Thank you for visiting my website. I hope this offers you useful information on the work I am doing as Regina-Wascana’s Member of Parliament.
If you have any questions or comments about any federal program or service, or need help dealing with any department or agency of the Government of Canada, please don’t hesitate to contact my Constituency Office. It is an honour to serve our community.
Like everyone else, I can remember exactly where I was on that clear, sunny September morning in 2001 when terrorists struck viciously at the United States – in New York City, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania.
I was Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and I was co-chairing a meeting in Quebec City of all federal/provincial/territorial Ministers of energy. As we watched the horror unfolding and the twin towers collapsing, all our thoughts turned to loved ones, family and neighbours, and then we immediately turned our agenda to the protection of Canada’s vital energy production and transmission infrastructure.
Now, 15 years later, I have the honour to serve as Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness. And yesterday (Sunday, September 11th, 2016) it was my responsibility to join with the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation in a memorial ceremony in Ottawa to honour all firefighters for their service and sacrifice.
This event is held every year at about this time, but it was particularly powerful and poignant this year because 2016 is the 15th anniversary of the horrific attacks on 9-11.
Nearly 3,000 innocent lives were snuffed out, including 24 Canadians. Some 343 members of the New York City Fire Department were killed in the line of duty.
That day is etched in blood and terror, but from that brutality arose a legacy of heroes – from the people in Gander providing food and shelter for thousands of suddenly stranded travellers, to the valiant First Responders running INTO harm’s way in lower Manhattan.
One and all, they showed the very best of the human spirit, the last drop of devotion, and the core of steel that upholds the open, inclusive, generous, democratic way in which we want to live our lives.
Firefighters were ALWAYS heroes. But since 9-11, their image everywhere has become synonymous with service, duty, honour, valour, sacrifice and defiance in the face of those who would attack our way of life.
Going forward, we will honour that spirit by rooting the purpose and intent of all our national security policies in two simultaneous goals – to be effective in keeping Canadians safe, and to safeguard the precious rights and freedoms that make Canada, Canada.
We will never allow fear, hate and division to scar who we are and what we stand for.
Eleven years ago, as Canada’s Finance Minister, I had the privilege of launching a new form of revenue-sharing between the Government of Canada and every municipality in the country. It was called the federal Gas Tax transfer and was implemented in the Budget which I tabled in the House of Commons on February 23, 2005.
The purpose was to provide municipal governments with a new and substantial stream of revenue which they could use to upgrade their local community infrastructure. It was calculated as a proportion of the federal Excise Tax collected on gasoline sales and distributed across the country on a per capita basis.
Clean, simple, fair and transparent – the federal Gas Tax transfer rapidly became very popular with cities, towns, villages and rural communities everywhere. In addition to augmenting their local revenues, the transfer was also a gesture of federal respect toward the value and validity of local decision-making.
Every federal government since has preserved or enhanced what we first launched in 2005.
Nationally, the federal Gas Tax transfer totals some $2-billion annually. Saskatchewan’s share on a per capita basis is close to $60-million per year. The first instalment for half that amount has already been delivered in 2016. The other half will come later in the year.
For individual municipalities, it’s all proportional. In a small community like my home town of Wilcox, the transfer is worth about $20,000. For my home city of Regina, it’s worth more than $11.5-million.
Altogether since 2005, this transfer has contributed more than $485-million to community infrastructure projects of all kinds from one end of Saskatchewan to the other.
This is just one component of the federal government’s infrastructure investment plan. Including the federal Gas Tax transfer, the Building Canada Fund, the new federal funding streams for Transit, Social Infrastructure and Green projects, a one-time Strategic Investment Fund for education and science, and direct capital projects undertaken entirely within federal jurisdiction – the total federal investment in infrastructure over this coming decade will exceed $120-billion.
Most of that federal funding will leverage additional financial contributions from provinces, municipalities, other institutions and/or the private sector which, together, will generate the largest national infrastructure investment in Canadian history.
This means good jobs and better economic growth in the short term, and even more growth and greater job creation for the future.
See what each Saskatchewan municipality is entitled to this year right here.
Published on Huffington Post
Published on Huffington Post .
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