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Results: 1 - 5 of 5
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, I am delighted to speak this afternoon from the unceded lands of the Algonquin people. I want to acknowledge that I represent Scarborough—Rouge Park, the lands of many indigenous nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit.
I want to first thank the people of Scarborough—Rouge Park for their incredible support. I was able to secure over 63% of votes in the last election, and it is my third time representing the great people of Scarborough—Rouge Park.
Of course, I could not have done this without the incredible volunteers. I had over 600 volunteers who worked day and night. We knocked on over 115,000 doors. They inspired me greatly, the young men and women who came out day and night. I had to set a very high bar for the type of campaign I ran. It was a very positive campaign. It was not about taking down the opposition; it was about presenting a very positive vision of Canada. I was very proud to do that throughout the campaign.
I want to take the time to acknowledge those who were part of my core team, including Shauna, David, Waleed, Gavin, Piyush, Ella, Anojini and Asma who worked diligently to get the results we got; my election day chair Gowthaman; and campaign managers Joshua and Dorine. They were incredible in their efforts. I also want to thank the donors, those who cooked, those who put up signs, those who scrutineered, those who did everything possible to make this election a success, including the very responsible staff at Elections Canada.
Endeavours such as politics involve the entire family and I would be remiss if I do not acknowledge the steadfast support of my loving wife Harini and my children Sahanah and Bairavi, who, as every election comes and goes, seem to be getting older and wiser, I might add, but who continue to guide me in all the things I do, including my mother, who has always been my rock and my strength.
I want to congratulate all my colleagues who been elected for the first time and re-elected, and their families for their sacrifices.
I will now reply to the Speech from the Throne and I will be splitting my time with my dear friend from Oakville North—Burlington.
The primary focus of our government over the past two years has been to end the fight on COVID. This is a very important fight that has taken many Canadian lives, but we know we are at the forefront in leading this fight, including the procurement of vaccines and ensuring that those in Canada are vaccinated. Of those eligible, 82.3% have had their first dose and 79.6% have their second, which is an incredible feat for any country. We are also on the cusp of administering the third dose to Canadians.
This fight has always been taken by front-line and essential workers, many from very marginalized communities. I want to thank them and acknowledge their incredible efforts over the past two years. In my community, the Scarborough Health Network, the TAIBU Community Health Centre, the City of Toronto, led by Dr. Eileen de Villa, and others have been instrumental in this fight. I would be remiss if I did not thank and acknowledge them and their families for their service.
Some of the things that have been highlighted over the last two years include mental health. We have lost many people due to mental health over the past few years, but particularly during COVID. I had a very dear friend who took his life, and I know many others are struggling. The Speech from the Throne directly responds to the issues of mental health and addiction.
Long-term care homes have been a significant challenge. In my riding, in one particular institution, over 53 people died, including one personal support worker. The Speech from the Throne responds to that.
Just last week, I had the privilege of visiting the Tony Stacey Centre. It was initially built as a veterans home for seniors. I was able meet with the chair and some of the staff. There are long-term care homes across the country that are in a similar state of disrepair, but because of the hard work of their management, staff and universal care, they have been able to pull through with minimal loss of life. It is really a sad reflection of the state of our long-term care homes. This is an area where the federal government has a very important role to play, one that is outlined in the Speech from the Throne.
I want to talk about the resilience of our economy. There are a number of things we need to do, but, first and foremost, it is heartening to see that we have been able to recover 100% of the jobs we lost during the pandemic. Our GDP is close to pre-pandemic levels. By all accounts, our economy is starting to throttle in full force.
However, there are very important lessons we need to learn from the pandemic, including the need for child care. In our case, we proposed $10-a-day child care. I believe eight provinces have now signed on, with the exception of Ontario and New Brunswick. It is a very important initiative and so fundamental for families.
When our kids were young, we had such difficult choices to make, balancing work and other things in life, including, and most important at that time, child care. This will transform families. It will transform the ability of women to be in the workforce in full form. I am very excited about this. I hope the Province of Ontario will soon sign onto $10-a-day child care.
We have heard about housing affordability and the cost of living. With the measures we are introducing here, including child care and incentives for first-time homebuyers as well as rent-to-own programs, we know they will support families in Scarborough—Rouge Park and everyone in Canada.
The need for bold climate action is so prevalent, as we see floods on both our east and west coasts, as well as very erratic temperatures across the world. We know that some countries may not even exist in a decade or two. As a result, the need to accelerate the fight on climate change is so important.
Locally, I want to highlight a couple of things that are happening in my riding of Scarborough—Rouge Park. Earlier this year, the federal government committed to investing $2.26 billion toward the Scarborough subway extension. It is the single-largest investment by any federal government in Scarborough and is a very important tool in the fight against climate change. As well, there is a need for the extension of the Scarborough LRT East to Malvern. The City of Toronto has put in $1.3 billion and I am hopeful that the federal government, through permanent public transit funding, will be able to put its share into this.
The second part of our action on climate change is the Rouge National Urban Park, which is the model for the rest of Canada. I know we will build on that as we build national parks in other urban centres, including Windsor, Saskatoon and places like Halifax.
I would like to acknowledge and reflect on the recent findings in Kamloops and the other children's graves found around the country. It is heartbreaking and it requires a collective effort on the part of all of us, not only to double down on the 94 calls to action but to also ensure that we have truth, accountability and justice. We need to move forward on this to ensure that the survivors who need closure will be able to get it through interlocutory and any other supports that can be provided by the federal government.
There is a lot more in the Speech from the Throne, but I commit to continue to collaborate with my colleagues across the aisle. I want to ensure that, like the historical vote we had yesterday, we are able to work together to better the lives of Canadians, to ensure that justice exists for the survivors of residential schools and to ensure we move toward a path of reconciliation.
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, I always enjoy working with my colleague. He was a very constructive member of the committee.
However, I have to disagree with him. Child care is so fundamental to families in Canada. When I was knocking on doors, I spoke with many families about the need for affordable child care. Ontario is a rare exception in that it has not signed on. I am very hopeful that it will sign on. It will be transformational, and it will ensure that more people are in the workforce, particularly women.
This is an important step. We have learned an important lesson through the pandemic, and it is high time we implement this. We are long overdue for a national child care program. The $10-a-day program would serve that purpose. I look forward to working with my friend opposite on other initiatives that the government brings forward.
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, immigration is so important. I know we are committed to bringing in 40,000 Afghan refugees. We will ensure that immigration is fair.
Going forward, we have so many great programs, including a program we introduced recently, which has 250 spaces per year for human rights defenders. It is a very unique program, and Canada has signed on to it. I am hopeful that with the immigration challenges we have, we will be able to get through the pandemic and be able to ensure that processing is fair, adequate and speedy.
I am absolutely certain we will get to that point very shortly.
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, Nav Bhatia is best known as the official Raptors superfan. He has not missed a single home game since the inception of the team in 1995.
With his endearing love of the sport, Nav created the Nav Bhatia Superfan Foundation, with a goal to unite people of all ages and backgrounds through basketball.
He introduced so many racialized children and youth in the GTA to the Raptors. In 2019, Canada's team became NBA champions and fulfilled one of Nav's dreams of winning the ultimate prize in basketball. Nav uses his influence as a superfan to combat racism, to bridge our differences and to promote our diversity. Nav often says, “Canada is heaven on earth. Everything I have is because of this beautiful country.”
Nav Bhatia is a proud Sikh, successful entrepreneur, an infectious Raptors fan and a great Canadian role model. Nav's remarkable story will be showcased on CBC this Friday.
Please join me in welcoming Nav Bhatia today.
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