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Results: 1 - 15 of 44
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-11-24 14:02 [p.9973]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday Canada played its first World Cup game in 36 years. What a game. I think everyone can agree that Canada played stronger. Yesterday Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Jonathan Osorio, Iké Ugbo, David Junior Hoilett, Liam Millar and team captain, Atiba Hutchinson, showcased their talent on the field. In our city, they are hometown heroes. They found their passion, and now they are running with it.
Many of Canada's soccer stars start their journey with local clubs like Brams United and Brampton Soccer Club. They enrich our communities and help our youth build stronger bonds. On behalf of the residents in Brampton, I want to send the national soccer team our best wishes and good luck at the World Cup.
Go, Canada, go.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-11-16 15:12 [p.9560]
Mr. Speaker, we know that the Canada-wide early learning and child care system is now up and running across the country. Families in my home province of Ontario are already seeing the benefits of the significant investments that Canada and the province are making.
Can the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development update the House on the progress that Ontario has reached as this national system continues to build out?
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-11-16 17:32 [p.9585]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House on behalf of the residents of Brampton South in favour of the fall economic statement, as tabled by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
The past two years have been challenging for residents in Brampton and for all Canadians. We worked together and Canadians rolled up their sleeves to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the government is focused on supporting Canadians who need it while ensuring inclusive economic growth.
As the Deputy Prime Minister said, this is about building an economy that works for everyone from coast to coast to coast. It is a plan that will set Canada up for success and it is a plan that is balanced, targeted and responsible.
Already, as a country, we have the lowest deficit and the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7, as well as an AAA credit rating. Our economic engine in Canada is strong, but there are challenges on the horizon due to global inflation. This is why we need to take targeted steps. When I talk with parents, families, seniors and youth in my riding, I hear they are grateful that this government is taking targeted action to make sure Canadians in all our communities are supported.
The programs announced in this fall economic statement add to the series of recent announcements over the past months. These supports have already been reaching Canadians, and I want to begin with some perspective that leads us to where we are today. Recently, I was speaking with a single senior who lives in downtown Brampton. She told me about how impactful the increase to the old age security pension has been, as it is giving her greater peace of mind. I met her at an art class supported by the federal government. She also told me that she is looking forward to the eventual rollout of the dental care program, which will cover Canadians who need it.
On that point, I have served proudly on the health committee since 2015. Over the years, we have heard about the importance of dental care. We know many families do not have the means to send their kids to a dentist. In committee, we heard about how 2.2 million school days are missed by children every year because of emergency dental care. This is a smart investment from the federal government that will save thousands of dollars through prevention per patient and will help make sure our kids do not need to endure emergency surgeries.
The actions in the fall economic statement are informed by things we are already seeing on the ground. I also hear about the need for more affordable housing supply, and I am glad this government is recognizing this. Housing density in Brampton is high, with more than 26% of households having five or more people under one roof. In other words, according to the 2021 census, we have hundreds of multi-generational homes in our community. We need to respect and support the choice of families to live together.
The fall economic statement introduces a multi-generational home renovation tax credit. It would provide up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary unit for a family member who is a senior or an adult with a disability, starting in January 2023. I know $7,500 will make a big difference for families in Brampton who want to have a grandparent or family member live with them.
This government is also advancing the age well at home initiative, which will help seniors stay in their homes for as long as possible, providing practical assistance for everyday tasks.
Brampton is growing, and we have great economic opportunities, but we need more affordable housing options and an increased supply. I was very grateful to see the launch of the third round of the rapid housing initiative, which will be allocated in Peel. This is in addition to the largest investment ever made for housing in the region of Peel, in 2020, of more than $276 million. It means more affordable units in a region that is experiencing a high demand for new housing. In addition to large systemic investments to our regions and cities, we are also giving tools to Canadian families.
The fall economic statement would also implement the new tax-free first home savings account, which would allow Canadians under 40 to not only save up $40,000 toward their first home, but also withdraw it tax-free. For those most impacted and with income under $35,000, a one-time top-up to the Canada housing benefit program will roll out soon.
