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News Release: Ontario Raising Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

Posted on 31 May 2017 by admin

May 31, 2017

Increase Will Help More Than a Quarter of Ontario’s Employees to Get Ahead

Ontario is proposing the largest increase to the minimum wage in the province's history, raising it to $15 per hour, as part of a plan to create better jobs and fair workplaces. This will give more than a quarter of employees in the province a pay increase and will help ensure that more workers are benefitting from Ontario's economic growth.

Ontario's economy has outperformed all G7 countries in real GDP growth over the past three years, and unemployment is at a 16-year low. But the nature of work is also changing. People are working longer, jobs are less secure and benefits are not the same as they used to be. Many employees are working long hours and still struggling to support their families on the current minimum wage of $11.40.

Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the YWCA Toronto today to talk about the government's plan to increase the minimum wage to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018, and $15 per hour on January 1, 2019, followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation.

Ontario is committed to moving forward in a balanced way. Ontario will work closely with businesses of all sizes to support them as these changes come into effect, so they can continue to succeed and keep the economy strong. Raising the minimum wage will help businesses by improving productivity, increasing employee retention and boosting the purchasing power of workers.

Creating fair workplaces and better jobs across Ontario is part of our plan to grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

 

 

QUICK FACTS

  • Half of the workers in Ontario who earn less than $15 per hour are between the ages of 25 and 64, and the majority are women.
  • The minimum wage increase is part of a landmark package of proposals to help create fair workplaces and better jobs. This includes ensuring that part-time workers are paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers for doing the same job, introducing paid personal emergency leave days for every worker, expanding personal emergency leave and making employee scheduling fairer.
  • Earlier this month, Ontario released the final report of the Changing Workplaces Review, the first-ever independent review of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Labour Relations Act, 1995. 

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Ontario Government Release 2017 Budget

Posted on 27 April 2017 by admin

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, right, delivers the 2017 Ontario budget next to Premier Kathleen Wynne at Queen’s Park in Toronto on Thursday, April 27, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ontario Government Release 2017 Budget
Province Introduces a Balanced Budget for a Stronger, Healthier Halton

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    APRIL 27, 2017

 

Today, Finance Minister Charles Sousa released the 2017 Ontario Budget: A Stronger, Healthier Ontario, which includes significant investments in health care and education. Ontario’s first balanced budget since the global recession — thanks to a strong economy and responsible fiscal management — introduces free prescription drug coverage for everyone aged 24 and under, makes important investments to reduce wait times and improve access to care, reduces fees and increases access to licensed child care, helps students and makes life more affordable for Ontario families.

        These investments will have a significant positive impact on Halton residents. Our community is growing rapidly and Ontario’s commitments in crucial services like health care and education will help to support that growth.

        As a leader in economic growth, the Province is set to balance the budget this year and maintain a balanced budget for the next two years. A balanced budget means more funding for the programs and services people rely on most.

Strengthening Ontario’s Health Care
       
        The balanced 2017 Budget launches OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare, a new drug benefit program that fully covers the cost of prescription medications for everyone aged 24 and under, regardless of family income. This program — the first of its kind in Canada — will ensure that young adults have access to universal drug coverage and parents never have to choose between paying for their children’s prescription drugs and providing other essentials.
Ontario is increasing health care investments by $11.5 billion over the next three years.

        The 2017 balanced Budget plan includes a new $7-billion booster shot to health care, to improve access to care, expand mental health and addiction services, and enhance the experience and recovery of patients. It dedicates $1.3 billion to further reduce wait times, including a three per cent increase in hospital operating funding this year.

        Ontario is committing to several new major hospital projects across the province, adding to the 34 underway. An additional $9-billion capital investment over 10 years will provide faster access to care and help to meet the needs of the growing aging population.
 
        The Province is expanding home and community care programs with an additional investment of $250 million this year. Family and friends caring for loved ones will be better supported through access to respite care, education and training, and a new Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit. An additional $58 million will be dedicated to long-term care this year, a 2 per cent increase in our investment.

        Ontario’s new Dementia Strategy will improve and better coordinate services for those living with dementia and their caregivers by providing more than $100 million over three years.

Improving Education
       
        With an additional investment of $6.4 billion over three years, the balanced 2017 Budget reflects the government’s commitment to help learners reach their full potential and will reduce class sizes. The Province continues to construct new schools and renew existing ones to create nurturing environments where children can learn and grow. The Province is providing almost $16 billion over 10 years to help build and improve schools.

