Happy Asian Heritage Month, Jewish Heritage Month and Polish Heritage Month! All happen in May.Housefather, Anthony – M.P.

Dear Friends,

This week was another busy week. Happy Asian Heritage Month, Jewish Heritage Month and Polish Heritage Month! All happen in May.

Thursday night was my Anthony’s Assembly town hall meeting focusing on how we can battle antisemitism in Canada. We had the best turnout I have ever had for an Anthony’s Assembly with well over 300 people. I want to thank Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, CIJA Chair Gail Adelson-Markovitz, English Montreal School Board Chair Joe Ortona, Rabbi Reuben Poupko and Montreal Holocaust Museum President Jacques Saada for their remarks and kind words about me.

In this forum we covered two major issues. First, the efforts I am making in a number of different directions to deal with antisemitism. I spoke at length about the situation at McGill and the interventions that me and other elected officials had been making with the McGill Administration. I spoke about the work that I have done to have a study on antisemitism focused on university campuses adopted by the Justice Committee and I am pleased to announce the study will begin next week on Thursday when we will be hearing from Jewish university students from across the country, including a number of local students from McGill and Concordia, about their experiences. While we do not have jurisdiction on campuses our committee can make recommendations to university administrations and provincial governments, and we will have the national media pay attention to this issue to put additional pressure on schools to deal with it. I spoke about the need to have safe spaces in front of places of worship and schools and community centres so that demonstrators could not block access and departure from these buildings and the work I will do on that. I spoke about the importance of contemporary antisemitism education as well as Holocaust education, the inclusion of Jews in diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.  I spoke about ensuring that grants across the federal government required applicants to adhere to the government’s Anti Racism Strategy and on many other issues. I met with Deborah Lyons, our Special Envoy on Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism on Wednesday and we locked down a list of projects to work on together. I also pointed out that I used other parliamentary committees such as the Ethics committee to deal with antisemitism. We are studying disinformation and misinformation at Ethics and I have been asking witnesses about how antisemitism can be used by foreign adversaries to ferment division in Canada and how it moved from online to real life. You can find two videos of my questions here:

Interference and antisemitism on social media | Interference and anti-Semitism on social media (youtube.com)

Misinformation and anti-Semitic tropes | Disinformation and anti-Semitism (youtube.com)

The second issue we discussed was minority rights in Quebec. I was very disappointed to see that the National Assembly again invoked the notwithstanding clause preemptively on Bill 21. I want to remind everyone that the Liberal Government is challenging the preemptive use of the notwithstanding clause as we intervene in the Bill 21 case before the Supreme Court.

This week, the Conservative leader stated that he intended to use the notwithstanding clause federally. This clause has never been used by the federal Parliament. The Conservatives said they would use it on the Justice Bill but also did not rule out using it on other bills. Thus, not a surprise that they voted in 2023 to join the Bloc Quebecois in supporting Quebec’s use of the clause. This should scare every one of us as it poses a direct threat to our rights. And once the federal Parliament uses this clause, forget about any federal government ever protecting minority rights in a province.

This week a number of announcements have happened at the Treasury Board, and it has been a pleasure to work with Minister Anita Anand who is the one of the smartest and strongest Ministers we have.

I also met with Minister Freeland’s team to discuss capital gains and my proposals to assist people who have windfall gains such as related to the sale of investment properties or are beneficiaries of an estate. I have also put forward suggestions on professional corporations and will keep working on this.

What is the latest Dental Care information?

Starting May 1st, the first one million seniors who successfully applied to the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) and have a May coverage start date in their welcome package can now receive the dental care they need!

Also as of May 1st, potentially eligible people aged 65 and above can now apply to the CDCP online, a new user-friendly tool designed to help Canadians easily apply.

There are more than 6,500 oral health providers signed up to participate and ready to provide services to CDCP patients. If those eligible for services do not already have an oral health provider, they can consult Sun Life’s CDCP Provider Search to find a dentist, dental hygienist, denturist or dental specialist in their community.

When booking an appointment before July 8, 2024, CDCP patients should ask their oral health provider if they are signed up to participate in the CDCP. Starting July 8, CDCP patients will be able to see any oral health provider of their choice, as long as the provider agrees to direct bill Sun Life for services provided under the plan. All providers will be able to direct bill Sun Life for services provided on a claim-by-claim basis, without formally signing up for the CDCP.

Before July 8, claims will only be processed from a participating provider. If CDCP patients pay the full costs themselves, they will not be reimbursed.

Depending on their household income, CDCP patients may have to pay a co-payment, as well as additional charges depending on the services received. Before receiving any services, CDCP patients should confirm the amount that is not covered by the CDCP and that they will need to pay directly to their provider.

The Government of Canada continues to increase opportunities to access oral health services. Later this month, Health Canada will launch the Oral Health Access Fund (OHAF), which will further reduce barriers that prevent Canadians from accessing oral health care, including in rural and remote communities. The first Call for Proposals will support projects submitted by oral health training institutions.

The CDCP is going to help make dental care more affordable for up to nine million Canadians who currently do not have coverage. Participating providers continue to support our collective efforts to ensure that as many Canadians as possible receive the oral health care services they need to stay healthy.

What did we announce in Budget 2024 for Mental Health?

In Budget 2024, we’re:

  • Investing $500 million to create a first-of-its-kind Youth Mental Health Fund;
  • Providing $4 million to continue supporting initiatives through the Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund
  • Providing $7.5 million to Kids Help Phone to support their work providing mental health, counselling, and crisis support to young people.
  • Helping community mental health organizations provide care to youth – broadening mental health support systems; and,
  • Supporting diverse Canadians, at-risk populations, and students at public colleges and universities.

Supporting youth mental health is about connecting people: youth to the services they need; care providers with schools and partner organizations; and working together to help the people who need it.Young Canadians are facing unique challenges, and we’re stepping up to support them.

Thank you,


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