there are easy-to-calculate financial losses.
• The Government will provide dedicated funding to support the implementation of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights through existing resources as well as the allocation of new federal resources.
• A study released in 2011 by the Department of Justice Canada found that the total cost of crime is an estimated $99.6 billion a year – 83 per cent of which is borne by victims.
• According to Statistics Canada, nearly 2 million criminal incidents were reported to Canadian police services in 2012.
• All provinces and territories have legislation for victims of crime and currently manage successful victims’ services programs in their own jurisdictions.
“Our Government is proud to be rebalancing the scales of Canadian justice to ensure that innocent victims of crime have clear rights in our system. The new legislation being introduced in Parliament today aims to ensure that victims are at the heart of our judicial system and that they have the right to information, to protection, to participation and to restitution.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“Our Government wants victims of crime across this country to know that we have listened to their concerns and that we are squarely on their side. Victims will have enforceable rights in Canada’s criminal justice system, will be treated with the respect and fairness that they deserve, and will have a stronger voice.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our Government has emerged as a leader in the battle against homelessness.
Since launching our Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) in 2007, we have helped over 26,000 homeless, at-risk Canadians obtain education and training opportunities, helped over 27,000 find work, and created more than 4,800 new shelter beds. And we’ve done this in accordance with solid conservative fiscal principles. For every dollar we’ve invested, over two dollars has been invested by partners, including other levels of government, community stakeholders, and the private and non-profit sectors.
Building on this success, next month marks a new phase of HPS. Despite false claims that funding has been cut, we’ve renewed funding under this program for the next 5 years. Communities will continue to receive the same amount of funding for programs to prevent and reduce homelessness as they did previously.
What has changed is that we are moving towards a Housing First approach, in line with our commitment to deliver value for money for taxpayers and ensure our investments actually make a long-term difference for the most vulnerable in our society.
Housing First is effective in reducing chronic homelessness while alleviating pressure on shelter, health and judicial services. Once stable housing is obtained, the focus shifts to addressing more ongoing issues, such as addictions or mental health. Evidence has shown that this is the most effective way to combat chronic homelessness. Because the ultimate goal is to ensure these individuals learn the skills required to obtain jobs and become fully participating members of society.
Our Government funded a pilot project that took place in five Canadian cities. It was the largest research project of its kind in the world. The preliminary results showed that two years later almost 80 percent of the participants remained housed. These are stronger results than we’ve seen under any previous approaches to address homelessness. I’m looking forward to the final results of the project which will be coming out in a few weeks.
And while Housing First will be the cornerstone of our new HPS, communities will retain flexibility to invest in other proven approaches that reduce homelessness at the local level, such as shelters and transitional housing. We make no apologies and are proud to be ensuring hard-working taxpayer dollars are directed to where they will have the largest, long-term impact.
It is a pleasure to participate in the debate of Motion 455 introduced by my colleague, the Honourable Member for Edmonton East.
The intention of this motion is clear. It states that one nationally standardized “Point-in-Time” count should be recommended for use in all municipalities in carrying out counts of homeless individuals in their communities.
Motion 455 recommends the development of nationally recognized methods governing how the count should be carried out.
To put it more simply, my colleague has brought forward this motion so that the Government can help provide the tools to improve and standardize the way we count homeless people in Canada.
Currently, various methods are being used in different communities, which can be a problem.
This motion provides the opportunity to improve our programs and better target our resources.
Mr. Speaker, it is a tool for municipalities and communities to gain a better understanding of the homeless population, what situation these people are in, and what challenges they face.
Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS)
Mr. Speaker, given the complexity of homelessness, our government launched in 2007 the Homelessness Partnering Strategy also known as the HPS, with the goal of preventing and reducing homelessness in Canada.
Last year, as part of our Economic Action Plan, we announced an investment of almost $600 million over five years to renew the HPS. HPS funding is delivered to 61 communities, as well as to Aboriginal and rural and remote communities.
