Canada remains on track for a balanced budget in 2015

November 12th, 2014

Finance Minister Joe Oliver today released the annual Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections, which confirms that the Government remains on track for a balanced budget in 2015, with an expected surplus of $1.9 billion.
Minister Oliver outlined Canada’s impressive success in creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. In contrast to Canada, the Minister noted weak and uneven global growth in the aftermath of the deepest economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression. In comparison to difficult economic situations faced by other countries, Minister Oliver emphasized the Harper Government’s continued commitment to its low-tax plan to create jobs and growth.
Minister Oliver also highlighted the Government’s latest tax cuts and benefits to put more money back in the hands of Canadian families: increasing and expanding the Universal Child Care Benefit, introducing the Family Tax Cut, increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction limits, and doubling the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and making it refundable, thereby making it more affordable for Canadian families to raise healthy kids.

Quick Facts

• The Harper Government’s latest tax cuts and benefits represent close to $27 billion back in the pockets of families over this year and the next five years.
• Every Canadian family with children under the age of 18 will have more money in their pockets because of these tax cuts and benefits.
• The overall federal tax burden is at its lowest level in over 50 years.
• Over 1.2 million more Canadians are working now than in July 2009, when the recovery began, representing an increase of 7.3 per cent and one of the strongest job creation performances in the Group of Seven (G-7).
• The Harper Government remains committed to helping businesses thrive and create well-paid jobs for Canadians. The new Small Business Job Credit will make hiring new workers or investing in additional training easier for entrepreneurs and help them grow their business.
• The federal debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio is expected to fall to below its pre-recession level by 2017, helping to ensure that Canada’s total government net debt continues to decline and remains the lowest of any G-7 country. The Government is well on its way to meeting its commitment to reduce the federal debt to 25 per cent of GDP by 2021.
• In addition to growing the size of the economy, the Government will reduce the size of the federal debt with unused annual contingency funds.

Bob Dechert Congratulates the New Mayor of Mississauga Bonnie Crombie and thanks Hazel McCallion for her service

October 29th, 2014

Ottawa, Ontario – On the afternoon following the election victory of Bonnie Crombie, Mississauga Erindale MP, Bob Dechert rose in the House of Commons in order to congratulate the new mayor.

On Monday, Mayor-Elect Bonnie Crombie won a strong mandate in Mississauga’s race to replace Mayor Hazel McCallion. ¨For the first time in 36 years Mississauga is going to have a new Mayor and a new voice directing our City.¨ said Mr. Dechert ¨Mr. Speaker, I look forward to working with Mayor-Elect Bonnie Crombie on issues of importance to the people of Mississauga including promoting jobs, safe-communities, growth and long-term prosperity.¨ Mr. Dechert also took the time to thank Mayor McCallion for all of her hard work throughout the past 36 years.  ¨I would also like to thank the outgoing Mayor, Hazel McCallion, for over three decades of service and her tremendous contributions to the City and to Canada during her time in office.¨

Minister Fast and PS Dechert Highlight Business Opportunities in India to Mississauga Companies

September 23rd, 2014

Minister Fast and PS Dechert Highlight Business Opportunities in India to Mississauga Companies

 

September 19, 2014-Mississauga, Ontario – The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, (front row, centre) together with Bob Dechert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, (front row, left) meets with representatives of small and medium-sized Canadian companies at a round table in Mississauga to discuss the many opportunities to expand their businesses in India.

Through the Government of Canada’s ambitious pro-trade and pro-export Global Markets Action Plan, Canadian businesses have the tools to grow, export and build on their success at home and abroad. These tools include free trade agreements, foreign investment promotion and protection agreements, sector-based trade missions to priority markets such as India, and the support of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Business Development Bank of Canada.

Minister Fast and PS Dechert are leading a trade mission to India in the agriculture and agrifood, energy, infrastructure, life sciences and financial services sectors that will cover three cities: Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh, from October 12 to 17, 2014. This will be Minister Fast’s third trade mission to India in support of Canadian businesses as they seek new export opportunities.

“Minister Fast and I were very impressed to meet with Mississauga companies with innovative technologies including several with substantial experience in doing business in India. We had a frank exchange of ideas of how Canadian companies can expand their markets in India and how the Government of Canada can support them. These views will be helpful as we prepare for our Canadian trade mission to India in early October which will include Mississauga business people. The Indo-Canadian business community is playing a key role in Canada’s future as a global trading nation.” Said PS Dechert.

