New Detroit-Windsor Announced

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that the future publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan, will be named the Gordie Howe International Bridge. He was joined by Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Jeff Watson, Member of Parliament for Essex, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and members of Gordie Howe’s family.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge is expected to be completed and in service in 2020. The bridge will accelerate the flow of goods and services and provide a much-needed alternative at the busiest commercial land border crossing on the Canada-United States (U.S.) border, creating thousands of jobs and opportunities on both sides of the border. The bridge will feature a total of six lanes, associated border inspection plazas, and direct connections to Highway 401 in Ontario and Interstate-75 in Michigan.

Today’s announcement builds on the work done to date between Canada and the U.S. on the Beyond the Border Action Plan and Regulatory Cooperation Council Action Plan to strengthen our long-term security and trade relationship. These plans outlined concrete measures to facilitate trade and travel, improve security and economic competitiveness, and align regulatory approaches between the two countries.

Government of Canada to mark the birth of Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement announcing a charitable donation from the Government of Canada to mark the birth of Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, the second child of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge:

“Canadians were delighted on May 2, 2015, to learn of the highly-anticipated birth of Princess Charlotte, the second child of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

“To mark this wonderful occasion, the Government of Canada is pleased to announce a $100,000 donation to Immunize Canada. This child-focused charity is dedicated to promoting the understanding and use of life-saving vaccines to help ensure children across Canada get the best start in life. Canadians recognize that the Royal Family has always been engaged and conscientious when it comes to the health and well-being of Canadian children. It is therefore fitting that this tradition be continued by providing a donation in the name of Princess Charlotte to help promote protection for children across our great country.

“A Canadian-made snowsuit, reflective of our country’s identity as a northern country, will also be offered by the Government of Canada to Princess Charlotte.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations and very best wishes to the happy family on the arrival of their second child.”


Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) during the Second World War:

“Today, Canada and the international community commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe over Nazi Germany, a fascist regime rooted in racism and anti-Semitism that committed mass murder, scarring the world forever with the Holocaust.

“For Canadians, it is a day to pause and honour the more than one million brave Canadians and Newfoundlanders who, along with Allies, put their lives on the line to end the tyranny in Europe. They did so to protect the values of freedom and democracy that Canadians hold so dear, and because it was the right thing to do.

“It is also a day to pay tribute to the more than 45,000 selfless sailors, soldiers and airmen who made the supreme sacrifice and the more than 55,000 who were injured during the Second World War. We will forever be grateful to them and their families for their service to our country.

“Places such as Ortona, Juno Beach, Caen, the Falaise Gap, and the Scheldt, where Canadians secured important victories over the Nazis, still echo with the honour of our service members who fought so courageously for freedom there.

“A few days ago I had the privilege of joining Canadian veterans and Allies participating in ceremonies marking the Liberation of the Netherlands. It was particularly rewarding to see young Canadians – including cadets – in attendance, learning first-hand about Canada’s involvement in this pivotal moment of the Second World War.

“On this V-E Day anniversary, let us also pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who worked so hard on the home front to produce the war materials needed by our troops and our Allies.

“The tremendous contributions made by Canada, as well as the commitment, ingenuity and professionalism demonstrated by our service members during the Second World War, generated huge international recognition for our country and immense national pride that united us like never before. As we count down towards the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 2017, let us honour this important chapter in our country’s history that was written by our brave men and women in blood and sweat on the beaches, fields and mountains of Europe.

“On this historic day, I encourage all Canadians to take the time to learn more about this remarkable part of our country’s history. I also call on Canadians to join me in offering our heartfelt gratitude to all members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families, as they courageously continue to put the welfare of our great country ahead of their own, both at home and in places like Iraq and Syria, so that we all can live in peace.

“Lest we forget.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper Welcomes New Initiatives Between India and Canada

Prime Minister Stephen Harper Welcomes New Initiatives Between India and Canada

April 15, 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, today witnessed the signing and finalization of six significant initiatives between Canada and India that will help to further advance bilateral relations between the two countries. They were joined by Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade.

The initiatives announced today will promote greater collaboration in the areas of civil aviation, railway transportation, education and skills development, space, social security, and maternal, newborn and child health.

