Action Centre

MP Expense Disclosure Report

Continued Support for Ukraine

Many Yorkton-Melville constituents have a Ukrainian heritage. I’m sure they would have loved to join me in Ottawa two weeks ago on the day that Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to address Parliament.

In his address, President Poroshenko, who had never before visited our country, stated, "I am thankful to Canada. Your country was one of the soundest supporters of Ukraine,” adding, “As a Commander in Chief, as a Ukrainian, and as a father of a soldier, I thank Canada for each life that is being saved today in the Ukrainian Donetsk by every bulletproof vest or helmet you gave to us.”

Since the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine, Canada has stood steadfastly with Ukrainians in their struggle to restore political and economic stability. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was the first G7 leader to visit Ukraine in the current crisis. To make certain of the integrity of the electoral process, Canada sent 500 electoral observers, who monitored the presidential election. Prime Minister Harper attended the swearing-in of elected President Petro Poroshenko.

Canada has been a leader in condemning Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea. Our government has also taken the lead in imposing economic sanctions and travel bans against the people responsible for the ongoing crisis. Our Prime Minister’s leadership within the G7 assisted with Russia’s expulsion from the G8, and our Government continues to work with the international community to be sure that Ukrainians can determine the future of their own country.  

To read this column in its entirety, please click here. Audio version also available.

Government of Canada Increasing the use of Direct Deposit: Security, Reliability and Efficiency

The Government of Canada will increase the use of direct deposit by slowly phasing out federal government cheques by April 2016.   

This initiative is expected to save the Canadian government approximately $17.4M per year starting in 2014-15. The cost to produce a cheque is approximately 82¢ while a direct deposit payment costs about 13¢.  Cheques will only be issued under exceptional circumstances, for example when Canadians do not have access to a financial institution because they live in a remote location.

The Receiver General issues over 300 million payments annually, of which close to 77% are already made by direct deposit. Citizens and businesses currently receiving Government of Canada cheques have the next four years to register to receive payments by direct deposit. Enrolment forms can be obtained from the Receiver General web site, or from federal departments responsible for the payment to be received by direct deposit.  For any new payment, the first payment method offered will be direct deposit.

For more information about the Receiver General and to enroll for direct deposit, please visit:

Parkland College Designated for International Student Program

In light of recent federal regulatory changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, the federal government has made additional amendments to the International Student Program that became effective June 1, 2014.

These changes now require international students to be enrolled at a designated post-secondary educational institution for programs of six months, or greater, in duration in order to be awarded a study permit. This new federal process will allow full-time international students enrolled at designated institutions to work part time off campus and full time during scheduled school breaks with an Off-Campus Work Permit (OCWP.  International Students who currently hold a valid OCWP will not be affected by the change.

The following Saskatchewan post-secondary institutions have received designation for the International Student Program:

  • Briercrest College and Seminary;
  • Parkland Regional College;
  • Saskatoon Business College;
  • Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology;
  • University of Regina, including Campion College, First Nations University of Canada and Luther College; and
  • University of Saskatchewan, including St. Thomas More College.


Recent Columns
  • Column for the week of Sept. 22, 2014 - Canada’s Response to the Crisis in Iraq . . . click here; audio version
  • Column for the week of Sept. 15, 2014 - Reforming Canada’s Citizenship Act for the good of all Canadians . . . click here; audio version
  • Column for the week of June 9, 2014 - Canadians join the world in support of elders . . . click here; audio version

- Additional columns

Recent Press Releases
  • News Release: July 25, 2014 - BRINGING COMMON SENSE TO FIREARMS LICENSING . . . click here
  • News Release: April 7, 2014 - GARRY BREITKREUZ NOT SEEKING 8TH TERM . . . click here
  • News Release: March 31, 2014 - NEW BUILDING CANADA PLAN NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS . . . click here

- Additional news releases

Recent News Items
  • SCI News Release: Feb. 10, 2014 - BREITKREUZ NAMED INTERNATIONAL LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR . . . click here
  • News Release: Oct. 9, 2013 - Harper Government and Government of Saskatchewan invest in new cancer treatment technologies . . . click here
  • Sask Ag & Food News Release: May 30, 2013 - CROP REPORT FOR THE PERIOD MAY 21 TO 27, 2013 . . . click here

- Additional news items

Parliamentary Items of Interest
  • Statement: April 7, 2014 - Mr. Speaker, it is with mixed emotions today that I rise in this House to officially announce that I will not be seeking re-election in 2015 . . . click here
  • Statement: Dec. 3, 2013 - Mr. Speaker, today is Canada's first fur day on the Hill. Fur industry representatives from all over Canada are here in Ottawa to remind parliamentarians of the economic impact of this important sector . . . click here

  • Statement: Oct. 28, 2013 - Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the constituents of Yorkton—Melville, Saskatchewan, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Prime Minister for reaching an agreement in principle on the comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union . . . click here; audio version

- Additional items of interest