May 2015 Rick Dykstra Newsletter Now Available

May 20th, 2015 by St Catharines Conservative EDA

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In this month’s newsletter: Dykstra attends burial ceremony in the Netherlands for Pte. Albert Laubenstein, Liberation of the Netherlands, Economic Growth.

[Click here to download April 2015 Newsletter]  

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Budget 2015: Strong, Stable Leadership

April 22nd, 2015 by St Catharines Conservative EDA

Federal government delivers balanced budget that offers relief for St. Catharines families and seniors

Ottawa – The federal government has introduced a balanced budget that continues to grow the economy while offering measures to offset the challenges facing many seniors and families raising children.  As world economics continue to fluctuate, Canada remains a leader among G-7 nations with consistently sound and prudent financial management. Read the rest of this entry »

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today met with Bill Gates in Ottawa to discuss how to further leverage the strong leadership that Canada has demonstrated in promoting  maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in order to ensure that it remains a global development priority and a prominent feature of the global post-2015 development agenda. Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday February 15, 2015 is National Flag of Canada Day!

February 13th, 2015 by St Catharines Conservative EDA

On the Road to 2017, our Conservative government has proudly supported hundreds of projects from coast-to-coast-to-coast that have helped Canadians connect to their past.

To celebrate there will be Flag Raising Ceremonies in schools and municipalities across the country.

The Canadian Mint is introducing a collectable coin and Canada Post will be introducing special Stamps.

We’ve also partnered with great organizations like Girl Guides, the Scouts, and Royal Canadian Legions to promote this milestone to thousands of Canadians.

We’re supporting Lieutenant Governor’s across Canada to help promote Flag Day.

As we approach our historic 150th anniversary, we will continue to join Canadians in honouring these important milestones.


February 9, 2015 – Istanbul, Turkey – Department of Finance

Finance Minister Joe Oliver is attending the Group of 20 (G-20) meeting in Istanbul today where, as co-chair of the Framework Working Group, he is calling on Canada’s G-20 partners to action country-specific growth strategies agreed to in Brisbane. These strategies, if implemented, aim to increase global growth through lifting the G-20’s collective gross domestic product (GDP) by 2.1% by 2018—well above current projections. Read the rest of this entry »

Announcing the 10th Annual Rick Dykstra Invitational Golf Classic!

February 2nd, 2015 by St Catharines Conservative EDA

For the second year in the heart of St. Catharines at the St. Catharines Golf & Country Club!

The Rick Dykstra 10th annual golf tournament will be held on Monday, June 29th, 2015 at the beautiful St. Catharines Golf and Country Club. Read the rest of this entry »


Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that the Government has introduced legislation to protect Canadians from the evolving threat of terrorism and keep our communities safe. The Prime Minister made the announcement at Richmond Hill’s Bayview Hill Community Centre. He was joined by Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence.

The world is a dangerous place and, as most brutally demonstrated by last October’s attacks in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism. The proposed legislation will provide Canadian law enforcement and national security agencies with additional tools and flexibility to keep pace with evolving threats and better protect Canadians here at home.

In line with measures taken by our allies, the Government is taking additional action to ensure our law enforcement and national security agencies can: counter those who advocate terrorism; prevent terrorist travel and the efforts of those who seek to use Canada as a recruiting ground; and disrupt planned attacks on Canadian soil.

The proposed legislation includes checks and balances to ensure it respects the rights of Canadians and complements other legislation passed by our Government in order to better protect Canadians and secure institutions, including the Combating Terrorism Act and the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act.

Quick Facts

  • The proposed legislation includes a comprehensive package of measures that will:
    • criminalize the advocacy or promotion of terrorism offences in general;
    • counter terrorist recruitment by giving our courts the authority to order the removal of terrorist propaganda online;
    • enhance the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)’s powers to address threats to the security of Canada while ensuring that courts maintain oversight;
    • provide law enforcement agencies with enhanced ability to disrupt terrorism offences and terrorist activity;
    • enhance the Passenger Protect Program by further mitigating threats to transportation security and preventing travel by air for the purpose of engaging in terrorism;
    • make it easier for law enforcement agencies to detain suspected terrorists before they can harm Canadians and to toughen penalties for violating court ordered conditions on terrorist suspects;
    • enable the effective and responsible sharing of relevant national security information across federal departments and agencies to better identify and address threats;
    • ensure that national security agencies are better able to protect and use classified information when denying entry and status to non-citizens who pose a threat to Canada; and,
    • provide witnesses and other participants in national security proceedings and prosecutions with additional protection.
  • Although not part of this proposed legislation, we are also working with communities to prevent radicalization and intervene when individuals show signs of becoming radicalized.

