Clement appointed official opposition public safety critic

Parry Sound-Muskoka Member of Parliament, Tony Clement has been appointed Official Opposition critic for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

The announcement was made by Leader of the Official Opposition, Rona Ambrose, yesterday.

“It is an honour to serve in the shadow cabinet and perform the important work of holding the Liberal government to account in this important role. Our national security is of the upmost importance to Parry Sounders and Muskokans, and all Canadians,” said MP Clement. “From the ever-present threat of terrorism to the rising concerns over cyber security, the need to keep our communities safe cannot be overstated.”

In his role as critic, MP Clement will sit on the all-party Public Safety and National Security Committee, and play a key role in the Official Opposition`s shadow cabinet.

Clement looking for answers re: Syrian refugee ‘replacement family’ controversy in Huntsville

Member of Parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka, Tony Clement, is looking for answers after learning that a local Syrian refugee sponsorship group is being asked to consider a ‘replacement family’ after months of preparation and corresponding with a family waiting to come to Huntsville.

“The Liberal government has been reluctant to acknowledge the problems they have had with its Syrian refugee resettlement. The way it is treating some private sponsorship groups is appalling. Not knowing what will happen to these original families, who have been dreaming of coming to Canada for many months, is truly disturbing,” said Clement.

After months of delays, the Huntsville group was given only one week to decide if they will accept the ‘replacement family,’ which still could take months to arrive. If they opt to keep their original family, there is no guarantee they will ever come to Canada. It is being reported that this stark choice has been forced upon numerous private sponsorship groups across the country. The email received by the Huntsville group from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) stated the “delays have been disappointing for some private sponsors and (we) regret the challenges that we know this caused for many.”

The full CIC email is pasted below

Dee Mallette, a member of SRS (Syrian Refugee Sponsorship) Huntsville who has been working on settlement preparations for months, said “Over 60 volunteers have been waiting patiently to embrace the Ahlam family. Many have already given an abundance of time to ensure that everything is in order when the family arrives. Now we have been asked to take a replacement family. How do we tell the Ahlam family they may not come to us? We have been in contact with them several times and have received photos of them. ”

“Our hearts are broken, we feel like the Ahlam family is part of our own and they are already despondent because of the long wait to build a new life here,” said the Application Chair of the SRS Huntsville, Carole Walsh. “We have a house waiting and over $60,000 has been donated by our community. We truly feel we have made a promise to the Ahlam family that we cannot walk away from.”

“We are willing to consider assisting a replacement family,” said Nancy Wilding, SRS Community Relations Chair, “But we would like assurances that if/when the Ahlam family is cleared to come to Canada as Government Sponsored Refugees, that they could still come to Huntsville if they wish. The way this has been handled, with months of waiting with almost no information, then getting only one week to accept a replacement family, has put us under tremendous pressure and turmoil. ”

Nancy Knox of Bracebridge United Church said they were shocked to hear about the offer of replacement families and heard from their Syrian family immediately asking if they were going ‘to give up on them.’ “What a devastating message to deliver to refugees whose very life is held in a tenuous balance that they might be discarded by our government so that a more convenient family could be chosen.”
For further inquiries contact:

Sondra Read,
tony.clement.c1@parl.gc.ca <mailto:tony.clement.c1@parl.gc.ca>
MP Tony Clement, Huntsville Office,
705-789-4640

Nancy Wilding,
nancywilding@gmail.com <mailto:nancywilding@gmail.com>
SRS Huntsville Community Relations Chair

Letter from CIC to Huntsville refugee sponsor:

Dear members of the SAH (sponsorship agreement holder) Council,

This is regarding a number of delayed Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) cases. As you are aware, the delays were in large part due to the fact that cases were made available to sponsors prior to the finalization of eligibility, medical, and security decisions to meet the demand from sponsors at that time and to have them included in the initiative to resettle 25,000 Syrians by the end of February 2016. We understand that the delays have been disappointing for some private sponsors and regret the challenges that we know this caused for many.

As a special exception given the pace and volume of the Syrian initiative, we will begin offering replacement cases in the coming weeks to those sponsors that have been impacted by these delays. As replacement cases become available, and as a matter of fairness, groups (and I assume the SAH) will be contacted directly by the Matching Centre in the order of the profile referral date starting with the oldest cases on the list; every effort will be made to provide a replacement case with a similar profile of the family originally sponsored. The cases offered as replacements will have passed medical and security screenings, and will therefore be travel ready. Sponsors offered a replacement case will have one week to confirm their willingness to accept a replacement case and one additional week to submit the new Sponsorship Undertaking to the Centralized Processing Office – Winnipeg (CPO-W). Due to the limited number of replacement cases available, only one replacement case will be offered.

