Action Centre

MP Expense Disclosure Report

Statistics Canada agricultural surveys important tools for farming industry

Over the next few weeks, a number of farmers – some from this area – will be asked to take part in surveys conducted by Statistics Canada.  Based on past phone calls received in my office from constituents, I understand that these agricultural surveys can seem long and cumbersome, but they are also very important.

Results from agricultural surveys are used by Agriculture and Agri-food Canadaand other federal and provincial departments for economic research, to develop and administer agricultural policies, and for production and price analysis.  Information is also used by other stakeholders in the agricultural industry.

If you have been contacted for an agricultural survey, you were selected randomly. By law you are required to participate, as these surveys are mandatory under the Statistics Act.  Statistics Canada surveys are conducted in person, by telephone or electronically.  For many surveys, Statistics Canada will first send an introductory letter to let people know the purpose of the survey and to inform them that an interviewer will be contacting them.  To accommodate respondents' schedules, interviewers work seven days a week, including evenings and weekends.

This fall, Statistics Canada will be conducting the Livestock Survey, the Fruits and Vegetables Survey and the Farm Survey in November.

To read this COLUMN in its entirety, please click here. Audio version also available.

Government of Canada Increasing the use of Direct Deposit: Security, Reliability and Efficiency

The Government of Canada will increase the use of direct deposit by slowly phasing out federal government cheques by April 2016.   

This initiative is expected to save the Canadian government approximately $17.4M per year starting in 2014-15. The cost to produce a cheque is approximately 82¢ while a direct deposit payment costs about 13¢.  Cheques will only be issued under exceptional circumstances, for example when Canadians do not have access to a financial institution because they live in a remote location.

The Receiver General issues over 300 million payments annually, of which close to 77% are already made by direct deposit. Citizens and businesses currently receiving Government of Canada cheques have the next four years to register to receive payments by direct deposit. Enrolment forms can be obtained from the Receiver General web site, or from federal departments responsible for the payment to be received by direct deposit.  For any new payment, the first payment method offered will be direct deposit.

For more information about the Receiver General and to enroll for direct deposit, please visit:  http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/txt/index-eng.html

Parkland College Designated for International Student Program

In light of recent federal regulatory changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, the federal government has made additional amendments to the International Student Program that became effective June 1, 2014.

These changes now require international students to be enrolled at a designated post-secondary educational institution for programs of six months, or greater, in duration in order to be awarded a study permit. This new federal process will allow full-time international students enrolled at designated institutions to work part time off campus and full time during scheduled school breaks with an Off-Campus Work Permit (OCWP.  International Students who currently hold a valid OCWP will not be affected by the change.

The following Saskatchewan post-secondary institutions have received designation for the International Student Program:

  • Briercrest College and Seminary;
  • Parkland Regional College;
  • Saskatoon Business College;
  • Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology;
  • University of Regina, including Campion College, First Nations University of Canada and Luther College; and
  • University of Saskatchewan, including St. Thomas More College.

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Recent Columns
  • Column for the week of Oct. 20, 2014 - Standing up for Canada’s Small Business Owners . . . click here; audio version
  • Column for the week of Oct. 13, 2014 - Paying tribute to Veterans of World War II . . . click here; audio version


- Additional columns

Recent Press Releases
  • News Release: Oct. 8, 2014 - BRINGING SOME COMMON SENSE TO CANADA’S FIREARMS LAW . . . click here
  • News Release: Sept. 2, 2014 - FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTES OVER $130,000 TO PARKLAND COLLEGE YOUTH EMPLOYMENT SKILLS PROJECT . . . click here
  • News Release: July 25, 2014 - BRINGING COMMON SENSE TO FIREARMS LICENSING . . . click here
  • News Release: April 7, 2014 - GARRY BREITKREUZ NOT SEEKING 8TH TERM . . . click here

- Additional news releases

Recent News Items
  • SCI News Release: Feb. 10, 2014 - BREITKREUZ NAMED INTERNATIONAL LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR . . . click here
  • News Release: Oct. 9, 2013 - Harper Government and Government of Saskatchewan invest in new cancer treatment technologies . . . click here
  • Sask Ag & Food News Release: May 30, 2013 - CROP REPORT FOR THE PERIOD MAY 21 TO 27, 2013 . . . click here

- Additional news items

Parliamentary Items of Interest
  • Statement: April 7, 2014 - Mr. Speaker, it is with mixed emotions today that I rise in this House to officially announce that I will not be seeking re-election in 2015 . . . click here
  • Statement: Dec. 3, 2013 - Mr. Speaker, today is Canada's first fur day on the Hill. Fur industry representatives from all over Canada are here in Ottawa to remind parliamentarians of the economic impact of this important sector . . . click here

  • Statement: Oct. 28, 2013 - Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the constituents of Yorkton—Melville, Saskatchewan, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Prime Minister for reaching an agreement in principle on the comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union . . . click here; audio version

- Additional items of interest