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