OTTAWA.- El anuncio de que el demócrata estadounidense Howard Dean participará en la próxima convención por el liderato liberal, como orador, continúa causando una gran agitación entre los miembros de la bancada, quienes indican que su reunión debe centrarse en los asuntos políticos canadienses y no estadounidenses. Dean, uno de los máximos organizadores demócratas, ha recibido mucho crédito por la gran victoria de su partido en las elecciones del pasado 7 de noviembre. Sin embargo, algunos liberales creen que Dean traerá una conclusión estadounidense a una campaña diseñada para reconectar a los grits con la población canadiense. "Creo que esa no es una buena idea", declaró el candidato al liderato liberal, Ken Dryden, quien agregó luego que la participación de Dean era de mal gusto. "Cualquier cosa de interés que el Sr. Dean tenga que decir, y estoy seguro de que tiene muchas cosas interesantes de que hablar, simplemente estará fuera de lugar. Este es un evento que tiene que ver con nosotros", dijo Dryden en una entrevista con el diario Toronto Star. Alexander Swann, un vocero de Bob Rae, dijo ayer que Dean es un revolucionario cuando se trata de utilizar la internet para propósitos políticos. "Lo que ha hecho con el reclutamiento en internet y en segundo lugar con los expertos en democracia estadounidenses... Eso es lo que hace que el Sr. Dean sea una persona muy interesante en la política", declaró Swann. Swann continuó indicando que Rae ha estado muy ocupado en su campaña como para preocuparse por una controversia que gira alrededor de la visita de Dean. Bob Richardson, un importante organizador de la campaña de Michael Ignatieff, indicó al Star que Dean es totalmente "irrelevante" para los canadienses. Dean, un ex candidato a la presidencia de EE.UU., es jefe del Comité Nacional Democrático. Pero aunque los demócratas ganaron tanto la mayoría en el Congreso como en el Senado, Dean ha sido duramente criticado por no invertir más fondos en las cerradas carreras por distritos que al final quedaron en manos de los republicanos. Varios críticos han sugerido que si Dean hubiera decidido inyectar más dinero, los demócratas habrían logrado ganar con un mayor margen y por ende, gozarían de un mayor poder en ambas cámaras. En las elecciones del 2004, Dean fue objeto de burlas por su infame 'grito' que ha sido ampliamente visto como el último clavo en el ataúd de sus aspiraciones a la presidencia. Dean es el segundo orador extranjero que los liberales han invitado para una de sus varias convenciones. En el 2003 la estrella del rock y activista, Bono, de la banda U2, fue el invitado de honor para la reunión en la cual el ex Primer Ministro Paul Martin se alzó con la victoria. En aquella ocasión Michael Ignatieff fue el orador principal.
Statement by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance
Good evening: I am here tonight to announce our new Tax Fairness Plan for Canadians. It’s a plan designed to level the playing field between income trusts and corporations. The measures I am bringing forward today are necessary to restore balance and fairness to Canada’s Tax System. They are necessary to ensure our economy continues to grow and prosper. They are necessary to bring Canada in line with other jurisdictions throughout the world. Our plan is the result of months of careful consideration and evaluation. Our actions are clear, decisive and in the best interest of all Canadians. Despite the provisions in Budget 2006 to reduce the level of taxation on corporate dividends, the landscape has changed dramatically in the short time I have been Minister of Finance. This year alone there has been almost $70 billion in new trust announcements. We have seen a growing trend towards corporate tax avoidance. Top Canadian corporations, operating within the current rules, have announced their intention to convert to income trusts. They feel compelled to seek more favourable tax treatment by capitalizing on an available tax rule. This trend has now moved into the core of our industrial and knowledge-based economy. It is a trend that has caused me growing concern. If corporations don’t pay their share of taxes, this tax burden will shift onto the shoulders of hardworking individuals and families. This is simply not fair. This trend towards income trusts is also creating an economic distortion that is threatening Canada’s long-term economic growth. It is limiting the ability of Canadian capital-intensive corporations to invest, to grow and compete in this highly competitive global economy. If we continue down this road the implications for Canadians are significant. We will find ourselves with a tax system that is less fair and an economy that is less productive and competitive. Left unchecked such corporate decisions would result in billions of dollars in less revenue for the federal government to invest in the priorities of Canadians, including more personal income tax relief. These decisions would also mean less revenue for the provinces and territories, several of which have made representations to me on this matter. Clearly, Canada is out of step in its treatment of income trusts. The structure being used in this country was shut down in the United States and Australia. This situation is not right and it is not fair. It is the responsibility of the Government of Canada to set our nation’s tax policy, not corporate tax planners. In response, I am putting forward our government’s Tax Fairness Plan: First of all, the government is proposing to apply a Distribution Tax on distributions from publicly traded income trusts. This will level the playing field between trusts and corporations. For income trusts that begin trading after today, these measures will apply beginning with their 2007 taxation year. For existing income