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Slain soldiers remembered in Streetsville

October 24, 2014 Comments off

Brad

Mississauga News

By Chris Clay

MISSISSAUGA — The Mississauga community came together this morning in Streetsville to remember two Canadian soldiers killed in separate incidents this week that were suspected terror attacks.

Dozens of people stood quietly at the Streetsville cenotaph as local MPs Brad Butt and Bob Dechert along with Senator Victor Oh and Ward 11 City Councillor George Carlson laid a wreath at its base.

A number of Canadian Armed Forces veterans and members of the Royal Canadian Legion also paid their respects at the war memorial and honoured Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was shot and killed on Wednesday by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau while guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa, and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent who was struck and killed in a hit-and-run attack in Quebec earlier this week.

This morning, Butt said his thoughts since the incidents have been with the families of the slain soldiers.

“This has been a tough week for Canada,” said Butt, his voice thick with emotion. “We’ve lost some of our innocence this week. It’s unbelievable to think something like this could happen in a country like Canada.”

Both Butt and Dechert were in Ottawa at Parliament Hill for a Conservative caucus meeting when Zehaf-Bibeau burst into the Centre Block building through the front entrance, shot a security officer in the leg and then was shot and killed.

“We’re here today to honour two very special Canadians who gave their lives simply because they were wearing the uniform of the (Canadian) Armed Forces,” said Dechert. “We stand here resolved to remember their heroism in the face of these cowardly attacks.”

The ceremony seemed particularly poignant on a day when the body of Cpl. Cirillo was travelling back to his hometown of Hamilton along the Highway of Heroes.

There has been an outpouring of support from Canadians across the country for the two slain soldiers. It’s no different in Mississauga where flags all across the city are flying at half-mast out of respect for the two men.

A book of condolences has been set up in the Great Hall at the Civic Centre for Mississauga residents who wish to share their sorrow and thoughts. It will remain there untilnext Friday.

Carlson, meanwhile, was saddened to think that renovations to the cenotaph hadn’t even been completed and there was already a need to use it.

Jack Porter, a Royal Canadian Legion zone commander, said it was touching to see all the residents who turned out to pay their respects on such a somber occasion.

“It’s such a very sad day but I’m so proud to see what’s happening here in Streetsville,” said Porter.

MP Brad Butt speaks at Mississauga Rotary Club on World Polio Day

October 24, 2014 Comments off

Remarks to a Joint Meeting of the Mississauga Rotary Clubs

World Polio Day

October 24, 2014

by

Brad Butt, M.P., Mississauga-Streetsville

 

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Check Against Delivery

 

Fellow Rotarians, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today on World Polio Day as both a Rotarian and on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Minister of International Development the Hon. Christian Paradis.

I want to start by thanking Rotary International, the Rotary Foundation of Canada and all of the individual chapters across Canada for keeping polio eradication as your number one international development priority and for your excellent partnerships with the Government of Canada, the Gates Foundation and other NGOs on this life saving measure.

World Polio Day established was established by Rotary International over a decade ago and is held on October 24th in celebration of the birth of Dr. Jonas Salk, the man who led the first team to develop a vaccine against polio.

The development of the polio vaccine reduced polio worldwide by 99% with only Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan as the remaining polio endemic countries today. And although progress continues to be made in these areas, we have heard the news that in some regions polio may be making a comeback after most of us believed the battle was won.

While tremendous progress has been made since 1988, pockets of wild poliovirus remain, leaving unvaccinated children at risk of lifelong, irreversible paralysis. In light of continued polio outbreaks and funding shortages, the 65th World Health Assembly declared the completion of polio eradication a global public health programmatic emergency in May 2012, resulting in a global intensification of polio vaccination activities.

Canada remains committed to eradicating polio around the world and supports finishing the job as fast as possible.

Vaccinations are a key element of Canada’s leadership on maternal, newborn and child health, and Canada, through Prime Minister’s Muskoka Initiative, works to ensure every child is reached.

Canada remains concerned about the recent polio outbreaks and will continue to monitor the situation, however we remain confident that they will be contained.

