Ottawa, June 11, 2013 – The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages along with Bernard Trottier, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke - Lakeshore, today introduced a series of new measures to help promote Canadian history, including the first ever Government of Canada History Awards.
“Canadians want to know more about our history, and these new measures will make our history more accessible to all Canadians, particularly our youth,” said Minister Moore. “This is especially important as we approach Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, which provides an unprecedented opportunity to celebrate our history and the achievements that contributed to the united, strong, and free Canada we know today.”
"Canada has a proud history that has made us the vibrant, diverse and prosperous country that we are today,” stated MP Trottier. “The measures introduced by the Minister of Heritage will strengthen Canadians' knowledge of their history so that we not only know our history, we honour it."
New measures being announced today include the following:
A Canada History Fund will connect youth to their history through the first ever Government of Canada History Awards, which will honour outstanding students and teachers who show an interest in celebrating Canadian history. The awards will be administered by Canada’s History, an independent national organization with a mandate to make our nation’s past relevant and accessible to all Canadians.
The Harper Government will partner with the Historica-Dominion Institute to create two new Heritage Minutes per year between now and Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.
Existing programs at Canadian Heritage will be strengthened to improve access to funding for local organizations that wish to promote Canadian history in their communities, including local museums and youth groups.
Starting in 2013, July 1 to 7 will become Canada History Week, an opportunity for Canadians from coast to coast to coast to get actively involved in learning about our country’s history.
“History teaches us how we got to where we are as a country, along with a sense of where we are headed. These new measures give Canadians important new tools to discuss and debate those lessons from our past. We at the Historica–Dominion Institute fully support these important initiatives,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President of the Historica–Dominion Institute.
“With so many significant anniversaries in the coming years, the historical community has a unique opportunity to change a whole generation of Canadians’ attitudes toward their past in much the same way Expo 67 transformed our view of Canadian arts and culture,” said Deborah Morrison, CEO and President of Canada’s History. “The Canada History Fund will provide us with the resources we need to seize that opportunity—to create new content and actively engage young Canadians in the telling of our stories.”
“Canadian history is all around us. However it is rarely taught in schools; it is not seen, not heard, and is forgotten by most Canadians. These new measures will greatly help bring our history alive,” said John G. McAvity, Executive Director of the Canadian Museums Association. “This includes not just formal or academic history, but more importantly the stories of Canada, pleasant and unpleasant as they are, of everyday Canadians, whether it is found in our art, artifacts, or documents.”
A description of all of the measures announced today is included in the attached backgrounder. The total investment, funded from existing resources, is $12 million annually. To learn more about what the Government of Canada is doing to enhance Canadians’ access to their history, visit www.canadianheritage.gc.ca.
Bill encourages mobility of Canadian citizens while assisting provinces to manage their finances
Ottawa, ON, May 23, 2013: Bernard Trottier, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke – Lakeshore was honoured to rise in House of Commons today to table his Private Members Bill; C-511An Act to amend the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act (period of residence).
The purpose of this bill is to amend the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act (FPFAA) to remove the penalties currently in place under the FPFAA, should a province wish to implement a minimum period of residence requirement with respect to provincial social assistance.
“Removing incentives that attract unfounded asylum claims will mean that genuine refugees in need will receive Canada’s protection sooner,” stated MP Trottier. “Canadians are very generous people, always ready to help, however we will not tolerate those who aim to improperly take advantage of our generosity”.
Canada is home to a disproportionate number of asylum claims, when compared to other advanced democracies, due in part to rules which allow asylum claimants to start collecting provincial social assistance upon arrival. This bill will give the power to the Provinces to establish minimum periods of residence to qualify for social assistance, without fear of financial repercussions from the federal government.
This bill also serves to bring certain conditions of the Canada Social Transfer (CST) in line with those of the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), which currently allows a minimum period of residence for the CHT. This bill will allow provinces to better serve provincial taxpayers while still encouraging the mobility of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
The successful passage of this bill would build on the savings already being seen through recent reforms to Canada’s asylum system which over the next 5 years will surpass $2 billion.