trusts the government is proposing to provide a four-year transition period. They will not be subject to the new measures until their 2011 taxation year. Secondly, as part of our Tax Fairness Plan we will be reducing the general corporate income tax rate one-half percentage point as of January 1, 2011. As a result of this measure, there will not be more government revenue generated from the corporate sector. Thirdly, we are increasing the Age Credit Amount by $ 1,000 from $4,066 to $5,066 effective January 1, 2006. This measure will provide tax relief for low and middle-income seniors. Finally, we are introducing a major positive change in tax policy for pensioners. We will permit income splitting for pensioners beginning in 2007. This will significantly enhance the incentives to save and invest for family retirement security. We recognize that pensioners and seniors have made important investments over the years and may be receiving benefits from the current income trust structure. These two measures will allow them to retain more of their income in their retirement years. This is a significant step forward in the strengthening of our social security system for pensioners and seniors. These measures will enhance the seniors’ initiative we introduced in Budget 2006. At that time we doubled the amount of eligible pension income that can be claimed under the pension income credit – from $1,000 dollars to $2,000 starting in the 2006 tax year. Our government firmly believes tax relief is one of the keys to ensuring the Canadian economy remains strong and competitive. I will have more to say about our competitiveness when I present the government’s Fall Economic Statement and release our Economic Plan for Canada in the next few weeks. These measures represent a major tax reduction. Our Tax Fairness Plan will deliver over a billion dollars of new tax relief annually for Canadians. The initiatives I am announcing today clearly build on our tax relief package outlined in Budget 2006. We delivered significant tax relief for Canadians with 29 tax cuts amounting to $20 billion in tax relief over the next two years. But more needs to be done. Families and businesses still pay too much tax in this country, and our government will continue to reduce the tax burden on Canadians. At the same time, we must ensure that no one gains an unfair tax advantage at the expense of others. It’s a responsibility we cannot and will not abdicate. Each and every day Canadians across the country get up and go to work, pay their taxes and set aside a few dollars for retirement. They trust that their government is watching out for them and upholding the values that make our country great. The values that define us as Canadians, like fairness. The Tax Fairness Plan I am announcing today will uphold the value of fairness. It will level the playing field between income trusts and corporations; It will ensure that taxes are not unfairly shifted onto the shoulders of Canadian families and taxpayers; It will strengthen Canada’s social security system for pensioners and seniors; It will help corporations make choices that are consistent with economic growth and competitiveness; and It will bring Canada’s approach to income trusts back in-line with other jurisdictions. Canada’s New Government understands that good government and good policy are about being focused, determined and decisive. Our Tax Fairness Plan is not only the right thing to do, it is in the best interest of all Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Thank you.
Successful celebration of Canada's Citizenship Week
OTTAWA, Oct. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced that when Canada's Citizenship Week wrapped up on Sunday, 4,635 newcomers had become Canadian citizens. Across the country, 53 special citizenship ceremonies had been held in communities, and 160 municipal proclamations of Canada's Citizenship Week had also been featured. "Canada's Citizenship Week reminds all Canadians to take the time to appreciate our shared rights and responsibilities," said Minister Solberg. "It also reminds us that newcomers choose to come to Canada for a thousand different reasons, but all come because they see in Canada a better life for themselves and for their families." Minister Solberg launched Canada's Citizenship Week on October 16 by attending a citizenship ceremony at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre, headquarters of Historica Encounters. He was joined in welcoming 35 new Canadians by students from across the country, as well as Ed Komarnicki, Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Immigration, and fellow members of Parliament Jim Abbott and Art Hanger. "It was a great privilege for all of us to share the happiness and excitement of the new Canadians," said the Minister. "We proudly welcome newcomers with all their energy, talents and dreams." As part of Canada's Citizenship Week activities, Minister Solberg also spoke at a special ceremony held by the Dominion Institute to celebrate the success of the institute's Passages to Canada project. The Passages to Canada Speakers' Bureau is a national storytelling initiative that highlights the contributions immigrants and refugees make to Canada. Minister Solberg also released a special edition of the CIC Insider newsletter celebrating citizenship. To read the CIC Insider or to get more information on Canada's Citizenship Week and ongoing citizenship ceremonies throughout the year, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site at www.cic.gc.ca.
October 22, 2006 Ottawa, Ontario Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today that by-elections will be held on Monday, November 27, 2006 in the riding of London North Centre (Ontario) and the riding of Repentigny (Quebec).