“Our Government is serious about taking action to keep Canadians safe. Recent attacks in Canada, which led to the deaths of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, as well as attacks in France and Australia, are reminders that the world is a dangerous place and that Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism. Recent terrorist actions in Canada are not only an attack on our country, but also our values and our society as a whole.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“Our Government understands that extreme jihadists have declared war on us, on all free people, and on Canada specifically. Our Government will continue to protect the rights and safety of all Canadians. We will not, however, privilege the so-called rights of terrorists and others who would harm Canadians over the rights of law-abiding citizens. The proposed legislation would provide our security and law enforcement agencies with the required tools and flexibility they need to effectively detect and disrupt national security threats before they happen, keeping Canadians safe.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper


  • Backgrounder on Criminalizing the Advocacy or Promotion of Terrorism Offences in General
  • Backgrounder on Seizure of Terrorist Propaganda
  • Backgrounder on Strengthening Prevention Powers
  • Backgrounder on the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act
  • Backgrounder on the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and Prevention Activity
  • Backgrounder on the Passenger Protect Program
  • Backgrounder on Division 9 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • Backgrounder on Witness Protection


Amending the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act to give CSIS the mandate to intervene to disrupt terror plots while they are in the planning stages

Our Government is working to disrupt acts of terrorism before they come to pass. This Bill proposes to give CSIS a new mandate to intervene in order to disrupt threats to the security of Canada. Currently, CSIS does not have a legal mandate to take action concerning threats. Instead, CSIS is limited to collecting and analyzing information and intelligence, and advising the Government of Canada. For instance, when CSIS conducts an interview as part of an investigation, the sole purpose of the interview must be to collect information, not to dissuade the subject from actions that threaten the security of Canadians.

With its new mandate, CSIS could take measures, at home and abroad, to disrupt threats when it had reasonable grounds to believe that there was a threat to the security of Canada. Threats to the security of Canada are defined in the CSIS Act, and include espionage, sabotage, foreign influenced activities, terrorism and domestic subversion (activities against the constitutionally established system of government in Canada).

CSIS could only take reasonable and proportional measures to disrupt threats. To do this, CSIS would consider the nature of the threat, the nature of the proposed measures and the reasonable availability of other means to disrupt the threat.

Intelligence services in most of Canada’s close democratic allies have had similar mandates and powers for many years.

A number of stringent safeguards would govern the new mandate:

  • CSIS would be required to have “reasonable grounds to believe” that an activity was a threat to the security of Canada before it could take measures to disrupt the threat. This is more stringent than the “reasonable grounds to suspect” currently required to launch an investigation under CSIS’s existing intelligence collection mandate;
  • CSIS would need a court warrant whenever proposed threat disruption measures contravene Charter rights or would otherwise be contrary to Canadian law. This is similar to the current intelligence collection warrant system, where CSIS must have a warrant before using intelligence collection techniques that engage a person’s privacy rights. CSIS would have to satisfy a judge that a warrant was required to enable it to intervene to address a threat to the security of Canada, and that the measures proposed were reasonable and proportional in the circumstances;
  • Threat disruption warrants would be limited to a maximum of 120 days, with the possibility of limited renewal if the judge believes there are grounds to do so. This is in contrast to the existing system of intelligence collection warrants, which can last up to one year;
  • CSIS would have to fulfill new reporting requirements to ensure that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness was appropriately informed of CSIS’ activities under its threat disruption mandate; and
  • The Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) would annually examine the performance of CSIS in its threat disruption mandate. SIRC would then summarize its findings in its annual report to the Minister, which is later laid before Parliament. SIRC would also report statistics on CSIS threat disruption warrants.

The Bill would also authorize judges to make assistance orders. These orders would require a person or organization to assist CSIS in carrying out its warranted authorities when the judge felt that the assistance was reasonably necessary. Assistance orders could apply to both intelligence collection and threat disruption warrants.

The Criminal Code currently authorizes judges to make assistance orders in relation to certain types of law enforcement warrants. This Bill would create a similar power for CSIS warrants.