        The government is rolling out the new Ontario Student Assistance Program, which means free tuition for more than 210,000 students in postsecondary education starting this fall.
 
        Ontario is also investing nearly $190 million over three years towards Ontario’s Career Kick-Start Strategy aimed at creating 40,000 new opportunities for students and graduates to obtain practical experience and help them get jobs sooner after graduation.
 
Making Life More Affordable
 
        To make everyday life more affordable, the balanced 2017 Budget is strengthening the public services that matter most to people while lowering costs.
 
        The Province is helping 100,000 more children gain access to affordable, quality licensed child care. In 2017–18, Ontario will invest an additional $200 million to provide new fee subsidies and funding for providers to help 24,000 more children up to four years old access quality child care. The government will continue to work with schools and municipalities to fund the expansion of licensed care that is convenient, flexible and in line with local parents’ needs.
 
        The government is also taking action to make housing more affordable for homebuyers and renters with Ontario's Fair Housing Plan. This plan introduces a comprehensive package of measures to help more people find affordable homes, as well as increase supply, protect buyers and renters, and bring stability to the real estate market.
 
        In addition, Ontario is providing an average annual benefit of $130 to about 65,000 seniors through the Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit.
 
        The government is delivering on its commitment to balance the budget this year, building on a successful track record of prudent fiscal management, which has made Ontario an economic leader in Canada and the world.
 
QUOTES                                                                   
 
“A balanced budget is more than just the bottom line number. It’s about finding new ways to help you and your family. It’s about creating opportunities and providing the supports people need to succeed. This balanced budget is dedicated to providing young people with free prescription medications, providing free tuition and helping businesses grow. We are delivering on our commitment to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities for success.”
— Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance
 
“This is a budget that puts Ontario families first. Halton’s younger residents will benefit from our government’s new universal pharmacare for children and youth, the first of its kind in Canada. Seniors will benefit from a new transit tax credit and dementia strategy. And the whole community will benefit from increased funding for health care, investments in licensed child care, more affordable housing for homebuyers and a significant reduction on their hydro bills. This budget is a demonstration of our government’s commitment to the well-being and success of Ontario families.”
— Indira Naidoo-Harris, MPP Halton
 
QUICK FACTS
 

  • The Province’s investment in public infrastructure of more than $190 billion over a 13-year period, which started in 2014–15, is the largest infrastructure investment in the province’s history. It is supporting projects such as building child care spaces, schools, hospitals, public transit, highways, and roads.

Over the last three years, Ontario’s real GDP growth has outpaced that of all G7 countries. Exports and business investments are increasing, household incomes are rising and the unemployment rate continues to decline — and has been below the national average for 24 consecutive months.

 

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New Policing Rules Go into Effect January 1, 2017

Posted on 21 December 2016 by admin

news-release-tslNew Policing Rules Go into Effect January 1

Supporting Public Safety, Protecting Civil Liberties

December 21, 2016 10:30 A.M.

new-policing-rules-go-into-effect-january-1

As of Jan. 1, 2017, a new regulation comes into effect that will prohibit police from requesting identifying information arbitrarily, or based on a person's race or presence in a high-crime neighbourhood during certain police-public interactions. 

The regulation reflects feedback from public consultations on how to improve transparency, oversight and public confidence, and establishes new training, record-keeping, and reporting requirements to strengthen accountability. The regulation also sets out new rules that police must follow when requesting identifying information, and outlines in what situations these new rules apply.

The new rules apply if an officer asks the person for identifying information or to see an identifying document while:

  • Looking into suspicious activities
  • Gathering intelligence
  • Investigating possible criminal activity. 

The new rules do not apply if police ask for identifying information or to see an identifying document while:

  • Doing a traffic stop
  • Arresting or detaining someone
  • Executing a warrant
  • Investigating a specific crime. 

Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to set out clear and consistent rules for voluntary police-public interactions where police are seeking to collect identifying information. These rules will ensure these interactions are conducted without bias or discrimination, and done in a manner that promotes public confidence and keeps Ontario communities safe.

Supporting safe, healthy communities is part of the government's plan to create a fair and inclusive society and help people in their everyday lives. 