Prime Minister Harper announces new measures to protect Canadians from dangerous offenders
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that Canada’s New Government will introduce legislation to provide tougher sentences and more effective management of individuals convicted of sexual or violent offences in Canada. “We are going to impose stricter conditions on repeat offenders to keep such criminals from offending again and again,” the Prime Minister said. “We will make it easier to seek dangerous offender designations so that they will serve indeterminate sentences.” The Prime Minister noted that the proposed legislation will put the onus on offenders convicted of a third violent or sexual offence to prove that they should not be declared dangerous offenders. Those who fail to do so will be subject to an indeterminate jail sentence, with no eligibility for parole for seven years. As well, the legislation would also increase the maximum duration of peace bonds from 12 to 24 months, which will allow additional restrictions and conditions to be placed on the actions of released criminals. “Our justice system generously gives second and third chances,” the Prime Minister added. “But at some point, governments must draw the line and this bill will do just that.” Since assuming office earlier this year, Canada’s New Government has introduced a number of initiatives aimed at tackling crime and protecting the safety and security of Canadians. These include legislation to end conditional sentences for serious offences, to implement mandatory minimum sentences for crimes involving guns, to raise the age of consent for sexual activity from 14 to 16 years and to crack down on street racing.
Prime Minister Harper urges action on Senate reform
In an unprecedented appearance today before a Senate Committee today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper urged Senators to join Canada's New Government in bringing long overdue reform to their institution. "The Government is not looking for another report. We are seeking action. Action that responds to the commitments we made to Canadians during the recent federal election." said the Prime Minister. "The Senate is changing, and we will be the ones to make it happen.” The Government introduced Bill S-4, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 (Senate Tenure) in the Senate on May 30, 2006. It proposes to limit senate terms to eight years for new Senators. Prime Minister Harper urged Senators to pass S-4. The Prime Minister also informed Senators that the Government will introduce a bill this autumn to create a process to choose elected Senators. “This bill will further demonstrate how seriously the Government takes the issue of Senate reform,” said the Prime Minister. “And to Canadians, it will further signal that the Senate is changing.”
2006/2007 EDITION OF BON VOYAGE, BUT… NOW AVAILABLE
Foreign Affairs Minister and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Peter MacKay is pleased to announce the official launch of the 2006/2007 edition of Bon Voyage, But.... Published by the Consular Affairs Bureau of Foreign Affairs Canada, this smart-travel guide is now available to all Canadians. The official launch of Bon Voyage, But… is an occasion for the department to invite the media to work with it to communicate its message on safe travel to Canadians, and to alert them to the risks of travelling during the hurricane season. This season extends from June 1 to November 30 in coastal regions of the southern United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. “Millions of Canadians go abroad every year. Our goal is to help maximize the success of their journeys and minimize their problems while abroad,” said Minister MacKay. “Our job is not only to assist Canadians when problems occur, but also to take a preventive approach to encourage safe and hassle-free travel. That’s what Bon Voyage, But… is all about.” The guide, developed to help Canadians plan before venturing abroad, includes essential travel advice and information on consular services offered by Canadian government offices worldwide. FAC has an Emergency Operations Centre in Ottawa and more than 270 offices around the world with consular officials ready to assist Canadians travelling, working or living abroad. Bon Voyage, But… is available free of charge in both print and online formats at http://www.voyage.gc.ca http://www.voyage.gc.ca . A video webcast of the official launch is also available at the same site.
Canadian municipalities call for halt to U.S. border passport plan
MONTREAL, June 3 -- Economic damage in the billions and divided cross-border communities will be the chief result of U.S. plans to require all Canadian and U.S. citizens to have a passport to enter the United States, said delegates at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' (FCM) conference here today. Toronto Councillor Howard Moscoe said "Fewer than 20 per cent of all U.S. citizens have passports...they cost $100 each. A family of four that has to pay $400 to come to Canada will go to Europe instead. It will strangle the economy of this country." The delegates adopted a resolution from the City of Toronto calling for the deadline to be extended until alternative secure, inexpensive documents are available. The resolution also calls for an exemption for children to accommodate families and sports teams crossing the border. FCM Vice President, Mayor Jean Perrault of Sherbrooke, Que., said "We understand the U.S. security concerns driving this initiative, but we are concerned that this proposal will damage the unique U.S.-Canadian relationship without improving security." Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan expressed concern about how the new rules will affect the Olympic Games, scheduled for his city in 2010. "Three months ago in Torino, I invited the world to come to Vancouver in 2010. It's absolutely important for us to work together to find a solution. If we permit this initiative to drive a wedge between our two countries, we will have given terrorists a victory." FCM has called on the U.S. government to work with Canada to develop comprehensive solutions to border security, including new technology, new infrastructure, new procedures and improved training-all integrated into a "smart border" solution. The resolution will now be sent to the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, with the request that he forward FCM's concerns to the appropriate United States Government departments and officials.
Prime Minister pledges to tackle street racing
Vancouver, B.C. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today that the government will introduce legislation this spring to crack down on street racing. “Let’s be clear, street racing isn’t about kids having fun. It's reckless, dangerous, and all too often it kills." said the Prime Minister. “That is why our government will introduce legislation to tackle this serious problem head on.” The effect of the legislation will be twofold. First, the legislation will create a new Criminal Code offence for street racing, one which will result in stiffer sentences for street racers. Second, the legislation will introduce driving prohibitions for those who are convicted. There have already been a number of street racing deaths this year. In January, a Toronto cab driver was killed instantly when his car was hit by an alleged street racer. Less than a week later, four young men were killed as a result of a street racing accident in Vancouver. Today’s announcement marks the latest step in the government’s effort to crack down on crime. Earlier this month, Justice Minister Vic Toews introduced legislation to put an end to condition sentences for serious offences and establish mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes. The Prime Minister pledged to continue moving forward on the government’s agenda of making Canadian communities safer.