Canada works with UNICEF and the World Health Organization, as well as with the Aga Khan Foundation and of course Rotary on this file.

Working with our partners through this Canada is leading the way to the eradication of Polio.

And Canada has been a long-term supporter of polio eradication.  It first included polio on the G8 agenda during its Presidency of the 2002 G8 Summit in Kananaskis.

Canada has disbursed over $472 million since 2000 and ranks as the 8th largest donor for the 1985-2014 period. Canada’s support to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has contributed to the immunization of millions of children around the globe.

At the Global Vaccine Summit, held in Abu Dhabi on April 24-25, 2013, Canada re-iterated its support for polio eradication initiatives and pledged $250 million over six years to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative Endgame Strategy.

Canada is currently a co-chair of the Polio Partner Group, a group of global stakeholders overseeing polio eradication in an effort to improve the effectiveness of the global response to polio.

The Government of Canada recently made a contribution of $20 million over 3 years to the Pakistan Polio Plus Initiative. This is a joint initiative between the Government of Canada, Rotary and Gates Foundation to engage Canadians in the global effort to eradicate polio in this country.

This past January, I visited Lahore, Pakistan and met with the front line workers with UNICEF that are working with the communities and its leaders on administering the polio vaccine. While challenges and stigmas remain, they are making great progress and reaching more children than ever before.

In a recent edition of The Rotarian, I noted the Five Reasons to Eradicate Polio. It Saves Lives, It’s Achievable, It’s a Good Investment, It Strengthens the System and It Sets the Stage.

Experts say if we choose to control polio rather than eradicate it, more than 10 million children under the age of five could be paralyzed by the disease in the next 40 years.

We have the tools to end the disease and the means to reach all children. The new bivalent vaccine successfully targets the two remaining strains of polio in one dose.

An independent study published in the medical journal Vaccine estimates that the $9 billion global investment in a polio-free world will net an economic benefit of $40 billion to $50 billion over the next 20 years.

Rotary reports that your polio eradication efforts have established an active disease surveillance network in all countries that is supporting other health interventions, including measles vaccinations and the distribution of deworming tablets and bed nets.

And Rotary should be congratulated for the ability to reach all children with the polio vaccine as this is proof that you can succeed on your next major global health initiative.

The Rotarian magazine also reported the following about Canada.

“Canadian Rotarians have held several letter-writing campaigns to persuade Members of Parliament to support polio eradication. For a campaign in August, Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair and past RI president Wilfrid J. Wilkinson and international Polioplus Committee Chair Robert S. Scott, both from Canada, took the lead by writing to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. A copy of that letter went to every Rotarian in the country, along with another asking them to contact their own Member of Parliament. Within three days, Wilkinson heard back from Rotarians who had spoken with the Prime Minister or written friends in government positions to encourage them to spread the message. “That personal touch is what’s needed,” Wilkinson says.

In September, the Canadian government announced a contribution to the polio eradication effort at a side meeting during the United Nations General Assembly. The Canadian International Development Agency and the Bill & Melinda gates Foundation will each give to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative $1 for every $1 raised by Canadian Rotarians up to $1 million. Upon completion, the initiative will generate a total of $3 million. “The fundraising by the Rotarians allows them to ask for support from the Canadian public at large,” Wilkinson said. “The fact that the Government of Canada and the Gates Foundation are behind Rotary’s polio eradication efforts is a big plus and helps our overall awareness efforts.”

As most of you know, Prime Minister Stephen Harper received the Rotary Foundation Polio Eradication Champion Award on October 18, 2014 for his longstanding support and continued leadership in efforts to eliminate polio around the world. The Prime Minister accepted the award at a ceremony hosted by the Canadian Rotary Foundation in Toronto.

The Polio Eradication Champion Award is the highest honour the Rotary Foundation presents to heads of state, health agency leaders and others who have made significant contributions to the global polio eradication effort. The Rotary Foundation is an international organization that helps fund humanitarian activities, from local service projects to global initiatives. It undertakes worldwide Rotary campaigns such as eradicating polio and promoting peace. Rotarians and friends of Rotary support the Foundation’s work through voluntary contributions.