Minister Fast and PS Dechert encouraged the companies participating in today’s round table to join them on the trade mission to take full advantage of the support provided by the Government of Canada to explore opportunities in this fast-growing market.

“This is the third or fourth meeting with Minister Fast this year,” said Ned Ismail, Economics Professor and founding member of the Mississauga Board of Trade’s International Trade Committee, “we really value the government’s focus on building trade relations and giving SMEs the information and tools vital to be able to compete internationally.”

“These are exciting times for the Canada – India relationship, after three decades, India has strong political leadership and is in the cusp of dramatic economic growth and societal transformation.” Said Shan Banerjee CEO of Fox Mandal Business Advisory and roundtable participant. “India and Canada share similar values of Equality, Freedom, Social Justice, Peace, Respect and Federal Structure and today Canada with its world leading technologies, institutions, resources and one million plus SMEs is eminently poised to significantly strengthen this relationship for mutual benefit”.

 

ANNUAL COMMUNITY BBQ

September 10th, 2014

BBQ 075

Bob Dechert, MP Mississauga-Erindale

Cordially Invites You and Your Family to Our

 6th ANNUAL

COMMUNITY

BBQ

You and your family and cordially invited to

attend Bob’s 6th Annual BBQ for residents living

in the Mississauga-Erindale riding.

Join Bob and your neighbours for an afternoon

of live music, good food, and great times.

Saturday September 13, 2014

1:00pm – 3:00pm

Churchill Meadows Community Common

3370 McDowell Drive, Mississauga

I look forward to seeing you all there!

 Bob Dechert,

MP Mississauga-Erindale

Mississauga-Erindale MP Bob Dechert’s attends international premiere of the film “Tigers”

September 9th, 2014
From right to left director Danis Tanovic, MP Bob Dechert, movie subject Syed Aamir Raza, actor Emraan Hashmi and Mr. Raza’s family

From right to left director Danis Tanovic, MP Bob Dechert, movie subject Syed Aamir Raza, actor Emraan Hashmi and Mr. Raza’s family

 

Toronto, Ontario – Bob Dechert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Erindale was honoured to join with Mississauga resident Syed Aamir Raza for the international premiere of the film “Tigers” at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Tigers depicts Mr. Raza’s courageous life story in Pakistan and his journey to Canada after exposing the unethical business practices of his former employer that may have contributed to the deaths of many children in Pakistan.

 

“Mr. Raza’s story of courage and personal sacrifice to expose an injustice demonstrates values that all Canadians share.  We are proud that Mr. Raza and his family have chosen to become members of the Canadian family like so many newcomers before them.  We congratulate Mr. Raza and his family for inspiring the making of this remarkable film and thank TIFF for choosing to show the film at this year’s festival.  I encourage all residents of Mississauga and all Canadians to see this film.” Said MP Dechert

 

MP Dechert attended the international premiere of this important and powerful film on behalf of the Government of Canada where he brought greetings from the Hon. Jason Kenney Minister of Employment & Social Development &  Minister for Multiculturalism. Minister Kenney said “ The account of Mr. Raza’s principled stand in defense of the health of babies and their families is one that deserves to be told, and one which reflects the best of Canadian values. People of Pakistani descent like Mr. Raza have long brought their stories and experiences with them to Canada, and their sharing of them helps to strengthen our society.”

 

Mr. Raza is portrayed in the film by the famous Indian actor Emraan Hashmi. The film was directed by the Oscar winning Bosnian director Danis Tanovic. Mr. Raza currently lives in Mississauga with his wife and family after coming to Canada as refugees due to the threats and persecution he faced resulting from from his brave actions to save the lives of Pakistani children.

Coptic Solidarity thanks MP Dechert for speaking at Conference

July 17th, 2014

 

 

 

Coptic Solidarity

 

 July 15, 2014

 

The Honorable Bob Dechert

Member of Parliament
House of Commons

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada

K1A 0A6

 

Dear Mr. Bob Dechert,

 

Thank you for recently speaking to the attendees of our 5th annual Coptic Solidarity Policy Education Day.  It was an honor to have you with us.  Your strong commitment to improving human rights and freedoms for religious minorities in the Middle East is greatly appreciated by the minority communities we represent.  We are grateful that you are willing to speak out on behalf of and stand with communities that face oppression in Egypt and the region.