 

QUOTES

" These new rules protect the rights of people who are not under investigation while also laying the foundation for more positive, trusting and respectful relationships between police and the public – relationships that can help police continue to solve and prevent crimes and keep our communities safe."
– Kevin Flynn
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

" It is absolutely essential that everyone in this province be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their race or religion. Working through the Anti-Racism Directorate, I am committed to finding ways to break down systemic barriers. I look forward to continuing to work with Minister Flynn and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to address and eliminate systemic racism in the justice sector, and build a more inclusive society."
– Michael Coteau
Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism and Minister of Children and Youth Services

 

QUICK FACTS

  • Training, which was developed in consultation with an expert roundtable, has also been incorporated into the basic training program for new police recruits at the Ontario Police College.
  • The Code of Conduct for police has been updated to reflect the new regulation; failure to follow the rules will be considered a Code of Conduct violation that may result in discipline.
  • Ontario will appoint an independent reviewer to complete a review of the regulation within two years of full regulatory implementation in consultation with Ontario’s Anti-Racism Directorate.
  • In 2017, Ontario will launch a multi-year academic study to understand the impact of collecting information on the ability of police to solve crime, analyze and identify the impact of race-based collections and analyze the impact of the new regulations on this practice.

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Premier Expands Economic Opportunities in Japan

Posted on 01 December 2016 by admin

NEWS RELEASE.

WynneMeetings with Economic Leaders Promote Ontario’s Auto and Aerospace Industries

Premier Kathleen Wynne has concluded the Japan leg of her business mission by meeting with key economic leaders and manufacturing executives to promote Ontario's innovative business environment and encourage future investments.

Ontario and Japan's economies are strongly connected through the manufacturing sector. At a meeting today with F-Tech, known as F&P and Dyna-Mig in Ontario, the Premier discussed investment opportunities in auto parts manufacturing.

Yesterday, the Premier met with manufacturing executives in Nagoya to explore opportunities for collaboration in the aerospace and auto industries. The Premier met with executives from Toyota to discuss innovation in the auto industry and with a team from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to promote investment opportunities in Ontario's aerospace sector.

To strengthen Ontario's cultural and political ties with Japan, the Premier met with the Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike. The Governor and Premier discussed Tokyo and Ontario's common priorities, including climate change, infrastructure and innovation.

From December 1-2, the Premier will continue her business mission in Seoul, South Korea.

Building new international partnerships and growing Ontario's manufacturing sector are part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario received more than 70 per cent of Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) to Canada from 2006–2015 — approximately $7.4 billion, more than 10 per cent of total FDI to the province.
  • Toyota chose its Cambridge, Ontario plant as the first location outside Japan to assemble Lexus vehicles.
  • Ontario is home to nine universities and 24 colleges with innovative auto-related research initiatives and training programs.
  • More than half of the world’s top 25 aerospace companies have key operations in Ontario, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
  • Ontario has committed $25.8 million to build the Centennial College Downsview Park Aerospace Campus in Toronto.

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Tougher Penalties for Drug-Impaired Drivers Coming October 2

Posted on 28 September 2016 by admin

 

news-release-tslSeptember 28, 2016

Province Making Ontario Roads Safer.
The province is improving the safety of Ontario roads by bringing in penalties for drug-impaired driving that match those already in place for drunk drivers. 
Starting October 2, 2016, drivers under the influence of drugs will face the following penalties:

A $180 penalty
An immediate licence suspension of three days for the first occurrence, seven days for the second occurrence and 30 days for the third and subsequent occurrences upon failure of a roadside sobriety test
A possible 90-day licence suspension and a seven-day vehicle impoundment following further testing by a drug recognition expert at a police station
Mandatory education or treatment programs, and installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicle, for drivers with two or more licence suspensions involving alcohol or drugs within a 10-year period
These new measures were introduced as part of the Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act last year. In addition to these penalties, impaired driving can lead to criminal charges which could ultimately result in a loss of licence, additional fines and jail time. 

Keeping our roads safe is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
 
  
QUICK FACTS 
According to the Office of the Chief Coroner, 39 per cent of drivers killed on Ontario’s roads in 2013 had either drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol in their system. 
Drug-impaired driving collisions in Ontario had an estimated social cost of $612 million in 2013. 
The Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act was passed on June 2, 2015. It also included tougher penalties for distracted driving and “dooring” cyclists, as well as new rules for school crossings and pedestrian crossovers. 

