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May 23, 2015 at 01:43 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


Three-Time JUNO Award Winners Perform and Reveal New Instruments for Students
May 21, 2015 at 04:25 PM


St. Catharines, ON - MusiCounts, Canada's music education charity associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), was at DSBN Academy in St. Catharines today to celebrate $30,000 raised through Hockey Night in St. Catharines 2014, supported by Music Canada and Partridge Wealth Management. Two of the three Niagara Region schools that have benefitted from MusiCounts' Band Aid Program joined the celebration, including the entire student body of DSBN Academy, and representatives from Westlane Secondary School (Niagara Falls). Students, school staff and special guests were treated to a performance by three-time JUNO-Award winners The Sheepdogs.

"We were lucky to grow up in a very musical family," said Ewan Currie of The Sheepdogs. "Whether music is something that you want as a career or just a hobby, it's something that we should all have in our lives, especially when growing up."
St. Catharines Member of Parliament Rick Dykstra added, "Every year I have been amazed at the success of Hockey Night in St. Catharines and through United Way of St. Catharines and District, how we have been able to help fund vital programs for the disadvantaged in our community. But what is happening here today is pure magic."
Dykstra continued, "Getting instruments into the hands of young people and giving them the gift of music is something that will enrich them all of their lives. I cannot thank MusiCounts, Music Canada and Partridge Wealth Management enough for helping all of this come together and I especially want to thank Ewan and Shamus Currie of The Sheepdogs for taking time out of their schedules to be with us on this very special day." 
Over 350 students and faculty, along with representatives from MusiCounts, MP Dykstra (organizer of Hockey Night in St. Catharines) Partridge Wealth Management, The United Way of St. Catharines (co-beneficiary of Hockey Night in St. Catharines) and Music Canada were present to celebrate MusiCounts' commitment to St. Catharines and the Niagara region. The Niagara area schools honored today represent three out of the 69 schools nation-wide receiving a total $595,000-worth of musical instruments from this year's MusiCounts Band Aid program.
"Dykstra and our supporters at Music Canada and Partridge Wealth Management are leading by example when it comes to promoting the importance of music education and the impact music can have on the local community," said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards & MusiCounts. "We are tremendously thankful for their support of MusiCounts which will help us increase access to music education for thousands of youth in the Niagara Region."
**For a full list of 2014/2015 MusiCounts Band Aid Grant Recipients visit here.
**Download hi-res images from today's event here (photo credit: BarryRoden.com).
About The Sheepdogs
The Sheepdogs built their name on hard work and determination. Having funded their first three albums and early years of touring on their own, this rock and roll band's momentum began to build exponentially with the release of the 2010 album, Learn & Burn (which is now certified platinum in Canada). The band would go on to win three 2012 JUNO Awards for New Group of the Year, Single of the Year and Rock Album of the Year. With a list of accolades this impressive the band is on the brink of engaging fans on a wider scale. In the end it all ties back to the group's goals, which essentially involve making really good rock songs, and you don't need a crazy origin story to do that.
About Hockey Night in St.Catharines 
Hockey Night in St. Catharines is a charity hockey game featuring Canadian MPs and elite hockey players that raises funds for the United Way of St. Catharines and District and Parkinson's disease research among others. Since the initial game in 2010, Hockey Night in St. Catharines has raised more than $700,000 for charities including MusiCounts.     

About Music Canada 
Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada, namely Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster.
About Partridge Wealth Management
Partridge Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities is a family partnership that was formed in 1970 by Peter Partridge Sr. Our comprehensive approach to wealth management encompasses financial planning, investment management, tax minimization, wealth protection, insurance and estate planning.
About MusiCounts
MusiCounts, Canada's music education charity associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) is helping to keep music alive in schools across Canada. MusiCounts' mission is to ensure that children in Canada, regardless of socio-economic circumstances or cultural background, have access to music programs through their schools and communities. MusiCounts includes the Band Aid Program, the TD Community Music Program, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, Scholarships and other music education initiatives. Since MusiCounts' establishment in 1997, nearly $8,000,000 will have been awarded to help support music education in Canada. These funds have impacted over 700 communities from coast to coast, supported over 330 post-secondary music program graduates and honoured 10 extraordinary music teachers through the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award.


