Action Centre

MP Expense Disclosure Report

Protecting Health and Helping Save Lives

There has never been a case of Ebola in Canada, and the federal government is doing its level best to ensure that Canadians are protected should this deadly virus reach our shores.

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose and Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Gregory Taylor, have announced a $30.5 million investment to further strengthen Canada’s domestic preparedness and international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Building on experience with SARS and H1N1, Canadian hospitals have strong infection control procedures in place. But Minister Ambrose noted that “We are continuing to invest in research and development of vaccines and treatments that will assist in the global outbreak response.”

“This new funding for research and development for Ebola medical countermeasures will complement other Canadian Ebola preparedness and response activities to ensure that Canada is ready to respond in the event there is a confirmed first case in Canada. The investments further demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that Canada continues to remain cautious and well prepared,” explained Dr. Taylor.

To read this COLUMN in its entirety, please click here.

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:  http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/txt/index-eng.html

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.

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Recent Columns
  • Column for the week of Nov. 10, 2014 - Building on Support for Canadian Families . . . click here
  • Column for the week of Nov. 3, 2014 - O Canada . . . click here
  • Column for the week of Oct. 20, 2014 - Standing up for Canada’s Small Business Owners . . . click here; audio version
  • Column for the week of Oct. 13, 2014 - Paying tribute to Veterans of World War II . . . click here; audio version


- Additional columns

Recent Press Releases
  • News Release: Oct. 8, 2014 - BRINGING SOME COMMON SENSE TO CANADA’S FIREARMS LAW . . . click here
  • News Release: Sept. 2, 2014 - FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTES OVER $130,000 TO PARKLAND COLLEGE YOUTH EMPLOYMENT SKILLS PROJECT . . . click here
  • 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

- 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