Bridge-Building Aboriginal Youth Initiative Kicks Off
MP Bruce Hyer joins other Canadians to ‘walk a mile in their shoes’ in remote fly-in reserve
June 17, 2013
THUNDER BAY – MP Bruce Hyer joined 25 other Canadians today flying to Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI), a remote First Nation community 600 km north of Thunder Bay. The initiative, started by KI youth, will give participants the opportunity to live in the community with KI families and firsthand experience of everyday life on the reserve.
“This innovative program will help bring together Canadians from different walks of life,” said Hyer, Independent MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North. “It gives ordinary citizens the chance to understand the challenges faced by First Nations peoples living in remote communities. I’ve paddled the Fawn and Severn Rivers, and am eager to get to know people the who have lived off the land there for thousands of years. I look forward to walking a mile in their shoes and hope to learn not just about the challenges they face, but also their hopes and ideas.”
Like many reserves in Northwestern Ontario, KI is facing unique challenges such as:
• A high cost of basic supplies & groceries. For example, three bags of 2% milk at $14 or $2/L gas;
• An elevated rate of youth suicide, averaging 5-6 times that of non-Aboriginal youth;
• A 200+ name waiting list for housing, in a community of approximately 1,400;
• Flooding exacerbating drinking water and housing challenges.
“We are a poor people. Only few of us are fortunate enough to move from poverty to middle
class,” said Justin Beardy, a KI youth leader with the initiative. “And with this, I am extending an invitation to Canadians to my home, so you may see; even with what little we have, we are still willing to share. I would like for you to see the beauty of our land and our culture. To see from your eyes and your hearts that we are rich. Not in the terms of money, but heritage.”
National Aboriginal Day is Friday, June 21st.
Hyer and Transport Action's Gormick Release Report on Rail Renaissance Along North Shore
“National Dream Renewed” Initiative Pushes for Return of Passenger Rail to Thunder Bay
June 14, 2013
THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay–Superior North MP Bruce Hyer and Greg Gormick, Project Facilitator for Transport Action’s National Dream Renewed campaign, released Hyer’s Independent Members’ report today chronicling the decline of passenger rail along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The report, A Wedding Band of Confederation: Restoring Rail Passenger Service to Ontario’s North Shore and Across Canada, encourages engagement by citizens and town governments to get the region back on track.
“Lake Superior’s North Shore lost its last train in 1990 when the Conservative government cut VIA’s Canadian route through Thunder Bay,” Hyer said. “It was VIA’s most popular and most profitable route, and with good reason: the spectacular journey along the beautiful North Shore was a tourist draw in and of itself. But after years of reckless government cuts, Superior North has been left without rail transport and residents are forced to bear the economic consequences.”
Hyer hosted a Thunder Bay Town Hall on passenger rail with Gormick in November, which was attended by over 100 residents.
“Every single person at that town hall said the restoration of passenger rail to the North Shore is vital to boosting economic diversification and tourism in the region,” Hyer said. “Bringing back passenger rail would be cost-effective, bringing in significant revenues for VIA and providing enormous benefits to the Canadian economy. Seniors who don’t drive and those with medical appointments especially want and need it.”
Hyer, who served previously as President of the North of Superior Tourism Association (NOSTA) and on the board of directors of Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters Association (NOTO) has long championed the restoration of passenger rail to Thunder Bay and the surrounding region.
“One MP alone cannot win the battle,” Gormick said. “Hyer’s initiative must be accompanied by a public campaign to reinvigorate VIA rail and passenger train travel in Canada. This report provides a clear analysis of the failures of successive governments to support passenger rail, and lays out a clear plan to reinvigorate train transportation in this country.”
“The battle for a modern, sustainable and nationwide passenger service to meet the needs of Canadians is just beginning,” Gormick added.”