Federal Government Supports Local Seniors through New Horizons Projects
May 20, 2015 at 07:03 PM

Dykstra announces new round of funding

St. Catharines - Seniors in St. Catharines will be involved in several new ventures and projects after an announcement made by St. Catharines Member of Parliament Rick Dykstra.

Four local organizations were successful in their applications to the New Horizons for Seniors Program, one of the federal government’s most successful projects since taking office in 2006.

The following organizations will receive almost $84,000 in total funding:

  1. Canadian Red Cross - Emergency Preparedness for Seniors
  2. Club Soleil - Young Retirees in Action
  3. Niagara Chapter of the MS Society of Canada  - Engage as you Age
  4. Merritton Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion - washroom renovations and kitchen makeover

Dykstra says it benefits everyone to help seniors keep active and engaged.  “Our government recognizes the valuable contribution seniors have made to our society and the economy”, said Dykstra. “By supporting New Horizons for Seniors Program projects, we are acting to ensure that seniors maintain a good quality of life and continue to be active members of their communities.”

Quick Facts

  • Under the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP), up to $25,000 in grant funding can be provided to eligible organizations for community-based projects that are led or inspired by seniors.
  • Since 2006, the NHSP has funded more than 13,000 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada.
  • Economic Action Plan 2014 increased funding for the NHSP by $5 million per year, for a total of $50 million provided to this program annually.


Contact:  Karen Moncur – 905-934-6767

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Budget 2015: Strong, Stable Leadership
Apr 21, 2015 at 04:59 PM

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.

St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra calls the budget focused and intuitive.  “Finance Minister Joe Oliver has taken the time to examine all the factors influencing our national economy”, said Dykstra. “And he has produced a budget that addresses the demands of St. Catharines taxpayers, especially families with children and our large population of senior citizens.”

Budget Highlights

  • Lowering the amount of money St. Catharines’ 14,500 seniors over the age of 71 have to take out of their Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) annually
  • Putting more money back into the pockets of St. Catharines’ 24,000 families with children under the age of 18, with a typical two earner family experiencing about $6600 in tax relief in 2015
  • Increasing the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) annual contribution limit from $5500 to $10,000 annually
  • Introducing a new Retirement Income Security Benefit to provide additional financial security after the age of 65 for moderately to severely disabled veterans
  • Ensuring that part-time Reserve Force Veterans have access to the same level of income support as Regular and full-time Reserve Force Veterans
  • Providing $288 million for repair and maintenance of small craft harbours.
  • Providing an additional $750 million over two years, starting in 2017–18, and $1 billion per year ongoing thereafter for a new and innovative Public Transit Fund
  • Reducing the tax rate for small businesses from 11% to 9% by 2019

“It’s great to see the federal government recognizing that small business is the engine that drives our economy,” said Mike Gammon, Owner of Brock Office Automation. “This reduction in the tax rate will result in more opportunity for growth and job creation.”

"It’s great to see significant investment in small craft harbours”, said St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik. “It’s an area that we can look to for potential investment and solutions for our community.’

“This budget strikes exactly the right balance,” said Dykstra. “By supporting hard-working families and seniors and ensuring that we continue to grow our economy, St. Catharines residents will reap the benefits of this government’s solid fiscal leadership.”

In order to get the enhanced UCCB payment retroactive to January 1st, families who are not currently getting the UCCB must register by May 1st. Applications can be found online here: www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/uccb-puge/menu-eng.html or at Rick Dykstra’s Community office at 61 Geneva St.

Niagara Regional Chair Alan Caslin welcomed the federal budget that will produce meaningful results for Niagara residents. "This budget will have a positive impact on our Region's families and business communities by keeping taxes low, supporting small businesses, and delivering important infrastructure dollars to Niagara." said Chair Caslin.

More information on the Budget 2015 can be found here: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2015/home-accueil-eng.html


  • Release: Increase to TFSA Annual Contribution Limit Available Immediately
  • Release: Prime Minister of Canada Announces Support for Small Business and Manufacturers - Action Plan 2015

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Last Updated ( Apr 24, 2015 at 03:23 PM )
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