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Results: 1 - 15 of 54
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-06-22 19:02 [p.9009]
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to speak today in support of Bill S-205, which calls for the creation of a parliamentary visual artist laureate.
I want to thank my colleague from Cumberland—Colchester for bringing this important bill to the House of Commons. I would also like to thank Senator Bovey for introducing the bill and for the role it would play in promoting the arts across Canada. Senator Bovey has had a long career as a promoter of the arts, and we would all be hard pressed to find anyone who matches her expertise in this field. She previously called for this in a bill introduced in the last session of this Parliament, as did Senator Wilfred Moore in 2018. Twice it has successfully passed the Senate and made it to the House, so let us work together to pass Bill S-205 in this House.
Similar to the poet laureate, this would be a non-partisan officer of Parliament in the Library of Parliament tasked by this institution with promoting the arts throughout the country by fostering knowledge, enjoyment, awareness and development of the arts. The position comes with a wide mandate, as the visual arts can include drawing, painting, sculpture, print making, crafts, photography, videography and filmmaking. The mandate would be to promote the arts in Canada through Parliament by producing or commissioning artistic creations. At the request of the Speaker of either House, he or she could produce artistic creations for use in Parliament or on occasions of state. The artist laureate could also sponsor artistic events and give advice to the Library of Parliament regarding the library's collection and acquisitions to enrich the library’s cultural holdings.
Like other countries, Canada finds itself in a place where we are looking back at our history and reconsidering whom we choose to commemorate and celebrate. This is why I particularly appreciate the fact that the bill specifies that the final laureate must be chosen from a list that reflects Canada's diversity. If this bill is passed, over time we will find ourselves with laureates representing the many cultures that exist within Canada: anglophones, francophones, indigenous people, newcomers, men and women, and people of all backgrounds working in all mediums of the visual arts.
The arts community often runs on a not-for-profit basis and often needs the support of government institutions and grants. Our government provides funding for the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada, the National Film Board, CBC/Radio-Canada and other institutions that cultivate our artists and bring them to the world stage. In 2017, the government announced an additional investment of $300 million over 10 years for the Canada cultural spaces fund, more than doubling the program's annual budget until 2028. As well, budget 2019 included additional investments to support arts, culture and celebration through five Department of Canadian Heritage programs, and to support arts presentation. This is one more way we can show our support for the industry.
The pandemic has been difficult for the entire arts community. Museums and galleries had to close their doors, and artists' businesses slowed. However, many have embraced the new challenges that this represents and found news ways to deliver their programming online, and our government has been there to support many of them.
In my community, the Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives, known as PAMA, features a variety of permanent and touring exhibits of paintings, photography, sculpture, historical artifacts, and also serves as the main cultural archives for our region. It showcases historical and modern indigenous artwork, artifacts of local history, pieces by local artists and much more.
Last October, PAMA received a grant of $100,000 so they would have the resources to continue their work in preserving our local heritage during the pandemic. It was also just recently announced that they would receive $800,000 from the federal government to make much-needed infrastructure improvements to their facility.
In my community, there are many initiatives that promote the creation of arts by members of many diverse communities. The International Film Festival of South Asia is one such example. As the largest South Asian film festival in North America, IFFSA is an outstanding platform for local artists to showcase their talents. The festival is not only limited to movies. This festival has a deep social role promoting civic engagement and culture dialogue.
In my riding of Brampton South, the arts sector is also supported through other federal initiatives such as the Canada summer jobs program. Summer jobs in the arts are supported through the Beaux Arts Brampton gallery, right in downtown Brampton, and the Arts and Culture Initiative of South Asia. Perhaps artists who come up through the Peel Art Gallery, or any of these other local programs, would one day find themselves as the parliamentary visual artist laureate.
Art, in all its forms, has the potential to be both a reflection of a society and a reflection of its strength and weakness. It is a manifestation of our hopes and dreams, as well as our daily struggles. Through paint or stone, artists do not just open themselves up to us, they open us up to ourselves.
I am looking forward to not only the passage of this bill, but also the great works of art that would be promoted by our nation's future laureates.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-06-09 15:08 [p.8161]
Mr. Speaker, in my community, diabetes affects one in six Bramptonians, and across the country there are 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. They are at risk of serious complications such as heart and kidney disease, blindness, amputation and many others. They have been hit hard by this pandemic.
As Canada recognizes the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, could the Prime Minister tell us what the government is doing to help people living with diabetes?
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-27 15:05 [p.7504]
Mr. Speaker, after a difficult pandemic, almost 70% of adults in Peel have received their first dose. However, these vaccines are not made in Canada, and Canadians want a reliable domestic supply of vaccines so we are not dependent on foreign manufacturing.
Can the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry tell this House how our government is working to strengthen domestic vaccine manufacturing in order to improve our security and make us more resilient and independent for any future pandemic?
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-26 19:01 [p.7411]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to speak in support of my bill today. I want to start by thanking my colleague for Beaches—East York who generously gave up his slot so we could complete debate on this bill.
I also want to thank everyone who supported my private member's bill, Bill C-237, an act to establish a national framework for diabetes in Canada, and all members who contributed to the debate on this bill.
I would especially like to thank the organizations that have helped to support the bill: Diabetes Canada, JDRF, Diabetes Action Canada, the CNIB and many more organizations. I would like to thank researchers, like Dr. Peter Senior from the University of Alberta and Dr. Ken Cloth from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, not just for supporting the bill but for the hard work they do fighting diabetes that will some day lead to a cure.
Locally, I would like to thank people like Mayor Brown and the Brampton Council, Mayor Crombie of Mississauga, our Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, and the CEO of William Osler Health System, Dr. Naveed Mohammad. They know how important this issue is in our community and across Canada.
I know that when we pass the bill and send it to the Senate it will have just as much support there. I give thanks for the support of senators Marie-Françoise Mégie, Nancy Hartling, Patricia Bovey and many others. With a national framework for diabetes we can introduce a nation-wide effort to prevent, treat and finally end diabetes. If we pass this framework, it will help millions of Canadians living with pre-diabetes or diabetes.
A national framework for diabetes must identify the training, education and best practices of health care and other professionals who treat diabetes. It must improve data collection and promote information and knowledge-sharing in relation to diabetes prevention and treatment. It must take into consideration any existing frameworks, especially those that focus on addressing health inequalities. Finally, it must fund and promote research that will one day lead to a cure.
Last week, I met with Laura from Ottawa west, Nepean. She is a 23-year old who has been living with diabetes type I since she was seven years old. She spoke about how there were early signs. Her teachers and parents did not immediately recognize it for what it was. This is why we need to improve education and awareness so that everyone can recognize the early signs and get treated accordingly.
I also met with Dr. Cathy Felderhof from Cape Breton Island, who told me about the challenges of providing care for rural indigenous people and how diabetes interacts with mental health and other social factors of health. It is so important that experts like her and doctors who treat a variety of patients in the regions across Canada are brought together to help develop this strategy.
Indigenous populations face many factors, including socio-economic factors, that contribute to high rates of diabetes and create barriers to accessing proper treatment. In my city of Brampton, one in six community members has diabetes or pre-diabetes. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the challenges faced by people living with diabetes who are at an increased risk of developing severe symptoms. Economic insecurity, lack of physical activity and struggles with mental health during this pandemic have all had a negative impact on those living with diabetes.
Treating diabetes is expected to cost the health care system in Canada almost $40 billion by 2028. This projected cost is concerning and it could be reduced if we pass Bill C-237 into law. A national framework for diabetes would provide guidelines to address diabetes and invest in prevention and education about the disease and in data collection. With this framework, we can see valuable input from stakeholders such as Diabetes Canada, JDRF and programs such as Diabetes 360°. This year, we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto by Sir Frederick Banting and his colleagues. Canada gave insulin to the world. It is time for Canada to once again lead the way in the fight against diabetes.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-11 16:17 [p.7074]
Mr. Speaker, this past year has been challenging for all Canadians. Today it is my honour to represent Brampton South to speak in support of Bill C-30, the budget 2021 implementation act. In budget 2021, the priority is to support Canadians through the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and create more jobs and prosperity for all Canadians across the country.
This budget outlines the many challenges Canadians have faced throughout the past year and recognizes that Canadians need support in order to recover financially from the pandemic. As more people are eligible to get vaccinated, businesses are still in need of support to make it through this third wave of the pandemic. That is why this government is extending business and income support initiatives through to the fall.
I would like to focus on some key areas for my community. During the series of pre-budget consultations, I met with many businesses and many seniors from Brampton, including organizations such as CARP, the International Seniors Club, Young at Heart Seniors and others. With budget 2021, Brampton seniors will not be left behind. Many seniors find it difficult to adjust their financial situation after retirement, especially in the pandemic.
This is why the government is providing a one-time payment of $500 this summer to those aged 75 years and older as of June 2022. It is essential aid for seniors who have been impacted by COVID-19. Old age security benefits will also be increased by 10% for seniors over 75, and will be adjusted annually for inflation. All of these actions proposed in budget 2021 will help our seniors live more independent lives and have a dignified retirement.
One of my constituents, Myrna Adams, who is a member of our local CARP chapter, requested that more action be taken to prevent elder abuse in Canada. I am happy to report to my constituents, and to all Canadians watching, that budget 2021 will provide funding for the Public Health Agency of Canada to design and deliver interventions that prevent family violence, including elder abuse. Budget 2021 was designed with the feedback of many seniors from Brampton and across Canada. This pandemic has shown us just how important it is to protect our loved ones and community members.
Some of the people hardest hit by COVID-19 are women, especially low-income women. More than 16,000 women have left the workforce, while more than 91,000 men have re-entered. In order to recover from this pandemic, we need women in the workforce.
Access to affordable child care has been a top priority in my riding of Brampton South this past year. With school closures and many parents still needing to go to work, finding affordable child care for their children has been a struggle. In urban centres such as Brampton, many young families are struggling with increases in the cost of living, including child care. This is not only a social issue but also an economic problem. If parents are unable to work because they cannot afford care for their children, they lose out on their full potential for contributing to the economy.
Proposed in budget 2021 are supports for parents and more affordable options when it comes to child care. The proposed Canada-wide early learning and child care system will help to ensure that all families, no matter their socio-economic background, have access to child care across the country and will increase women’s participation in the workforce.
Not only do children need access to high quality education and affordable care systems, but so do our youth. When the pandemic hit last year, young Canadians were among the hardest hit demographics, experiencing more job loss than any other age group. The mental well-being of youth has been an issue that my riding has taken very seriously over the past year. Being isolated from their peers, attending online school and experiencing the stress of finding summer jobs have affected young people greatly.
In budget 2021, the federal government is investing $5.7 billion over the next five years to help youth by creating more job opportunities and providing them with the ability to finish and further their education. The government's overwhelming support for young Canadians has been apparent over the last year: $7.4 billion was spent on youth when COVID-19 hit Canada last year to help young Canadians through this difficult time as well as create more opportunities for them to get meaningful work experience while supporting small businesses.
Making education a little more affordable is a pillar of this budget. Waiving interest on student loans for another year is giving students an opportunity to save money and not worry about making additional payments. Summer employment opportunities have been increased, with 75,000 job placements in 2022-23 through the Canada summer jobs program.
In my riding, over 600 young Canadians will be employed through Canada summer jobs and my riding will benefit with over $2.7 million. This will ensure that students are securing job opportunities for the summer and learning important skills and gaining work experience. Students and young Canadians will benefit from the new Canada recovery hiring program. By offering small businesses the ability to hire more people faster, this in turn will help young Canadians looking for summer jobs.
Our government recognizes infrastructure investments create good jobs and build healthy communities. It is the right time to start investing in Canadian communities for the economy to recover from this pandemic.
I know that in the coming years, my community will benefit from some recent infrastructure investments the government has made. This includes over half a million dollars to create a youth hub at the South Fletcher's Sportsplex; upgrading The Rose theatre and making it more accessible, with a grant of over $2 million; $35 million in safe restart funding to support the city of Brampton; a grant of $38 million for flood mitigation that will allow us to protect and transform our downtown Brampton and build the city’s transformative Riverwalk project; more transit funding like we saw last summer, where the federal government invested millions of dollars to upgrade Brampton’s transit system; and the largest federal housing investment ever made in Peel Region of $276 million, which will create 2,200 much needed affordable housing units.
These are just some of the most recent investments from our federal government. I know there is more coming in the budget and Bramptonians look forward to seeing their fair share of investments.
Finally, I would like to thank the government for using the budget to recognize that 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin in Canada, with a commitment to establish a national framework for diabetes. Members of the House know I have long advocated for this to help the 11 million Canadians living with diabetes and pre-diabetes. With a focused strategy, we can help them all and perhaps find our way to a cure.
Brampton is a community of essential workers. Many of my constituents work in health care, manufacturing, food processing, distribution, transportation and other essential industries. I extend my thanks to all of them for the hard work they have continued to do over the last year. Throughout the pandemic, they had to continue going to work to keep our supply chain running so the rest of us could stay safe.
I thank all essential workers in Brampton and across Canada who have had to work in essential roles. The Government of Canada has their backs. This bill is essential to restarting the economy and ensuring that no Canadian is left behind. Since the start of the pandemic, it has been this government’s priority to protect the health and safety of all Canadians, help businesses endure COVID-19 restrictions and ensure we have a plan in place for a strong economic recovery. This bill would do just that.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-11 16:28 [p.7076]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her passion for seniors. Our government values the contributions that seniors have made and continue to make to our communities. We have taken action to combat poverty, including poverty among seniors.
We are helping the seniors who need it most, those over 75, who may have taken some time to adjust their spending in retirement and have discovered they need extra support.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-11 16:29 [p.7076]
Mr. Speaker, for long-term care, our government is there to help seniors. Our policies are also showing positive results as 25% fewer seniors live in poverty than when we took office in 2015. That is a direct result of the good work our government has undertaken, including restoring the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS to 65 years, and increasing the GIS for the most vulnerable single seniors.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-11 16:31 [p.7076]
Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague mentioned child care. The status of women committee has been studying issues to do with the effects of the pandemic on women and children.
When it comes to the fiscal sustainability of our budget, it is important for Canadians to know that the Government of Canada supported over 9 million Canadians through CERB, as an example, but there have been many other supports. A week after we delivered the budget, S&P Global reaffirmed Canada's AAA rating, saying that it expected the Canadian economy would post a strong recovery.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-07 11:15 [p.6895]
Mr. Speaker, as Mother’s Day is this Sunday, I want to highlight the contributions that mothers make every day. Although they often go without credit, mothers are the real heroes. A mother can take the place of all others, but nobody can take a mother's place.
I want to thank my own mother, who taught me the value of helping those in need. She is fighting a battle against cancer. Her strength inspires me. I know how much you are going through, mom. I am because of your values, resilience and strength, which only a mother could teach.
My message to all mothers is to take care of yourselves. We are often too busy taking care of our children, parents and families. We often forget about our own health, including mental health. You deserve to take care of yourselves.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-04 15:04 [p.6629]
Mr. Speaker, last week the Conservatives chose to spend their opposition day debating vaccine and timeline facts. Let us be clear: We are all focused on ensuring everyone has access to a vaccine as quickly as possible and we have seen that. Rather than presenting us with an honest debate, members opposite proposed magical timelines showing yet again how out of touch with reality they are.
Can the minister provide Canadians with vaccine facts they can trust for today and going forward?
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-03 11:03 [p.6495]
moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.
She said: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to speak on my private member's bill, Bill C-237, an act to establish a national framework for diabetes in Canada.
I want to begin by thanking the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, who generously traded his slot so we could begin third reading on this bill today. I would also like to thank all my colleagues in the Standing Committee on Health who unanimously supported this bill in March.
As members of this House know, 2021 is the year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin by Sir Frederick Banting and his colleagues at the University of Toronto. This is still recognized as one of the greatest achievements of medicine in the 20th century and made them the first Canadians to win a Nobel Prize. It has been inspiring to see how the world has recognized this monumental achievement.
On April 14, the University of Toronto hosted 100 years of insulin symposium, which drew more than 6,000 attendees from around the world. This was also the occasion where Canada Post chose to unveil a new stamp that features a quote from Banting's unpublished journal, in his own handwriting, as well as the original insulin bottle with a red cap. I was proud to advocate for the creation of a stamp like this, as it serves both as a celebration of the achievement and as a reminder that the search for a cure continues.
On the same day, the Minister of Health opened the World Health Organization's summit to launch a Global Diabetes Compact, which seeks to improve the diagnosis rate and care for people living with diabetes. She highlighted this bill and said:
Canada has a proud history of diabetes research and innovation. From the discovery of insulin in 1921 to one hundred years later, we continue working to support people living with diabetes. But we cannot take on diabetes alone. We must each share knowledge and foster international collaboration to help people with diabetes live longer, healthier lives — in Canada and around the world.
The director general of the WHO said:
The number of people with diabetes has quadrupled in the last 40 years. It is the only major noncommunicable disease for which the risk of dying early is going up, rather than down. ...The Global Diabetes Compact will help to catalyze political commitment for action to increase the accessibility and affordability of life-saving medicines for diabetes and also for its prevention and diagnosis.
This is why now is the time for all levels of government in Canada to work with stakeholders and create our own strategy to fight and ultimately end this disease, one that coordinates funding for awareness, prevention, education, data collection, treatment and research that will improve health outcomes for all Canadians and one day lead to a cure.
Diabetes rates are three times to four times higher among first nations than among the general Canadian population. Furthermore, indigenous individuals are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a younger age than other individuals.
In my own community of Brampton, every sixth resident has diabetes or prediabetes. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the challenges faced by people living with diabetes, who are at an increased risk of developing severe symptoms and dying from this infectious disease. Furthermore, the economic insecurity, lack of physical activity and mental health struggles associated with the pandemic all have a negative impact on those living with diabetes.
A national framework for diabetes would provide a common direction for all stakeholders to address diabetes and other chronic diseases with the same common risk factors. It would enhance coordinated efforts across federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions and provide a mechanism for tracking and reporting on progress.
The government needs to conduct its own consultation and stakeholder engagement. However, one proposed strategy that could be taken into consideration for the national framework, and which has been considered by the health committee, is diabetes 360°. This was developed in collaboration with more than 120 stakeholders and has strong support not only from the entire diabetes community but also from other key health stakeholders.
I would like to thank all the individuals and organizations that have supported this bill and helped it come together. That support means a lot to me and I know it will make a difference in the lives of 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes.
Back in the spring of 2019, I was proud to bring forward the unanimously supported motion to declare November as Diabetes Awareness Month in Canada, but now it is time for more than awareness. It is time for action. Canada, 100 years ago, made the biggest leap in the treatment of diabetes.
Let us pass Bill C-237 today and send it to the Senate. I am very hopeful that passing this bill will help millions of Canadians who are fighting this disease. Canada gave insulin to the world. Why can we not lead the way?
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-03 11:10 [p.6496]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member, who I serve with on the health committee, for her leadership. The government, of course, needs to conduct its own consultation and engage stakeholders. Diabetes Canada has done great work in putting together its 360° strategy. I hope the minister will take this work into consideration when crafting an official framework, as well as the other testimony and recommendations found in our HESA report. She was in the committee when we did the HESA report. It was a great report.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-03 11:12 [p.6496]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Diabetes Québec association. While I recognize my colleague's interest in creating health transfers to the provinces, during the pandemic the federal government has been there to support that. This includes over $19 billion in the safe restart agreement. It was announced that an additional $4 billion would be given to the provinces through the Canada health transfer and another $1 billion to help with the vaccine rollout. We have stepped up to help all provinces, including Quebec. We will work Diabetes Québec and all provinces. As I said in my bill, we will work with the Diabetes Québec association, provinces and territories—
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-03 11:13 [p.6497]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for sharing her story and for her advocacy. I agree that no Canadian should have to choose between paying for prescription medication and necessities, like rent or putting food on the table. I would like to remind the member that since taking office, this government has taken historic action to lower drug prices, including by introducing new rules for patent drugs so Canadians can buy their medicine easily. We need to do a lot more. I thank the member for sharing her story and for her advocacy for her constituents. We will work together to pass this bill—
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