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Jul 25, 2014 at 04:39 PM


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 supports refugee children in the Middle East
Jul 25, 2014 at 09:10 AM

Canada will provide greater learning opportunities to vulnerable children from Syria and Lebanon

July 25, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, announced on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, that Canada will contribute to UNICEF’s Improving Access to Quality Education for all Children initiative in Lebanon. Minister Kenney made the announcement during a visit to the Maallaqa Aradi Zahle informal refugee settlement in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

"I am proud to announce Canada’s contribution to improve education service delivery in Lebanon," said Minister Kenney. "This project will address the challenges of providing good quality education to vulnerable girls and boys from Syria and Lebanon and also contributes to Canada’s comprehensive development, humanitarian and security response to the Syrian crisis."

Today’s announcement will help provide increased access for vulnerable school-aged girls and boys from Syria and Lebanon to quality learning opportunities within the public education system in Lebanon, reaching up to 125,000 children in 500 public schools. Children will also benefit from rehabilitated water and sanitation facilities in schools where these needs are particularly acute.

"This announcement is another example of Canada’s leadership in addressing the education needs of children affected by the Syrian conflict," added Minister Paradis. "We are pleased to be working with UNICEF and Lebanon’s Ministry of Education to provide the best quality education and learning opportunities, while also rehabilitating and improving school buildings to make them safe and healthy learning environments conducive to enhancing student learning outcomes."

Since the start of the Syrian uprising in March of 2011, Canada has worked to support the Syrian people and has given generously to the various international efforts to support the Syrian people, including those living as refugees in neighboring countries. We have been active in calling on the international community to come together and defend the rights of the Syrian people to determine their own future. To date, Canada has committed more than $630 million in humanitarian, development and security assistance in response to the Syria crisis.

The situation in Syria is a humanitarian catastrophe and the source of countless human rights abuses, including gross violations of religious freedom. Canada deplores the continued persecution of Christians resulting from the conflict in Syria, in particular brutal attacks carried out by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]. ISIS has made it clear that it seeks to eradicate the fragile, but nevertheless resilient tradition of religious tolerance that people in the region have enjoyed for centuries. Canada will continue to express its support for the Syrian and Iraqi people as they struggle to defend their freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Quick Facts

  • This project delivers on the Government of Canada’s commitment of $25 million for Jordan and Lebanon to build the resilience of government services and infrastructure, including in education and the delivery of basic services.
  • Today’s announcement also responds to calls from the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, for a $10-million Canadian contribution to education programming in Lebanon.
  • This project advances Canada’s foreign policy commitment to help regional governments mitigate the impact of the Syrian crisis and aligns with Lebanon’s National Stabilization Roadmap.
  • The project complements the "No Lost Generation" initiative’s activities in Lebanon.

Related Products

  • Backgrounder: Canada providing support for public education in Lebanon

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Seafarers’ International Union of Canada Supports Veterans as They Transition to Civilian Life
Jul 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM

S.I.U. and the Government of Canada join forces and focus on a Priority Veteran Hiring Initiative

Thorold, Ontario, Canada- July 23, 2014- Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (S.I.U), the most important sailors’ union in Canada, representing the majority of unlicensed and licensed sailors working aboard vessels across Canada, today announced that it has launched a new initiative that will focus on priority training and hiring for members of the Canadian Armed Forces as they transition from military to civilian life.

The Priority Veteran Hiring Initiative will create synergy and opportunities for both the shipping industry and Veterans Affairs Canada.  By matching the skill sets, training and experience of the Canadian Armed Forces within the shipping industry, the S.I.U. is further investing in Canada’s future by providing opportunities in the seafaring industry.  “All of our partner companies, from coast to coast, support the initiative to recruit and train tomorrow’s seafarers,” said James Given, President, S.I.U.  “With the valuable skill sets, ambition and dedication to the Canadian Flag that veterans bring to our industry, it is welcomed on all fronts”.

“I am pleased that Seafarers’ International Union of Canada is committed to helping our Veterans find opportunities that will utilize their skills and experience at sea. By doing this, Seafarers are affirming what we already know: Canada’s men and women in uniform are skilled individuals, with the experience to be top notch employees,” said The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs.

“Canadian Veterans are hardworking and dedicated individuals who can contribute immensely to our country’s economic growth and prosperity.  I’m confident this new partnership will lead to good things for both Veterans and the Seafarers’,” said Parm Gill, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

“Our Government is committed to supporting Veterans and their families as they leave military service and become productive members of the civilian workforce. I applaud the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada for having the insight to tap into this highly-skilled pool of talented individuals,” said Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The S.I.U. looks forward to continuing its work with its partner companies and the Government of Canada in promoting this important initiative and providing opportunities for the men and women who have served in the Canadian Armed Forces.

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About the Seafarers' International Union of Canada: A Sailors' Union by Sailors for the benefit of Sailors.  The Seafarers' International Union of Canada has been serving unlicensed seafarers since 1938 and is affiliated with the Seafarers' International Union of North America, presently representing 60,000 unlicensed seafarers across the continent. The most important sailors' union in Canada, the Seafarers' International Union, better known as the S.I.U., represents the majority of unlicensed sailors working aboard vessels on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, on the East Coast and the West Coast and in the Arctic.  In addition to vessels operated in Canadian waters, S.I.U. members also have the opportunity to work aboard vessels delivering cargoes in the United States, Europe and South America.
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Announcing the Rick Dykstra Community BBQ
Jul 22, 2014 at 09:24 AM

Date: Thursday August 7, 2014

Time: 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Rain or Shine

Location: Armenian Community Centre
156 Martindale Rd., St. Catharines

Come out and meet Rick, and enjoy a complimentary BBQ, Local Entertainment and Family Activities!

Featuring food by the Kilt & Clover and Entertainment by PK Hummingbird Steel Orchestra!

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