Trudeau asked for it and the government delivers: Relief fund matching program extended

In order to encourage more of these kinds of civil moments in our House of Commons, I highlight the following exchange from Question Period on Nov. 19 (my emphasis):

Mr. Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Lib.):  Mr. Speaker, all parliamentarians are united in expressing our sympathy to the people of the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.  Liberals wish to offer our full support for the $20 million in aid that the government has provided, in addition to matching private donations.    Given lessons we all learned from the tragedy in Haiti, would the government consider two other measures? Would it extend the deadline for matching funds until the end of the calendar year, and would it grant visa extensions for workers, students and temporary workers from the typhoon area?

 Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):     Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the support of the Liberal Party for this matter. I think it is a matter in which all Canadians are united. This is a humanitarian tragedy of immense dimensions that deeply touches Canadians across the country, and I can, of course, assure the hon. member that as we move forward we will apply the appropriate flexibility on all of these matters.

And here is today’s press release, under the name of International Development Minister Christian Paradis.
“As we approach Christmas, I encourage Canadians to keep donating to registered Canadian charities, and our government will match eligible donations, dollar-for-dollar, right up to December 23, 2013,” said Minister Paradis
If you can, please give. (Details on how to do so in the press release)

Harper's Asia Tour: Day 5 itinerary

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in the Philippines for the first time. He’s here just for the day — and it’s a busy one — before heading to Hong Kong tomorrow. Here’s what he’s up to on Saturday, Nov 10: 

All times Philippine Standard Time:

  • 1000: Prime Minister Harper and Laureen Harper lay a wreath at the Rizal Monument.
  • 1030: Prime Minister and Mrs. Harper arrive at the Malacanan Palace.
  • 1050: Prime Minister Harper meets with His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines.
  • 1140: Prime Minister Harper and President Aquino participate in a signing ceremony, followed by a joint media availability.
  • 1230: Prime Minister and Mrs. Harper participate in an Official Luncheon given by President Aquino
  • 1420: Prime Minister and Mrs. Harper tour Fort Santiago.
  • 1600: Prime Minister Harper hosts a roundtable discussion with business leaders.

Harper heads to India, Philippines and Hong Kong

Harper at the Golden Temple
Prime Minister Stephen Harper (wearing the blue tie) visited the holiest of Sikh sites, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, during his 2009 visit to India. Harper returns to India next week. Harper will be in the Punjab midweek but will visit Chandrigarh instead of Amritsar (AKIN)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has firmed up his itinerary for travel next week in Asia, announcing Wednesday that he will stop in the Philippines and Hong Kong.

I’ll be among a large group of reporters from the Parliamentary Press Gallery tagging along to cover the trip. Continue reading Harper heads to India, Philippines and Hong Kong

Meanwhile in the South China Sea: China moves its warships

Hong Kong’s largest circulation English daily newspaper reports:

China has sent five warships to the disputed Scarborough Shoal off the west coast of the Philippines with the warning that Beijing is ready for “any escalation” of the conflict. Continue reading Meanwhile in the South China Sea: China moves its warships