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Results: 1 - 15 of 59
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Randeep Sarai Profile
2022-09-21 14:12 [p.7473]
Mr. Speaker, I am not one to shy away from a fight, but when it comes to these great wrestlers from Surrey and the valley, I will definitely think twice.
I want to recognize and congratulate Amar Dhesi and Nishan Randhawa for their gold medals and Jasmit Phulka for his bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, England. I also want to recognize police constable Jessy Sahota for taking home gold in men’s heavyweight wrestling at the World Police and Fire Games. In addition to taking home gold, Constable Sahota has been recognized with the prestigious International Association of Chiefs of Police 40 Under 40 Award.
I congratulate all the talented athletes for their accomplishments. Canada is proud of them.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Randeep Sarai Profile
2022-06-22 16:38 [p.7154]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, entitled “Preventing Harm in the Canadian Sex Industry: A Review of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act”.
Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
I also want to wish everyone here, as it is the last day here for me, a very good end to the season and a good break.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Randeep Sarai Profile
2022-06-22 17:21 [p.7163]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to take part in the debate today on Bill C-21, an act to amend certain acts and to make certain consequential amendments concerning firearms. This is a very important issue for the majority of Canadians, and it is particularly important for my constituency, where public safety was recently identified as a top area of concern for our community.
All levels of government and numerous dedicated organizations in my riding of Surrey Centre have been working for many years to address gun violence and gang-related violence. Rates of gun violence have continued to rise since 2009, and violent offences that involve guns have increased by 81%. With so much news content from the United States available to Canadians, we hear daily reports of shootings in the United States. We do not want this constant exposure to desensitize us to the horrific, unspeakable tragedies that come from gun violence. As we know, Canada is not immune to that violence.
Too many communities across the country have grieved the loss of loved ones. École Polytechnique, Moncton, the mosque shooting in Quebec City, and Nova Scotia are only a few of many examples of violent acts with firearms that have occurred in Canada. These examples do not even cover the number of individuals who face gun violence on a regular basis due to domestic or intimate partner violence or gang-related activity.
According to Statistics Canada, there has been a notable increase in firearm-related violent crime across many rural areas in the country, and 47% of Canadians reported feeling that gun violence posed a serious threat to their communities. This includes my own community of Surrey Centre. Earlier this year, the RCMP in Surrey reported that, in a six-day span, there had been four incidents of shots fired in the city.
From my days in high school, I saw hundreds of young boys and men shot and killed for petty disputes and turf wars. Others will recall the innocent victims of gun violence who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Paul Bennett, a nurse and hockey coach, was killed outside his home in Surrey. Chris Mohan was shot for simply being on the same floor as a gangland hit. Bikramdeep Randhawa, a correctional officer, was killed outside of a McDonald's in another case of mistaken identity. These are all on top of hundreds of women killed in cases of domestic or intimate partner violence, including Maple Batalia, a young woman studying at Simon Fraser University, who was killed on campus by a jealous ex-boyfriend.
This is far too regular an occurrence and it puts our communities at risk of being caught in the crossfire. It is clear we need to do more to address gun violence in our communities. Canadians deserve to feel safe in their communities, homes, schools and workplaces, and we do not want to wait for another tragedy to occur in Canada before we take strong action to address that violence.
We know that reducing access to firearms reduces the amount of gun violence. It is simple. Other countries around the world have essentially eliminated gun violence in their countries by enacting tougher laws. Scotland, Australia and New Zealand are all examples of this.
In 1996, a deadly shooting at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland killed 16 students and a teacher and injured 15 others. The following year, the U.K. Parliament banned private ownership of most handguns as well as semi-automatic weapons, and required mandatory registration for shotgun owners. The reforms required owners of permitted firearms to pass a strict licence process, which involves interviews and home visits by local police who have the authority to deny approval of permits if they deem the would-be owner a potential risk to public safety. In the last decade, there have only been three homicides by gun violence in the United Kingdom. There has never been another school shooting.
Also in 1996, in a shooting at a café in Port Arthur, Australia, a man opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle. He killed 35 people and wounded another 28. Australia's then new prime minister, John Howard, who had taken office only six weeks prior to the tragedy, led a sweeping nationwide reform on guns following the incident. Australia's National Firearms Agreement restricted legal ownership of firearms in Australia. It established a registry of all guns owned in the country, among other measures. It required a permit for all new firearms purchases, as well as a flat-out ban on certain kinds of guns, such as automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.
