What was Announced in terms of Enhanced Security Infrastructure Grants?.Housefather, Anthony – M.P.

Dear Friends,

What was Announced in terms of Enhanced Security Infrastructure Grants?

I fought very hard for an enhanced security infrastructure program and a round of funding that would protect communities in Mount Royal. I am delighted to share that 9 projects in our riding secured $293,083. I am pushing hard for another round of funding as soon as possible. The projects chosen are:

  • Federation CJA received $88,110 to hire security guards for the Jewish Community Campus of Federation CJA to prevent intruders, conduct sweeps of the area and act as a visual deterrent.
  • Académie Yeshiva Yavné received $107,779 to hire security guards, purchase and install an improved surveillance and public address system, and to purchase 50 door barricades to be installed in each room of the school.
  • Baron de Hirsch – Back River Cemeteries Inc. received $31,646 to hire a security guard dedicated to monitoring the grounds and providing a deterrent to anyone wishing to cause harm to the visitors and staff. They will also install security film on windows and a PA System as well as provide training that will support security response skills.
  • Chaya Mushka Seminary received $14,063 to purchase window film to prevent bodily harm from any attacks.
  • Congregation Shomrim Laboker received $3,477 to hire security guards.

  • Les Écoles juives populaires et les Écoles Peretz inc. (JPPS Bialik) received $26,103 to hire security guards, replace fencing, and purchase replacement security cameras.
  • MADA Community Center received $18,767 for two projects, one to install security film for exterior glass door and an access control at main entrance, and a second to hire security guards to prevent intruders.
  • The Reconstructionist Synagogue of Montréal received $3,138 to hire security guards to prevent intruders, conduct sweeps of the area and to act as a visual deterrent.


The NDP opposition day motion on Monday

I will oppose the NDP opposition day motion on Monday which essentially pits two communities that are both in pain against each other. This is a very long motion that has many parts, and you can just vote yes or no to the entire thing. While there are some parts of the motion such as increased aid getting into Gaza that I think everyone would be comfortable with, the substance of the motion is to reverse decades of Canadian foreign policy under both Liberal and Conservative governments. The motion has the House unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state. Our policy is and has been that such a state should be recognized only after the Israelis and Palestinians reach agreement. The resolution also makes false equivalencies between Israel and Hamas and goes into a number of other areas such as ending arms exports to Israel and funding UNRWA on an ongoing basis, which I oppose. I will be speaking on this on Monday, and I have been doing my best to ensure that as many of my colleagues as possible vote no. I will be watching what happens with this motion very carefully and will report back next week.

The Budget

The federal budget will come out April 16. We need to take a rigorous approach to ensure spending is reasonable and targeted to priorities. We cannot keep spending as we did during the pandemic and need to make sure our house is in order and that our debt to GDP ratio declines. Our fiscal shape is better than our G7 allies, but we need to take action to make sure it stays that way. I look forward to reporting back on the budget.

Kosher Slaughter in Canada

There has been some confusion over this issue and since I was brought into the problem by Rabbi Saul Emanuel and CIJA’s Shimon Fogel in late January I have been working very hard to help find a positive resolution. But nobody needs to be worried for the moment that we will lack kosher meat. Ample meat comes into the country from places like the US, Mexico, and Argentina. But obviously we need and prefer our own Canadian beef and importing makes things more expensive. So, we need to solve this as we currently only have two slaughterhouses producing kosher meat.

What happened was that in 2017 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which is an independent agency drafted regulations and put them out to a public consultation and the regulations were promulgated. This is not political or related to the government or Parliament. They were drawn up by civil servants who are subject matter experts and regrettably the issue was not raised sufficiently during the consultation.

As a result of the regulations and their interpretation by veterinarians on the ground they are requiring so much time to elapse between the ritual slaughter occurring and the animal being hoisted and as such the lines would not produce sufficient meat to be profitable for the slaughterhouse.

Since I was contacted, I have worked with colleagues like Marco Mendicino and Rachel Bendayan, and I have taken the lead on working very hard to find a solution through the political sphere. We have spoken on multiple occasions with the Health Minister and the Prime minister’s office and the Health Ministry has been in constant touch with the CFIA (remember they are an independent agency) and I am fairly confident there will be a solution in the short term.

This is an example of the things I do as a member of parliament that you might not see. Most of my job is working actively behind the scenes to fix issues like this for the community as I do all the time. I am only raising it here because a number of articles have now been written about this as a result of the court case brought (which would be necessary only if a political solution is not found).