Quick Facts
•Canada and India have longstanding bilateral relations built upon shared traditions of democracy and pluralism, and on strong interpersonal connections with the approximately 1.2 million Indian diaspora community in Canada.
•With bilateral merchandise trade valued at $6.3 billion in 2014 and bilateral service trade at over $1.5 billion in 2013, a market of more than 1.2 billion people, and a predicted economic growth of 7.5 per cent in 2015, India represents exciting opportunities for Canadian businesses.
•The stock of two-way foreign direct investment (FDI) between Canada and India totalled approximately $4.4 billion in 2013. Of this, the stock of FDI in Canada from India is nearly $3.8 billion and the stock of Canadian FDI in India stood at $613 million.


“The historic visit by Prime Minister Modi to Canada, combined with the number and scope of agreements signed today between our governments, clearly demonstrate the commitment of both countries to taking bilateral relations to new heights.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Succession to the Throne Act

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the coming into force of the Succession to the Throne Act, 2013:

“I am delighted today that Canada is joining the Realms of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in bringing legislation into force that gives assent to changes to the rules governing the line of succession.

“The changes, which will put an end to the practice of placing male children before their elder sisters in the line of succession and which will remove legal provisions that heirs marrying Roman Catholics would be ineligible to succeed to the Throne, are very much in keeping with the values that Canadians cherish.

“We are pleased to support these measures with a view to ensuring that the Crown remains a vital and modern institution.”

Canada’s military contribution to global fight against ISIL

Ottawa, Ontario ‑ 24 March 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the Government’s intent to bring forward a motion in the House of Commons seeking support for the Government’s decision to extend and expand Canada’s military contribution to the global fight against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with the goal of significantly degrading the capabilities of ISIL.

The motion, sponsored by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will be debated and voted on in the House of Commons. The Canadian military mission, known as Operation IMPACT, is part of the United States-led international Coalition against ISIL, composed of over 60 countries.

Operation IMPACT would be extended for up to 12 months, until March 30, 2016. Its mandate would be expanded to authorize Canada’s CF-188 Hornet fighters to join Coalition partners in attacking ISIL targets within Syrian territory.

Coalition military efforts to date have succeeded in blunting ISIL’s capacity to advance in Iraq and Syria but much remains to be done. The Government is seeking to extend Operation IMPACT given that ISIL continues to present a serious threat to global and regional security, including by directly threatening Canadian citizens at home and abroad. Canada also remains committed to protecting and assisting vulnerable and innocent civilians affected by ISIL’s expansion and barbarity, including through the provision of vital humanitarian assistance.

As in the past, Operation IMPACT would remain a counter-terrorism operation exclusively targeting ISIL. Canada will not be participating in ground combat operations.

In the days to come, the Government will continue to update Canadians on the Canadian Armed Forces engagement against ISIL through technical briefings, websites and social media.

Quick Facts– Canada’s current military contribution against ISIL, which would be extended for up to 12 months, includes: up to 69 Canadian Special Operations Forces personnel to advise and assist Iraqi forces in northern Iraq; a key aerial enabler force package consisting of approximately 280 aircrew and other personnel, one CC-150 Polaris aerial refueling aircraft, up to two CP-140 Aurora aerial surveillance aircraft, as required; and a strike force package consisting of approximately 320 aircrew and other personnel, and up to six CF-188 Hornet fighter aircraft.

– As of March 21, 2015, Canadian air assets have conducted 656 sorties over Iraq:
– CF-188 Hornet fighters conducted 428 sorties.
– CC-150T Polaris aerial refueller conducted 108 sorties, delivering some 6,332,000 pounds of fuel to coalition aircraft.
– CP-140 Aurora aircraft conducted 120 reconnaissance missions.
– Canadian CF-188 Hornet fighters have undertaken 53 of the Coalition’s 1,631 air strikes over Iraq.
– Up to 69 members of the Canadian Special Operations Forces are working with our allies in an advisory and assistance role by providing strategic and tactical advice to Iraqi forces.
– Thousands of foreign fighters, including some from Canada and its allies, have been recruited by ISIL. The Government is working to stem the flow of foreign fighters from Canada to the region, including through the introduction of comprehensive legislation.
– Canada’s humanitarian and stabilization assistance continues to provide much-needed relief to millions of vulnerable and displaced people, as well as refugees, in Iraq, Syria and the region.