By accepting a replacement profile, sponsors will be canceling the sponsorship for the previous case that is currently delayed. We understand that sponsors may have already been in contact with the refugee(s) whose case are delayed, and IRCC will contact these refugees to inform them that their case is still in process. Should any of the cases where a sponsor has cancelled to accept a replacement case ultimately be approved, they will be resettled to Canada as Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) with full support from the Government of Canada.

If sponsors choose to continue waiting for the original family they sponsored, rather than accepting a replacement case, they will be doing so knowing that IRCC is unable to provide timelines as to when that case will be finalized and there are no guarantees that the family will ultimately be approved for resettlement to Canada.

It is important to note that while the replacement cases will be expected to be finalized by the visa office shortly, timelines for the arrival of the refugee(s) will vary according to the individual circumstances of the family and the situation in the host country. Sponsors are advised not to make financial commitments at this point such as renting accommodations for replacement cases. The Notification of Arrival Transmission (NAT) will be sent once travel plans have been made.

We expect that the process of finding and offering replacement cases will take a few months, starting immediately, so we ask sponsors to be patient and wait to be contacted directly.

Thank you in advance for your continued collaboration and partnership.

Sincerely,

David Manicom
Associate Assistant Deputy Minister
Strategic and Program Policy Sector

Clement announces bid for Federal PC leadership

It’s official.

Member of Parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka Tony Clement, along with his wife Lynne and a packed room of energized supporters, launched his leadership campaign for Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada this evening in Mississauga.

Clement made the announcement in a strategic suburban riding, underscoring his commitment and plan to win back the trust of voters across the country, including suburban families, newcomers and younger Canadians.

“I am running on my experienced record as an economic, common-sense conservative that will focus on the pocketbook issues that Canadians care most about,” said Clement. “On day one in office, I pledge to end Justin Trudeau’s war on taxpayers and job creators.”

Clement, an immigrant to Canada as a young man, a husband and father of three children, former small business owner, an experienced and tested political leader elected in suburban and rural constituencies, launched his campaign plan with a focus on empowering the party and country to succeed.

“I am your leader who will empower our diverse membership, our caucus, the next generation, and all Canadians to realize their God given potential and succeed,” said Clement.

Clement also touted his commitment to upholding conservative values at home and abroad. As a fiscally responsible legislator, he contrasted his record of saving taxpayers over $10B per year – enabling tax reduction and a balanced budget – with the Liberal record of higher taxes and run-away deficits.

On the world stage, Clement highlighted his record of standing-up for oppressed religious and ethnic minorities, and the promotion of freedom, human rights, justice and democracy. Clement reiterated his unrelenting commitment to empowering the forces of good over evil, and his determination to not sit on the sidelines in the fight against terror.

“I am the leader with a plan to expand our electoral coalition from big cities to small towns, and unite all Canadians behind a common-sense economic program that will deliver victory in 2019,” concluded Clement.

MP Tony Clement leads delegation to Venezuela

Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement who is also the Official Opposition’s Foreign Affairs critic, led an International Democrat Union (IDU) delegation to Caracas, Venezuela this week.

The IDU is an international alliance of centre right political parties.

The delegation was comprised of current or former parliamentarians from Canada, Bolivia, El Salvador, Germany, Norway and Sweden, including two former Presidents of their respective countries.

As the IDU’s Deputy Chairman, Clement explained the visit’s goal:

“During our visit to Caracas, the delegation was able to meet with members of Venezuela’s National Assembly including Henry Ramos Allup, the President of the National Assembly and Roberto Marrero, Secretary of the Chamber along with leaders of various parties within the United Opposition.”

The visit also gave members of the delegation an opportunity to meet directly with Venezuelan business leaders to discuss the country’s economic conditions.

“Our visit allowed the delegation to gain a better understanding of the situation in Venezuela, giving us an opportunity to exchange with elected officials, representatives of the business community and journalists who gave the group a first-hand account of the hardships faced by the citizens of Venezuela.”

The delegation, including Clement and the former Presidents of Bolivia and El Salvador, were refused access by authorities in their attempt to meet with the democratically elected Mayor of Caracas and political prisoner Antonio Ledezma. Mayor Ledezma has been under house arrest for over a year for simply criticizing the Venezuelan regime.

Following their refused access, members of the delegation were able to meet with Mayor Ledezma’s wife and daughter.

“It is sobering to hear the plight of these political prisoners. Political dissent should be a right in a country that professes to be free and democratic. I will continue to fight for his release.” said Clement.

Clement: Mental health support increasing for armed forces

Strengthening Mental Health Support for Canadian Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans and their Families: The following is a media release today (Nov. 24) from the office of Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement:

Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement said today that new and expanded mental health initiatives for Veterans, serving military members, and their families will strengthen Canada’s world class treatment, care and research for Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans.

