Message From Tony
Israel, Hamas and Gaza
Last week I joined 32 other members of parliament in calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. I condemn the killing of innocent Israeli citizens on October 7th and the taking of hostages by the terrorist group Hamas. The brutality of the attack is beyond comprehension. I stand firmly in the belief that Israel has the right to defend itself and indeed has a moral obligation to do so.
My desire for an immediate ceasefire is not out of some misguided belief that there would be a permanent end in the hostilities. No, I doubt that would be the case. Rather, this request is to allow more time for hostage negotiation; to provide an opportunity for those wanting out of Gaza to leave and for much needed humanitarian aid supplies to reach the innocent Palestinian people. In the name of humanity, we need to do all that we can to ensure more innocent civilians do not suffer – in Gaza – in Israel and throughout the world underscoring our collective responsibility to uphold the principles of humanity, dignity and protection for all.
Canada has announced that it is providing $50 million in funding for humanitarian assistance to address acute needs of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and neighbouring areas, while ensuring that none of the money goes into the hands of Hamas. This funding will help provide food, water, emergency medical assistance, protection services and other life-saving assistance.
On the weekend, Defence Minister Bill Blair that Ottawa has a “high degree of confidence that Israel did not strike the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza. In a statement, the Department of Defence noted: “Based on analysis of open source and classified reporting, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces assess that the strike was more likely caused by an errant rocket fired from Gaza. This assessment is informed by an analysis of the blast damage to the hospital complex, including adjacent buildings and the area surrounding the hospital, as well as the flight pattern of the incoming munition. Reporting from Canada’s allies corroborates DND/CAF’s findings.
I hope there is a road to peace, I hope no more innocent civilians suffer and those who want to leave can leave. I pray for the release of hostages and I hope humanitarian aid finds its way quickly to those in need.
Supporting Women Entrepreneurs
Last week marked Small Business Week, highlighting the importance of supporting Canada’s entrepreneurs, especially women, because an inclusive economy is a strong economy.
Through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), we’re providing nearly $3 million to the École des entrepreneurs du Québec (EEQ). This funding will help support three EEQ learning programs that will serve up to 1,800 women in Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
These initiatives build on the historic investments our government has made to support women, including legislating pay equity, enhancing the Canada Child Benefit, and more.
Our government is committed to increasing inclusion across Canada and supporting our local entrepreneurs.
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) Program
Canadian youth are among the brightest and hardest working in the world, and they are focused on building a better future for themselves and their community. That’s why, our government continues to invest in our youth to make sure they are connected to fulfilling employment opportunities.
Through our Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS), we’ve launched a call for proposals to help improve labour market outcomes for youth facing barriers to employment. The YESS program will fund organizations to deliver mentoring, skills development, paid work experiences, and more to young people.
To be eligible, organizations must offer activities with demonstrated effectiveness in addressing the needs of the targeted youth.
I encourage organizations to apply before the deadline of November 22, 2023.
Learn more about the application process here.
Enabling Accessibility Fund - Call for Proposals
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a time to acknowledge the importance of ensuring accessibility and the inclusion of persons with disability in the Canadian workforce.
We’ve launched the new Call for Proposals under the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) Mid-sized Projects. Eligible projects can receive between $500,000 and $3 million to improve accessibility and safety in communities and workplaces for persons with disabilities.
Virtual information sessions are available for interested organizations. To attend one, you can send an email to NC-HIP-PIP-EAF_ODI-GD@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca and specify your date, preferred language, and if you require accomodations. The dates available are:
- November 1, 2023, at 1:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time – English
- November 2, 2023, at 1:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time – French
- November 7, 2023, at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time – English
- November 8, 2023, at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time – French
The deadline to apply is December 13, 2023 at 5:00 PM EST.
Be Featured in my Calendar!
Do you have a favourite spot in Newmarket or Aurora? A place to connect with nature or hang out with friends and family? If you would like to share your happy place with others, then we have an opportunity for you.
Each fall my office creates a calendar that we distribute throughout the constituency, and this year’s theme is “favourite places in Newmarket-Aurora.” You can be a part of this by grabbing your camera or phone and snapping a pic of your go-to destination, and sending it along with a brief description (max 15 words).
Here are a few rules:
- Locations must be within the constituency of Newmarket-Aurora
- No low-resolution pics (minimum 2000 pixels wide)
- Photos must be the work of the sender
- Original pics only (no A.I. please)
- Ensure you have consent from all individuals in the photo.
Please submit your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than November 10, 2023.