Wishing you a safe and healthy Canada Day
For another year, Canada Day will be different. Due to continuing pandemic restrictions, there will be no parade in Scarborough, and no national celebration on Parliament Hill. Instead, some will choose to gather together with family, for outdoor BBQs in their backyards. For others, it will be a more somber day.
Everyone will choose for themselves how to spend this Canada Day. For me, and I hope for you, it will be a day of reflection. I will reflect on the country that my family choose to make its home, and that has welcomed and embraced us and blessed us with opportunity. And I will reflect on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that, for me, defines this country and the values we as Canadians stand for at home, and around the world.
And I will reflect on how we haven’t always, as a country and a people, lived up to those values. Particularly with regards to Indigenous communities. We have been reminded in recent months that the horror of Residential Schools is still fresh, that we still must reckon with this shameful chapter in Canada’s history. On Canada Day, I will be reflecting on the long road to reconciliation, and how there is still so much work to do.
Back in 2015, the Prime Minister used to say that in Canada, better is always possible. And that remains just as true today. So on this Canada Day let’s recommit ourselves to this very Canadian quest, of working to build a better Canada for all her people.
Fighting Islamophobia and hate in Canada
The act of terror committed against a Muslim family in London, which appears to have been motivated by Islamophobia with the perpetrator allegedly targeting them because of their faith, has hit the Muslim community in Scarborough and across Canada hard.
As I said in my statement following the attack, we are reminded again that hatred exists in Canada. That Islamophobia exists in Canada. That terrorism exists in Canada. We are reminded that, for all the progress we have made, the progress we continue to make, that this is still part of our society too. We can’t turn our heads away. We cannot pretend otherwise.
I rose in the House of Commons to condemn the senseless terrorist act in London, and to ask Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Youth, how the government is tackling Islamophobia to create a safer and more inclusive Canada. In her answer to me, the Minister announced that this summer the government will lead a national summit on combatting Islamophobia. I will be working with her to ensure this summit is representative and effective.
Fighting online hate
The government also recently introduced new legislation designed to tackle the growing problem of online hate, Bill C-36. Too many people and communities in Canada are harmed and victimized by hate speech and hate crimes and we cannot and will not ignore the fact that the severity and frequency of these comments are amplified online.
Bill C-36 proposes amendments to the Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act to address hate speech and hate crimes. The proposed amendments aim to empower by assisting victims and by holding individuals accountable for the hatred they spread.
C-36 is an important first step in making our online public square safe The actions we are taking will help protect the vulnerable, empower those who are targeted and hold individuals to account for the hatred they spread online.
Walking in solidarity with #OurLondonFamily
My team partnered with the Scarborough Muslim Association to organize a community walk in solidarity with #OurLondonFamily, and I want to thank the hundreds of people that came out. It was heartwarming to see so many members of our diverse Scarborough family come out to walk against hatred and violence.
Following the walk, there were so many inspiring words from our speakers. Thank you to Yusaf Ingar, Qari Idrees Ingar, Maulana Kasim Ingar, Maulana Shoaib Wardak, Father Greg Carpenter, Riffat Kauser, Tanveer Ahmed, Deputy Consular General of Pakistan Junaid Wazir, Toronto Police Service 41 Division Superintendent Warren Wilson, Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson, MPP Mitzie Hunter and MP Jean Yip.
Remembering Saleh Hafejee
Recently, the Scarborough community lost a leader, a mentor, and a friend. I worked closely with Brother Saleh Hafejee in his different positions over the past years, including as president of the Scarborough Muslim Association. He was a dedicated community activist and leader who has always been there for the community, and a strong advocate for programs that empower and provide opportunity to youth. His sudden passing is a great loss. My deepest sympathy to his wife Fazila Hafejee, his sons Mohammed and Hafiz Abubakr and daughter Mariam Hafejee, and his grandchildren. And to all in the Scarborough community that are feeling his loss. I paid tribute to him in the House of Commons:
Highlighting services available to seniors in Scarborough
We recently held a virtual edition of our annual Scarborough Centre Seniors Fair, to help introduce seniors to the benefits and services available to them. We had presentations from Service Canada, Health Networks, and community organizations. If you missed it, you can watch the replay by clicking the image below.
Celebrating Filipino Heritage Month in Scarborough Centre
Maligayang Filipino Heritage Month! At the height of the pandemic and even now as we move towards recovery, the strong character of Filipinos shone through brightly as they carried out their duties as frontline and healthcare workers, as food bank helpers or when they contributed in whatever way they can to help others.
This year, we celebrated virtually again, and were joined by talented performers, frontline workers, and community leaders. Thank you to everyone who joined in our virtual Filipino Heritage Month celebration. If you missed it, you can click the image below for the replay.
Steps to reconciliation: Updating Canada’s citizenship oath and enshrining UNDRIP into law
The road to reconciliation is long and will not be easy, but our government is committed to walking the road of reconciliation with Indigenous communities and fulfilling the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that are within federal jurisdiction.