Prime Minister Harper announces new Ministry and reaffirms government priorities
February 6, 2006 Ottawa, Ontario
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the appointment of a new Ministry designed to deliver the change mandated by Canadians on January 23rd. “My smaller Cabinet and more streamlined Cabinet structure are designed for work—not for show,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The team is talented and balanced, reflecting our national diversity. The 26 Ministers are equal members of the team, ensuring equal voices from all regions of Canada. The structure is designed to promote accountable, efficient and effective government—more focus and purpose; less process and cost.” In announcing the new Cabinet, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the Government’s intention to focus on five key priorities: Cleaning up government by enacting and enforcing the Federal Accountability Act; Lowering taxes for working Canadians, starting with a reduction to the Goods and Services Tax; Protecting Canadian families and communities by strengthening the justice system; Supporting the child care choices of parents; and Delivering health care Canadians need, when they need it, by establishing a patient wait times guarantee with the provinces. “Our mission is clear,” said the Prime Minister. “We will restore faith and trust in our public institutions as we keep Canada strong and united.”
Statement by the Prime Minister Paul Martin
As Prime minister, I would like to personally thank and congratulate all Canadians who voted on Monday. Your participation in the electoral process is essential in fostering a strong democracy for our country. I am proud to see that Canada remains a healthy democracy, a great model for all countries around the world. On January 23rd, Canadians expressed their choice and we wish the best to Prime Minister-designate Stephen Harper and his team. I would like to reassure Canadians that my team and I will work together to facilitate the transition that will lead to the installation of a new government. It has been an honour for me to be your prime minister and to represent Canada on the international scene. Canada is a great nation and its greatest days lie ahead.
Government of Canada cracks down on violent gun crime and gang violence
Toronto, Ontario- Prime Minister Paul Martin today outlined a package of measures to crack down on violent gun crimes and gang violence in Canada and help those communities at risk, including proposed amendments to the Criminal Code, actions to cut down on the number of guns on Canada’s streets and social investments aimed at reducing crime at its source. "Violent gun crime and gangsterism is not something we can accept nor something any community in Canada should be asked to endure," said Prime Minister Paul Martin. "The Government’s approach recognizes the complexity of these issues. Shortly, the Minister of Justice will be announcing changes to the Criminal Code to increase mandatory minimum sentences for certain firearms-related offences. In addition, the Government, in consultation with the provinces, will report back on every possible option to address the supply of illegal weapons and ammunition." The Government of Canada's plan is rooted in three areas: - Tougher Sentences – In addition to increasing the mandatory minimums, the Minister of Justice is currently working with his provincial colleagues to ensure that punishments for key gun crimes continue to meet the challenges facing our communities all across Canada. - Combating Gang Violence - The Government of Canada is creating a $50 million Gun Violence and Gang Prevention Fund, a fourth pillar to the National Crime Prevention Strategy, that will provide new program funding, over the next five years, to organizations and governments working to reduce gun violence and gang activity. The new fund will support community-based prevention and intervention projects targeting guns and gangs in Canada's urban centers. Funding will be provided for a broad range of projects, including initiatives that prevent youth from entering gangs and assist them in exiting gangs. - Assisting Communities at Risk - The Government of Canada is also providing additional funding for community-based youth justice projects in Toronto through a $1 million topping up of the City and Community Partnership component of the Youth Justice Renewal Fund. Additionally, the Government announced three programs, funded at $2.6 million, currently being administered through our Youth Employment Strategy. Two are currently underway; one of these is new, a $1.9 million program being administered by the City of Toronto. These are part of $122 million in funding which has already been dedicated in Youth Employment Strategy programming to help youth at-risk across the country. These programs assist multi-barriered Toronto youth with acquiring skills, participating in community service activities and becoming contributing members of their communities. Speaking with David Miller, Mayor of Toronto, the Prime Minister focused on the need to work in partnership with other levels of government, community leadership and law enforcement agencies to target at risk youth and lend support to the communities where they live. “Under our plan, we will enhance existing partnerships with provinces and municipalities to find innovative solutions to gun and gang problems occurring across Canada,” said Prime Minister Martin. “I firmly believe that working as partners and by lending support to the communities at risk, we can make a difference in the lives of youth across the country and make our communities a safer place to live.” The initiatives announced today build on existing Government of Canada measures designed to ensure safe communities across Canada, including the recently-tabled bill on conditional sentencing as well as on-going funding under programs such as the National Crime Prevention Strategy.
