Happy New Year! Since the House was not sitting between Christmas and next week.Housefather, Anthony – M.P.

Happy New Year! Since the House was not sitting between Christmas and next week, I have been able to catch up on a lot of local work. Over the last couple of weeks, I have had the opportunity to connect with many of you.  I did a town hall in Florida with hundreds of local residents.  I attended the Sinulog Festival at Saint Kevin’s Parish in Cote Des Neiges this weekend and got a chance to speak with hundreds of members of our Filipino community. I spoke at the Waldorf Seniors residence in Cote Saint-Luc and on a panel at the Holocaust Museum in Toronto to recognize the heroism of Raoul Wallenberg. I have met with dozens of constituents, talked with local businesses and I fully get the worries, fears and concerns that are out there.  As I have explained to many of you, all that I can fully control are my words and actions and votes.  In our system you elect an individual to do these things on your behalf and I will continue to make every effort to speak, act and vote as I believe the majority of Mount Royal residents would want me to.

My Work on Antisemitism on Campus

In December, I joined with fellow MPs David Lametti, Anna Gainey, Marco Mendicino and Ben Carr to send a letter to the 27 largest Canadian Universities asking them what actions they are taking to address the incredible rise of antisemitism on campus since October 7, 2023.  We gave them until January 20 to respond and I am very pleased to confirm all 27 responded and all 27 confirmed that the call for a genocide against Jews would be a violation of their codes of conduct irrespective of context. A number of the letters recognized that our letter caused them to do new work to address the issue and I have met with Universities Canada that has assisted in coordinating with each university on the issue.

We will now work with the universities, Universities Canada, provincial governments, Deborah Lyons, our new Special Envoy on Combatting Antisemitism and Holocaust Remembrance and others to make sure policies are in place to address antisemitism on campus as seriously as other forms of hate are addressed.

Our original letter (in both official languages) and the responses (in the official language in which they were received) are all available to read here:

Letters from Universities

Please see the article about this in the Montreal Gazette

Liberal MPs question universities on measures to deal with antisemitism | Montreal Gazette

Two Important Days of Remembrance coming up

On January 27th, Canada joins the world in commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  I will be at the National Memorial in Ottawa joining the Governor General, Prime Minister, and elected officials from all levels of government for the national service.  This solemn day honours the memory of the more than six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, along with the millions of other victims of Nazi barbarity during World War II.

On January 29th, we commemorate the National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action against Islamophobia. This horrendous act of terror in 2017 took the lives of six people at the Grand Mosque in Quebec City and seriously injured 19 others. This solemn day honours the memory of Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Azzeddine Soufiane and Aboubaker Thabti who were fathers, husbands, brothers, colleagues all murdered because they were Muslims.

I would call on each and everyone of us to use both days to consider what actions we can take to fight all forms of hate.

My position on the ICJ action by South Africa against Israel

I have made clear that in my view the allegation that Israel is committing genocide is baseless and must be rejected.  To understand my views in detail please read my op-ed in the National Post that I wrote with Marco Mendicino:

Canada must categorically reject claim of genocide against Israel | National Post

And please see my interview on CBC’s Power and Politics:

Liberal MP says it’s ‘not OK to be neutral’ on genocide claim against Israel | CBC.ca

Recent Court Cases

There are two recent court decisions that I wanted to comment on.
On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that the use of the Emergencies Act in February 2022 to clear convoy protesters was unreasonable and infringed on the protesters’ Charter rights.

The judge wrote that while the protests “reflected an unacceptable breakdown of public order,” the invocation of the Emergencies Act “does not bear the hallmarks of reasonableness – justification, transparency and intelligibility.” He also noted that he considered information not known at the time in making his decision and that had he been at the cabinet table he might have supported invoking the Act.

In February 2022 I made a speech explaining why I made the difficult decision to vote for the Act and I stand by what I said at the time.  I welcome the Attorney General’s decision to appeal this decision which is at odds with both the decision of the House of Commons and the opinion of Justice Rouleau who led the mandatory inquiry into the use of the Act and concluded that the federal government met the very high threshold needed to invoke the Emergencies Act.

The second decision is one that the government has stated it will not appeal and I agree wholeheartedly with the decision.  It says that children born abroad of Canadians born abroad are eligible for citizenship. We have several riding residents who have been impacted by the law and I look forward to seeing us now amend the Act to ensure there are not two classes of Canadian citizenship. For more about this see below: Court ruling on ‘lost Canadians’: Feds won’t appeal | CTV News

Some questions and answers are below:

What were the inflation numbers for December 2023?


Inflation has fallen from its high of 8.1 per cent in June 2022 to 3.4 per cent in December 2023. Higher prices have made it tougher for many Canadians and their families. Canada’s economic plan balances the need to support Canadians today with the need to invest in our economic future.