Similar to our own government's plan, the Australian government has established a mandatory buyback of legal and illegal guns resulting in 650,000 formerly legally owned guns being peacefully seized. The average firearm suicide rate in Australia, in the seven years after the bill, declined by 57% compared with the seven years prior. The average firearm homicide rate went down by nearly 42%. Between 1978 and 1995, 13 mass shootings occurred in the country. In the years since those mass shootings, Australians brought in sweeping gun reform, and since 1995 there has only been one mass shooting.
New Zealand has traditionally had a high gun ownership rate, but tight restrictions and low rates of gun violence. In less than the two weeks after a far right extremist killed 50 people at a mosque in 2019, authorities in New Zealand announced a ban on military-style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines, like those the attacker had used. They also created a buyback program, as well as a special commission to explore broader issues around the accessibility of weapons and the role of social media.
Gun ownership in Canada is the fifth highest in the world. The countries I have mentioned, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand, are like Canada in that they all have a strong culture of guns. Despite this, they have successfully reduced the number of gun-related incidents and saved countless lives through comprehensive reforms and policies that address the complexity of gun violence.
The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security recently tabled a report entitled, “A Path Forward: Reducing Gun and Gang Violence in Canada”. The committee heard from 50 witnesses who echoed the same message: Gun violence is a complex issue that will take more than one program or policy to fix. The committee heard that it will take a multi-faceted and comprehensive approach that includes all levels of government, indigenous peoples, grassroots organizations, law enforcement and social services. It will require research, collection of data, and preventative and intervention measures.
Our government is committed to addressing gun violence, and we will continue to take action in an effort to mitigate the senseless tragedies that occur at the hands of firearms, and this legislation is the next step.
For those who say illegal guns smuggled across the border are the ones that we should be concerned about, they should have spoken up when the Harper Conservatives cut CBSA staff by 30%, or when they disbanded and defunded the major organized crime unit in the RCMP that investigated cross-border smuggling. How were they silent then? Are they silent now, when it comes to reducing gun violence? The story is the same.
We re-funded the CBSA and the RCMP, and the proof is in the pudding, with gun seizures at the border being double last year from the year prior.
Our plan to address gun violence will address this complexity. Bill C-21 will establish a national freeze on handguns; establish red flag and yellow flag laws; expand licence revocation; combat firearms smuggling and trafficking, notably by increasing the maximum penalty; and prohibit mid-velocity replica airguns.
This plan is about the survivors and about communities across Canada from coast to coast to coast, which are too often touched by gun violence. Canadians told us they wanted to see more action, more quickly, and we are doing that through our commitment to do more.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Randeep Sarai Profile
2022-06-14 12:22 [p.6662]
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Halifax West.
I am pleased to speak to Bill C-5, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Today I would like to address necessary amendments proposed in Bill C-5.
Our criminal justice system continues to perpetuate a cycle of systemic racism, a system which is disproportionately overrepresented by indigenous peoples, Black Canadians and members of marginalized communities both as offenders and as victims. Sentencing laws within the Canadian criminal justice system have historically focused on punishment through imprisonment rather than ensuring that the responses to criminal conduct are fair, effective and prioritize public safety.
Adopting the proposed amendments to Bill C-5 are imperative to stop the cycle of systemic racism and overrepresentation in the criminal justice system, while taking steps towards addressing the disparities experienced by vulnerable groups. The proposed amendments maintain the courts’ ability to impose serious penalties in appropriate cases for firearms offences, ensuring that sentencing is proportionate to the crime.
I have the privilege of serving as the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. Our committee recently completed a study on this bill. We heard from experts, law enforcement, legal representatives, and those who are marginalized and who have interacted with the criminal justice system. The testimony encompassed the diverse experiences of those who have encountered the consequences of Bill C-5 from across the country. The testimony recounted racialized and marginalized individuals’ intergenerational experiences with racism in policing and sentencing, arguing that a colonial system of incarceration is not encompassing of the needs of Canadians.
Bill C-5 would address the concerns raised by the witness testimony we heard around racism and overrepresentation in the justice system by promoting judicial discretion and prioritizing individualized sentencing. This process ensures that an individual who is found guilty is sentenced appropriately to the degree of responsibility of the offender and the seriousness of the offence. A sentencing court must look at all mitigating and aggravating factors specific to the case, including the offender’s risk to public safety, circumstances specific to the offender and instances of systemic racism experienced by the offender.