On behalf of Prime Minister Harper and the Government of Canada, I would like to thank Rotary for honouring him with this very prestigious award.

There is no question in my mind that the world – and Canada – would not be so heavily focussed on polio eradication if it were not for Rotary being its champion.

So on this World Polio Day let us be thankful for the tremendous work that has been done, the fact that we are this close to eradication, that we have great partners at home and around the world and that we are making a lifelong difference in the lives of millions of children around the world.

Makes you proud to be a Rotarian and proud to be Canadian.

May God continue to bless the great work of Rotary around the world and may God continue to bless Canada.

 

 

 

Statement by MP Brad Butt on yesterdays tragedy

October 23, 2014 Comments off

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Statement by Brad Butt, M.P., Mississauga-Streetsville

Ottawa- October 23, 2014- Yesterday, tragedy struck at Parliament Hill with an individual gaining access to Centre Block with a gun and was subsequently killed.

The incident took place while MPs and Senators were attending meetings of their National Caucus in various rooms within the building.

Very fortunately, no one was hurt other than one member of the House of Commons security detail who has sustained injuries but his recovering. We wish him and his family well in the weeks ahead.

I joined my colleagues in a full lockdown of Parliament Hill all day and want to express my sincere thanks to all of them, the Parliament Hill security staff, RCMP and the Ottawa Police. Because of these brave and professional people, I at no time felt unsafe under their care.

Prior to the incident on Parliament Hill, we learned of the very tragic shooting at the National War Memorial and the passing of Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends and all members of the Canadian Forces who bravely serve our country at home and abroad.

Last night, Prime Minister Harper addressed the nation and here is what he said.

“My fellow Canadians, for the second time this week there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil.

Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada.

Corporal Cirillo was killed today – murdered in cold blood – as he provided a ceremonial Honour Guard at Canada’s National War Memorial.

That sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.

Likewise, our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.

Tonight we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks.

Fellow Canadians, we have also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians.

Like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Corporal Cirillo as he fought for his life.

And of course the members of our security forces in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa Police, and in Parliament who came quickly, and at great risk to themselves, to assist those of us who were close to the attack.

Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had.

But this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.

We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and our institutions of governance are, by their very nature, attacks on our country.

On our values, on our society, on us, Canadians, as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.

But let there be no misunderstanding.

We will not be intimidated.

Canada will never be intimidated.

In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats, and keep Canada safe here at home.

Just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores.

They will have no safe haven.

While today has been, without question, a difficult day, I have every confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges.

Together, we will remain vigilant against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us.

For now, Laureen, Ben, Rachel and I join all Canadians in praying for those touched by today’s attack.

May God bless them, and keep our land glorious and free.”

Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the many of you that called, emailed or texted me offering your thoughts and support during this very difficult time. It reminds all of us as Members of Parliament that people at home care about us, thank us for our service and wish us God speed in our work.
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The Year of Sport in Canada

October 16, 2014 Comments off

On October 16, 2014, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada proclaimed 2015 as the Year of Sport.

The Government of Canada invites all Canadians to participate in sport activities and events throughout the year.

The Year of Sport in Canada is a proactive pan-Canadian initiative to celebrate the role that sport plays in our country and encourage Canadians to participate in and seek the benefits of sport. It will focus on making the most of existing sport events and other celebratory activities to highlight the advantages of sport to Canadians.

Sport has a significant impact on the well-being of all Canadians. That is why we support excellence in sport and encourage Canadians of all ages and backgrounds to take part in sport, which helps them lead healthy, active lives.

The Government of Canada is the largest single investor in Canada’s sport system. It provides funding for initiatives to support our high-performance athletes and promote sport participation among all Canadians.

Our support for the Canadian sport system is at an all-time high of close to $200 million annually.

From the playground to the podium, sport enriches our communities and makes us proud to be Canadian.

Canada’s identity and history has been shaped by sport—just think of the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, when Canadian pride was on display throughout our country.

On the road to Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, let’s celebrate all of the things that make Canada the united, strong and free country we live in today.