Address by Prime Minister Paul Martin at the Summit of the Americas
I am delighted to be here in beautiful Mar del Plata at the invitation of our friend President Nestor Kirchner. Nearly a decade ago our countries gathered in Miami to embrace a co-operative agenda for the Americas. In Quebec City, a little less than five years ago, we came together again and reached a ground-breaking consensus about democracy. In Quebec City we agreed that only a democratic government – committed to equality, transparency, market principles and honest dealing – only a government like this, accountable to all of its people, could provide our citizens with the tools to foster long-term economic growth while distributing the benefits fairly. Democracy is a work in progress. And we must work to ensure that all segments of our population can participate in the economic benefits that good governance can bring. We have made significant progress in achieving greater gender equality. But the goal of advancing the participation of women in every segment and every facet of civil society must be consciously and continually pursued. We recognize the unacceptable gap that persists between the very poor and the very rich. We must, all of us, developed and developing nations alike, ensure our public policy is responsive to the need to share our prosperity equitably. In Canada, as in many countries, those hardest hit by poverty are our indigenous peoples, and we must do far more to address the reality of this deeply human challenge. This is why I applaud the results of the second Indigenous Peoples Summit here in Argentina, for they provide a rich menu of approaches to redress the poverty gap and integrate our indigenous peoples into the economic mainstream. Further, we, as leaders, have the responsibility to encourage and foster the growing relationship among indigenous peoples throughout the Americas. And as important as the separate summits are, I believe we need to foster an ongoing connection between the two. But perfecting democracy does not complete our task. We also need to strengthen our economies from within. That means not only investing in technology and education, but also in the rule of law. There is a lot to do. But the work is essential, because the world within and beyond our borders is changing. Nations such as China and India have grown to become industrial powerhouses in the historical equivalent of a snap of the fingers. Their rates of growth have far outstripped our performance in the Americas for some time. We, at this summit, should embrace the challenge of generating the kind of growth that our competitors in other regions are showing – to the benefit of our producers and consumers. The steps we are taking sub-regionally through Free Trade pacts in our various neighbourhoods are improving our performance. But Free Trade on a hemispheric basis would enable us to leverage our collective size to compete globally and thereby generate jobs at home. A Free Trade Agreement of the Americas is not about making the hemisphere safe for capitalists. It is about providing opportunities for our workers, and better goods and services for our consumers, from the bottom rung of the income ladder to the top. This is not a geopolitical agenda. It’s a people’s agenda. A democratic country with a stake in the global economy can grow; it can invest its wealth in essential social programs such as health and education, as well as in technology and innovation – unlocking the potential of its own people. Freer and fairer trade will lift more human beings out of poverty than all of the assistance programs in the world combined. We should make a commitment here to complete our negotiations for a Free Trade Area of the Americas: an agreement that would complement, not compete with, our ambitions for a successful completion of the Doha Round. Fundamentally, we have to co-operate better and more urgently in the Americas. More and more, our mutual security, health and the quality of our environment depend on our willingness to work together. This is why the OAS is playing an important role in the supervision of free elections in Haiti, an effort distinguished by Brazil’s leadership of the UN Stabilization Mission, as well as important contributions from many other countries in the hemisphere. The need to co-operate more urgently is why representatives from many of our nations gathered last week in Ottawa, where Ministers of Health and senior officials from more than 30 countries met with technical experts and the leadership of multilateral organizations, to formulate a collective response to the threat of a global pandemic. None of us is immune to the threat of a virus derived from Avian Flu any more than we are from the threat of AIDS. We must work collectively to respond to this threat. Indeed, the Pan American Health Organisation can and must play a key role in this effort. We have to work together. At the end of this month, the UN Conference on Climate Change will be held in Montreal, where representatives from our countries will gather to address an issue of critical importance to all of us. Working together, there, too, I hope, we can provide the kind of leadership urgently required to address global warming. Global warming is a fact. If the developed world is the primary cause of this, the fact is we all suffer together, and we’ve all got to be part of the solution. Economic and social inequality, Avian Flu, global warming, the challenges to democracy itself; we didn’t choose any of these, but they are real, and within our countries, and among them, the effort to deal with these challenges will require us to co-operate on a scale that is frankly unprecedented. But we have come a long way since Miami. We are learning every day that we can accomplish more together than we can alone. Here, in Mar del Plata, we have an historic opportunity to advance our vision for the Americas; to reaffirm our support for the OAS; and to fashion in our hemisphere an example for the world of what can be achieved when countries set aside their differences and focus on the common aspirations of all our people. This is the long-term goal. We can get there if we work together. Thank you.