  • We have:
    • Passed legislation to eliminate the GST on new rental construction to build more rental apartments.
    • Strengthened the Competition Act to ensure the Competition Bureau is empowered to hold grocers accountable and prioritize consumer interests.
    • Unlocked $20 billion in new financing to build 30,000 more apartments per year.
    • Introduced a new Mortgage Charter to protect homeowners.
    • Launched the new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, now helping over 500,000 Canadians to save for their first home.
    • Supported our seniors through the Canada Pension Plan, Guaranteed Income Supplement, and Old Age Security, all of which are indexed to inflation.
    • Delivered the enhanced Canada Workers Benefit for low-income workers, providing up to $2,461 for a family this year.
    • Delivered affordable childcare, as families in nearly half of Canadian provinces and territories are already benefiting from $10-a-day childcare, and fees have been cut at least in half in all other jurisdictions.


How will Canada implement a temporary cap on international students?

Minister Miller announced that our government will set an intake cap on international student permit applications to stabilizing new growth, for a period of two years. IRCC will allocate a portion of this cap to each province and territory, who will then distribute the allocation among the designated learning institutions (DLIs) they regulate.

For 2024, the cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 new study permits approved, representing a 35% reduction from 2023. Those pursuing master’s degrees and PhDs as well as those enrolled in K-12 education facilities and dependents accompanying foreign nationals on work permits, will be excluded. Study permit renewals and current study permit holders will not be impacted. We will re-assess the number of new study permit applications to be accepted in 2025 at the end of this year.

To implement this cap, as of January 22, 2024, every study permit application submitted to IRCC will require an attestation letter from a province or territory. Provinces and territories are expected to establish a process of issuing attestation letters to students by no later than March 31, 2024. We will continue to work with provincial and territorial governments on this and broader reforms.

Please note that the measures above apply to Quebec but won’t affect the number of students here.

Because the allocation will be based on Province’s population share (per capita) and the number of study permits they approved in 2023, Quebec will be receiving a higher allocation than the number of Certificats d’Acceptation du Québec (CAQ) it is currently issuing.

How is our government changing the criteria to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program?

Starting in September, we are no longer issuing PGWPs to students who begin studies in a curriculum licensing arrangement, given how these programs have seen significant growth in attracting international students in recent years despite the lack of oversight compared to public colleges. We will also begin issuing 3-year PGWPs to graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs, who deserve more time to gain work experience and potentially transition to permanent residency.

Furthermore, we will no longer issue open work permits to spouses of international students outside of those in master’s and doctoral programs and we will work towards exempting those pursuing professional programs such as medicine and law. This is another important step Minister Miller is taking, in a series of announcements since the fall, to restore integrity to the International Students Program. Our government will continue to work with provinces and territories, designated learning institutions, and national education stakeholders on developing a sustainable path forward for international students, including finalizing the recognized institution framework, determining long-term sustainable levels of international students, and ensuring post-secondary institutions are able to provide adequate levels of student housing.

How is our government fighting auto theft in Canada?

This week, our government announced that a National Summit on Auto Theft will be held on February 8, 2024, in Ottawa. By convening partners from across local, provincial, and national jurisdictions, this summit will enable us to build on work to date and coordinate our collective efforts to address auto theft. We are committed to combatting serious and organized crime to ensure the safety of Canadian communities.

Vehicle theft is on the rise, affecting far too many Canadians – this calls for an all-hands on deck approach. Police continue to collaborate across jurisdictions to tackle this challenge. And we are seeing results – for example, the CBSA intercepted over 1,600 stolen vehicles in 2023. To further ensure a coordinated response to this issue, we are convening a National Summit on Auto Theft.

The Summit will bring together leaders across jurisdictions and sectors to discuss new actions to combat auto theft and strengthen already-ongoing work.

To learn more, please click here: Government of Canada Announces National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft – Canada.ca

What is the latest news surrounding the recent FDA decision on bulk importation of drugs from Canada to Florida?

We know many of you are concerned about the recent FDA decision on bulk importation of drugs from Canada to Florida. Last week, Minister Holland had meetings with the US Ambassador to Canada, David Cohen, and the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, to discuss this issue. Minister Holland reiterated our government’s commitment to protecting Canada’s drug supply through strong regulatory safeguards.

Canadians will continue to have access to the medications they need when they need them.

  • Canada has strong regulations in place to protect domestic drug supply.
  • Canadians can be confident that our government will continue to take all necessary measures to protect the drug supply in Canada.

A full readout of these meetings can be found here.

What are some new ways to report incidents of hate?

Last week, B’nai Brith Canada launched 3 new technologies to report hate incidents.

  1. The Anti-Hate Hate Mobile App (available via Google Play and Apple’s App store). The app is a tool that allows you to instantly report a hate incident and all the pertinent details involved. The app also permits photos of hate incidents to be shared when possible. Confirmed data is anonymously documented and allows B’nai Brith to take concrete action.
  1. The Anti-Hate Hotline: 1-800-892-BNAI (2624 ).
  1. A webform which is available on B’nai Brith Canada’s website to report incidents: https://www.bnaibrith.ca/anti-hate-hotline/

Please take a look at these resources.



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