Action Centre

MP Expense Disclosure Report

Canada’s Response to the Crisis in Iraq

The Government of Canada strongly condemns the actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Northern Iraq, including the killing of innocent civilians and the targeted persecution of religious minorities. The situation is tragic. 1.3 million people have been displaced by ongoing violence, an estimated 850,000 in the last two months alone, and many more are threatened. Canada is very concerned.

But there are no quick solutions to the tragic situation in Iraq. Our hope is that the crisis will eventually be replaced by lasting peace and security. Meanwhile, our government is discussing our country’s role. We are also working with our international partners and aid organizations. Together we must oppose the ISIL threat, and help to save lives in the region.

Canadian officials are monitoring the situation and assessing how to respond. We are responding to the humanitarian crisis by sending emergency relief supplies. Canada has established a stockpile of relief supplies in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which enables us to respond more quickly and efficiently to events in Africa and Asia. The dispatch of relief supplies to Iraq is the first time this new stockpile has been used. The stockpile, which also includes tents, blankets and kitchen and hygiene kits, is managed by the Canadian Red Cross.

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.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Recent Columns
  • Column for the week of Sept. 15, 2014 - Reforming Canada’s Citizenship Act for the good of all Canadians . . . click here; audio version
  • Column for the week of June 9, 2014 - Canadians join the world in support of elders . . . click here; audio version
  • Column for the week of June 2, 2014 - Our Prime Minister’s National Conservation . . . click here; audio version


- Additional columns

Recent Press Releases
  • 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
  • News Release: March 31, 2014 - NEW BUILDING CANADA PLAN NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS . . . 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