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Insurance Bureau of Canada reminds consumers to be prepared for severe summer weather

Posted on 06 August 2016 by admin

NewsReleaseTORONTO, Aug. 4, 2016 /CNW/ – In many parts of Canada, August means high temperatures and severe summer weather. Severe storms with hail, lightning, strong winds and heavy rain are unpredictable and can strike quickly with devastating results. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reminds Canadians to be aware and take action to prepare for potentially damaging storms.

 

"We know that violent summer storms are occurring more often, in more parts of the country, and with greater intensity," said Kim Donaldson, Vice President, Ontario, IBC. "Given these trends, it is vital for people to understand their policies, to talk to their insurance representative, and to take steps to protect their families, properties, and vehicles."

Insurance Coverage

Talk to your insurance representative to make sure you have appropriate coverage.

  • While pre-existing damage is not covered, damage to homes caused by storms is usually covered under most home insurance policies. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage to your home and contents from water entering through openings caused by wind or hail.
  • Comprehensive auto coverage isn't mandatory, but if you have purchased comprehensive or all perils auto insurance, damage to vehicles from wind, hail, or water is usually covered, so check your policy.
  • Policy wordings vary so it's best to check with your insurance representative to be certain whether storm damage to mobile homes or trailers may be covered.

 

IBC tips for starting the claims process

  1. Call your insurance representative or company. Most insurers have a 24-hour claims service. Be as detailed as possible when providing information.
  2. List all damaged or destroyed items. If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of damage incurred and keep damaged items, unless they pose a health hazard.
  3. Keep all receipts related to cleanup and additional living expenses if you've been displaced by insured damage. Ask your insurance representative about what expenses you're entitled to and for what period of time.
  4. Review your policy to ensure you are familiar with specified deductibles and coverage limits. Talk to your insurance representative if anything is unclear.

 

"Be sure to speak with your insurance representative before a severe storm strikes to make sure your policies are up to date and serve your particular needs." added Donaldson.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Ontario or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada 

 

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Toronto’s detached housing values in the first six months of 2016

Posted on 02 August 2016 by admin

Intensification contributes to significant upswing in Toronto's detached housing values in the first six months of 2016, says RE/MAX Hallmark.


 

Double-digit increases reported in close to 90 per cent of neighbourhoods

TORONTO, Aug. 2, 2016 /CNW/ – Intensification within Toronto proper has served to further bolster price appreciation as builders and end users compete for a limited number of single-detached properties listed for sale, according to a report released today by RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd.  The overall average price of a detached home in the 416 area code is up 16.4 per cent in the first six months of 2016 to $1,230,340, compared to $1,056,688 during the same period one year ago.

"Average price will continue to soar in conjunction with improvements in housing stock," says Ken McLachlan, Broker-Owner, RE/MAX Hallmark.  "Teardown activity is rampant throughout Toronto and neighbouring Scarborough, as evidenced by the ever-increasing number of applications for zoning variances and lot severances.  Scarcity of land, further exacerbated by the greenbelt to the north, east and west of the city, has also prompted double-digit increases of detached homes in 90 per cent of neighbourhoods in the 416 area code to date, with almost 57 per cent now reporting average prices in excess of $1 million."

RE/MAX Hallmark examined average price appreciation in four separate Toronto Real Estate Board districts (East, West, Central, York Region) and 44 communities for the first six months of 2016.   Of the top five performing areas for detached homes in the 416 – in terms of price appreciation — are all located in the central core.  Banbury, Don Mills, Parkwoods, Donalda, and Victoria Village (C13) led the city with a 36.4 per cent increase in the average price of a detached home, with values rising from $1,335,548 to $1,821,777.  Bayview Village, Bayview Woods-Steeles, Don Valley Village, Hillcrest Village, and Henry Farm (C15) ranked second with a 31.8 per cent upswing in the first six months of the year, with the price of an average detached home climbing to $1,649,510, up from $1,252,000 during the same period in 2015.  Lansing, Westgate, Willowdale West, and Newtonbrook West (C07) experienced an uptick of just over 29 per cent, with average price rising from $1,257,458 to $1,624,017.  The Bathurst Manor, Armour Heights communities (C06) rose 26.9 per cent year-to-date, with average price climbing from $1,010,711 to $1,282,135.  Rounding out the top five was Willowdale East (C14) with a 26.4 per cent increase in detached housing values ($1,596,358 to $2,018,060).

