Letter to Minister Qualtrough on Student Loan Repayment

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

November 16, 2020

Hon. Carla Qualtrough, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Minister:

RE: Canada Student Loan Repayment

Throughout this pandemic, our Government has taken strong action to support Canadians. Through measures such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) enhancement of the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ), and a 6-month interest-free moratorium on Canada Student Loans, our Government has been there for Canadians and we will continue to be.

As you know, the moratorium on repayments for Canada Student Loans ended on September 30, 2020. With the second wave of COVID-19 upon us, it is imperative that we support students and new graduates. One of the best ways that we can do that is to extend the moratorium on student loan repayment so that students and recent graduates can focus on getting through this pandemic.

I have heard from many students and recent graduates in Whitby about how extending this moratorium would provide them with more flexibility, peace of mind, and resources during this uncertain time.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Ryan Turnbull

Member of Parliament for Whitby

Roundtable Discussion on the National Autism Strategy

Ryan Turnbull speaks in the House of Commons

Reflections on the Throne Speech 2020

The Speech from the Throne delivered this past week by the Governor General outlines many significant wins for Canadians. Many of the commitments and directions conveyed in the Speech were the result of consultation and advocacy work by myself and my fellow Liberal caucus members. I really do see it reflecting and responding to the needs of Canadians, while signalling major progressive changes on the near horizon as we eventually emerge from this worldwide pandemic. 

There is a sense in which I and others were hoping for even more bold measures for the future to be outlined in that Speech but the context shifted dramatically leading up to the Throne Speech. Whereas two weeks earlier COVID-19 had been relatively successfully held at bay and case numbers were dwindling, numbers began to shoot up sharply as the season changed and students began to return to school. It was clear that getting Canadians safely through this pandemic needed to be a continued priority.

Below, I outline some of substantive features of the recent Speech from the Throne that demonstrate again our Government is listening and responding to the needs of Canadians. These are all directions that I personally fought for and strongly advocated for as a member of the governing Liberal Party caucus. I always say it’s good to be ambitious and many of my constituents’ ambitions are reflected in this inspiring Speech from the Throne. I know that my constituents here in Whitby are ready for our government to lead us through an era of crisis, to overcome this pandemic and to take on transformative changes that will help Canada become stronger and more resilient. This challenging time will be defined in how we define it, it’s up to all of us! We can emerge from this stronger and more capable of taking on the biggest challenges of our time.

A National Standard for Long-term Care 

Probably one of the biggest “wins” in the Speech from the Throne is the strong commitment our Government has made to developing a National Standard of Care for Long-term Care. One of my first official acts as the Member of Parliament for Whitby on the Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) Standing Committee was to make a motion to study how we could improve Long-term Care. This includes building more facilities and having more highly qualified health care workers to ensure a higher standard of care. This motion seems like eons ago and was well before the current COVID-19 pandemic, which adds additional urgency. The Motion I put forward got Unanimous Consent, something I’ve learned is extremely challenging to achieve in Parliament. 

Just prior to the pandemic, I hosted a consultation in my riding with Seniors whose perspectives I listened to and whose input my team and I summarized and wrote up into a briefing, which I subsequently presented to the Minister of Seniors, the Honourable Deb Schulte. One of the highest-level priorities was improving care for seniors, developing more affordable housing options and developing a strategy for developing the human resources necessary for ensuring that Senior Care of all types would have enough skilled workers to meet the demand.

In addition, I put forward a policy resolution on a National Standard for Long-term Care for the Liberal Caucus’ policy development process and worked with my fellow MPs to combine our similar resolutions into one stronger policy resolution, which could garner more support, and it was successful in being one of the highest priorities in that process. 

I also wrote a letter to Minister Schulte and put out a public statement calling for our Government to prioritize a National Standard for Long-term Care as we move forward, given the many inadequacies in our current system that have been laid bare during this pandemic. 

Lastly, in the lead up to the Throne Speech, I participated in consultations with the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity to voice the need for the National Standard for Long-term Care to be a prominent feature in the Throne Speech. 

Hearing the words spoken by the Governor General on this topic, echoing what I and others had advocated strongly for, was truly fulfilling, and now of course there is much work to be done to fulfill this commitment.

Pulling together

Taking action on extreme risks from climate change

Climate action will be a cornerstone of our plan to support and create a million jobs across the country.

This is where the world is going. Global consumers and investors are demanding and rewarding climate action.

Canadians have the determination and ingenuity to rise to this challenge and global market opportunity.

We can create good jobs today and a globally competitive economy not just next year, but in 2030, 2040, and beyond.

Canadians also know climate change threatens our health, way of life, and planet. They want climate action now, and that is what the Government will continue to deliver.

The Government will immediately bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal. The Government will also legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

As part of its plan, the Government will:

  • Create thousands of jobs retrofitting homes and buildings, cutting energy costs for Canadian families and businesses;
  • Invest in reducing the impact of climate-related disasters, like floods and wildfires, to make communities safer and more resilient;
  • Help deliver more transit and active transit options;
  • And make zero-emissions vehicles more affordable while investing in more charging stations across the country.

Supporting businesses

Taking action on extreme risks from climate change

Your federal Liberal government committed in the 2020 Throne Speech to more transit and active transit options as part of our plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2020.

Please let me know your thoughts on this measure from the Throne Speech. I take your feedback very seriously.