Costas Menegakis, MP writies: Spring Session Wrap-Up
As Parliament breaks for the summer, and MPs get ready to spend the next few weeks in their ridings, now is a good time to reflect on our accomplishments.
With the support of our Economic Action Plan, the Canadian economy has created over one million net new jobs since the depth of the global recession. That’s the best job creation record in the G7; however, our work is not yet done. There are still Canadians seeking work, and there are job creators looking for skilled workers.
Our Conservative Government is taking strong action to help ensure that Canadians always have first call on job opportunities when they become available. Most recently, we introduced a moratorium on the food services sector’s access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to ensure that employers are making the necessary effort to recruit and train Canadians. Importing temporary foreign workers should not be used as a business model, and employers found violating the rules will face serious consequences. We are taking strong action to connect workers with available jobs, through a number of initiatives including a job matching service and measures such as the Youth Employment Strategy and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, as well as helping to ensure there are opportunities for disabled Canadians to contribute to the economy.
A particular focus of our current efforts is promoting skills training. That’s why we’re launching the Canada Job Grant, to put control over training in the hands of the worker and the job creator. Because Canadian businesses have identified a lack of hands-on experience as a barrier to employment for Canada’s post-secondary graduates, we are investing in paid internships in high-demand fields. These internships will provide post-secondary graduates with real-life work experience, while supporting Canada’s continued global competitiveness. Measures such as Canada Apprentice Loans, which enable apprentices to access interest-free loans to cover the technical education parts of their training, help ensure those skills will be available.
We’re also delivering support for families in a variety of ways. Since coming to office, our Government has cut taxes over 160 times, which now helps the average family of four save over $3,400 a year. We introduced the Universal Child Care Benefit, to support choice in child care by the real experts – mom and dad. We are helping consumers by addressing cross-border price discrimination, and working to reduce cellphone charges.
Our Government understands that like you, we need to balance our budget. Because we paid down nearly $40 billion of debt when times were good, Canada had the fiscal strength to effectively respond to the global recession. In recent years, we’ve taken steps to control government spending, find efficiencies and realize savings for taxpayers. I’m happy to report that we are on track to balance the budget in 2015, just as we promised—and doing so without cutting transfers to provinces or individuals. Once the budget is balanced, we will bring in even more tax relief for families.
Canada Flag Protocol
Canada’s national flag should be displayed only in a manner befitting this important national symbol. When displaying the Canadian flag, it should not be subjected to indignity or displayed in a position inferior to any other flag. If hung horizontally, the upper part of the leaf should be up and the stem down. If hung vertically, the flag should be placed so that the upper part of the leaf points to the left and the stem to the right from the point of view of the observer facing the flag.
The flag should not be used as table or seat cover, as a masking for boxes or as a barrier on a dais or platform. Nothing should be pinned to or sewn on the Canadian flag and the flag should not be signed or marked in any way. When the flag is raised or lowered, or when it is carried past in a parade or review, all present should face the flag, men should remove their hats, and all should remain silent. When the flag becomes tattered and is no longer suitable condition for use, it should be destroyed in a dignified way.
Happy Canada Day!
Canada Day is a special time where we come together as a nation to celebrate the birth of our great country. Whether you will be watching fireworks, enjoying one of the many events in our community or spending time with family and friends, please join me this month in showing how proud you are to be Canadian. On behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and our Conservative Government, and from my family to yours, Happy Canada Day!
It is a pleasure to serve your interests and I will continue to work hard on your behalf both in Ottawa and in the riding. Should I ever be able to assist you or your family, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Costas Menegakis is the Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. He can be reached by phone at 905-770-4440 or through his website at www.costasmenegakis.ca.