 Criminalizing the Advocacy or Promotion of Terrorism Offences in General
Under the current criminal law, it is a crime to counsel or actively encourage others to commit a specific terrorism offence. However, the current law would not necessarily apply to someone who instructs others to “carry out attacks on Canada” because no specific terrorism offence is singled out.

The proposed legislation would help stop those who promote terrorism by creating a new Criminal Code offence that would criminalize the promotion of terrorism, including attacks on Canadians.

The proposed offence would fill a current gap in Canadian criminal law by making it a crime for a person to knowingly promote or advocate others to carry out a terrorism offence.

The penalty for the new offence would be a maximum of five years in prison. This penalty is comparable to the maximum sentence for the offence of advocating or promoting genocide against an identifiable group, which is the most serious of the three hate propaganda offences in the Criminal Code.

The proposed offence prohibits the intentional advocacy or promotion of terrorism, knowing or reckless as to whether it would result in terrorism. It is defined to safeguard the constitutionally protected right of freedom of expression.

The proposed new offence is similar to one recently enacted by Australia, that prohibits advocating a terrorist act or the commission of a terrorism offence—all while being reckless as to whether another person will engage in this kind of activity. In Australia’s law, “advocacy” includes the promotion of terrorist activity. The maximum punishment is five years imprisonment.




Strengthening Prevention Powers
Giving law enforcement agencies the tools they need to do their job and prevent attacks is imperative to ensuring the safety and security of all Canadians against the increasingly complex threat of terrorism.

The proposed amendments would enhance the ability of law enforcement agencies to detain suspected terrorists before they can harm Canadians through changes to the Criminal Code’s recognizance with conditions and peace bond provisions, while still requiring judicial authorization of the detention either before (peace bonds) or after the arrest (recognizances).

The amendments would also toughen penalties for violating court ordered conditions on terrorist suspects.

The purpose of the recognizance with conditions measure is to address a situation where a police officer believes that a terrorist activity will soon be carried out but does not necessarily have more details. The tool is flexible enough to be used on individuals who may in some way be connected to carrying out terrorist activity.

The purpose of a terrorism peace bond is to prevent or disrupt a specific individual from committing a terrorism offence.

The proposed amendments would:

  • Lower the threshold to obtain a recognizance with conditions in circumstances where a peace officer believes on reasonable grounds that a terrorism activity “may be carried out” instead of the current law that requires that a peace officer must believe that a terrorism offence “will be carried out”, and replaces the additional current requirement that a recognizance is “necessary to prevent” with “is likely to prevent” the carrying out of a terrorist activity;
  • Increase the period of preventative detention under a recognizance from 3 days to a possible total of up to 7 days, with periodic judicial review;
  • Create a stand-alone terrorism peace bond provision for situations where a person believes an individual “may commit” a terrorism offence, instead of the current “will commit” a terrorism offence requirement. It would include surrendering their passport and extending the duration of the peace bond from 2 years to 5 years for those previously convicted of terrorism offences. Currently the terrorism peace bond is co-located in the Criminal Code with the organized crime peace bond;
  • Require judges to consider imposing certain conditions on the person, such as to surrender their passport or not leave the jurisdiction. Judges may also consider imposing conditions such as reporting requirements or electronic monitoring;
  • Increase the maximum penalty for breaches of these court-ordered conditions from 2 to 4 years imprisonment;
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of peace bonds and recognizance with conditions across Canada by allowing for the use of video-conferencing when necessary and for inter-provincial transfer of existing peace bonds.

The proposed amendments would facilitate the use of these provisions, including making them easier to obtain through the courts and therefore more effective in preventing terrorism.

To ensure appropriate oversight, Attorney General consent would continue to be required for the use of the recognizance with conditions and peace bond powers. Recognizance with conditions would also continue to be subject to annual Ministerial reporting to Parliament on their use.

The proposed measures are needed to ensure public safety, and are consistent with counter-terrorism laws in other countries.  The United Kingdom and Australia for example, also have preventative powers including the ability to impose conditions and to detain—although their approaches may vary (e.g., the maximum period of detention is 14 days in the United Kingdom).



Division 9 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Division 9 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act allows the Government to use and protect classified information in immigration proceedings to determine whether non-citizens can enter or remain in Canada. Some of these proceedings, such as security certificates, are used in cases related to national security matters, including terrorism and espionage. The information cannot be disclosed publicly because doing so would injure national security (for example, by revealing investigation techniques) or would endanger the safety of a person (for example, by putting a witness’ life in danger).

