On September 10th, I hosted my 100th Let’s Talk public meeting at the Canada Games Centre. Over 100 people joined me for a barbeque and cake to celebrate this milestone.
Let’s Talk meetings have been a great way for me to hear about issues in your community and to get feedback on federal government programs and policies. I look forward to hosting many more town hall meetings.
Already, I have plans for Let’s Talk meetings on immigration, veterans affairs and the next budget.
For information about upcoming meetings, please visit www.geoffregan.ca/letstalk or call 426-2217. Thank you to everyone who helped make Let’s Talk #100 a success.
Do you have a suggestion for a Let’s Talk topic or location?
Do you want to add your e-mail to the list to be notified about upcoming Let’s Talk meetings?
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bedford Legion celebrates 65th anniversary
On October 1st, Bedford Legion Branch 95 celebrated its 65th anniversary at the Annual Honours and Awards Dinner. I presented a certificate in recognition of this milestone to Branch President Garry White.
Thank you to all of the members of the Bedford Legion for 65 years of service to our veterans and our community. I would also like to congratulate the many dedicated people who were recognized for their work with the Royal Canadian Legion.
Recognizing our community leaders
Congratulations to Col. Donald McLeod who received the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation. Col. McLeod is a past-president of the Air Force Association of Canada, chaired a committee to preserve the First World War air hangers at CFB Borden and has acted as a liaison with the Royal Canadian Legion, Army Navy and Air Force Veterans Association, the Korea Veterans Association and the Merchant Navy Veterans Association. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of veterans and for the preservation of Canadian aviation history. He, and many other people in our community, have devoted their time to advocating for the men and women who have served in the Canadian Armed Forces and the traditions they stand for. These community leaders remind us that we must look after our veterans and ensure they have access to the benefits and services they deserve.
Federal Facts: Programs for people with disabilities
Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits (CPPD)
You may be eligible for a monthly CPP disability pension if you meet the following requirements:
– You are under the age of 65,
– You have a severe and prolonged disability, and
– You have contributed to the CPP for the required number of years.
You can earn up to $4,800 (before taxes) in 2011 without losing your benefits.
Vocational Rehabilitation Program
If you are receiving CPPD, but believe you are able to return to work and have approval from your doctor, Service Canada can provide assistance in seeking retraining, establishing a career plan and returning to work.
For more information about these programs call 1-800-277-9914.
Disability Tax Credit
The disability tax credit, or disability amount, is a non-refundable tax credit used to reduce income tax payable on your annual tax return. All or part of this amount may be transferred to your spouse or common-law partner, or another supporting person.
For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/disability or call 1-800-959-8281.
Registered Disability Savings Plan and Disability Savings Grant
If you are eligible for the disability amount, you can open a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) at your bank. You can then apply for the Canada Disability Savings Grant, which is a matching grant that the government will deposit into your RDSP to help you save.
For information about all federal government programs for people with disabilities, visit www.pwd-online.ca.
Keeping Canada competitive in the digital economy
The world economy is increasingly going online. If the Canadian economy is going to remain competitive in the global market, we need to develop a digital strategy.
I believe the Government of Canada must adopt a digital strategy that incorporates open Internet and digital training and encourages innovation. I’ve met with representa-tives from the citizen engagement organization, OpenMedia.ca, and other industry stakeholders to gather ideas about what this strategy should include and how we can en-sure Canadians have affordable access to quality digital products.
Some of the ideas that my party has already suggested include:
– Use proceeds from the upcoming spectrum auction in 2012 to provide 100% high-speed Internet connectivity of at least 1.4MB/sec for all Canadian communities.
– Ensure Internet traffic management remains neutral with open sharing of legitimate technologies, ideas and applications.
– Issue an Open Internet Directive to the CRTC opposing usage-based billing and ensure a fair, effective wholesale regime to allow smaller Internet service providers to lease broadband infrastructure at fair prices.
Finding a fair balance for copyright rules
Whether you’re an artist, a historian, a teacher, or you just like to listen to Joel Plaskett on your iPod, copyright rules affect you. Canada’s Copyright Act is more than a decade out of date.
The current government has reintroduced the Copyright Modernization Act to catch up with all of the new technologies that have changed how we share information. I’m glad we’re finally trying to bring our regulations up-to-date with digital technologies. But, I’ve heard from many people, both industry representatives and constituents, that there are still flaws with this legislation. For example, many people have expressed concern about the digital lock provisions that will prevent you from transferring music from the CD you bought to your MP3 player.
We need to make sure we find the right balance for creators, educators and consumers.
Geoff on the Hill
Mr. Speaker, by attacking the savings of Canadians with dual citizenship and imposing massive fines on them, the American government is threatening the financial security of hundreds of thousands of Canadians. The Conservatives responded by writing a letter.
Why is the government allowing the United States to treat law-abiding Canadians as though they were tax-evading billionaires?
– Geoff Regan
Question Period, September 26, 2011
Mr. Speaker, sustainable development of Canada’s energy sector is key to our future but the government has failed to show any leadership. What the Conservatives do not understand is that it is impossible to have a strong economy without a strong environment.
With today’s protest in Ottawa on the government’s lack of leadership, when will the Prime Minister get his head out of the sands and produce a sustainable energy strategy for Canada’s future?
– Geoff Regan
Question Period, September 26, 2011
You can read all of my questions and speeches in the House of Commons on my website, www.geoffregan.ca, in the section called Geoff on the Hill.
Geoff in the news
“Advances in technology have made it easier and easier to capture more fish more quickly. The lesson of the ’80s and early ’90s was you need to have science to tell you what’s happening.”
– The Chronicle Herald
June 8, 2011
Geoff speaking about the Conservative government’s plans to cut 275 jobs at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
“Without proactive audits by the CRTC to measure Internet management practices, there is no data for consumers to make informed judgments or register effective complaints. It is time to protect consumers and ensure that Internet service providers comply with Canada’s net neutrality rules.”
– The Montreal Gazette
July 8, 2011
Geoff speaking about complaints that Internet providers are slowing down
“If we are at all interested in boosting Canada’s innovation, creating jobs and offering the opportunity for Canadians to have better lives, then surely the mantra towards our granting councils should be jobs, jobs, jobs, not cuts, cuts, cuts.”
– The Hill Times
Oct. 3, 2011
Geoff speaking about the need for the federal government to invest in jobs and innovation.
“It is time for this government to end the secrecy and come clean on how much more Canadians can expect to pay for their poor fiscal management.
As the Conservatives battle a massive deficit of their own making, we need to be vigilant and make sure they don’t balance the budget on the backs of Canadian families.”
– The Canadian Press, Aug. 3, 2011
Geoff speaking on the Conservative government’s hidden tax increases through user fees.
How to Contact Geoff
222-1496 Bedford Highway
Bedford, NS B4A 1E5
Parliament Hill Office
Room 645, Confederation Bldg
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6