Governments of Canada and Quebec sign first funding agreement on Early Learning and Child Care
October 28, 2005
Montreal, Quebec- Prime Minister Paul Martin and Quebec Premier Jean Charest, along with federal Social Development Minister Ken Dryden, Quebec’s Minister of Families, Seniors and the Status of Women Carole Théberge, President of the Privy Council and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Lucienne Robillard, and Quebec’s Minister for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs Benoît Pelletier, announced today an historic agreement concerning the transfer of $1.125 billion over five years under the federal government’s Early Learning and Child Care Initiative. This is the first funding agreement the Government of Canada has signed under the Early Learning and Child Care Initiative. “The best way for a forward-looking society to reach its goals is to help its youngest citizens,” said Prime Minister Martin. “It is essential, in building a 21st century society, that we enhance and expand early learning and child care programs across Canada, with Quebec serving as an inspiration. This agreement also marks a further step in relations between the governments of Quebec and Canada. It shows that both governments can reach agreement on questions of primary importance for our citizens.” Mr. Charest said, “The Government of Quebec is investing $1.5 billion annually in educational child care. Families in Quebec currently enjoy quality services that meet their needs. This type of investment illustrates our desire to place the welfare of Quebec families at the very centre of our priorities and actions. As a result, the governments of Canada and Quebec have agreed that Quebec will receive, unconditionally, its equal share of funds from the federal initiative.” This announcement follows the Government of Canada’s February 2005 budget commitment to invest $5 billion over five years to enhance and expand high-quality developmental early learning and child care in collaboration with provinces and territories. “Today’s announcement reflects Quebec’s leadership on early learning and child care,” said Minister Dryden. “Quebec has shown us how good and important an ambitious system of early learning and child care can be. And because of this, it is entirely appropriate that Quebec be the first jurisdiction to sign a final funding agreement with the Government of Canada.” Quebec places a very high priority on early learning and child care and has invested significant amounts, putting in place a system that can serve as a model for the rest of Canada. This initiative will, in particular, help Quebec reach its goals for early learning and child care, recognizing the leadership of Quebec in this area. Quebec’s Minister of Families, Seniors and the Status of Women, Carole Théberge, said, “We are pleased that the federal government recognizes that Quebec is a leader in child care. With the bill that I tabled Tuesday before the National Assembly on early learning and child care, we intend to further strengthen child care services with a view to improving accessibility and flexibility, and thereby continue to improve the quality of those services. It will give us great pleasure to share the expertise we have acquired over the past few years with our colleagues of other provinces,” she added. “This agreement demonstrates the flexibility that characterizes a federation such as ours and allows us to conclude agreements that can adapt to the different situations, realities and needs of a province’s population,” said the Honourable Lucienne Robillard, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen’s Privy Council. “This agreement, besides being of an asymmetrical nature, respects the exclusive skills of Quebec and the positions expressed in this matter. We have always believed that it was possible to agree on a formula that would recognize the work already carried out by Quebec and that would therefore allow us to benefit from funding with no strings attached,” said Minister Pelletier. Through this agreement, funds will be forwarded to Quebec to support these goals on early learning and child care and the well-being of families. The governments of Canada and Quebec will collaborate with other provinces and territories on best practices on early learning and child care that will improve early learning and child care programming as much as possible. The Government of Canada recently signed similar Early Learning and Child Care Agreements in Principle with Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Alberta, and British Columbia. It is anticipated that similar agreements with the remaining provinces and territories will be signed in the weeks and months ahead. The Agreement is accessible at the following sites: http://www.sdc.gc.ca/en/cs/comm/sd/news/agreements_principle/index.shtml http://www.premier.gouv.qc.ca
Governments of Canada and British Columbia sign an Agreement on Early Learning and Child Care
September 29, 2005
Vancouver, British Columbia- Prime Minister Paul Martin and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, along with Social Development Minister Ken Dryden and Stan Hagen, British Columbia’s Minister of Children and Family Development, announced today an historic Agreement in Principle that further supports the development of quality early learning and child care (ELCC) for young children and their families in British Columbia. “The surest measure of a forward-looking society is the effort it makes to help its youngest citizens,” said Prime Minister Martin. “This Agreement in Principle between Canada and British Columbia moves us closer to a shared vision for early learning and child care. Decades ago, it was a series of such agreements that led to the creation of Medicare in Canada—a program that now helps to define us as Canadians.” “We want to ensure that B.C. families have access to a sustainable, flexible, and affordable early learning and child care system that will ensure B.C. children get the support they need to thrive and succeed,” said Premier Campbell. “The agreement we have signed today will help parents balance the demands of work and family, and assist child care providers with new funding opportunities. It is a critical step in achieving our goal of providing the best systems of support for British Columbians in need.” This announcement follows the Government of Canada’s February 2005 budget commitment to invest $5 billion over five years to enhance and expand high-quality developmental early learning and child care in collaboration with provinces and territories. As announced in previous federal-provincial-territorial meetings on ELCC, this initiative will be guided by the QUAD principles: quality, universally inclusive, accessible, and developmental. In addition, the Government of British Columbia has adopted three principles specific to British Columbia: Choice/Flexibility, Targeted Investments, and Integrated Services. “This Agreement in Principle is another step to making sure