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Sep 02, 2014 at 12:13 AM


Welcome to my online office. I have set up this website to give you a chance
to interact with me directly and to learn a little bit more about my work to
Stand Up for St. Catharines in Ottawa. I hope you will take the time to read
my blog, check out the community calendar and look at the services available
through my Community Office. Most of all, I hope you will take the time to
communicate your ideas and concerns by commenting on my blog, voting for the
online polls or sending me an e-mail. This website is here for you, so
please share your thoughts and ideas.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Rick Dykstra

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

 
 

Canada and U.S. release the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Forward Plan
Aug 29, 2014 at 02:10 PM

Introduction

Today, the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Joint Forward Plan was released. The plan sets the stage for fundamental changes in the way regulatory departments and agencies in both countries work together, making it easier for businesses to operate in both countries.

The Joint Forward Plan, which builds on the RCC Joint Action Plan launched in December 2011 by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama, will deepen Canada-U.S. regulatory cooperation through new bi-national processes and partnerships. This approach will institutionalize joint planning and collaboration between Canadian and U.S. regulatory agencies.

The Joint Forward Plan also includes specific commitments to align 24 areas of regulatory business.  Work will continue in areas such as marine safety and security, pharmaceuticals, food safety, plant and animal health, and crop protection products. The RCC Forward Plan also expands work into new areas such as energy efficiency, toy safety, medical devices, chemicals management, and the use of natural gas in transportation.

The Joint Forward Plan will help regulators address a greater number of specific issues and make the broad changes necessary to prevent misalignments from happening in the future.
Following the launch of the Plan, Canadian and U.S. regulatory departments will establish formal partnerships as well as annual work plans and joint planning processes for each of the initial 24 areas of business. Going forward, the planning process will also open the door for discussion on other areas of regulatory cooperation that could be initiated. 

Quick Facts

  • The new RCC Joint Forward Plan enhances the work initiated in the 2011 RCC Joint Action Plan by moving from a focus on individual initiatives toward the development of more ambitious regulatory partnerships. The goal of these new partnerships is to have bilateral regulatory cooperation across a broad range of issues, entrenched within the regular planning and operational activities of regulatory agencies in both countries.
  • From August 31 to November 8, 2013, the RCC invited public input on the next phase of Canada-U.S. regulatory cooperation. Submissions were received from 160 stakeholders from a wide range of sectors and regions in Canada and the United States. These informed the three key components of the Joint Forward Plan’s future work: departmental-level bi-national processes to strengthen regulatory partnership; department-to-department commitments and work plans; and work on cross-cutting issues.
  • Canada and the United States enjoy one of the closest and largest trading relationships in the world. Bilateral trade in goods and services surpassed $781 billion in 2013, with more than $2.1 billion worth of goods and services crossing the border daily – or almost $1.5 million traded every minute.

“Input from industry will continue to play a critical role as regulators on both sides of the border set priorities and focus work in areas that will generate the greatest benefit for business and consumers.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

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Seaway Announces Next Phase of Work to Rebuild Tie-up Walls
Aug 29, 2014 at 01:53 PM

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced today that that the next phase of its project to rebuild the tie-up walls along the Welland Canal will commence on or about September 1, 2014, and is projected to end in April, 2015.\

The activity that will occur along the upper tie-up wall at Lock 3 and will consist of:

  • clearing of brush and small trees to be completed in September;?
  • pile driving on the west side of the tie-up wall to occur from mid-September to December; and
  • granular fill to be placed west of the tie-up wall from January to March 2015.

To permit the construction work to proceed, the stretch of the Welland Canal Parkway Trail (WCPT) that runs alongside the tie-up wall (see attached map) will be closed on or about September 1, 2014, and is slated to re-open around April 30, 2015.

Signage erected along the Canal will keep the public informed about the activity and the resulting detours as outlined above.

The Welland Canal is a vital transportation artery, enabling tens of millions of tonnes of cargo to be shipped every year via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Between 2013 and 2017, the SLSMC is investing almost $100 million to replace four ship tie-up walls.

The SLSMC wishes to extend its thanks to area residents and businesses for their patience and accommodation during the completion of this work to renew a portion of the Welland Canal.

Information:

Alvina Ghirardi
Manager, Maintenance Planning & Logistics
(905) 641-1932, ext. 5464

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CANADA COMPLETES FIRST DELIVERY OF MILITARY SUPPLIES TO FORCES FIGHTING ISIL
Aug 29, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-177 Globemaster III strategic airlifter has completed its first delivery of military equipment, donated by the Republic of Albania, to security forces in Iraq fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Operation IMPACT is Canada’s contribution to international efforts to deliver military supplies, such as small arms and ammunition, to those fighting ISIL. Staged out of locations in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe, the Canadian Air Task Force Iraq (CATFI) is working in concert with our Allies – including the United States and the United Kingdom – and the Government of Iraq to provide this critical aid.

Over one million Iraqis have been displaced by ISIL, which has been carrying out a murderous rampage in northern Iraq since early this year, seizing territory and systematically killing children, women and men. The delivery of these military supplies to the security forces protecting the displaced Iraqis and fighting ISIL will help improve the precarious security situation in the country. Left unchecked, ISIL is a threat not only to peace and security in the region, but to global security as well. 

Canada also deployed a CC-130J Hercules transport aircraft to the region, and it will support this delivery effort.

Quick Facts

  • On August 15, 2014, Prime Minister Harper announced that a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130J Hercules and a CC-177 Globemaster III had been deployed from Canadian Forces Base Trenton to assist in the delivery of critical military supplies from contributing allies to forces fighting ISIL.
  • Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) is responsible for anticipating, preparing and conducting operations such as this one, which has been named Operation IMPACT.
  • The CAF will carry out this important international mission while continuing to meet other concurrent operational commitments.
  • Canada has 17 CC-130J Hercules aircraft based out of 8 Wing Trenton. This versatile, state-of-the-art aircraft is used for a wide range of missions, including troop transport, tactical airlift (both palletized and vehicular cargo) and aircrew training.
  • Canada has four CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft based out of 8 Wing Trenton. These aircraft are used for a variety of strategic and tactical missions, including the rapid delivery of troops and cargo anywhere in the world.
  • Since the beginning of 2014, Canada has provided over $16 million to respond to humanitarian needs in Iraq, of which $6.8 million is for populations affected by civil unrest and $9.5 million for Syrian refugees. In June 2014, Iraq was added to the list of Canada’s development country partners.

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