Autumn 2014 parliamentary bulletin - English version - Tyrone Benskin

Parliamentary bulletin of Tyrone Benskin, NDP MP for Jeanne-Le Ber, for autumn 2014. In this issue: The CBC, Rue May expropriations, postal service, electoral redistricting, rail safety, community announcements, Oliver Jones.
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   A message from Tyrone Benskin Dear neighbours,We are now in the thick of the autumn sitting of Parliament, going toe to toe with Stephen Harper’s ill-considered and unacceptable agenda. The NDP has been progressively unveiling its policies for a human, sustainable way to govern. These are concrete, responsible plans such as: ã a $15 minimum wage for industries in federal jurisdiction; ã reversing the unilateral cuts the Conservatives made to health care, restoring $36 billion in health transfers to the provinces; ã a public inquiry into the neglected crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women; ã returning the age of retirement to 65; ã supporting sectors of the economy that we know can spur Canada’s stagnating employment rate, such as small businesses, green industry, and sustainable infrastructure; ã restoring, employment insurance, pensions, the immigration system, and other such public services that have suffered so much under Conservative control.  As always, while this all goes on, I will continue to closely follow the issues that have a particular impact on us here in Jeanne- Le Ber. Train noise and rail safety, the Champlain Bridge, social housing, the postal service—all issues that directly affect our riding’s territory. I’ll also be following the key issues that you’re especially concerned about. For example, over the summer, nearly a thousand residents signed a petition to cancel cuts and ensure stable, multi-year funding for the CBC. Clearly, people in Jeanne- Le Ber, like those across the country, care deeply about their national broadcaster. So does the NDP. I’ll make sure your voices are heard in Parliament on these issues. You’ll also find updates in this bulletin.  As always, feel free to contact me any time you want to share your opinions or concerns. Together, we can reverse the damage done by this government and create a country that reflects what we really care about. Best wishes, Tyrone Benskin Member of Parliament for Jeanne-Le Ber  Over the month of August, my staff and I and a number of volunteers took part in a door-to-door campaign to invite resi-dents to sign a petition to de-fend the CBC. This was part of a nationwide NDP campaign to let citizens express their opposi-tion to the Conservative govern-ment’s ideological war on our public broadcaster.Even though I already knew that people in Jeanne-Le Ber care about the CBC, I was surprised at the vigorous reaction we got.  At nearly every door, if there was someone at home, they signed the petition at once. We col-lected nearly 1,000 signatures in Jeanne-Le Ber alone. Since 1936, CBC has been a pil-lar of Canadian culture, broad-casting the realities of our iden-tities and our languages. Its production activities and its support for the arts create and sustain numerous jobs.But both the Liberals and the Conservatives have imposed drastic cutbacks. Since they took power, the Conservatives have had the CBC in their sights. In 2012, they cut $115 million over 3 years from the CBC. Now they aim to cut another 20% of the corporation’s budget.Foreign news coverage, hun-dreds of jobs including those of many veteran journalists, in-house production of documen-taries, and French-language programming outside Quebec are all in jeopardy. The Liberals’ record is no better. It was the Chrétien and Mar-tin governments who started the cuts, chopping a staggering $400 million, or 35% of its entire bud-get.  All these attacks have left the CBC highly vulnerable. We need a strong, healthy public broad-caster in this country. That’s why I’m proud to sup-port the NDP’s position. We’re calling for the cancellation of these massive cuts and suffi-cient, stable, multi-year fund-ing to allow the CBC to fulfil its mandate without being at the mercy of the fickle advertising market. The NDP will spare no effort to save the CBC.   