that children in British Columbia will have the best possible start in life,” said Minister Dryden. “We are working to develop an ambitious, high-quality, developmental-based system of early learning and child care in every province and territory in this country. We have already signed agreements with six other provinces and, over the coming weeks and months, I expect that we will conclude Agreements in Principle with other provincial and territorial governments.” Over the next five years, with financial support from the Government of Canada, British Columbia will develop an integrated early learning and child care system, with children and families benefiting from increased quality, more developmental programs, and greater early learning and child care opportunities. This initiative builds on British Columbia’s existing early learning and child care investments, and recognizes that flexibility is needed to address provincial priorities and circumstances. British Columbia will consult with stakeholders to develop and release an action plan on early learning and child care by January 2006. Canada and British Columbia will also work together to conclude a detailed multi-year funding agreement. “This money is going to make a real and almost immediate difference to the lives of B.C.’s children and families,” said Minister Hagen. “It will allow our government, led by Linda Reid, Minister of State for Child Care, to expand options for affordable, safe, quality child care, and be more responsive to the needs of aboriginal and multicultural families, creating a truly ‘made-in-B.C.’ approach to early learning and child care.” The Agreement in Principle sets out a long-term vision, principles, and goals to guide the development of regulated early learning and child care for children under six. It also outlines specific objectives that the Government of British Columbia will pursue over the next five years and how that Government will be accountable to British Columbians. Also, the governments of Canada and British Columbia will collaborate with other provinces and territories on knowledge and information that will contribute to more effective early learning and child care programming. As part of this Agreement in Principle, the Government of Canada will work with British Columbia and other interested provincial and territorial governments to develop a National Quality Framework that will guide the development of early learning and child care programming across Canada. British Columbia will continue to report publicly on early learning and child care, so that progress is tracked. The Government of Canada recently signed similar Early Learning and Child Care Agreements in Principle with Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Alberta. It is anticipated that similar agreements with the remaining provinces and territories will be signed in the weeks and months ahead.
Minister McCallum to act as Minister of Natural Resources
September 26, 2005
Ottawa, Ontario- Prime Minister Paul Martin today announced that the Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable John McCallum, will take over the duties of the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable John Efford, while Mr. Efford is unable to perform the functions of his office due to illness. Mr. Efford will retain his responsibility as regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador. “I thank John Efford for his work since joining Cabinet and hope that his health will allow him to fully resume his responsibilities very soon,” said the Prime Minister. “I know that Minister McCallum will bring his full commitment to his additional duties as Acting Minister of Natural Resources.”
Canada and China sign bilateral agreements and announce science & technology joint declaration
September 9, 2005 Ottawa, Ontario
Prime Minister Paul Martin today announced that Canada and China have reached seven new agreements designed to enhance co-operation in the areas of transportation, food safety and nuclear energy, in addition to issuing a joint declaration on science and technology. The Prime Minister witnessed the signing of the agreements together with Chinese President Hu Jintao in the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings, following bilateral discussions. "These new agreements and this joint declaration signal the continued growth of a multi-faceted partnership between Canada and China," said the Prime Minister. “They will strengthen Canada’s interdependent engagement with China and will benefit citizens of both countries." The agreements include increased collaboration on nuclear energy research and development, including advanced reactor systems, safety and design codes, and sustainable fuel cycles. A new bilateral air accord provides for a three-fold increase in passenger and cargo flights to support the growing and important links between China and Canada. It also contains strong aviation safety and security provisions. Additional accords include food safety, plant and animal health, reproductive health and railways. The signing took place during a state visit to Canada by President Hu from September 8 to 11 and 16 to 17. The two partners also issued today a joint declaration in science and technology cooperation. The Participants will conduct a joint “Complementarity Study” to identify areas of science and technology research, such as climate change and sustainable energy, with the greatest potential for mutually beneficial collaboration, to recommend mechanisms most appropriate for stimulating the desired expansion of bilateral research partnerships, and to address other issues that may be a factor in developing enhanced science and technology collaboration.
Statement by the Prime Minister
August 1, 2005
Prime Minister Paul Martin today made the following statement on the news of the death of Dr. John Garang de Mabior, First Vice President of Sudan: “It was with great sorrow that I learned of the death of Dr. John Garang yesterday in a helicopter accident in southern Sudan. On behalf of the people of Canada - and in particular the Sudanese-Canadian community - I would like to express my deepest condolences to Dr. Garang’s wife and family, as well as to the Government and people of Sudan. Dr. Garang was a leader and visionary, whose commitment to bringing peace to Sudan was recognized three weeks ago on his inauguration as First Vice President in a new government of national unity. Canada's deepest hope is that Dr. Garang's life will be honoured by an even more persistent effort to secure a lasting peace in Sudan, including in the western Darfur provinces, as well as the country's eastern and southern regions. I join with the members of Canada's Special Advisory Team, Ambassador Robert Fowler, Peace Envoy and Senator Mobina Jaffer and Senator Romeo Dallaire, in pledging not only our nation's condolences on the passing of Dr. Garang but also our commitment and assistance in helping encourage progress toward peace for all the people of Sudan.”