 

Coptic Solidarity desires to represent a unified voice and be a leader in advocating for Egyptians and other religious minorities in the region through promoting the values of freedom, secularism, rule of just law, pluralism, and the upholding and protection of the fundamental rights of minorities.

 

Thank you again for using your position to lead in speaking out on behalf of Copts and other persecuted religious minorities. We are especially encouraged by all that the Canadian government is doing to support international religious freedom.  This is an important message for us to share with the broader Coptic community. We look forward to continuing to work with you to see a peaceful and prosperous Egypt.

 

Sincerely,

Adel Guindy

 

 

 

 

Adel Guindy

President, Coptic Solidarity

PS O’Toole and PS Dechert Announce Funding to the Canadian Association of Mining Equipment & Services for Export to help the Mining Sector’s Success in Markets Abroad

July 17th, 2014
PS O'Toole and PS Dechert with staff at National Compressed Air. July 14, 2014

PS O’Toole and PS Dechert with staff at National Compressed Air. July 14, 2014

Accessing international markets helps create jobs and opportunities for Canadians

 

Wednesday July 16, 2014 – Mississauga, Ontario 

 

Erin O’Toole, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, and Bob Dechert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced that the Canadian Association of Mining Equipment & Services for Export will receive up to $101,034 to help the Canadian mining sector achieve success in markets abroad.

 

The contribution is from the Government of Canada’s Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) program. In all, GOA is contributing up to $3 million this year to 38 industry associations across Canada to create new opportunities for Canadian companies in markets around the world.

 

The 38 associations will undertake 112 separate projects in support of Canada’s engagement in global trade. The vast majority, 95 percent, are aimed at countries designated as priorities for Canada under the Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP) and 90 percent are in GMAP priority sectors.

 

GOA delivers assistance across a wide range of sectors of the Canadian economy, including education, financial services, aerospace, infrastructure, and information and communications technologies. GOA provides matching funding of up to 50 percent of eligible expenses to support national associations for the benefit of an entire industry. The maximum annual GOA contribution is $150,000.

 

Quick Facts

 

  • Canada’s GMAP is the most ambitious pro-trade and pro-investment plan in Canada’s history. The plan focuses on Canada’s core strengths in priority markets through bold trade policy and vigorous trade promotion, and it sets concrete targets to grow the presence of Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises in emerging markets.

 

Quotes

 

“Many small and medium-sized enterprises rely on their associations to represent them abroad. Contributions from Global Opportunities for Associations help those smaller companies make important contacts and meet new clients around the world, allowing them to grow their businesses and create jobs and opportunities back home.”

- Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

 

“I am pleased that the Global Opportunities for Associations fund will help the mining industry connect with international opportunities. When Canadian companies succeed in foreign markets, it creates jobs and opportunities here in Mississauga and throughout the country.”

-Bob Dechert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Bob Dechert, MP addresses Coptic Solidarity Conference in Washington, D.C.

July 4th, 2014
Bob Dechert, MP Speaks at Coptic Solidarity Conference Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bob Dechert, MP Speaks at Coptic Solidarity Conference Thursday, June 26, 2014

Remarks by PS Bob Dechert
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Coptic Solidarity Conference

Thank you for the opportunity to address you today.

It is an honour to be here on Capitol Hill to represent Canada at this prestigious and timely event.

I would also like to the thank “Coptic Solidarity” for organizing such an event so that people from all over the world can come together in order to support those in Egypt working for democracy, freedom and the protection of the human rights of all Egyptian citizens.

As you are all aware, the situation on the ground in Egypt is very fluid and the current realities could change by the time I finish my remarks today.

A great deal of change has taken place in Egypt since the Arab Spring Protests in Tahrir Square only 3 years ago.
Egypt is in the midst of trying to forge its own path and create its own form of democracy.

That is why events such as this are so important, they provide the international community with an opportunity to review the most current information, compare our respective views and policies and voice our opinions about the current direction of Egypt.

Ultimately, the path towards democracy will lie with the Egyptian people; however it is important that the international community does not stand idly by and remain silent as people’s fundamental human rights are being ignored.