And two recommendations were fulfilled this month. With the passage of Bill C-8, Canada’s citizenship oath has bene updated to include a commitment to Indigenous, Inuit and Métis rights. This update will help new Canadians better understand the role of Indigenous peoples, the ongoing impact of colonialism and residential schools and our collective obligation to uphold the treaties.
And with the adoption of Bill C- 15 on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Canada has taken an important step forward for Canada, for Indigenous People and for reconciliation. The Declaration provides a roadmap to a better Canada. Its implementation will mark a new chapter in our collective history, one we will write together.
We know that it is the collaborative work following Royal Assent is where real progress on achieving the Declaration’s objectives will be made. That is why we look forward to championing that work by providing $31.5 million to support the co-development of an Action Plan with Indigenous partners to implement and achieve the objectives of the Declaration.
News: Canada’s oath of citizenship now recognizes First Nations, Inuit and Métis rights
Resource: Delivering on Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action
Helping Canadian businesses through the recovery
This month, our government announced the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which was developed to ensure small business owners have the support they need to get through the COVID-19 pandemic, rehire workers, and support their communities as we build back from this crisis.
We also announced that we will be extending several important supports, including the Wage Subsidy, Rent Subsidy, and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021,
Learn more: Government of Canada Announces Details of the New Canada Recovery Hiring Program and Extension of Business Support Programs
Creating the Canada Disability Benefit
Since 2015, our Government has worked tirelessly to lay a strong foundation that ensures the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, we know that the lives of persons with disabilities have been disproportionately impacted especially when it comes to health, social well-bring and financial security.
Canadians with disabilities are still twice as likely to live in poverty as those without disabilities, a situation that has been made worse by the impacts of the pandemic. As part of our plan to ensure an inclusive recovery that “leaves no one behind”, the Government introduced new legislation that would establish the framework for a new Canada Disability Benefit.
A cornerstone of our Disability Inclusion Action Plan, the Canada Disability Benefit would supplement, not replace, existing federal and provincial-territorial supports lifting hundreds of thousands of persons with disabilities out of poverty.
In the spirit of Nothing Without Us, we will work with the provinces and territories, and with the disability community through the summer and beyond to ensure that this benefit is designed with their needs in mind. The Canada Disability Benefit will help address the longstanding financial hardship felt by persons with disabilities, creating a more disability-inclusive economy and society
Find links below to learn more about Bill C-35 that would establish framework for a new Canada Disability Benefit, and how to participate in the public consultation.
News Release: Government of Canada introduces legislation to create the new Canada Disability Benefit
Consultation: Disability Inclusion Action Plan Survey
Support our community and #ShopLocal!
Small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities, and we need to make sure they can thrive as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. By buying local, we can help strengthen communities, support local jobs, grow the middle class, and help businesses keep their doors open while we finish the fight against this virus – and well after.
We've announced $33 million for the Shop Local Initiative, which encourages Canadians to support their local small businesses, helping them recover faster from the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will be provided through provincial and territorial chambers of commerce to help businesses attract new customers, raise consumer confidence, and encourage Canadians to buy local.
Learn more: Minister Ng announces Shop Local investment benefiting Canada’s small businesses
Legislating our commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050
Earlier this month, I was proud to vote in favour of Bill C-12, The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.
This is an important piece of legislation that will hold the federal government to its commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. I was glad to see it strengthened at committee, and it now includes:
✔️ A 2025 review of our 2030 target;
✔️ An interim emissions reduction objective for 2026;
✔️ The principle of progression for future targets; and
✔️ A codification of our new 2030 emissions reduction target, of a 40-45% reduction below 2005 levels.
This legislation is a win for Canadians who expect their Parliamentarians to have a real plan to fight climate change and build our economy. And despite their leader's supposed newfound commitment to combatting climate change, not a single a Conservative member voted in favour of this important piece of legislation.
I will keep fighting in Ottawa for progressive legislation that brings real and meaningful action on climate change, builds the green economy, and protects our natural environment for the next generation.
We will require 100% of car and passenger truck sales be zero-emission by 2035 in Canada
Accelerating the shift towards zero-emission vehicles is key to building a green economy and creating good jobs. This will help transition our economy to a cleaner future, with the goal of reaching net-zero by 2050.
To build a greener economy and help Canada meet its climate goals, our government is accelerating its 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales target from 2040 to 2035.
And to meet the accelerated zero-emission vehicle sales target, our government will pursue a combination of investments and regulations to help industry and Canadians transition to a cleaner future.
Recognizing that the automotive sector is integral to Canada’s economy, our government will work to support the industry’s move towards the adoption of zero-emission vehicles.
We will also work closely with the United States on increasing consumer availability of zero-emission vehicles. Given the integrated nature of the North American automotive market and the economic importance of Canada’s automotive sector, this will be done in a manner that protects Canada’s economic competitiveness.
Learn more: Building a green economy: Government of Canada to require 100% of car and passenger truck sales be zero-emission by 2035 in Canada