Statement by Ryan Turnbull, MP for Whitby on Rent Assistance and Commercial Eviction Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 25, 2020

Statement by Ryan Turnbull, MP for Whitby on Rent Assistance and Commercial Eviction Ban

WHITBY – Ryan Turnbull, joined by local business owners and community leaders, Member of Parliament for Whitby, made the following statement today:

“Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us today.

“We gather today on the traditional territory of the Missisaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, which is covered by the Williams Treaties.

“The provincial government has put in place a commercial eviction ban to protect small businesses in the COVID-19 pandemic in the Protecting Small Business Act. I have heard from many small business owners in Whitby whose livelihoods are threatened by illegal evictions and many more who are worried about what happens when the commercial eviction ban is lifted at the end of this month.

This is not about party politics, but instead about working across party lines and orders of government to find solutions for the residents and business here in Whitby. Small business owners, their employees, their suppliers, and their families are all counting on us to help them during this pandemic.

“The federal and provincial governments worked together successfully to develop the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program and I am calling on them to continue to work together, as I know they have been, to offer further rent support. I am also asking for the provincial government to extend the ban on commercial evictions until December 31st.

“The CECRA, or Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance, is working. I have heard from businesses in Whitby who have benefited from this vital help. Landlords should be participating in this program, and it is in the interests of small business owners and landlords to keep businesses in our community thriving. I have personally called landlords multiple times to ensure that their voices and any concerns they have about the design of this program are heard.

“I have also written a letter to the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to advocate for this, and I’ve also, just yesterday, written a letter to Ontario’s Minister of Finance Rod Phillips which you can find on my website at TurnbullWhitby.ca.

“Small businesses, we all know, are at the heart of our economy. They are innovators, they’re job creators. More than ever, these small businesses will be vital to our building back better and ensuring that our economy bounces back successfully.

“I have launched a broad consultation on how we, in Whitby, can cultivate the most innovative ideas for building back a stronger, more resilient, more sustainable economy and I have committed to delivering those best ideas to the Prime Minister myself. I hope you’ll help me and lend your voices to the many chorus of voices in Whitby and across the country in looking forward to our economy recovery plan.

“Thank you very much.”

Local business owner, Benito Suppa of Durham Escape Rooms, added:

“COVID-19 has impacted everyone from business owners and families, to employees and landlords. The struggle for us is not being able to operate our business fully. Consumers and our guests have not been able to do things and there is still some consumer confidence lacking. We need to do things to ensure that business owners can continue operating as we navigate through COVID-19.”

Whitby Councillor Jo-Anne Drum added:

“Our small businesses are the heart of our community. I firmly believe the downtowns are the barometer of the community. Now is the time to all of us to band together to give a hand up to our small businesses and remove barriers. We need to make it a better journey for them in order succeed.”

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For more information, please contact

Bryan Crockett, Office of Ryan Turnbull
bryan.crockett.514@parl.gc.ca
905.242.8125

Letter to Ontario Minister of Finance, Hon. Rod Phillips

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

August 24, 2020

Honourable Rod Phillips, M.P.P.
Minister of Finance
Ministry of Finance
Frost Building South
7th Floor
7 Queen’s Park Cres.
Toronto, ON M7A 1Y7

URGENT

Dear Minister:

RE: Commercial Eviction Ban

I, along with many of my constituents, were very pleased with your government’s decision to pass a commercial eviction ban as part of the The Protecting Small Business Act, 2020. I also want to express my gratitude to your government for their participation in the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program. This vital program has saved many small businesses from closure during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of my constituents have reached out to me with concerns that their commercial landlords are illegally locking them out of their businesses. Some landlords are refusing to participate in the CECRA and are waiting for the moratorium on evictions to lapse in order to evict their tenants. During this time, this threatens the survival of their business and threatens the overall stability of the economy. I am sure that you can appreciate how important it is to support small business, especially considering the tremendous economic benefit they provide to the local community.

We must work together, across party lines and orders of government, for the good of our province and in order to protect small businesses during this difficult time.

I respectfully request that your government take immediate action to:

  • Extend the ban on commercial evictions until December 31st; and
  • Work with your federal counterparts to extend the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program until December 31st.

We know that the livelihoods of many family-run, small businesses hang in the balance and they are counting on us to ensure they can recover.