One of the great strengths of the HPS is that it encourages cooperation between governments, agencies, local community organizations and the private sector.
The HPS allows each of these communities to determine its own specific needs and develop projects to meet them.
In fact, each community must have an advisory board representing these types of stakeholders, and they set priorities and recommend projects to their communities, and Mr. Speaker, we know that this partnership approach works.
For every dollar we’ve invested, over two dollars has been invested by partners, including other levels of government, community stakeholders, and the private and non-profit sectors. We know that real solutions to homelessness can only be found through partnerships within our communities. ’m proud to report that through the efforts of the HPS and its partners, thousands of homeless individuals have secured stable housing, found jobs, returned to school and become fully participating members of Canadian society.
In Economic Action Plan 2013, we announced the renewal of the HPS using an evidence based approach with measurable and proven results called “Housing First.”
Housing First involves moving homeless individuals into immediate and permanent housing, then offering supports to keep them housed.
Once stable housing is obtained, the focus shifts to addressing more ongoing issues, such as addictions or mental health.
As a result, individuals are able to get their life back on track and become self-sufficient, fully participating members of society.
Evidence shows that Housing First can be effective in reducing chronic homelessness and makes better use of public dollars by reducing pressure on other shelter, health and justice services.
Through the At Home/ Chez Soi project, Canadians now have “made in Canada” evidence that the Housing First approach really works.
Over a 12-month period, Housing First participants spent an average of 73 percent of their time in stable housing, compared to only 30 percent for homeless people in a control group.
Mr. Speaker, I mentioned earlier that one of our main goals is to reduce the number of homeless people in the country, and if possible, eliminate homelessness altogether.
How will we know if the numbers are going down, if we don’t have a baseline to refer to because we are not using an efficient and standardized method of counting?
Point-in-Time (PiT) Count Approach
This is why our government is supportive of this motion to move towards a standard Point-in-Time count approach, also known as a PiT count. standardized approach will facilitate efforts to create a more comprehensive national picture of sheltered and unsheltered homelessness in Canada. Communities will be required to measure the results of efforts to reduce homelessness by conducting PiT counts. This data will help to determine whether homelessness is being effectively reduced at the community level.
The approach described by my colleague from Edmonton East would help to achieve this goal. ndeed, the proposed Point-in-Time count approach will better equip communities to assess the extent of homelessness. Such a method can also establish a baseline level of homelessness in designated HPS communities across Canada.
Communities across Canada will be able to use this method to track, at a given point in time, both the number of people staying in shelters or on the streets. his way they can obtain quantitative data that they can work with to address local needs and better deliver services.
Mr. Speaker, I am asking all my colleagues to consider Motion M-455 and how it will help us direct our money where it can do the most good: helping the most vulnerable people in Canada.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
MP Brad Butt is reminding community members that the call for nominations for the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards was recently announced by the Right Honourable Steven Harper, Prime Minister of Canada. The call for nominations is open between February 28 and May 9, 2014.
The Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards consist of 17 awards in total: 15 regional awards – 3 awards for each of 5 regions across Canada (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, British Columbia and the North), and 2 national awards. Discover the award categories and submit a nomination today through the Prime Minister’s website: Prime Ministers Volunteer Awards.
Recipients are recognized at an award ceremony and chose an eligible not-for-profit organization to receive a grant for $5,000 (regional award) or $10,000 (national award).
• Businesses contribute to their communities in many ways. In 2010, over half of employees who volunteered said that they had received support to do so from their employer.
• Almost half of all Canadians (47 percent) volunteer their time, energy and skills to benefit their communities, with the replacement value of their work estimated to be around $14 billion, or the equivalent of nearly 1.1 million full-time jobs.
• Volunteers are crucial to Canada’s not-for-profit sector, which includes 161 000 registered charities and not-for-profit organizations.
• The Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards recognize volunteers and organizations that use innovative ideas and approaches to address social challenges. Working in partnership, businesses, individuals and organizations can develop creative ways to strengthen their communities.