No transition to democracy can proceed if it means that fundamental human rights are being ignored or trampled on.
On June 4th, the Egyptian people elected a new leader; Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as President.

Canada recognizes that the new President will have many difficult challenges in leading Egypt toward a more democratic, inclusive, secure and prosperous future, but such a future is in the interests of all Egyptian citizens and the international community as a whole.

Canada has and will continue to stand with Egypt in its efforts to confront terrorism, including in the Sinai Peninsula, where Egyptian security personnel are confronting a dangerous insurgency.
President El- Sisi will not be alone.

Our Government remains committed to supporting Egypt in making a peaceful and meaningful transition to democracy, based on respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms including religious freedoms and the rule of law.

With respect to the state of rule of law in Egypt, we are very disappointed with the verdict in the case of Canadian citizen Mohammed Fahmy and other journalists earlier this week.

We are concerned that the judicial process that led to his verdict is inconsistent with Egypt’s democratic aspirations.
I believe that this democratic transition represents an important opportunity for Egypt, one that can provide the Egyptian people with the stability and economic prosperity they desire.

As you may be aware, our Government recently announced the establishment of a new office which deals exclusively with religious freedoms around the world.

The Canadian Office of Religious Freedom was created within the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Development.

I understand our Ambassador of Religious Freedom, Dr. Andrew Bennett was here last year to address this very same conference.

The Canadian Office of Religious Freedom was created in order to promote and protect freedom of religion and belief as a key Canadian foreign policy.

Why did we need such an Office?

I think many of you here today understand why, but unfortunately too many in Canada and other liberal democracies do not, in my view, understand the gravity of the situation.

15 years ago, I was one of those Canadians that didn’t understand the situation. I blissfully believed that, although some nations did not adequately protect the rights of their citizens pursuant to article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that not everyone had the same level of religious freedom that I enjoyed in Canada…I assumed that each year, it got a little better.

Sadly, Pew Forum’s data indicates that 74% of the world’s population live in Countries where there exist high or very high levels of social hostilities directed towards people of faith and/or high to very high government restrictions on religious practice.

Most shockingly, this figure is significantly higher than just a half decade ago when 45% of the global population lived in such countries.

Over the last half decade, we have seen the condition of religious freedom around the world get worse not better.
This flies in the face of all of the other advancements we have made over the last 50 years.

We have made tremendous strides in technology, medicine, diplomacy and prosperity, however when it comes to religious freedom, it appears that the situation is not improving.

This is precisely why Canada established the Office of Religious Freedom and our Government deemed the protection and promotion of this core human right a priority for our Government.

We decided that it was time to put a greater emphasis on monitoring and assisting religious minorities around the world.

Canada, like the United States has always been a refuge for people from around the world fleeing religious persecution.

Religious Freedom is a core Canadian value and as such, it is both appropriate and imperative that we promote it as a foreign policy priority.

We will no longer turn a blind eye to religious persecution and just “go along, to get along” in the international community.

We will hold our international partners to account for the way in which they protect the religious freedom of their people.

The other reason we created the office of religious freedom is that our Government holds a fundamental belief that societies which protect religious freedom are more likely to protect other fundamental freedoms.

Throughout history we have seen how religious freedom is often a barometer of the overall freedoms enjoyed throughout a given society.

Once the freedom of religion begins to disappear we often see other core freedoms fall by the wayside.
As Canadians, we enjoy the rights and privileges that come with living in a free and democratic society.
But we are also aware of the struggles that religious minorities face around the world.

That is why our Government continues to speak out for what is principled and just.

That is why we have always condemned killings and the hatred and extremism done in the name of religious intolerance that has only lead to violence, pain and suffering.

It is no accident that Prime Minister Harper announced the creation of Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom at the Canadian Coptic Centre in my City of Mississauga, Ontario in the Greater Toronto Area.

We specifically had the treatment of Christians and other religious minorities in Egypt in mind when we created this office.
That is why Canada condemned the attack in Giza outside a Coptic Orthodox Christian Church that killed four people, including two girls, an eight-year-old and a 12-year-old.

That is why Canada condemned the attacks of Nag Hammadi, where innocent civilians congregating for a religious celebration were viciously attacked and killed.

That is why our Government sent a high ranking delegation to Cairo including myself to witness the enthronement of Pope Tawadros II.