Statement by the Prime Minister on the death of Chuck Cadman, MP
Prime Minister Paul Martin today made the following statement on the news that Chuck Cadman, MP for Surrey North had passed away: “It was with great sadness that Sheila and I learned today that Chuck Cadman had passed away after such a long and courageous struggle against cancer. Chuck Cadman was an outstanding and influential Parliamentarian, a man drawn to public service by personal tragedy who made a real and positive difference to Canada’s justice system. A passionate advocate for the rights of victims, his efforts were reflected in a number of changes to the Criminal Code and the proclamation of the new Youth Criminal Justice Act. With integrity and principle, Chuck Cadman came into politics to make a difference. And he succeeded. To say the least, he will be missed by us all. To Chuck’s wife Dona and daughter Jodi, Sheila and I offer our most heartfelt condolences and deepest respect."
Address by Prime Minister Paul Martin on Canada Day
July 01, 2005: Prime Minister Paul Martin attends a Canada Day ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. - PMO. Check against delivery Your Excellencies, honoured guests, Canadians here on Parliament Hill and across the land: Among the global family, Canada is still a relatively young nation. But throughout 2005, our history has been our constant companion – reminding us of our country’s accomplishments, urging us to look back and to ponder and to marvel. This is the 125th anniversary of the writing of our national anthem by Calixa Lavallée and Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. We are marking the centenaries of Saskatchewan and Alberta. We have commemorated the 60th anniversary of V-E Day and the liberation of the Netherlands by unyielding Canadian troops. We have observed the 20th anniversary of the equality provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And we have celebrated 40 years of being united as a nation under a flag that we could truly call our own. Beneath the fields of France, a system of tunnels from the First World War remains intact. In a storeroom deep underground, you can still see the image of a maple leaf that a young Canadian solider carved into the wall almost 90 years ago, before the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The maple leaf is a daily and enduring presence in our lives. But it’s especially on Canada Day that we recognize how our flag has come to be so much a part of our history, our nation, and so deeply a part of us. The maple leaf is a symbol of duty and valour, pride and perseverance, ingenuity, diversity and, of course, global hockey supremacy. More than anything else, it’s a symbol of what we as Canadians stand for. That’s why we pin it to our lapels and sew it to our backpacks. We do it so we can carry Canada and its ideals with us. Some – including one of my sons -- even tattoo it on themselves, which as prime minister I consider to be a tremendous declaration of love of country. As a father I’d prefer he’d sew it on his backpack. Many of us remember where we were the day the red maple leaf was raised for the first time to the top of the flagpole – in school yards and city squares, outside town halls and people’s homes, and of course here on Parliament Hill. We felt a bolt of patriotism. We felt that Canada, then not even a century old, had suddenly grown up. I come here and I work under that flag. All Parliamentarians do. And each morning, as we look skyward, we are reminded that four decades ago, we as Canadians committed ourselves boldly and irreversibly to the future, to what Canada could become, to achieving a destiny that would be unmistakably and eternally ours alone. And take a look at us now. Take a look at us -- a free and sovereign nation, rich and respectful, abundant in opportunity and optimism, dedicated to generosity and to sharing, in many ways a model to the world, in many ways the envy of the world. Take a look at us – a proud and diverse people, welcoming to those who come here from around the home, caring of those with whom we share this great land. Take a look at us. Behold the wonder of our landscapes – from the old-growth forest of Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island, dominated by trees hundreds of feet tall and hundreds of years old, to the jagged ice cliffs of Baffin Island and on to the barren majesty of Signal Hill on Newfoundland. The mountain ranges, coastal towns, the vast expanse of the prairies, the energy and dynamism of our largest cities. Our country is a marvel -- as diverse and as remarkable as the people who inhabit it. Today, on Canada Day, we reflect on how fortunate we are as a nation and as a people. We rejoice in that which makes us Canadian. And we display our deep and tranquil pride in all that we have accomplished, in all that we stand poised to achieve together. Today, we look back on our history, on how we got here, on those who helped to build the country we love so deeply. Tomorrow, we set about making history of our own. This is our country. This is our day. This is our time. Happy birthday Canada.
Prime Minister announces changes to the Ministry
May 17, 2005
Ottawa, Ontario- Prime Minister Paul Martin today announced the appointment of the Honourable Belinda Stronach as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal. He has also asked Ms. Stronach to help guide the implementation of the recommendations that flow from the final report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities. The Prime Minister thanked the Honourable Lucienne Robillard, for so capably directing the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development. Minister Robillard will continue in her role as President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. He also expressed his appreciation of the Honourable Mauril Bélanger, for his able work on Democratic Reform. The Prime Minister has asked Mr. Bélanger to assume additional duties as Minister for Internal Trade.