Jeanne-Le Ber stands up for the CBC Riding office 2403, rue du Centre Montréal QC H3K 1J9 CharlevoixPhone: 514.496.4885Fax: 514.496.8097 Ottawa office 950 La Promenade Building House of CommonsOttawa ON K1A 0A6Phone: 613.995.6403Fax: 613.995.6404 Mail to MPs does not require a stamp tyrone.benskin@parl.gc.cawww.tyronebenskin.caFacebook : tyronebenskinTwitter: @tbenskin In this issue 1  Jeanne-Le Ber stands up for the CBC 2  Political update : ã Expropriations on Rue May ã Postal service ã Electoral redistricting 3  Photo album Political update: ã Rail safety 4  In the community Historical vignette: Oliver Jones Tyrone  Benskin MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT // JEANNE-LE BER Parliamentary Bulletin ã Autumn 2014  2Tyrone Benskin, MP Printed with vegetable inks on 100% post-consumer recycled paper.  As of the next federal election, the riding of Jeanne-Le Ber will no longer exist. Every ten years, following the census, the electoral map of Canada is redrawn by a non-partisan electoral commission. Following their work in 2012 and 2013, the electoral district of Jeanne-Le Ber will be divided up among two new rid-ings.The neighbourhoods of Saint-Henri, Little Burgundy, Griffintown , and Pointe-Saint-Charles , along with Nuns’ Island,  will join part of downtown Montreal and the Old Port to make up the riding of Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Sœurs  . Mainland Verdun  and the neighbourhood of Côte-Saint-Paul , along with  Ville-Émard and part of the borough of LaSalle, will vote in the riding of LaSalle—Émard—Verdun. Regardless of this change, from now until the election, I will keep working hard to represent the citizens of the entire riding of Jeanne-Le Ber. Electoral redistricting In March, my office was contacted by Ms. Mary Deslauriers, a resident of the L’Ambiance seniors’ residence on Nuns’ Is- land. She wanted to let us know that Canada Post had discontinued its practice of picking up mail in the building’s mailroom. She pointed out that many elderly residents were not able to reach the nearest mailbox, even though they rely on the mail to deal with their affairs. She had collected a peti- tion of more than 100 names requesting the return of the mail pickup service. My staff contacted Canada Post to explain the residents’ concerns. Although the corpo-ration claimed that it was unable to resume mail collection inside the building, we pre-vailed upon them to install a mailbox much closer to the building – just 20m from the entrance. It was thanks to Ms. Deslauriers’ initiative that we were able to obtain concrete mea-sures to improve the situation. This shows how important citizen actions like hers can be. One person can make a difference!If you’re experiencing a similar situation with a federal organization or department, don’t hesitate to contact my office to discuss how we can help.   One citizen’s successful initiative  While numerous citizens in Jeanne-Le Ber have spoken out against the abolition of home mail delivery, and both the Sud-Ouest and Verdun boroughs have formally called on Canada Post to suspend its decision, the NDP is pressing the Conservative govern-ment to place a moratorium on converting home mail delivery to community postal boxes across the country. Over the last several months, my New Demo-cratic colleagues have visited several com-munities to get a sense of where citizens stand on the cuts to Canada Post and the Conservative government’s decision to end home mail delivery. The opinion everywhere is the same as here in Jeanne-Le Ber: people are committed to maintaining their postal services, and their concern quickly turns to anger when in-formed about the Conservatives’ plan and its roots in their ideological opposition to public services in general. There is no valid explanation to justify these cuts, the thousands of jobs lost, or the end of home delivery services. Canada Post, a Crown corporation, has been profitable throughout the last twenty years. Far from having its hands tied by unstoppable market forces, Canada is the only G20 country to consider ending home mail delivery.Canada Post management has refused to look at other sources of revenue that oth-er countries’ postal services have used with great success to cope with the changing mar-ket conditions.New Democrats continue to stand with the public—and many dissatisfied Canadian mayors—in their opposition to the changes at Canada Post. A moratorium is the only way to ensure that real public consultations are held.   NDP demands a moratorium on converting to community mailboxes Base map: © OpenStreetMap contributors; CC-BY-SA 2.0 open licence  Rue May is a historic and surprisingly quiet little street, tucked away just beside Auto-route 15 in Verdun. It’s home to a variety of households, from a young family who just moved in a year ago to a couple who’ve built their life here for more than 30 years.But this tranquil neighbourhood has just been badly disturbed. The federal govern-ment has unceremoniously informed these residents that their houses will be expropri-ated and destroyed to allow Autoroute 15 to be widened on its way to the new Champlain Bridge. What is at issue here is transparency. These residents are not simply impediments to ex-panding infrastructure, or a public relations liability to be managed; they are people.  