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Results: 1 - 15 of 50
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—
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-05-03 11:15 [p.6497]
Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member on the great work in the budget regarding diabetes. I am so thankful. I know this is very important because it is a big burden on the health care system, as we know through the Diabetes Canada website, with $40 billion until 2026. This budget is a recovery plan for job growth and resilience, to finish the fight against COVID-19 to ensure that we—
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-04-27 15:07 [p.6250]
Mr. Speaker, Brampton has been one of the hardest-hit communities by the pandemic in Ontario. We have been on lockdown since November. Right now, we have a test positivity rate of 22% and the situation remains difficult. Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance tell this House how budget 2021 would help hot spots like Brampton get through the pandemic and help the community to recover once this pandemic is over?
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-04-14 14:11 [p.5554]
Mr. Speaker, April is a month when many faiths and cultural communities are celebrating important holidays.
The Grace United Church and other churches celebrated Easter. Gauri Shankar Mandir and other Mandirs celebrated Navratri. Tamil communities celebrate Puthandu today. Nepali celebrated the new year. Guru Nanak Langar and Sewa food bank delivered food to those in need as a way to celebrate Vaisakhi and demonstrate their selfless service. Taha Musalla, Masjid Mubarak and other mosques are safely observing Ramadan.
Throughout Brampton, culture and faith organizations are continuing to serve Bramptonians and find new ways, virtual ways, to connect with the community. Many Canadians are getting support from culture and faith organizations. I want to thank them and all front-line workers for the support they are providing in Brampton South and across Canada.
Throughout the COVID pandemic, we are fully reminded that diversity is our strength.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2021-03-25 14:01 [p.5259]
Madam Speaker, today, Greek Canadians celebrate their 200th anniversary of the Greek revolution. The Greek bicentennial is a time to remember and celebrate the outstanding contribution of Hellenic Canadians.
Today, I want to share a true Canadian story of the Dimakarakos family of Brampton. Steve Dimakarakos' father, Kyriakos, came to Canada in 1958 with his wife Georgia in search of a better life.
Kyriakos had a life-long career with CNR while being an active member of his church and community. His son Steve moved to Brampton in 1972. He and his three siblings went to university and made their contributions in small business, finance, the public sector and to community organizations. Eric, Ken and Stephanie continue this legacy and the next generation of the family Zara-Rose and Leo will see the CN Tower lit blue tonight.
Happy Greek independence day to Greek Canadians—
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