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:

“International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination provides an important opportunity to reaffirm and reiterate our commitment to eliminating racial and ethnic discrimination in all its forms in Canada and around the world.

“Regrettably, racism continues to cause incalculable damage to individuals, to their families, and to the social and economic life of the communities in which they live.

“We are proud of Canada’s diversity and inclusiveness. The promotion of these values has helped to build our great country where pluralism thrives.

“Our Government is committed to combating racial discrimination in all its forms. Through our Multiculturalism Program, we are supporting initiatives and organizations here at home that promote intercultural and interfaith understanding through education and outreach.

“On the international front, we continue to work with our partners to promote racial equality by strengthening freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Over the past couple of years, Canada has maintained its status as a world leader in the global fight against anti-Semitism.

“On this day, I encourage all Canadians to take the time to reflect on the immense contributions that diversity has made to our country and its well-earned reputation as a generous, open and welcoming society, and to join our Government in its efforts to combat racism whenever and wherever it occurs.”


March 18, 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today honoured the recipients of the third Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards (PMVA) at a special ceremony in Toronto. He was accompanied by Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance.

The Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards recognize two national recipients – one for lifelong achievement and one for an emerging leader – as well as 15 regional recipients, including individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organizations. The awards also highlight best practices in community leadership and encourage partnerships across sectors.

National award recipients are:

•Lifelong Achievement: Dr. Myron & Mrs. Elaine Semkuley, Calgary, Alberta.
•Emerging Leader: Matt Cardwell, Whitby, Ontario.

Regional award recipients are:

•Community Leader: Cody O’Brien (Atlantic); Sylvie Ethier (Quebec); Dr. Syed Aslam Daud (Ontario); Rev. (Dr.) Deborah Olukoju (Prairies); and Raghbir Singh Bains (British Columbia and the North).
•Business Leader: LaHave River Credit Union (Atlantic); Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services (Quebec); The Printing House Limited (Ontario); Chandos Construction Ltd. (Prairies); and Victory Square Labs (British Columbia and the North).
•Social Innovator: New Brunswick Youth Orchestra (NBYO – Sistema New Brunswick) (Atlantic); La Tablée des Chefs (Quebec); Haven on the Queensway (Ontario); Canadian Western Agribition (Prairies); and Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association (British Columbia and the North).

The recipients were presented with medals, certificates and lapel pins during the ceremony. As part of their recognition package, each recipient will identify a not-for-profit organization to receive a one-time funding grant in their honour. Not-for-profit organizations identified by the 15 regional awards recipients will each receive $5,000, and those identified by the two national awards recipients will each receive $10,000.

Statement on the death of a Canadian Armed Forces member in Iraq

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the tragic death of a Canadian Armed Forces member in Iraq:

“It is with deep sadness that I learned that Sergeant Andrew Joseph Doiron was killed in a friendly fire incident while advising and assisting Iraqi Kurdish forces in Iraq on March 6, 2015.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sergeant Doiron. We also offer our prayers for the speedy recovery of the other three injured members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

“Canadians are rightly proud of the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces. We support their families, and we honour all those who make the sacrifices necessary to safeguard our country and our highest values.

“This tragic incident reminds us of the very real risks that our brave men and women in uniform assume on our behalf to defend the freedoms that we cherish.

“Almost daily we see new evidence of the violent threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. More than ever, it is imperative that we, along with the more than sixty countries in the coalition, continue the campaign to halt ISIL’s spread and reduce its capacity to carry out terrorist attacks abroad and here in Canada.

“Our Government and the Canadian Armed Forces take the duty to protect Canadians seriously. Part of that duty requires us to stand tall and shoulder our share of the burden in the fight against ISIL. We are proud to do our part, and grateful to the men and women to whom it falls to carry out our commitment to peace and security.

“Sergeant Doiron lost his life in the line of duty. We will honour and remember his service to Canada.”