The use of Division 9 proceedings is rare. For instance, since 1991, only 27 individuals have been subject to a security certificate proceeding.

The Bill would allow the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to appeal or have the Court review orders for public disclosure during Division 9 proceedings. Currently, an appeal or judicial review may be available only at the end of a proceeding. Even if the Minister sought and won an appeal at the end of the proceeding, it could be too late, as the information could have been disclosed publicly and the injury to national security may have already occurred, or a person’s safety may have already been endangered.  While the Minister could seek to withdraw this information from the case to mitigate the risk of injury, this may not be possible or doing so could weaken the case.

The new appeal and judicial review would, therefore, offer another opportunity for the Government to ask the Court to protect this information.

The Government’s experiences with recent Division 9 cases have shown that there are times when classified information was made part of the case even when it was not useful to the Government or to the non-citizen subject to the proceedings. Some judges have commented on the inclusion of such information in past proceedings, when this meant that cases could not proceed as expeditiously as possible.

In order to ensure expeditious proceedings, the Bill outlines what information would form part of security certificates before the Federal Court and cases involving applications for non-disclosure before the Immigration and Refugee Board. This would include information:

  • that is relevant to the case,
  • on which the case is based, and
  • that allows the person to be reasonably informed of the case.

The Bill would also create an exception to the provision of information to special advocates. The Ministers could ask the Court to be exempted from providing some classified information to the special advocate, but the judge would only grant this exemption if he was satisfied that the information would not enable the person to be reasonably informed of the Minister’s case. In making a decision on the exemption, the judge could consult the special advocates as need be. This new exemption aims to provide another protection for classified information, while establishing a fair process that is subject to judicial discretion.

Overall, these amendments will ensure that Division 9 proceedings continue to be fair, while offering more robust protections for classified information. It is expected that Division 9 proceedings will continue to be rarely used.

Staying on the Right Track for Economic Growth

January 30th, 2015 by St Catharines Conservative EDA

Today, Statistics Canada announced a monthly GDP decrease of 0.2% in November following a gain of 0.3 in October. This was below market expectations of no gain.

  • Our Conservative government is focused on what matters to Canadians – helping families make ends meet by lowering taxes, and protecting and creating jobs.
  • While monthly estimates can be volatile, more important is the long-term trend.
  • Since coming to office, our Government has had one of the best job creation record in the G7, and we are leading in economic growth. In fact, on a relative basis, we have created almost 20% more jobs than our closest competitor.
  • Since the depth of the global recession, almost 1.2 million net new jobs have been created. These are overwhelmingly full-time, private sector jobs in high-wage industries.
  • However, Canada is not immune to the economic challenges beyond our borders. That is why our Conservative government is working hard to help create jobs and economic growth.
  • Economic Action Plan 2014 does exactly that with positive pro-growth measures like making landmark investments in the largest infrastructure investment plan in Canadian history, creating the Canada Apprentice Loan, supporting more paid internships for recent graduates, cutting red tape for small business, delivering additional tax relief for families, and more.
  • While we’re focused on creating jobs, Justin Trudeau has the same old Liberal high tax, high debt agenda that will threaten jobs and set working families back. How can someone who thinks budgets “balance themselves” be trusted with jobs and the economy?
  • At the same time, Mulcair’s NDP continues to push risky high-tax schemes like a $20 billion carbon tax that would hurt Canada’s economy and kill Canadian jobs.

January 16, 2015  St. Catharines, ON

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and MP for Central Nova, and Rick Dykstra, MP for St. Catharines, today hosted one of a series of cross-country pre-budget roundtable discussions. The purpose of these consultations is to listen to Canadians and hear their views on how Canada can create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity. This formal process comes after months of meetings with Canadians about what matters to them and their families.

Minister MacKay and Mr. Dykstra also highlighted new proposed measures to make life more affordable for Canadian families and to help them prosper including:

  • Increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). Parents will receive a benefit of $160 per month for each child under the age of 6;
  • Expanding the UCCB to children ages 6 through 17;
  • Introducing the Family Tax Cut, a federal tax credit that will allow a spouse to transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket;
  • Increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction dollar limits by $1,000, effective for the 2015 taxation year; and
  • Doubling the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and making it refundable.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver launched pre-budget consultations on November 27, 2014, with a clear message. First, the Government will not engage in reckless new spending or new taxes that will lead Canada down a path of fiscal deficits and economic decline. Second, the Government will remain focused on creating jobs and growth.