The Year of Sport will encourage Canadians to gain a true sense of our nation’s history and reaffirm our pride in our achievements.

MP Brad Butt invites Canadians to celebrate Women’s History Month

October 7, 2014 Comments off

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October 7, 2014 – Ottawa, ON

On behalf of the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Brad Butt, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Streetsville, today encouraged constituents across the riding to celebrate Women’s History Month 2014. The theme for 2014 is Canadian Business Women: A Growing Economic Force.

Throughout October, as we celebrate Women’s History Month, we will highlight Canadian business women and the contribution they have made to the nation and its economy. From entrepreneurs to corporate leaders, women have played – and continue to play – a pivotal role in building the Canada that we know today. This proud history can inspire talented, innovative, enterprising women and girls across Canada to pursue opportunities in the business world, and join in building a stronger economy for all.

As part of Women’s History Month, Canadians are invited to learn more about Canadian women in business by visiting www.women.gc.ca, which features profiles and videos of successful women. Canadians are also encouraged to celebrate business women in the community by tweeting about a woman they admire using the hashtag #WomenHistory. There are many other ways to participate in Women’s History Month; visit www.whm.gc.ca for details.

Quick Facts

  • Women’s History Month is celebrated each year throughout October and includes the commemoration of the “Persons case” when, on October 18, 1929, women were first legally recognized as “persons” under Canadian law.
  • As of 2011, 15.6% of small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada were majority-owned by women. RBC Economics reports that, in 2011, majority-owned women’s businesses contributed an estimated $148 billion to the Canadian economy. Women-owned businesses currently employ over 1.5 million Canadians, according to the BMO Financial Group.
  • Through the Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada will be taking steps to increase mentorship among women entrepreneurs. For example, Minister Leitch recently announced the creation of the Expert Panel on Championing and Mentorship for Women Entrepreneurs, which will advise on best practices for mentorship and championing to support women entrepreneurs.
  • Since 2007, the Government of Canada has provided over $146 million in funding for community-based projects, through Status of Women Canada. Of this amount, more than $54 million has gone to projects that promote women’s economic security and prosperity. This includes more than $9 million for projects that address women’s entrepreneurship. An additional $21 million has gone to projects that promote women in leadership and democratic decision-making roles.
  • Canada will also celebrate the third International Day of the Girl on October 11. This international day promotes equal treatment and opportunities for girls around the world in areas such as law, nutrition, health care, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse.

Additional Links

 

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act

October 7, 2014 Comments off

On October 7, 2014, our Government introduced legislation to enshrine safe and simple firearms policies.

Mandatory safety training

First-time licence applicants would be required to participate in the classroom component of the safety training courses and successfully complete the test, eliminating the possibility of individuals taking the test without participating in the training.

Firearms prohibition for domestic violence

The amendment would require courts to impose mandatory weapons prohibition orders when an offender is prosecuted by indictment and convicted of a violent offence committed against a current or former spouse, common-law partner, dating partner, child, parent or any other person who resides with them. For violent offences committed against these individuals when prosecuted by summary conviction, the court would be required to specifically consider imposing a prohibition order to a maximum of life, including upon first conviction.

In other words, a violent domestic assault conviction would result in a person being unable to legally own a firearm. Depending on how the person is prosecuted, the ban could be for life.

Grace period

A grace period would allow licence holders to retain, for a period of six months beyond the date on which their licence would have otherwise expired, lawful possession of their firearms without risking penalties for simply possessing their firearms. This is designed to assist lawful firearms owners who may face challenges with their license renewals. If a lawful firearms owner cannot complete his/her paperwork on time (for instance due to travel outside the country), they will not face potential criminal penalties during the grace period. All other privileges (for example, acquiring ammunition or additional firearms or using the firearm for hunting or target shooting) would be suspended until the licence is renewed. Violation of these restrictions could result in the licence being revoked. Should the licence not be renewed by the end of the extension period, possession privileges would expire and firearms could be seized.