When it comes to crimes, specifically gun crimes and youth violence, I have been working hard with groups for over decades. I can tell colleagues that minimum mandatory penalties have not deterred or reduced gun crime. Prevention, intervention or tough enforcement at borders have been effective. Most of these young folks need help and jail is not the answer.
A criminal justice system which utilizes a mandatory minimum penalty as a model of reform is not reflective of Canadian values or the needs of racialized and marginalized communities within Canada. We can see from the statistics that the Canadian criminal justice system has historically been ill-equipped when considering individuals who are vulnerable, struggle with mental health and substance use, are experiencing homelessness, live in poverty or lack access to essential and social services. We must ensure that Canada does not use the criminal justice system to address social issues. Rather, we must ensure public safety, accountability and justice.
Research shows that in Canada indigenous people, Black Canadians and other racialized persons are more likely to come in contact with the criminal justice system, often due to systemic racism as well as other social and economic factors. These statistics are further exacerbated by the fact that members of these communities are overrepresented in correctional facilities.
Between 2007-08 and 2016-17, indigenous and Black offenders were more likely to be remanded to federal custody for an offence punishable by a mandatory minimum in the last 10 years. The number of indigenous adults admitted to federal custody for a firearm-related offence punishable by a mandatory minimum penalty increased by 23%.
Despite representing only 5% of the Canadian adult population in 2020, indigenous adults accounted for 30% of federally incarcerated inmates. In 2018-19, Black inmates represented 7% of the federal offender population, but only 3% of the Canadian population. If we continue to support a system which perpetuates systemic racism, the cycle of incarceration will continue to be the path for many marginalized communities.
There are 13 mandatory minimum penalties related to firearms offences that would be removed, empowering the courts’ ability to impose proportionate and individualized sentencing to offenders.
Bill C-5 would repeal the firearms-related mandatory minimum penalties for possession of a loaded firearm, prohibited or restricted firearm, possession of a weapon obtained by crime, possession of an unauthorized firearm, and importing a firearm knowing that it is not authorized.
Repealing mandatory minimums for these offences would allow for greater use of conditional sentence orders in cases where an offender faces a term of less than two years' imprisonment and does not pose a threat to public safety. It would also require police and prosecutors to consider measures aside from incarceration.
The reality is that the restricted availability of conditional sentencing has contributed to the disparities experienced by racialized and marginalized communities in Canada. Consistent with the government’s commitments, mandatory minimum penalties would remain in place for offences related to robbery, extortion, discharging a firearm with intention to cause bodily harm, firearm trafficking and importing, and making automatic weapons.
A justice system that unfairly targets indigenous peoples, Black and marginalized communities is not effective. It does not keep us safe and must be changed. For those who say that Bill C-5 is not tough enough on crime, those who commit serious offences will continue to receive serious sentences.
Our bill is about getting rid of the failed policies that filled our prisons with low-risk, first-time offenders. They do not need to be put in jail; they need support. These failed policies did not deter crime in the past. They did not keep us safe and they did not make our justice system more efficient. They target vulnerable and racialized Canadians.
Canadians see the devastating effects that come from firearms on a daily basis. I am no exception. However, I recognize that a one-size-fits-all system, where mandatory minimum penalties are considered just and fair, is not representative of those who are disproportionately impacted by the Canadian criminal justice system.
For those who are a danger to the public, or are serious or repeat offenders, a judge would be able to award stiff and harsh penalties in some cases higher than the minimum sentences. This is not a soft-on-crime approach. This is an approach that separates social issues from judicial issues, and allows the judiciary to make the appropriate sentence.
To end the cycle of overrepresentation, we require a tailored approach that encourages rehabilitation and acknowledges the historical and ongoing injustices faced by Canadians across the country. Repealing select mandatory minimum penalties does not mean that firearms offences are considered serious offences; rather, it provides the courts with the ability to impose appropriate and proportionate sentences.
The changes we make today to our criminal justice system will have an impact on current and future Canadians. It will change the way we engage with racialized and marginal communities. This includes providing meaningful support for victims, accused persons, offenders, their families and their communities.
Our government is committed to maintaining public safety, and has taken urgent and significant action to make Canada safer.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Randeep Sarai Profile
2022-06-14 12:31 [p.6664]
Madam Speaker, that was a good question in terms of the supports needed. Obviously, when we need conditional sentencing or we need diversion programs, we will need those supports. Let me also say that they will cost a lot less than incarcerating somebody and throwing away the keys for five years.