A transparent decision-making process  would have looked at the question in public and let people have their say as to whether the expropriations are necessary, airing the arguments for and against and helping the residents to prepare for the possible change. Instead, they are faced with a decision that came without warning, and in spite of as-surances that the bridge project would not require the loss of any homes. Now they have to scramble to rearrange their lives with little opportunity to plan or prepare.Transparency must be more than just a po-litical buzzword. To mean anything at all, the decisions their representatives make that af-fect the lives of those they represent must be made in the open. So the question is, from this point on, how transparent will the government be with the residents of Rue May? Expropriations on Rue May: a flagrant lack of transparency   I want to hear from you 3Jeanne-Le BerI would like to receive the E-bulletin E-mail address: ____________________________________________ The CBC is a crucial public service that supports our culture and keeps Canadians informed. But it’s threatened by massive Conservative cutbacks that threaten its very ability to fulfil its mandate, in particular its duty to serve French speakers outside Québec. Do you agree with the NDP that the government has to protect the CBC and commit to sufficient, stable, long-term funding for it? o  Yes o  No Comments: 1   Tyrone and several other NDP MPs take part in a demonstration called  Je marche avec mon facteur  , against the loss of postal services and the abolition of home mail delivery. 2    At the Défi sportif  AlterGo, one of the largest competitions for disabled athletes in the world, organized by AlterGo, an organization headquartered here in our riding. 3  Meeting with representatives of Development and Peace on calling for the creation of a position of ombudsman for the extractive industry, in charge of monitoring the behaviour of the Canadian mining industry abroad. 4    A party for the Fête nationale du Québec, organized by the Centre africain de développement et d’entraide (CADE). 5  Reception in Ottawa for the ambassadors and high commissioners of the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Tyrone is the co-chair of the Canada-CARICOM Parliamentary Friendship Group. 6  Launch of the Pointe-Saint-Charles Youth Services Co-op. 7  Community barbecue organized by the MP’s office in Square Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier, in Saint-Henri. 2314567 Photo album The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) report into the July 6, 2013 derailment in Lac-Mégantic, which caused 47 deaths, is very clear: the government shares part of the blame and must im-prove its monitoring of railway companies as quickly as possi-ble.Residents of Jeanne-Le Ber, where three derailments (fortu-nately without injuries) have oc-curred in as many years, are pay-ing particularly close attention to these recommendations.The report, published on August 19, clearly states that leaving railway companies to regulate themselves has failed and that the federal government has to step up its surveillance of these companies’ operations.The TSB is calling for increased oversight from Transport Can-ada and better physical safety measures on trains.We need to do all we can to im-mediately ensure the safety of Canadians. The NDP is urging the Conservative government to comply with the TSB’s recom-mendations without delay. It’s well past time for the govern-ment to start paying closer atten-tion to rail companies, to prevent tragedies like Lac-Mégantic from happening again. Rail safety   NAME ADDRESS, APARTMENT NO.CITY, PROVINCE, POSTAL CODEPHONE NUMBER Tyrone Benskin   MP Jeanne-Le Ber House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6 CUT HERE  A major recognition for the Société historique de Saint-Henri :  earlier this year, the so-ciety was named a finalist for the Governor General’s Histo-ry Awards in the community programming category. The society’s exhibition Histoire d’enfance, which ran from No-vember 2012 to May 2013, was singled out for this honour from among submissions from across the country. The society regularly holds exhibitions to present its collection of more than 100,000 photos, objects, and documents recounting the history of this deep-rooted community. 