Possession Only Licence (POL) to Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) conversion

The Possession Only Licence (POL) would be eliminated, leaving just one type of licence, the Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL). This clarifies and simplifies the licensing system. Approximately 600,000 valid POL holders would be provided with privileges to acquire firearms of the same class they are currently already authorized to possess. The physical replacement of a POL with a PAL would not be required until the natural expiry of the existing POL.

Authorizations to Transport (ATTs)

The amendment would eliminate the requirement to apply separately for an Authorization to Transport (ATT) in order to transport restricted and prohibited firearms for certain routine and lawful activities, including:

  • travelling to shooting ranges for practice or competition;
  • returning to an individual’s home following Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) approval of the transfer of ownership;
  • going to a gunsmith, a gun show or a Canadian port of exit; and
  • going to a peace officer or a CFO for verification, registration or disposal.

Information sharing on import

This amendment would allow the Canada Border Services Agency to share information regarding commercial imports of restricted and prohibited firearms with the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program. It would help to reduce the risk of such firearms being diverted to illicit markets.

Power to prescribe the classes of firearms

The amendments to the Criminal Code would contain a definition for non-restricted firearms, which it currently does not, including authority to prescribe firearms as non-restricted. As well, the amendments would give the Governor in Council authority to prescribe firearms as restricted. This gives the Government the final say on classification decisions, following the receipt of independent expert advice.

This authority would be used in limited circumstances.

Discretionary authority

The amendment would make it clear that the discretionary authority provided to Chief Firearms Officers is subject to limit by regulation. The provision will assist in ensuring that Chief Firearms Officers provide clear reasons for their decisions and administrate regulations in a fair manner across jurisdictions.

Further information can be obtained from the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program click here.

Situation in Iraq/Syria on ISIL

October 6, 2014 Comments off

Special Report from Brad Butt, MP

Mississauga-Streetsville

October 6, 2014

 

Friends,

As you likely know, the House of Commons will vote on a resolution on October 7, 2014, regarding a combat mission in Iraq that was detailed by Prime Minister Harper last Friday. To view his address in the House of Commons, please access here.

The resolution on which I will vote reads as follows:

In the name of The Minister of Foreign Affairs:

That this House

(i) recognise that the leadership of the terrorist group known as the Islamic

State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has called on its members to target

Canada and Canadians at home and abroad;

(ii) further recognise the clear and direct threat that ISIL poses to the people

of the region, including members of vulnerable religious and ethnic minority

groups who have been subjected to a sustained campaign of brutal sexual

violence, murder, and barbaric intimidation by ISIL;

(iii) accept that, unless confronted with strong and direct force, the threat ISIL

poses to international peace and security, including to Canadian

communities, will continue to grow;

(iv) affirm Canada’s desire, consistent with Canadian values and interests, to

protect the vulnerable and innocent civilians of the region, including through

urgent humanitarian assistance;

(v) acknowledge the request from the Government of Iraq for military support

against ISIL from members of the international community, including from the

Government of Canada;

(vi) further acknowledge the participation of Canada’s friends and allies,

including numerous countries of the Middle East, in the broad international

coalition committed to the fight against ISIL; and

(vii) note that the United Nations Security Council has become seized of the

threat posed by international terrorism with the unanimous passage of United

Nations Security Council Resolution 2178,

and, accordingly,

(a) support the Government’s decision to contribute Canadian military assets

to the fight against ISIL, and terrorists allied with ISIL, including air strike

capability for a period of up to six months;

(b) note that the Government of Canada will not deploy troops in ground

combat operations; and

(c) continue to offer its resolute and wholehearted support to the brave men

and women of the Canadian Armed Forces who stand on guard for all of us.

As many of you know, I visited the Kurdistan region of Iraq from August 30 – September 1, 2014, and met with many of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the camps as well as local government officials to gain a better understanding of the enormity of the situation.

What I learned on the ground is clear. That while humanitarian assistance is desperately required, the only way to allow people to go back to their homes and live in a peaceful Iraqi country is to remove ISIL from its midst.

I am very pleased that Canada has stepped up to the plate on the humanitarian side. Here’s what we’ve done so far and some important facts.