All Canadians will be able to participate to pre-budget consultations online. The Government is seeking the input of Canadians on five key questions that can be found by clicking on the following link:

Quick Facts

  • Our Government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity;
  • We are on track to balance the federal budget in 2015;
  • With balanced budgets in sight, our Government is delivering close to $27 billion in tax relief for hard-working families over this year and the next five years, by:
    • Increasing and expanding the Universal Child Care Benefit;
    • Introducing the Family Tax Cut; and
    • Increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction dollar limits.
  • Canada’s Economic Action Plan is working.
  • Since the depths of the recession, we have created more than 1.2 million net new jobs—overwhelmingly full-time, good-paying jobs in the private sector.
  • The overall federal tax burden is at its lowest level in over 50 years.
  • Bloomberg ranks Canada the second most attractive place in the world to do business.

“Our Government is focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians. I am pleased to be here with Rick Dykstra today to consult on how our Government can continue to create jobs and long-term prosperity right here in St. Catharines while remaining on track to balance the budget this year. We also discussed our Government’s focus on making life more affordable for hard-working Canadian families. By providing tax relief and benefits for  child care and after-school sports, every family with children will have more money to spend on their priorities as a family.” —Hon. Peter MacKay, PC, MP, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Member of Parliament for Central Nova

“I am pleased to welcome Minister MacKay to St. Catharines as part of our Government’s pre-budget consultation.  Our Government is committed to keeping Canada’s finances balanced and on a sustainable track to reduce the debt, while building on our commitment of respecting taxpayers’ dollars.” —Rick Dykstra, M.P. for St. Catharines


PM marks bicentennial of Sir John Alexander Macdonald’s birth

January 12th, 2015 by St Catharines Conservative EDA

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today visited the City of Kingston, Ontario, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Right Honourable Sir John Alexander Macdonald and to pay tribute to the important role he played as one of Canada’s founding fathers and as Canada’s first Prime Minister.

During the ceremony, which was held in the Memorial Hall of Kingston City Hall, the city unveiled a restored portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald along with a special bicentennial stamp from Canada Post and a coin from the Royal Canadian Mint. The Prime Minister was joined by former Prime Ministers Kim Campbell and John Turner, Bryan Paterson, Mayor of the City of Kingston, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, and Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds–Grenville.

Born two hundred years ago on January 11, 1815 in Glasgow, Scotland, Sir John A. Macdonald played a key role in shaping Canada’s history. He was instrumental, along with Sir George-Étienne Cartier, in the negotiations that led to Canada’s Confederation and later in expanding our country to the Pacific Ocean. They are two of the 36 Fathers of Confederation who met to share their vision on union and, ultimately, to forge a new country. During his years as Prime Minister, Canada experienced rapid growth and prosperity. Manitoba, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island all entered Confederation between 1870 and 1873, while the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s transcontinental line was driven into the ground in 1885. Sir John A. Macdonald established the North-West Mounted Police, the precursor to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the first Canadian national park in Banff, Alberta.

The bicentennial of the birth of Sir John A. Macdonald is one of a number of nation-building milestones the Government of Canada is commemorating in the lead up to Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017. Each of these milestones represents an opportunity to celebrate the events that have shaped our history and made Canada what it is today.

Quick Facts

  • The City of Kingston is launching the Sir John A. Macdonald 200th anniversary year of celebration on January 11, 2015. Sir John A. Macdonald had a life-long connection with the city as a child, student, member of the militia, lawyer, businessman, alderman, Member of Parliament and community member.
  • The portrait was presented to John A. Macdonald in 1863 and shows the self-assured young Macdonald standing in a classic pose typical of formal full-length portraits fashionable at the time.
  • At all three conferences that led to Canada’s Confederation (Charlottetown and Quebec in 1864 and London in 1866), Sir John A. Macdonald was a strong advocate for a federation of provinces and was one of the main architects of the new constitutional structure, uniting colonies of British North America into one Dominion on July 1, 1867.
  • In recognition of his role in Confederation, John A. Macdonald was named Canada’s first Prime Minister, a position that he held for almost 19 years from 1867 to 1873 and again from 1878 to 1891.

“Sir John A. Macdonald is one of Canada’s most important political and historical figures. His accomplishments are cemented in our country’s history. Our Government is committed to protecting and preserving his legacy of patriotism and his dedication to Canada.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper