Madam Speaker, I want to begin by acknowledging that I am speaking to members from Scarborough—Rouge Park, the traditional lands of many indigenous nations, most recently of the Mississaugas of the Credit. I will be speaking in support of Bill C-30, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021.
Before I go deeper into the budget, I want to reflect on the past few weeks. It has been a difficult few weeks for many in our country, and I think it is safe to say that our hearts ache on a number of different fronts.
First and foremost, learning of the graves of 215 children in Kamloops has really opened existing wounds and has shaken us up in a way things have rarely shaken us. This is a moment in time when all of us need to come together and ensure that there is justice, accountability and reflection. There is also a real commitment to ensure that all of the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report are implemented.
There are sadly going to be other findings along the way, and I think in order for us to have closure, in order for us to truly live up to the past and move forward, we need to support indigenous-led initiatives that will commemorate and remember, and that will ensure that the children are brought home. I send my heartfelt condolences to the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc people and I want to assure them that I, along with my colleagues in the House, will continue to work to support them and others in these efforts.
Just last week, I sadly attended another memorial, in London, Ontario, to pay respects to the Afzaal family. I was joined by members from all parties and leaders from across different levels of government, but most importantly the members of the Muslim community in London.
The Afzaal family were walking, like most of us have relearned to do over the past 18 months or so. They were going on an evening walk and they were sadly mowed down by a terrorist, by someone who espoused so much hate. I do not even know if I could fathom the level of hate this individual had to do this to this family, but more broadly, to attack us as Canadians. When we see an attack on one individual community or family, it really is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the values that we espouse.
Sadly, it did not stop there. We know that incidents of Islamophobia have been on the rise exponentially over the past several days. We have seen incidents in Edmonton, as my friend from Edmonton Riverbend just referenced. We have seen daily microaggressions toward many friends, colleagues and others we may have worked with. This is a real moment for us to reflect on the level of hate speech, the level of hate propaganda on social media. We know that incidents of anti-Semitism are on the rise.
This is a moment for us to reflect and make sure that we do better and we collectively work together, that we do not use race and these differences as wedge issues, but rather as issues that we can all come together to fight against as a common good. I sincerely hope that we have turned the page in our Parliament where we can do that. I hope to work across the aisle with my friends opposite to do that.
On a very personal note, I must thank all those colleagues who are not going to be running again in the next election. Most importantly, I want to acknowledge and thank my good friend from Mississauga—Malton, the former minister of innovation, for his extraordinary guidance for me personally and the doors that he opened for me to ensure my success. I want to pay particular respect and thank him and his extraordinary family, Bram, Kirpa, Nanki, Poppa Bains and Momma Bains, for all they have done.
In his speech, he reflected on the issue of identity, on the issue of being Sikh and being able to practise his faith and live day to day as a Sikh with enormous and extraordinary challenges, and yet he has overcome so many and has led us in ways that I do not have time to describe here.
I do want to get to the budget, and I want to talk about something that has been very important for the people of Scarborough. Scarborough region used to be its own municipality prior to amalgamation with the broader city of Toronto. We have a population of roughly 630,000 people. We are represented by six parliamentarians; we call them the Scarborough caucus. We have set out since 2015 to prioritize one singular ask, which is additional support for transit.
The Scarborough region has not had any higher levels of transit built in a generation. The last project, the rapid transit, the LRT, is coming to an end in 2023. It is broken down. It is far past its best-before date, and it is fair to say that it is not serving the people of Scarborough.
In 2015, Scarborough Agincourt was represented by Arnold Chan. We got together and said we absolutely needed to make sure that we built higher orders of transit. At that time, the singular project that was in the pipeline, with almost a 10-year debate behind it, was the Scarborough subway extension. It was initially a three-stop subway. It became a four-stop subway, then a two-stop subway, and finally here we are today and we were recently able to announce a federal investment of $2.25 billion into a three-stop line, which will start construction before the end of the year, and we are hopeful that it will be constructed by 2030. That is the timeline that has been provided.
This is a game-changer. This is very important, and this is an important investment in the people of Scarborough, all the hard-working people. Scarborough had one of the most affected populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have had so many issues of riders, essential workers, going downtown in crammed buses and being affected disproportionately to the population. I believe this is a very important investment.
As much as this is important, this is not the end for us. Scarborough as a region will require additional supports in terms of infrastructure, and that is why this budget is so important, as it outlines a mechanism through the permanent public transit funding that would enable places like Scarborough to build. I am looking forward to supporting the construction of the Eglinton East LRT as the next project.
I look forward to the questions and answers today.