 

 
 

Top five performing detached housing markets in the 416 area code
(January-June 2016 vs. January-June 2015)

Market

AP (2016)

AP (2015)

% +/-

Don Mills (C13)

$1,821,777

$1,335,548

36.4

Bayview Village (C15)

$1,649,510

$1,252,000

31.8

Lansing (C07)

$1,624,017

$1,257,458

29.2

Bathurst Manor (C06)

$1,282,135

$1,010,711

26.9

Willowdale East(C14)

$2,018,060

$1,596,358

26.4

Source: RE/MAX Hallmark, TREB MarketWatch

 
 

 

"As pricing for detached housing south of Highway 401 escalates, buyers have set their sights on communities north of the 401 that offer up bungalows and smaller two-storey homes on good size lots at more affordable price points," explains McLachlan. "However, fewer and fewer post-war homes are available within Toronto proper, given the move toward re-gentrification."  

Detached housing values north of Steeles Ave. in York Region have spiked as a result of the ripple effect, according to McLachlan.  Both Aurora and King experienced strong upward pressure on prices (28.6 per cent and 27.7 per cent respectively) in the first six months of 2016, but so too have other communities including Georgina (26.2 per cent), Newmarket (25 per cent), Richmond Hill (24.7 per cent), and Markham (24.4 per cent). 

More than 7,000 detached homes changed hands in York Region between January 1 and June 30, an increase of almost 14 per cent over the 6,310 sales reported during the same period in 2015.  Limited inventory levels kept detached sales increases to half a percentage point in the central core (2,263 vs. 2,252), three per cent in the west end (2,130 vs. 2,068), and close to six per cent in the east (2,490 vs. 2,358), with the vast majority of gains occurring in Scarborough.

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. is one of the largest real estate franchises in Ontario, with more than 1,100 sales associates operating out of 14 offices throughout the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, and the Muskoka Region. The team specializes in all aspects of real estate, including residential, recreational and commercial properties.  RE/MAX Hallmark is firmly entrenched in the communities it serves through its involvement in Children's Miracle Network and grassroots fundraising initiatives. Visit the RE/MAX Hallmark website at: www.torontohomesandcondos.com

 

 

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2016/08/02/20160802_C3943_PDF_EN_745802.pdf

SOURCE RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. 

 

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Minister Dion concludes successful visit to Sri Lanka

Posted on 30 July 2016 by admin

NewsRelease

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 29, 2016 – Colombo, Sri Lanka – Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded a successful visit to Sri Lanka. During his visit, he conveyed Canada’s strong interest in seeing and supporting further progress, including in the areas of constitutional reform and economic development, as well as transitional justice and reconciliation as committed to by Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council resolution co-sponsored by Canada in September 2015.

In Colombo, Minister Dion met with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera, as well as with the leadership of the Tamil National Alliance, the official political opposition, and members of civil society.

During these meetings, the Minister conveyed Canada’s hope for a timely reform process and advocated for strengthened democracy and peaceful pluralism for all Sri Lankan citizens.

Minister Dion also travelled to Jaffna where he met with the Governor and Chief Minister of the Northern Province, participated in a round table discussion with civil society representatives on issues related to peace and accountability and heard from victims of the civil war.

Minister Dion visited Canada-supported development projects to witness first-hand how these initiatives are improving the lives of numerous Sri Lankans, including youth- and woman-headed households.

The Minister also announced two important projects that aim to stimulate local entrepreneurship and the delivery of government services in both Sinhalese and Tamil, the official languages of Sri Lanka. To this effect, Minister Dion witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding to guide the implementation of the National Languages Equality Advancement Project with the Honourable Mano Ganesan, Minister of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages.

Canada announced a total of $20 million to promote inclusive and accountable governance, peaceful pluralism and respect for diversity, and human rights in Sri Lanka.

  • National Languages Equality Advancement project

Funding: $11.2 million, to be implemented by an agency to be chosen

This project, funded through Global Affairs Canada’s development assistance, aims to reduce poverty and improve economic and social equality of Tamil- and Sinhala-speaking Sri Lankans. The project will improve the delivery of government services in both official languages and increase awareness of bilingualism, contributing to peaceful pluralism and post-conflict reconciliation.