For those provincial jurisdictions that save on under two-year prison sentences where they are now incarcerating fewer people, they can afford to use those funds to help rehabilitate them, give them diversion programming and give them conditional sentences to help make them better human beings and better members of society.
When it comes to health transfers, the federal government always has been there and always will be there for the provinces.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Randeep Sarai Profile
2022-06-14 12:33 [p.6664]
Madam Speaker, those are exactly the types of supports that are needed. I have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of young people who have made small mistakes in their lives, including mistakes that now are not even considered criminal, such as smoking marijuana or possession of marijuana. Some mistakes are even small thefts, or being in a car with somebody who had a loaded firearm or who had drugs on them, and the people are facing sentences.
When they had conditional sentences, it was an opportunity to give people a second chance to reflect on their mistakes and to become good citizens. If, in that conditional sentence period, they acted appropriately, took the appropriate classes or did the volunteer hours or therapy that they needed, in most cases they became very good citizens of society. In fact, rather than getting incarcerated, they got jobs and good skills and they became good members of society.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Randeep Sarai Profile
2022-06-14 12:35 [p.6664]
Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary has worked very hard on this issue. It really is an important issue for him, his community and his constituents. Speaking to people such as those who were from the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and others, we saw how it affected and actually disabled people who could become great members of society, because we already have a lot of challenges. We are looking at systemic racism, where a lot of young folks who are marginalized or are from Black Canadian populations get targeted and picked up quickly. It actually reduces their ability to become good citizens and become future inhabitants. That is why it has been disproportionately represented. Along with them, the indigenous population has been even more so, and we know the challenges they face.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Randeep Sarai Profile
2022-06-14 15:11 [p.6690]
Mr. Speaker, we witness the devastating effects of gun violence in Canada. My constituents in Surrey Centre are no different. As violence increases, we find ourselves relying on programs such as the Surrey Anti-gang Family Empowerment Program, which provides a coordinated approach to address youth gang violence.
Recently, in a survey conducted by my office, my constituents identified community safety and crime prevention as the issues of greatest importance.
Can the minister please update the House on how strengthening gun control will keep our community safe?
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Randeep Sarai Profile
2022-06-02 10:21 [p.5995]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, in relation to Bill S-206, an act to amend the Criminal Code.
The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendments.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded division.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I want to thank all the members who have spoken to this today, including the Conservative member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, Bloc members, the NDP member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith and many others. I also want to thank my colleague, the member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway, who moved an amendment that I am very supportive of. Hopefully it goes as planned very shortly.
I am very pleased to be here to speak for the second hour of debate on my private member's motion, Motion No. 44, for permanent residency for temporary foreign workers. I would like, again, to extend my sincere gratitude for all the support I received from my colleagues for this motion, and I thank all the individuals, the organizations and industry groups whom I have met with or who have corresponded with me and voiced their support for Motion No. 44. A group of constituents in Surrey Centre have even started an e-petition to show their support for the motion. In fact, because of them, I want this motion to be referred to as the “new hope motion”, as it gives new hope to those who have little.
I chose to bring this motion forward for Private Members' Business to address ongoing challenges with our immigration system and to help find ways to fill critical gaps in our labour market by creating more accessible pathways for permanent residency for temporary foreign workers. This includes important sectors like agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, trades, health services and many others that are desperately trying to fill persistent gaps in the labour market.
The implementation is even more important and vital today as we deal with inflation and acute labour shortages resulting from the pandemic, a retiring and aging labour force and low birth rates. Not a day goes by that I do not receive a call or an email from an employer stating that they cannot find workers for their businesses. From restaurant owners, produce packers and logistics companies to IT groups, everyone needs workers. In fact, the labour shortage is so drastic that the Quebec government is looking for 170,000 workers and is losing over $18 billion over the next two years because of sales losses due to the lack of a workforce. No one wants temporary foreign workers; they want permanent workers.
While the temporary foreign worker program has evolved over the years in order to address the challenging demands of the labour market, we must continue to update Canada's immigration system to be more flexible. As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, things can change very quickly, and the work that temporary foreign workers do to support our economy is vital to Canada's success. Despite the delays that temporary foreign workers have experienced and continue to experience in renewing their permits, the uncertainty of their status and their sometimes precarious employment, their hard work keeps our country functioning.