  •        Canada is the 7th largest contributor to assist in this crisis
  •        Canada’s contribution will allow for those most desperate in need to receive food, hygiene kits, cooking materials, blankets, tents, medical supplies and other essential supplies as well as making emergency repairs to essential water and sanitation facilities and improving access to information.
  •        Canada will continue to work closely with our allies to determine how we can best continue to support the needs of Iraqi civilians, particularly religious minorities.

Recently, Canada announced the distribution of a second round of relief supplies from its emergency stockpile in the United Arab Emirates to meet the immediate needs of people affected by the conflict in Iraq.

The stockpile, when fully stocked, includes an array of items designed to meet the basic needs of a minimum of 5,000 families, or 25,000 people, for three months. Items include tents, blankets, kitchen sets, and hygiene kits.

Canada all announced an additional $5 million to provide emergency shelter and emergency relief supplies to conflict-affected people in northern Iraq, as well as $2 million to provide urgent health-care services.

This $7-million allocation is in addition to the $5 million in humanitarian support recently announced by the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.

This new $5 million contribution will provide:

  •        Kits with non-food items, including mattresses, plastic sheeting, hygiene kits, blankets, solar lamps and cooking sets;
  •        Access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and education to raise awareness on hygiene and water conservation;
  •        Support to meet imminent additional winterization needs of internally displaced families; and,
  •        Additional support to meet emergency survival needs of internally displaced people, including medicines, clothing and money to pay for rental housing.

This new $2 million contribution will provide:

  •        Primary health-care services with integrated mental-health programming provided at camp-based clinics and mobile medical units;
  •        Mental-health and community-outreach services; and,
  •        Essential medical commodities to existing health facilities.

Since the beginning of 2014, Canada has allocated nearly $29 million to respond to humanitarian needs in Iraq. In June 2014, Iraq was added to the list of Canada’s development country partners.

Final Comments

My public position on this grave situation has been that Canada needs a balanced approach. The fact that we are a major contributor to humanitarian aid and support, that we provided initially some members of the armed forces as advisors and that we have been asked by our international partners to play a role through our air force in a more significant way, I believe the ask of me as your MP to support this resolution is justified.

 

Celebrating National Seniors Day

October 1, 2014 Comments off

National Seniors Day – October 1, 2014

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We can all think of a senior who has made a difference in our lives. Seniors are mentors, teachers, parents, grandparents and loved ones. They are volunteers and role models. They deserve our gratitude and recognition for the valuable contributions they have made, and continue to make, in our families, workplaces and communities.

Every day, seniors right here in Mississauga-Streetsville make a big difference in our community.

On October 1, National Seniors Day, let’s take the time to celebrate seniors and show our appreciation for everything they do.

Our Government remains committed to improving the well-being and quality of life of seniors.

To further demonstrate this commitment, the seniors.gc.ca website was recently redeveloped to include the new Information for Caregivers portal which brings together a variety of federal, provincial/territorial and municipal resources about relevant programs and benefits.

We also recently developed the Government of Canada Action for Seniors Report, which provides an overview of various programs and initiatives that are helping seniors. This report can be found on seniors.gc.ca.

Last year alone, our Government provided $2.8 billion in 2013 in additional tax relief to seniors and pensioners. We also committed $400 million over two years under Canada’s Economic Action Plan for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors.

We value what seniors have done for our country, and they deserve our thanks.  National Seniors Day is our time to join together as a nation to honour Canada’s seniors.   As your Member of Parliament, I encourage you to find your own unique way to celebrate the seniors in your life. Perhaps make time to visit, or send a simple thank-you note to a senior you know.   I am looking forward to celebrating National Seniors Day and encourage everyone to celebrate the seniors in their community.