521 Place Saint-Henri (above the fire hall) Place-Saint-Henri metro What should our priorities be in fighting poverty and so-cial exclusion in Verdun? The  Concertation en développe-ment social de Verdun (CDSV)   invites Verdun residents to a group discussion on the reali-ties and problems they face. A light buffet will be served. November 12 at 5:45 p.m. Verdun Auditorium, Salle Denis-Savard 4110 Boulevard LaSalle De l’Église metro To register: call Feyla Kébir, 514 362-1555, extension 226; or  Casa C.A.F.I., the Resource Centre for Immigrant Fami-lies, celebrates its 25th anniver-sary on October 10. This Verdun non-profit supports immigrant families from all backgrounds, though a large share of its cli-ents come from Latin America. It offers support, orientation, and information during the of-ten complex and daunting pro-cess of immigrating, getting settled, and integrating into so-ciety. Offering workshops, food support, language courses, cul-tural programming, and other interventions, Casa C.A.F.I. has become an indispensible com-munity resource. Congratula-tions to Casa C.A.F.I. on its 25th anniversary  4741 Rue de Verdun Verdun metro 514-844-3340 On September 26 the Mai-son du Partage d’Youville  held a press conference on the des-perate threat it faces to its abil-ity to keep functioning. In a packed hall, we heard numer-ous moving personal accounts of the work this organization is doing in our community. For the last 30 years, the Maison du Partage d’Youville has offered a food bank, emergency support, social and educational activi-ties, and much more to thou-sands of people in need. 2327 Rue du Centre Charlevoix metro 514-935-9846 In the House “Since 1976, there seems to have been very little research or work done in terms of preparation for the eventuality of an outbreak that we now face. ...Why [have] we in the west... not progressed further in terms of our understanding and preparedness for not the possibility but the eventuality of one of these diseases, be it the hantavirus, Ebola or Reston disease, crossing borders and entering into other countries that up until this point had not seen this disease? ” – Tyrone Benskin, MP for Jeanne-Le Ber September 15, 2014   At your service My team is here to help you with any concerns you may have regarding federal services, such as immigration, employment insurance, and federal pensions (CPP, OAS, and GRS). I am here to make sure your voice is heard in Parliament. Do not hesitate to write, telephone, or e-mail to let me know your opinions about the issues that affect our community. Historical vignette This year, Little Burgundy celebrates the eightieth birthday of one of its greatest sons: world-renowned pianist and composer Oliver Jones. Recognized as one of history’s great jazz pianists, Dr. Jones was born in 1934 in Little Burgundy, now part of our riding. He began his musical career at the age of 5 in Little Burgundy’s historic Union United Church, Montreal’s oldest black congregation. He studied piano with teacher Daisy Peterson Sweeney, sister of the late great Oscar Peterson, also a son of Little Burgundy. Dr. Jones honed his talent playing the many Montreal  jazz clubs and theatres, before embarking on a highly successful recording and concert career. Achieving international fame, Dr. Jones has been an ambassador for Canadian jazz music. He has received numerous awards and honours, including four Félix  Awards, four Juno Awards, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, the National Jazz Award, the Prix Oscar-Peterson, and the Martin Luther King Jr.  Achievement Award, as well as honorary doctorates from four Canadian universities. He was named a Chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec in 1993 and an Ofcer of the Order of Canada in 1994. Dr. Jones continues to contribute to the community of his birth, lending his fame and talent to such cultural initiatives as the Sud-Ouest borough’s public pianos program. On May 28, I had the privilege of paying tribute to Dr. Jones in the House of Commons on the occasion of his being granted the title of Citizen of Honour by the City of Montreal. Since then, the MU art collective has honoured him with a mural on the corner of Avenue Lionel-Groulx and Boulevard Georges-Vanier. My very best wishes for many more successful years.   In the community  no stamp required x
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