Thank you for your consideration in this regard.

Sincerely,

Ryan Turnbull
Member of Parliament for Whitby

cc:

The Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and Minister of Finance

The Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

The Hon. Doug Downey, Attorney General of Ontario

Mr. Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby

Letter in Support of Summer Camps

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

August 14, 2020

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, P.C, M.P.
Minister of Diversity, Inclusion, and Youth
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Minister:

COVID-19 has impacted many facets of our lives and our young people have been particularly hit hard. Their school year ended early and many of them have not seen their friends for months. Summer camps across Canada have been struggling as a result of the pandemic. I write today to express my support for the government to provide financial assistance to Canada’s summer camps.

We all know the positive impacts the summer camp experience has on children across the country and it is important that we ensure that these opportunities continue to be available in the future. These experiences teach critical life skills to children and give them a lifetime of memories. These organizations also employ 70,000 Canadians and add a $1 billion to the Canadian economy. Many of these organizations have nearly lost all of their revenue this year and some will not survive without targeted financial support from government.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to working together to ensure Canada’s young people can enjoy the camp experience for generations to come.

Yours sincerely,

Ryan Turnbull

Member of Parliament for Whitby

cc:

The Hon. Bill Morneau, P.C.,M.P., Minister of Finance

The Hon. Steven Guilbeault, P.C., M.P., Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Matt Brundage

Ms. Catherine Kennedy

Mark Diamond, Vice-President, Ontario Camps Association

Letter to Minister Schulte on Long Term Care

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

August 14, 2020

The Honourable Deb Schulte, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Seniors
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Minister:

Following up on our previous conversations, I write today with my wholehearted support for a national standard for long-term care.

The pandemic has laid bare what we have known for decades and failed to act on when it comes to long-term care. Some homes provide an inadequate level of care to our seniors. It is unbecoming of a country such as Canada to have those who cared for us and raised us to be treated in the ways described in the media.

I look forward to working together to improve the quality of life of our seniors.

Yours sincerely,

Ryan Turnbull

Member of Parliament for Whitby

Letter in Support of the Durham Black Accountability Coalition (DBAC)

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

August 13, 2020

To whom it may concern,

The Black Lives Matter movement for racial equality and justice has stirred our collective conscience these past few months. While the struggle against Anti-Black racism and police brutality has continued over the past several decades, we remain determined to ensure that the rise in activism and solidarity by so many Canadians will lead to substantive and meaningful changes by all levels of government, and our society at large.

As Members of Parliament representing constituencies in the Region of Durham, we are proud to serve diverse communities that have been built and supported through the contributions of Black Canadians.

The Durham Black Accountability Coalition (DBAC) is a community group working to address systemic Anti-Black racism and ensure that real, tangible steps are taken to respond to the demands for racial justice and equality. Their work includes a petition, signed by over 15,000 residents, to reallocate financial resources from Durham Regional Police Services to better equip mental health response teams and alternative community-centric programming to policing.

The Parliamentary Black Caucus, chaired by MP Greg Fergus, recently proposed concrete policy solutions to address the roots of systemic Anti-Black discrimination. As allies, we support the proposed reforms that it outlines. This includes changes that would collect race-based data to measure the pervasiveness of systemic discrimination, implementing a Black Canadian justice strategy and establishing community justice centres across the country as an alternative to imprisonment. We also support calls by the Parliamentary Black Caucus to ensure that Governments provide economic assistance to support Black-owned businesses and Black artists and creators.

Words of solidarity are important, but they are simply not enough. As Parliamentarians in Durham Region, we support the work of DBAC and will continue to push for strong reforms and a new approach to dealing with systemic Anti-Black racism.

Yours Sincerely,

Jennifer O’Connell
MP, Pickering-Uxbridge

Mark Holland
MP, Ajax

Ryan Turnbull
MP, Whitby

Letter to Minister Monsef regarding high-speed internet

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

August 11, 2020

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Rural Economic Development
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Minister:

COVID-19 has changed all facets of our lives and has shone a bright light on the many areas we need to work on to make our country even better. People across my riding of Whitby, Ontario and the Durham Region are counting on reliable, high-speed and affordable internet to ensure they can work from home while continuing to grow their small businesses.