Visit the National Seniors Day page at seniors.gc.ca for more information, resources and tips to help you celebrate the seniors in your life, or visit the new Seniors in Canada Facebook page to join the conversation. You can also find information on programs and services for seniors or tips on how to better stay active, engaged and informed

MP Brad Butt speaks at Gala for Pope Tawadros II

September 23, 2014 Comments off

Notes pour une allocution

prononcée par

Brad Butt, Membre de Parlement

à l’occasion du Gala pour la visite du

Pape Tawadros II

 

Laval (Québec)

Le 22 September 2014

2014-09-23 07.59.55Your Holiness, Excellencies, Graces, distinguished guests, chers amis, mesdammes et monsieurs,

Thank you for the warm welcome.

Je suis ravi d’être ici au nom du Gouvernement du Canada.

I am also delighted to be here with my colleagues from the Parliament of Canada Senator Pierre-Hughes Boisvenu and MP Frances Scarpaleggia.

What an incredible pleasure it is to be here in Laval.  We also welcomed His Holiness to my home of Mississauga where he was greeted like a rockstar!  On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to extend my warm wishes to the Coptic community in the Great Montreal Area as you welcome His Holiness Pope Tawadros II.

Canada is home to approximately 50,000 Coptic Orthodox Christians; with several thousand settled and thriving in Quebec.

Il y a 10 jours, notre premier ministre, le très honorable Stephen Harper a rencontré pour la première fois sa Sainteté,  le pape Tawadros Deux à la nouvelle Cathédrale copte orthodoxe Saint-Marc, à Toronto.

Lors de leur rencontre, les deux dirigeants ont discuté de l’importance de la liberté religieuse et du pluralisme, ainsi que les menaces qui se posent actuellement par de nombreuses communautés religieuses minoritaires dans l’ensemble du Moyen Orient.

The Prime Minister said:

“I had a very productive discussion with His Holiness Pope Tawadros II during which we spoke about concerns of Coptic Christians in Egypt.

Canada continues to call for greater freedom for minorities to worship in peace and we remain dedicated to defending religious freedoms around the world.”

It was a key opportunity to engage on urgent issues facing the Coptic community in Egypt, and Christian and other minority religious communities throughout the Middle East.

2014-09-23 00.27.25I am proud to outline the work done by the Office of Religious Freedom (ORF), which our government established in 2012. The ORF has partnered with the Coptic community to promote and strengthen religious freedom and to protect all those threatened and persecuted around the world.

Please know that under Prime Minister Harper’s leadership, Canada will continue to stand with Copts and with other religious minorities who face extremism, terrorism, and persecution.

I would like to express our government’s appreciation for this very special visit.

We are honoured that His Holiness has dedicated a full month to travel to congregations across Canada, and we know that Canadian Copts are showing him the very best of Canadian hospitality.

This evening is a wonderful example.

May God Bless all of you here tonight, may God Bless Egypt and may God Bless Canada.

Signature of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Korea and launch of a new Strategic Partnership

September 22, 2014 Comments off

On September 22, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Korean President Park Geun-hye celebrated the signature of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Korea, and launched a new Strategic Partnership.

Our Government is focused on creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians in every region of the country. In these uncertain times, our prosperity depends on our ability to take advantage of economic opportunities in emerging markets.

We have therefore launched the most ambitious trade expansion plan in Canadian history. In less than seven years, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with 38 countries and is negotiating with many more.

The most recent Speech from the Throne committed to expanding trade in the Asia-Pacific region to benefit hardworking Canadians and businesses, especially our crucial small and medium sized enterprises (SME) and industries across the country.Today we are delivering on that commitment with this agreement.

The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is an historic initiative that will:

  1. strengthen our trade and investment ties across the Pacific;
  2. increase the prosperity of both countries; and,
  3. result in job creation and enhanced opportunities for Canadian and Korean businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, as well as investors, workers, and consumers.

This free trade agreement is an ambitious, state-of-the-art agreement, covering virtually all sectors and aspects of Canada-Korean trade, including trade in goods and services, investment, government procurement and intellectual property, as well as labour and environment cooperation.

Canada and Korea have committed to develop a new Strategic Partnership that will enhance cooperation based on the shared values of democracy, market economy, respect for human rights and rule of law.

This Partnership will lay out a strategic direction for stronger relations in key areas of common interest including energy and natural resources, science, technology and innovation, and Arctic research and development.