Initiatives, announced yesterday morning in Halifax by Defence Minister Rob Nicholson and Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino, include the establishment of a major new Operational Stress Injury clinic in Halifax and additional satellite clinics opening in St. John’s, Chicoutimi, Pembroke, Brockville, Kelowna, Victoria and Montreal to speed access to mental health services for those with mental health injuries.

“Our Government is proud of our men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces. The new initiatives announced today reflect the most innovative thinking and evidenced-based approaches to mental health and suicide prevention, leading to world class care and treatment for mental health illness and injury. These initiatives underscore our unwavering commitment to our military community,” said MP Clement.

These initiatives, which amount to an investment of approximately $200 million, have been developed collaboratively by the Department of National Defence (DND), Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and Health Canada. They reflect the most innovative thinking and evidenced-based approaches to mental health and suicide prevention, leading to world class care and treatment for mental illness and injury.

Quick Facts

Treatment and Education

  • In the fall of 2015, VAC will open a new Halifax Operational Stress Injury clinic to provide full assessment, diagnosis and treatment services for Veterans and their families who are living with operational stress injuries.
  • The Road to Mental Readiness education campaign will be expanded to further reach Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families. This program helps increase CAF member and family resilience to mental illness and injury, promotes awareness of mental health treatments, and continues the campaign to reduce stigma associated with mental health.
  • VAC, in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, will develop a Veterans-specific Mental Health First Aid training program across Canada which will be delivered to an estimated 3000 Veterans, their families and caregivers over the next five years.

Technology

  • The capacity to digitize CAF member health records will be increased, to speed the transfer of medical documentation to VAC.
  • Working with civilian partners, DND and the CAF will acquire access to specialized brain-imaging technology to improve Canadian understanding of mental illness, enable further research in diagnosis and treatment, and help improve treatment for CAF members and Veterans.

Support to Families

  • The peer support program for members, Veterans, and their families living with operational stress injuries will be augmented with additional staff to meet the needs of the military community. The Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSSIS) services is a lifeline for CAF and Veterans’ families seeking immediate assistance, with no requirements for referrals. Up to 2200 Veterans and their families will benefit from this expansion over the first five years.
  • A new four year pilot project will expand access to the Military Family Resource Centres at seven locations to medically releasing CAF personnel and their families for two years post release. Military family resources are available at military establishments across Canada, through the 1-800 Family Information Line, and at ca. Up to 1200 medically releasing Veterans and their families will take part in the pilot.

Research

  • Additional research will be conducted to find better treatments, promote faster recoveries, and achieve better outcomes for Veterans and serving members with mental health conditions and their families.
  • Investments will be made to better understand transition from military to civilian life, enhance understanding of Veteran suicides to guide suicide prevention activities, improve the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness in Veterans, and support the development of national standards and a certification process for psychiatric service dogs.

 

 

 

More and earlier say on cell tower sites, promises MP Tony Clement

Industry Canada unveils new rules for cell tower placement

The following is a verbatim press release from the office of Parry Sound-Muskoka Tony Clement.

Posted Feb. 5, 3:30pm: Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement said that new Industry Canada rules announced today will ensure the public have their say on proposed cell towers in their communities, regardless of their proposed size.

“I know the issue of proposed cell towers has caused conflict in several areas across Parry Sound-Muskoka, and the public deserves to have a say in how any new cell tower locations are identified,“ said MP Clement. “Improvements to Industry Canada’s Antenna Tower Siting Policy will ensure that local residents and municipal governments are at the forefront of the tower placement process.”

Over the last 20 years, wireless services have grown into something that Canadian consumers rely on every day. As a result, we are seeing an increasing number of new cell towers being constructed in our communities. The placement of these towers is becoming ever more divisive with the rapidly increasing demand for wireless services.

The changes to the policy guiding the installation of new antenna towers will require companies to:

  • consult communities on all commercial tower installations, regardless of height;
  • build the tower within three years of consulting with communities; and
  •  ensure that residents are well-informed of upcoming consultations.

The improvements will also strengthen federal communications with the public on tower siting procedures, including new online resources on the process, and new reporting mechanisms to track tower issues and report back to communities.

These measures build on the Harper Government’s current tower sharing policies that require companies to first look at sharing existing tower infrastructure, whenever they can, to reduce the number of new towers needed in each community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Canadian consumers expect their government to make decisions that will deliver more choice, lower prices and better service in the wireless sector for all Canadians,“ said MP Clement. “The Government of Canada will continue to work with the wireless sector in the weeks ahead on ways to more effectively balance the concerns of local communities.“

 

Quick facts

 

•            Under the existing cell tower siting policy, a company is only required to consult the community when it plans to build an antenna tower taller than 15 metres.

•            Before any company can build a new cell tower, it is required to look at alternatives like whether there is an existing tower in the same area that it can share

•            All antenna towers, no matter the height, location or power, have to satisfy Industry Canada’s technical requirements and comply with Health Canada’s rules to ensure the safety of Canadians.