This government has made it a priority to make life more affordable by also reducing long-term inflationary pressures. I want to highlight the impact that our policies have been on young families. We see across the country how impactful our investments in child care have been. In some provinces, parents have already seen a decrease of 25% in their fees, and by the end of the year, they will see another 25% decrease, fulfilling our commitment to cut child care fees in half as we work toward $10-per-day child care by 2025. It is saving parents money and also giving them the chance to step into the workforce.
Building on that success, the fall economic statement introduces new measures for recent Canadian graduates. I recently spoke with a university graduate from my youth council who was born and raised in Brampton and who has accessed federal loans. This has already been a beneficial program, but we know Canadian students need additional support. That is why this government is making it easier for students to start their careers without the burden of federal student loan interest.
The fall economic statement includes a commitment to permanently eliminate the federal interest on Canada student loans and Canada apprentice loans. This will benefit over one million student loan borrowers and save an average borrower more than $3,000 over the lifetime of their loan. This will make a real difference to support young Canadians and is a great step in addition to increasing the loan repayment threshold from $25,000 to $40,000. I often say that young people are our leaders of today, and we need to make sure they are set up on the path to excel in their bright futures.
Immigration is also a key way to create a strong foundation for economic growth. I was pleased to see new investments for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that will address backlogs and speed up the processing of applications. These applicants will help fill labour shortages in crucial areas such as health care, manufacturing and the trades. This comes with a much-needed $1.6 billion over six years and $315 million in new, ongoing funding, as well as $50 million to make sure that the department has the resources it needs to facilitate efficient processing.
This government recognizes the importance of attracting newcomers to rural and northern communities to address specific labour shortages in some provinces while providing additional much-needed support to communities with diverse populations such as Brampton. Families in Brampton waiting for their relatives applications to be processed will be pleased with our significant investments to reduce wait times and improve file processing.
Another important measure will be the creation of a new quarterly Canada workers benefit with automatic advance payments. This will be in the form of a refundable tax credit that tops up the earnings of low- and modest-income workers. It will put up to $2,400 in the pockets of low-income families. This will reward and encourage workers for doing essential jobs.
As we know, the backbone of a strong economy is made up of our small and medium-sized businesses. I received an email from a local grocery store earlier this summer that told me that the majority of the payments it processes are digital, with debit or credit cards, and it wants to continue to offer excellent services to its customers. It is a relief for it to hear the fall economic statement will advance efforts to lower credit card transaction fees for small and medium-sized businesses. This is something we have to do for small business owners. They were hit hard by COVID-19.
Finally, this past summer, when the Deputy Prime Minister visited Brampton to meet with workers in the trucking industry, we heard the concerns of some employees about their employment status. Last week the Minister of Labour was in the GTA to update industry members and highlight investments in the fall economic statement that will make sure employees can access their rights and what they are entitled to.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-11-16 17:44 [p.9586]
Madam Speaker, this is a targeted and responsible plan. I want to highlight the fall economic statement is a top-up of measures already taken, it is permanently eliminating interest for federal students, launching the new Canada growth fund and creating a new quarterly Canada workers benefit.
All these benefits are helping Canadians, and this is a fiscal plan that will help Canadians in this difficult time. This is the way we have to move forward.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-11-16 17:45 [p.9586]
Madam Speaker, the government is presently doing consultations to ensure employers and employees have access to a high quality EI system. What we are debating today is the fall economic statement. We have already announced top-ups and support measures that will make a big difference in the lives of Canadians. For example, rental and dental supports, and doubling the GST credit, will all support what Canadians need.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-11-16 17:47 [p.9587]
Madam Speaker, the hon. member is a great advocate in the health committee for his residents, but today I want say to members that this is why the fall economic statement is focused on making life more affordable for workers by increasing the Canada workers benefit with up to $2,400 for low-income families and ensuring truck drivers are protected with the Canada Labour Code. The fall economic statement's benefits are a top-up to programs already going on. There is one other thing I just want to say to members. A AAA credit rating sets Canada in a very good fiscal position.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-11-15 14:00 [p.9490]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday was World Diabetes Day. I want to recognize the patients, advocates, health care professionals and others who are working hard to fight diabetes.
Yesterday, I was pleased to meet with JoJo and Martin who are advocating as part of Kids For a Cure. I want to thank all researchers who are working across the country to defeat diabetes. Through the national framework for diabetes, this government is working collaboratively to support those Canadians and indigenous people living with diabetes.