  • Entrepreneur Financial Centre project

Funding: $8.8 million, implemented by Développement International Desjardins

The project, funded through Global Affairs Canada’s development assistance, aims to establish an entrepreneur financial centre within Desjardins’ implementing partner, SANASA Development Bank PLC, in Sri Lanka. The centre will help stimulate private sector development and support job creation by improving the livelihoods of entrepreneurs who operate micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Quotes

“In Colombo and Jaffna, I witnessed promising signs of progress and I urged that much more be done in the areas of constitutional reform, human rights and reconciliation for all peoples of the Island‎. I was also deeply moved to hear first-hand from people who have suffered from this civil war.”

– Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Sri Lanka can count on Canada as the country continues to rebuild after decades of conflict and strife. These investments will help micro and small entrepreneurs better access financing to start and grow businesses and will make a real difference in the lives of the most vulnerable Sri Lankans, including women and girls.”

– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

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Minister Dion to visit Sri Lanka following successful visit to Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Posted on 27 July 2016 by admin

 

July 26, 2016 – Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic – Global Affairs Canada.

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded his first visit to Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). Minister Dion met with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers during the annual ASEAN-Canada Post-Ministerial Conference and took part in the ASEAN Regional Forum. During his trip, the Minister announced nine new initiatives, together worth more than $18 million, aimed at promoting regional security and stability in Southeast Asia. Of these, two in particular will strengthen the Laotian government’s ability to respond to natural disasters and counter human-smuggling and -trafficking networks.

Minister Dion will now visit Sri Lanka until July 29 to advance bilateral relations and to support Sri Lanka in its efforts to promote human rights, reconciliation and accountability.

In Sri Lanka, Minister Dion will meet with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as with the leadership of the Tamil National Alliance, the official political opposition.

Minister Dion will also spend a day in Jaffna, where he will visit Canada-supported development projects and victims who have suffered as a direct result of the civil war. The Minister will see first-hand how these projects are helping improve livelihoods, particularly those of youth and people in woman-headed households, and further developing the economic foundations of victims’ communities following the end of the war in 2009.

Minister Dion’s visit to Sri Lanka will provide an opportunity to hear more on the Sri Lankan government’s efforts to promote inclusion, respect for the rule of law, truth, accountability and human rights. His visit will include meetings with members of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly and civil society to deepen his understanding of the constitutional reform process in Sri Lanka.

These meetings will allow Minister Dion to convey in person Canada’s commitment to helping Sri Lanka further strengthen its democracy and attain lasting peace for all of its citizens.

This visit to Sri Lanka will be the first made by a Canadian foreign minister since 2003.

Quotes

“Canada is now more engaged in Southeast Asia than it has ever been. I will continue to work hard to enhance our partnerships with Southeast Asian countries, which make up one of the most dynamic regions of the world.

“Canada stands ready to support a process through which all communities in Sri Lanka will be able to live in security and peace. As I undertake this visit to Sri Lanka, I am encouraged by the government’s efforts to advance reconciliation and ensure accountability. We stand ready to assist the government in fulfilling this commitment.”

– Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs

 

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Minister Morneau Again Earns G20 Support for Canada’s Plan for Middle Class Growth

Posted on 26 July 2016 by admin

NewsReleaseJuly 24, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

Canada’s ambitious plan to revitalize the economy, spur long-term growth and strengthen the middle class is seen by international partners as a model for sharing prosperity and inclusive growth.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau concluded meetings with his G20 counterparts in Chengdu, China, today where he made Canada’s case that a strong and growing middle class is pivotal to achieving long-term, sustainable economic growth.

The Minister earned further support from his G20 counterparts this weekend for Canada’s plan for shared, inclusive growth, supported by trade and investment as pathways to long-term economic growth and a stronger middle class. This comes on the heels of favourable reviews of Canada’s economic policy by The Economist earlier this month as well as the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and the International Monetary Fund.

During G20 working sessions, the Minister highlighted Canada’s position that smart, necessary and targeted investments can attract private-sector partners to generate more inclusive growth. He also emphasized how information exchanges between tax authorities could address aggressive tax avoidance and international tax evasion.

Quote

“I had constructive discussions with my G20 colleagues about Canada’s approach to creating long-term, inclusive growth and prosperity. I believe we can build a robust and resilient world economy by working together toward these common goals and recognizing that an economy that works for the middle class, is an economy that works for Canada and the world.”

– Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

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