I have heard from many small business owners throughout the pandemic that reliable and affordable high-speed internet is a challenge to find in some parts of Whitby and Durham Region. I fully support our government’s efforts to ensure every Canadian has access to reliable high-speed internet as committed to in Budget 2019. As the nature of work changes and small businesses continue to move online, we need to accelerate our investment in getting high-speed internet coverage to all Canadians.

I fully support new investments in internet connectivity as part of the government’s economic recovery plan and I look forward to working with you to ensure this is achieved.

Yours sincerely,

Ryan Turnbull
Member of Parliament for Whitby

Letter to Minister Lametti on Legal Aid Funding

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

July 23, 2020

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Minister:

RE: Legal Aid Funding Shortfalls Due to COVID-19

In August 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the cuts made by the Ontario Progressive
Conservative government to legal aid. At that time, our government stepped up with $26.8 million to
ensure that legal aid services continued for immigrants and refugees in Ontario. This was an important
investment on top of previous investments in legal aid made by the federal government.

The Durham Community Legal Clinic provides free legal services to low-income individuals in the
Durham Region, including more than 4000 individuals in my riding of Whitby. These services are vital
and serve some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Community Legal Clinics are funded by Legal Aid Ontario (LAO). LAO receives their funding through the
provincial government, as well as through the Law Foundation of Ontario. Funded through the interest
on the trust accounts of legal service providers, the Law Foundation of Ontario required by statute to
provide 75% of its funds to LAO. Given that these funds are generated through account interest, they
depend on economic activity and interest rates. COVID-19 has resulted in record low interest rates along
with decreased economic activity. This perfect storm has led to LAO anticipating a decrease between
$60-$70 million.

The Durham Community Legal Clinic benefits residents in Whitby by providing legal services. Through its
community partnerships, the Durham Community Legal Clinic’s Access to Justice Hub provides free
wrap-around service delivery to residents. These services include free year-round tax filing, newcomer
services, employment and training support, support obtaining government ID, and support for people
living with brain injuries, among many other valuable services.

The Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario is requesting one-time funding from the federal
government to offset the anticipated shortfall from the Law Foundation of Ontario. This funding is
critical to protecting the legal rights of individuals in Whitby and therefore, I support this request.

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Ryan Turnbull
Member of Parliament for Whitby

CC: The Hon. Bill Morneau, P.C., M.P., Minister of Finance
Mr. Omar Ha-Redeye, Executive Director, Durham Community Legal Clinic

Letter to Mayor Mitchell on Green Development Standard

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

July 21, 2020

Mayor Don Mitchell
Town of Whitby
575 Rossland Road East
Whitby, ON L1N 2M8

Dear Your Worship:

I write to you with concern and disappointment regarding the delay of the vote on the implementation of the Green Development Standard.

As you know, climate change is the challenge of our time and given the current pandemic we have an opportunity to reinvent the way we do things. A green standard is an important step in making our community a green leader. I am hopeful that council will support the implementation of the Green Standard this fall.

I look forward to discussing this issue at our next available opportunity.

Yours sincerely,

Ryan Turnbull
Member of Parliament for Whitby

cc:
Whitby Council
CAO Matt Gaskell

Letter to Kevin Ashe, Chair of Durham Regional Police Services Board

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

June 20, 2020

Kevin Ashe
Chair
Durham Regional Police Services Board
Police Headquarters
605 Rossland Road East
Whitby, ON L1N 0B8

Dear Chair:

Re: Use of Force Protocols and Anti-Racism Training

I write to express my concern regarding recent videos circulated demonstrating the unnecessary use of force by officers of the Durham Regional Police Service (“DPRS”). I have been sent these videos by dozens of constituents expressing their own concern.

I am aware that an initial review determined that the use of force was necessary in both circumstances, however I ask that a full review of all available evidence be conducted with a full report released to the public. Members of the community are rightly seeking clarification for the actions of these officers.

As the Prime Minister has said, unconscious bias exists within all aspects of the government, including in policing. I understand that the Durham Regional Police Service provides some training to its members regarding anti-racism and unconscious bias. I am requesting that the DPRS and Board review all anti-racism programs and unconscious bias training programs they provide for their members. In the interest of transparency, I urge such a report to be released to the public at the earliest possible opportunity.

I further request copies of any review or report that is conducted. This issue is very important to me and my constituents.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Ryan Turnbull

Member of Parliament for Whitby