I also want to commend the efforts of Diabetes Canada, JDRF Canada, Diabète Québec, Indigenous Nurses Association and many more. I encourage all parliamentarians to attend Diabetes Canada’s reception on the Hill, on November 23, for an empowering evening and the opportunity to celebrate this achievement.
I invite all Canadians to learn more about diabetes so we can take action to prevent it and better support people living with diabetes.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-11-03 14:00 [p.9284]
[Member spoke in Punjabi as follows:]
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.
[English]
Mr. Speaker, on November 8, Sikhs in Canada and across the world will be celebrating the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first guru and the founder of Sikhism.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji emphasized the importance of hard work, kirt karni, sharing with those in need, vand ke chakna, meditating, naam japna, and selfless service, seva. He was a strong advocate for gender equality, believing that no one is high or low, and only rightness is supreme. These are the principles of Sikh values.
This week I met with Amardeep Singh and Vininder Kaur, who are showcasing a 24-episode documentary series called Allegory, guided by Guru Nanak Dev Ji's travel and his spiritual life, so that more people can learn about his philosophies and teachings.
Canada is home to one of the largest Sikh communities in the world. I want to thank all the organizations in Brampton and across Canada that are selflessly serving our communities. Happy Gurpurab to everyone.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-10-26 15:18 [p.8904]
Mr. Speaker, handguns have ripped our communities apart. We have seen this first-hand in Brampton and in the greater Toronto area. The Toronto Danforth shooting, the Quebec City mosque attack and the Edmonton shooting all involved senseless handgun violence that claimed loved ones too soon. While Conservatives are trying to make assault weapons legal again, the Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety are taking swift action to protect Canadians.
Could the right hon. Prime Minister please share with the House how the handgun freeze will protect all Canadian communities?
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-10-18 14:01 [p.8432]
Mr. Speaker, this month marks Women's History Month in Canada. It is a time to reflect on all of the incredible women who make our communities proud. Whether by breaking barriers in areas like politics, business, arts and culture, or sports, we must celebrate them and reflect on their courage.
Today is Persons Day, marking the historic victory of the Famous Five, who paved the way for women in public life and politics. It is a reminder of the great progress we have made as a country. If it were not for their monumental steps, we may have not seen the 103 women in this chamber with us today.
I want to recognize all women in leadership roles. Their success is a reminder to all of us of the potential we have to make an impact and change the world.
I ask everyone to take a moment today to recognize the strong women in their lives, because when women thrive, we all thrive.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-10-06 15:08 [p.8253]
Mr. Speaker, diabetes is a serious chronic disease, and it is one of the most common, affecting millions of Canadians. It poses extensive challenges for those living with it, and for their families and communities. Yesterday, a framework for diabetes in Canada was tabled, marking a pivotal moment in our ongoing efforts to support Canadians impacted by this disease.
Can the Minister of Health tell the House how this will contribute to our efforts to better support and collaborate with those impacted by diabetes in Canada?
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-09-29 14:00 [p.7936]
Mr. Speaker, September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. More than 3,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. I know the impact of this terrible disease on the families and loved ones of those fighting cancer. A very special person in my life is a fighter, and every fighter's story is an inspiration to all of us.
Many researchers and advocates in Canada are determined to save lives, and I want to commend their hard work. I also want to thank all Ovarian Cancer Canada volunteers in Brampton and across the country for working to raise awareness.
Supporting researchers and raising awareness saves the lives of women. Together, let us build a bright future for women, because there simply is no time to wait when it comes to ovarian cancer.
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-09-26 14:51 [p.7682]
Mr. Speaker, our hearts were with Atlantic Canadians this weekend as their region was hit by hurricane Fiona. With hundreds of thousands of people affected, it will take weeks, maybe months, before things can get back to normal for the worst hit communities.
Could the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs tell us how the government is stepping in to help people and businesses recover from this devastating hurricane?
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-09-15 15:58 [p.7301]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to address the House on behalf of the residents of Brampton South to commemorate the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
As a nation, we express our sincere condolences to the royal family, the people of the United Kingdom and the entire Commonwealth. The Queen will forever be remembered for her devoted service to the Commonwealth and its people.