[read more & download report]
Statement on National Day of the Honeybee
MP calls for recognition of agriculture's unsung heroes
May 29, 2013
OTTAWA — Bruce Hyer, Independent MP for Thunder Bay - Superior North, today joined 185 Canadian municipalities and three provinces in celebrating the Day of the Honeybee. In a statement to the House of Commons, Hyer also called on MPs to support efforts to have the day proclaimed as the National Day of the Honeybee.
Hyer's statement on Day of the Honeybee in Parliament:
"There's more than just honey that comes from honey bees. One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators – especially honey bees. Many crops rely completely on them. In Canada, over two billion dollars in agricultural production depend on the honey bee.
But bees are dying and disappearing in record numbers. Pesticides, parasites and pathogens are killing one third of all colonies every year, and it’s getting worse.
Mr. Speaker, a threat to the honey bee is a threat to our food… and to us all.
Today is the Day of the Honey Bee in 185 municipalities and 3 provinces, including Thunder Bay.
I hope that Members of this House will join me in supporting efforts to make May 29th our National Day of the Honey Bee. I invite Thunder Bay citizens to join me this Saturday for Day of the Honey Bee celebrations at the Thunder Bay Country Market.”
Support The Cell Phone Freedom Act
Got a cell phone? If you're like most Canadians, you didn't know you're locked into using only your carrier's network - you can't just switch your phone to another company, even if you're not on a contract. That's because your phone is "network locked" to work only on the cell network of the company you bought it from. This limits your choices as a consumer and restricts competition, resulting in higher prices and worse service.
We can change that with the Cell Phone Freedom Act, which mandates that phones must be unlocked - free of charge - outside of contract whenever a customer requests it.
Add the web badge above to your blog or website and link back to the site.
Success! Thousands of Canadians wrote, called, and sent in petitions which Bruce Hyer tabled in Parliament. Even though the Harper Government wasn't listening, the CRTC was. In May 2013 a new Mandatory Code of Conduct was announced, to take effect Deceber 2nd, 2013. Finally, after years of campaigning, Canadian cell phones are to be unlocked.
Passenger Rail for the Northwest
Thirty years ago, a world-famous passenger rail route passed through Thunder Bay on its way across the spectacular North Shore of Lake Superior. It was an important component of the local economy and a vital transport link for thousands of tourists and residents. Unfortunately, it was cut in 1990, despite being one of VIA’s busiest train routes at the time.
At a time of cutbacks to passenger bus service, rising fuel costs in the region, and when local towns are trying to diversify their economies, a passenger rail transport option for people and businesses just makes sense. Join the campaign to Revive Superior Rail
Help Make Parliament Work Better
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The Diamond Jubilee Medal
Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North accepted nominations for the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal until August 30, 2012. There are many deserving local heroes who have contributed to building a better community, region and country.
Recipients were selected by a panel of independent judges, and received their awards at a special ceremony on November 30, 2012. To be eligible for the award, nominees had to have been a resident of Thunder Bay-Superior North, must have been alive on February 2, 2012 and must have made a significant contribution to their community, to Northwestern Ontario, or to Canada. The public was invited to submit all nomination forms to Bruce’s constituency office no later than midnight on August 30, 2012.Click here for more information and the nomination form
(nominations now closed)
Please join Bruce in honouring exceptional local heroes who have selflessly dedicated their time and effort over the years to make their community, Thunder Bay-Superior North, and Canada a better place for us all.
Stand up for Northern Ontario
The government is redrawing Canada's ridings, and Northern Ontarians may lose their voice in Parliament
Electoral districts (ridings) across Canada are being redistributed, changing district boundaries and increasing the number of seats in the House of Commons. This new redistribution process may give big-city Ontario as many as 15 additional MPs, while threatening to take a seat away from the North. In the last seat redistribution in 2004, Northern Ontario’s representation was cut from 11 to 10 MPs. We can't afford to let them silence the voices of Northern Ontario voters again.
Success! Thanks in part to so many Northern Ontarians participating in the campaign, the new Federal Electoral District Redistribution Map for Northern Ontario has been kept at 10 seats!
Disclosure of MP Expenses - click here