According to a 2020 research publication from the Library of Parliament on temporary foreign workers in Canada, temporary foreign workers face exclusion from society and experience a lack of access to important settlement services and other services because of a common viewpoint that their work is for the short term and they will not be in Canada long, despite the fact that many work, live and contribute to the communities they live in over many years. This leaves many temporary foreign workers in a vulnerable position, as they are not eligible for federal settlement services and must rely on individual employers to support those needs. This motion would address some of these vulnerabilities faced by temporary foreign workers by giving them more access to resources, safeguards and pathways to PR for their contribution to our country.
As I mentioned in the first debate back in February, with an aging population and a low domestic birth rate, Canada is seeing a decrease in population. Some estimate that by 2030 our population growth will come exclusively from immigration. Fortunately, Canada has a great recipe for growth and to fulfill that labour shortage. That is immigration. Therefore, I urge members in this chamber to remember that and commit to always keeping a healthy discourse on this topic.
Immigration already accounts for almost 100% of Canada's labour-force growth and 75% of Canada's population growth, mostly in the economic category. Since 2016, we have seen a continuous increase in the number of labour market impact assessments approved as Canada's unemployment rate fell. LMIAs ensure that there is a need to hire TFWs in positions where there are not Canadians or permanent residents available to fill those positions. Last month, we saw the lowest unemployment rate on record.
I was pleased to see budget 2022 introduce proposed investments to support temporary foreign worker programs. While we have a great pathway for many TFWs, we do not have pathways for those who do not possess the prescribed education and language skills required for permanent residency, despite having the prerequisites to fulfill the job they have been hired for. Therefore, we must—
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
I request a recorded vote, please.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to be here today to speak on the topic of Bill C-19, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures.
Over the past two years, we have faced unprecedented challenges. There is no part of our lives that was not impacted in some way by the coronavirus pandemic. Challenges were both personal and collective in nature. “Budget 2022: A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable” contains significant investments in key areas that would help Canadians continue to recover from the detrimental impacts of the pandemic.
Despite the challenges we have faced, Canada has emerged stronger. Because of our government's response to the pandemic, we are able to maintain the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio relative to our G7 international peers, with one of the fastest recoveries. We have the strongest job recovery in the G7, having recuperated 112% and maybe even 115% of the jobs that were lost since the peak of the pandemic, and our unemployment rate is down to 5.5%. This nearly matches Canada's best unemployment rate in 50 years, which we saw in 2019 when the unemployment rate was 5.4%.
The targeted investments in budget 2022 are designed to support people, economic growth and a clean future for everyone as we continue to navigate pandemic recovery. Through these targeted measures, this budget would help make it easier for Canadians to buy a home and move forward on dental care, help Canadian businesses scale up and grow, ensure that wealthy corporations pay their fair share, invest in a clean future, and help Canada become a world leader in producing electric vehicles.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight just a few of the many important investments outlined in this budget that are particularly impactful for my riding of Surrey Centre. These include important investments in housing, immigration, health and dental care. Regarding housing, we know that access to safe and affordable housing remains an incredible challenge for far too many. This is an issue that constituents raise with me often. Access to safe and affordable housing is one of the biggest concerns faced by many residents in the lower mainland. This region has some of the highest housing prices in the country, and as our population continues to grow, we need more homes to meet the demand.
Surrey Centre has been a recipient of significant investments through the rapid housing initiative over the past few years, including $16.4 million under the major city stream to support the creation of affordable housing units for the new Atira Women's Resource Society facility. I had the opportunity to tour the Atira site currently under construction with the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister a couple of weeks ago. This modular housing apartment will provide approximately 44 new affordable units. Owned and operated by Atira Women's Resource Society, this supportive housing complex will serve women experiencing, and at risk of, homelessness, including indigenous women, trans and two-spirited women, and women who are struggling with substance abuse, mental health and spiritual wellness. The $16.4 million funding also assisted Atira to create more units, including next door, where now dozens of units are there to help women in need.
Our government has also invested in the Foxglove supportive housing complex in my riding, which I had the opportunity to visit with the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion recently. This complex includes a total of 130 units: 66 are supportive housing, 34 are for complex care and 30 are shelter beds.
Housing is a complex issue, and I am pleased to see that budget 2022 contains significant investments to address the many layers of challenges with housing that we face and would help expand access to housing in our communities.