Over generations, hundreds of Bramptonians have served our country with Her Majesty, who is commander-in-chief of the Canadian Armed Forces, through the Lorne Scots primary reserve unit of the Canadian Army. The Lorne Scots is one of Canada's oldest military units, dating back to the 18th century, and its headquarters is based in Brampton South. The unit continues to defend Canada and has participated in nearly every engagement Canada has sent troops to. Many of the unit's veterans are now members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 15, and I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their service to our country.
When Her Majesty's father passed away in February 1952, Princess Elizabeth became the Queen and head of the Commonwealth. That meant she became our commander-in-chief, overseeing our military and witnessing so many historical milestones over her reign. She was our monarch for almost half of this country's existence, and Canada was honoured to host her 22 times as sovereign. She visited all 10 Canadian provinces and three territories during her reign, and just five years after she became Queen she visited to open our Parliament in 1957.
One of her visits took place in 1973 when the Queen and her husband Prince Philip visited Brampton for the 100th anniversary of the town. They were greeted by then mayor James Archdekin and were the guests of honour during the ceremony. They visited Brampton's Gage Park, our first municipal park, which is now located in Brampton South. Clippings from the official book published to commemorate that anniversary said:
Queen Elizabeth, on her arrival in Brampton on Friday, June 29, was accorded one of the warmest welcomes she received anywhere during her ten-day Canadian Tour. Gage Park, site of the official ceremonies, was crowded by thousands of Bramptonians and visitors from many other Ontario communities. Hundreds of children were in the crowd which craned to see every movement of the Queen.
As members know, Brampton is commonly referred to as the “Flower City” of Canada, and I am often asked where this name came from. It starts with a man named Edward Dale, who moved to Brampton from England to grow vegetables and flowers. Edward Dale retired in 1882 and his son Harry Dale took over. By then, Dale Estate employed a quarter of Brampton's population, with over 140 greenhouses to its name. Each year, they grew more and more roses and built more and more greenhouses.
People came from around the world to see Brampton's greenhouses, and Dale's flowers were even enjoyed by royalty. Brampton's Dale Estate provided flowers three times over two years for the Queen and was the largest greenhouse operation in the Commonwealth at that point in the 1950s. In a letter sent following their visit to Brampton, the Queen and Prince Philip sent their warm thanks for the centennial rose bushes that were presented to them. Brampton continues to be a vibrant city full of beautiful gardens, and we carry forward this legacy.
My favourite part of the story of the visit by Her Majesty and His Royal Highness to Brampton is that, after the official ceremony, they met with 25 new Canadian citizens who had received their citizenship earlier that same day. It was a true moment that showcased her values of openness, compassion and respect. The stories in local newspapers following Her Majesty's visit speak for themselves and to her grace. She was happy to be in Brampton, and our residents welcomed her with open arms.
One headline in the Daily Times, a Brampton paper of the era, read, “Thousands of Local Hearts Captured by the Royal Visitors”. Another read, “She Was So Gracious... So Radiant”.
Her passing is a loss for everyone, and our Brampton residents have touching memories of her reign. Earlier this year, Canada celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty from coast to coast to coast, marking her 70th anniversary on the throne, and just last month I had the honour to attend, alongside colleagues, the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Halifax.
It was a gathering of more than 600 delegates talking about key global issues and solutions. Some of the core themes included democracy, sustainable development, human rights and especially the rights of women and girls. These are core Commonwealth values that we remain committed to protecting and promoting. Common ties and shared values are what make the Commonwealth strong, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II cared about this deeply.
I want to note that the facts and stories I shared with members today were preserved by the tireless work of the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives historians and archive workers. I am grateful for their efforts in collecting materials of historical value to ensure that these stories are told for decades to come.
In conclusion, I want to encourage all members of the House and all Canadians listening to continue to build bridges with other democracies and to promote values of peace, security and prosperity. This is what the Queen devoted herself to and how she will be remembered by us. When the Queen departed Gage Park on that sunny June day in 1976, God Save the Queen was played by the Lorne Scots military band. Today, we reflect on the Queen's legacy and say, “God save the King.”