That is why we deplored the bombing that occurred in Alexandria, which resulted in the lives of over 20 worshippers being taken away and another 70 injured.

That is why, Canada has offered refuge to thousands of Copts fleeing religious violence in recent years.
And that is why, throughout the ebb and flow of democratic and constitutional developments over the past number of years, we have continually made it clear that the democratic transition must respect the rights of all religious minorities in Egypt.

Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right and a vital building block for healthy democracies.
People of faith must be able to practise and worship in peace and security.

They must be free to choose and change their religion, practice and teach their religious beliefs in public and in congregation with others and they must be allowed to build their churches and places of worship without unreasonable restriction.

The persecution against the Coptic community in Egypt must stop.

Our Government has been very clear; the destruction of places of worship and the violence directed toward a community because of their faith is unacceptable.

As Canadians, and as those living in a more mature democracy, it is our duty to defend the rights of the vulnerable, and to give voice to the voiceless.

As Minister John Baird, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated “Our positions will not soften, our determination will not lessen, and our voices will not be diminished until all citizens can enjoy the freedoms and rights we hold to be universal and true.”

Canada stands by the people of Egypt, including the Coptic community, as they work toward a peaceful and democratic transition.

Thank you.

Bob Dechert on Canada’s National Day of Honour:

May 8th, 2014

Jihan and Hani Diab with Bob Dechert, MP in front of the plaque honouring Marc Diab in the Hall of Honour in Centre Block.

Jihan and Hani Diab with Bob Dechert, MP in front of the plaque honouring Marc Diab in the Hall of Honour in Centre Block.


Our men and women in uniform represent the very best our country has to offer. Over the last 12 years the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces fought and served this country valiantly in Afghanistan to defeat terrorism, and to promote security and development so that Afghanistan can build a viable, stable, and secure country.

With the completion of the Afghanistan mission, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made May 9th a National Day of Honour to commemorate the valour, strength and sacrifices of the more than 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members who served in Afghanistan.

Sadly, this service was not without loss as Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice for these goals and many others were injured carrying out their duties. Our community of Mississaga, like many across Canada, was home to a young man who made that ultimate sacrifice. On March 8th 2009, Trooper Marc Diab was killed in the service of our country in Afghanistan. His story, that of a young Canadian who came to Canada as a child, became a citizen and chose service in the Canadian Forces is one that should be known to every one of us. I have had the opportunity to get to know Trooper Diab’s family and others close to him in the celebrations of his life and service that followed the tragedy of his death and come to know what a remarkable Canadian he was.

In Ottawa, I will join Trooper Diab’s Mother Jihan and Father Hani, along with Veterans and the families of the fallen as well as Prime Minister Stephen Harper, David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and General Thomas J. Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff for the official ceremony on Parliament Hill.

We will observe two minutes of silence in remembrance for the service of these Canadians. I ask that wherever you are on May 9th you take a moment to think about how Canada’s Afghanistan Veterans courageously demonstrated the strength, spirit and determination that have defined our nation from the very beginning. Their collective sacrifices represent another chapter in Canada’s long and proud history of fighting for a safer, better world for everyone.

Canadians are forever proud and grateful.

Messages of Condolence

April 11th, 2014

20140410_MPWP_Flaherty_Feature_950x390_V1_EN (2)(1)

Dear Mr. Dechert,

The Peace of the Lord be with you.

On behalf of myself and the Coptic community in Mississauga, I would like to extend our sincerest condolences to you and your colleagues on the sudden passing of the Honourable Minister, Mr. Jim Flaherty. We pray that the Lord repose his soul and the he give comfort and peace to his family and all his loved ones.

He was truly a great leader and a blessing to our great country Canada.

Sincerely,
Fr. Angelos M. Saad
Senior Priest, St. Mary and St Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Church
Chairman of the Board of Directors, the Canadian Coptic Center

Dear Victor, Bob and Brad,
I am so very sorry to hear that the Honorable Jim Flaherty has suddenly passed away. This is shocking and very sad news. Mr. Flaherty was a passionate Canadian and he was an outstanding servant leader to his country and province. He will be deeply missed. I know that you and your colleagues are reeling from this extremely difficult news. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

My deepest sympathy,
Shelley White
President & CEO
United Way of Peel Region