This would include doubling the construction of new homes over the next 10 years. Budget 2022 provides $4 billion over five years to CMHC to launch a new housing accelerator fund. This fund aims to remove barriers and help municipalities build housing more quickly. It would target the creation of 100,000 net new housing units in the next five years.
Budget 2022 also contains investments to help Canadians buy their first homes, including by introducing the tax-free first home savings account and doubling the first-time homebuyers' tax credit, and introducing a multi-generational home renovation tax credit that provides up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary suite in a home for an additional loved one. This would help keep seniors at home longer, and give them better, safer, more comfortable places to say.
The tax-free first home savings account would help thousands of Canadians save, tax free, up to $40,000 to buy their first home. This is on top of their RRSP options, thereby giving Canadian families up to $15,000 or $20,000 in tax savings.
As members may know, immigration is an issue very near and dear to my heart. I have one of the busiest constituency offices in the country and receive hundreds of immigration files each month. Budget 2022 proposes investments to make our immigration system more efficient. Applicants currently face long waits and delays with processing times. Our government has already begun to address these issues and I am pleased to share with everyone that we are continuing to do more.
Budget 2022 proposes $187 million over five years, and $37 million ongoing, for IRCC to improve its capacity to respond to a growing volume of inquiries and to invest in the technology and tools required to better support people using those services. The budget also proposes $386 million over five years, and $86 million ongoing, for IRCC, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and CBSA to facilitate the timely and efficient entry of a growing number of visitors, workers and students.
I also recently introduced a private member's motion, Motion No. 44, to expand pathways to permanent residency for temporary foreign workers. Budget 2022 contains a number of proposed investments relative to Motion No. 44 to improve the temporary foreign worker program.
Throughout the pandemic, employers have found it challenging to find workers. As demand grows for the TFW program, we need to make changes to meet the needs of the system and ensure that TFWs are protected and have health, safety and quality of life while they work and contribute to our communities. These proposed measures include millions of dollars in funding for increasing protections for workers, reducing administrative burdens for trusted repeat employers and ensuring employers can quickly bring in workers to fill short-term labour market gaps.
Health care, pharmacare and dental: Our health care system is vital to the functioning of this country. Our government made significant investments, more than $69 billion, to lead a coordinated federal, provincial and territorial response to fight COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of Canadians, with more funding to be rolled out in the future. This additional funding includes a $2-billion top-up, plus $45 billion to the Canada health transfer to the provinces and territories.
Budget 2022 proposes initiatives to attract more health care workers to rural communities and to support access to mental health resources with $140 million for the Wellness Together Canada portal, as well as $100 million for the substance use and addiction program to address the opioid crisis.
Finally, I would like to highlight the $5.3 billion over five years to provide dental care for Canadians with family incomes of less than $90,000 annually. It starts in 2022, with those under 12 years old, and expands to cover people under age 18, seniors and persons living with a disability in 2023, with full implementation by 2025.
There are far too many other important issues that budget 2022 proposes investments in for me to cover in the 10 minutes I have today. On that note, I will end with the hope that we can work collaboratively to pass this bill and begin the important work of getting these programs to Canadians as soon as possible to make life more affordable from coast to coast to coast.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Calgary Nose Hill. I have worked with her for several years on various committees.
When it comes to housing, the biggest challenge we have in this country is supply. The second part is getting into the housing market the first time. I have seen our government build a national housing strategy and invest over $70 billion into it. We are now seeing the fruits of those labours. Particularly in my riding, I have seen 330 new affordable rental housing units being built across from my office. I have seen three announcements for rapid housing initiatives. I have also now seen ways that young people can save tax-free after this bill passes so they can buy their first homes.
These are on top of the $4-billion home accelerator fund that will help municipalities that are committed, because this is a multi-level approach. Those that are committed will get a carrot instead of a stick in order to build more houses and double the housing output this country needs to grow.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, it is funny to hear that coming from the Bloc members, who usually want everything to go to the provinces, but when negotiating with the provinces, as they just said in their own question, it takes three years to implement those deals, as opposed to when it goes directly to the municipalities. If we ask any municipalities, they want funding directly to themselves. They do not want to be brokered through a province that has its own political motives.
This is a great initiative. Cities will make a plan and send it to the federal government, and the federal government will approve it. If they have results, they will get the money; if they do not perform, they will not get it.
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