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sonia Sidhu Profile
2022-06-22 17:49 [p.7167]
Madam Speaker, I am rising today to speak on something residents told me is their clear priority. I will be speaking in support of the private member's motion of my colleague for Avalon on improvements to long-term care
We know residents in long-term care homes disproportionately suffered during the early stages of the pandemic. That was true in Brampton, but also from coast to coast to coast.
Seniors are one of the fastest-growing age groups in Canada. I know everyone in this chamber agrees we need to do everything we can for the people who built this country. I read the text of this motion and see that it speaks to the many needs of our seniors, families and health care workers. The motion is in line with the Minister of Seniors' mandate letter, and I trust all members will agree that it is a positive step forward.
Today, I want to focus on specific elements of this motion to share the perspective of seniors from my community, as I have heard it directly from them.
The past two years have been challenging for Canadians. The pandemic exposed gaps in the system, and our government has been there to support Canadians and provinces by laying out a plan for the recovery. Time flies, but I still remember all the work we have done since 2020 in the Standing Committee on Health. We have listened to experts on our government's response to the pandemic.
I would like to take members back to the beginning of 2020. From January 15 to February 28, there were 14,960 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario among long-term care residents. Those accounted for 15% of all reported cases in the first wave, according to Public Health Ontario. At the same time, at the peak of the first wave, outbreaks in LTC and seniors' homes accounted for 81% of deaths in Canada.
As the situation worsened, and at the request of the Government of Ontario, teams of medically trained Canadian Armed Forces personnel were temporarily deployed to facilities identified by the province to provide a range of assistance and medical support. Grace Manor was one of them: this facility is located in Brampton South.
The Canadian Armed Forces went above and beyond to temporarily support long-term care homes. Then, the CAF report that followed included stories and examples of unacceptable abuse. When I first saw this report, I was deeply concerned about residents enduring unbearable conditions.
I want to thank all CAF members for their selfless service to our seniors, but these tragedies should never have happened. Sad stories such as these are why we are debating this motion today. They are also why I want to recognize all of the families with residents living in long-term care. Family members of residents in LTC are important support systems, and the pandemic made that difficult. We will always keep them in our hearts. Their strength, resilience and advocacy has been inspiring. That is why, back in 2020, my Ontario colleagues and I got together to advocate for national standards for long-term care so seniors in Canada could receive the quality of care they deserved.
In the 2020 fall economic statement, in budget 2021 and in budget 2022, we continued our commitment to strengthen care for seniors and persons with disabilities. The Government of Canada has worked collaboratively with provinces and territories throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to protect seniors in long-term care. This includes up to $4 billion to help provinces and territories improve the standard of care in those facilities.
I know the Minister of Health, the Minister of Seniors and other ministers are working together with provinces to advance these commitments, and I know they will deliver. A lot of important steps have already been taken.
Our government welcomed the news that the Health Standards Organization and Canadian Standards Association have launched a process to help address these issues.
The Health Standards Organization and Canadian Standard Association will work with the government, stakeholders and Canadians to develop national standards that will help to inform ongoing discussions with provinces and territories on improving the quality of life of seniors in long-term care homes. After years of hard work, our seniors deserve that.
In budget 2021, our government committed $3 billion over five years to Health Canada to support provinces and territories in ensuring that standards for long-term care were applied and permanent changes were made. Our government amended the Criminal Code to penalize those who neglect seniors under their care. This will go a long way in addressing some of the long-standing challenges and gaps.
Budget 2022 proposes the creation of an expert panel to study the idea of an aging-at-home benefit. Our government recognizes that some seniors wish to stay at home for as long as possible, where they are comfortable and with the communities that support them. Coming this summer, we are increasing old age security for seniors ages 75 and up. I know my residents welcome this initiative, and I know that our government is taking meaningful action to support the provinces and territories as they address gaps.
The pandemic was hard on seniors, and we will come out of this stronger than ever before. Helping Canadians age with dignity in the best possible health, all while enjoying social and economic security, is one of the government's top priorities.
In conclusion, let us agree that we must continue to work with all provinces and territories to help ensure that everyone, no matter where they live in Canada, has access to the long-term care they deserve.
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