This Weekend and Week’s Activities

This weekend was the day after International Women’s Day, and I was pleased to be able to attend events to celebrate women and equality. I attended one event at the Ismaili Community Center in TMR and another for the Tamil community at TMR City Hall. I also presented the awards to the achievers of the year at the Filipino Heritage Society’s 6th anniversary gala.

On Monday I flew to Washington DC for meetings of the International Task Force on Online Antisemitism, and we held meetings on Capitol Hill including one that we had with Tik Tok to discuss the outrageous amount of antisemitic content on the platform. We have been working with Tik Tok towards solutions including a dramatic increase in content moderators, better training, and better recognition of what is antisemitic. I also had meetings at the Canadian embassy and attended the AIPAC Congressional Event where I was the only Canadian legislator and got to meet many members of the US House, Senate, and community leaders from across the country. I also got to reconnect with the last two TBDJ Rabbis, Chaim Steinmetz and Yechezkel Freundlich.

This happened the day before the US House passed a bill that would essentially require Tik Tok’s American operations to be divested. This led to some very interesting discussions, and we will see if the Senate takes up the bill.

Thank you to Neil Oberman and Michael Hollander

These are the two lawyers who obtained the injunction related to the demonstrations last week and I will be there in court on Friday (along with provincial and municipal colleagues and our Special Envoy Deborah Lyons) as they seek a permanent injunction.

What was announced surrounding Family Reunification in Quebec?

For too long, Quebec applications for permanent residence in the family class have faced much longer waiting times than in the rest of the country. This is because Quebec has issued Quebec Selection Certificates (CSQs) for more family class applications than it wishes to admit within its levels.

As such, in order to harmonize processing times and reunite families more quickly, IRCC is now finalizing Family Class applications for Quebec applicants with a valid Certificate of Selection of Quebec (“CSQ”). This means any application for which a CSQ is issued beyond the levels determined by Quebec will be processed by IRCC. This decision was not taken lightly. However, we have a moral obligation to act and reunite families more quickly.

Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Canada sets its annual immigration levels, while respecting the number of permanent residents Quebec wishes to welcome. However, by issuing CSQs, Quebec gives its consent to the federal government to process these files. Quebec has already selected the people who will be admitted and issues them a CSQ.

What was announced on the Alcohol Excise Cap?

Last weekend, the Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland announced that the government is extending for two years the two percent cap on the excise duty adjustment for beer, wine, and spirits, starting April 1, 2024.

Additionally, she announced that the government is, for two years, cutting the excise duty by half on the first 15,000 hectoliters for all Canadian brewers, providing a typical craft brewery with up to $86,952 in tax relief.

We often read numerous things about this online and I want to set the record straight of exactly what we are doing.

Call for proposals – Sustainable Jobs

Through the Sustainable Jobs Plan, released in February 2023, our government is taking real action on climate change while investing in the development of a diverse workforce with the skills needed for a Canadian low-carbon economy. Minister Boissonnault announced the opening of a call for proposals to the Sustainable Jobs Training Fund (SJTF), which will support a series of projects that offer free or low-cost training to help 15,000 workers across the country upgrade or gain new skills for jobs in the low-carbon economy.

Eligible proponents for this stream include training institutions and sectoral organizations or associations, Indigenous organizations or PT governments, and more (full eligibility information can be found here). Please note that a dedicated stream for unions and union training centres, under the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy, will open later this Spring – we will advise caucus accordingly at that time.

In particular, the SJTF will prioritize skills training in the following three areas:

  • Green buildings and retrofits – Projects that help train workers to retrofit homes and buildings to reduce energy consumption and achieve low-carbon performance.
  • Electric vehicle maintenance and charging infrastructure – Projects that help train the workforce across Canada to support the country’s transition to electric vehicles (EV) with a focus on the repair and maintenance of EVs, as well as EV charging infrastructure.
  • Low-carbon energy and carbon management – Projects that help workers develop skills for jobs in energy-related sectors such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydrogen (including vehicles and related infrastructure) and other low-carbon fuels, in addition to jobs in carbon management, such as filtration or sequestration.

Total available funding for this call for proposals is anticipated to be just under $100M over 4 years. Funding will range from $8M to $15M for each project, and it is expected that a minimum of 1,500 participants per project will benefit.

The call for proposals will be closing on 15 May 2024, at 3pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).



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