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

Ryan Turnbull speaks in the House of Commons

Sustainable Public Procurement – Using Government Purchasing Power to Transform Markets

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many issues to the surface and changed all facets of our lives. Early in the pandemic the vulnerabilities present within our supply chain became quite clear. Access to essential goods such as personal protective equipment, food, lumber, and many other items became difficult to come by. Government and the private sector were forced in a short timeframe to produce many essential goods domestically.

In my opinion one of the most promising and timely policy directions that we as a Federal Government can take is to ensure that we are buying goods and services according to our values.  This is referred to as Sustainable Public Procurement.  The Federal Government spends between $10-20 Billion annually on goods and services and wields considerable buying power.  As a customer, we are one of the largest in the country, which means we have influence to help send a clear market signal with our purchasing decisions.

In speaking with many constituents, I have heard over and over the need for Canada to refocus on rebuilding its domestic supply chains and ensuring that they are resilient and sustainable. Given the shocks that we have endured and likely will endure again, this is even more pressing.  This is not out of a protectionism that sometimes plagues these dialogues, but genuinely out of concern for being able to secure essential supplies in times when borders may be shut down or international trade relationships become strained due to scarce supply.

We all have seen the calls for an equitable society and racial justice. The inherent differences experienced by racialized people, and people of colour have been brought to the forefront of all our consciousness. Many other equity seeking groups, such as the LGBTQ2S+ community, and persons with disabilities find themselves excluded from the labour market or experiencing barriers to employment, challenges in upward mobility through no fault of their own.

Another looming crisis that has been approaching for generations that scientists and researchers have been clear is not a figment of the imagination, but instead is based on a body of evidence that is undeniably solid is Climate Change.  The potential for disruption to our daily lives of global climate change far surpasses that of the current global pandemic, and in many ways environmentalists, scientists and world leaders rightly perceive COVID-19 as a wake-up call or even a final alarm bell.  Seeing governments respond with such urgency during COVID-19 has been encouraging and many would welcome a similar response to the bigger impending crisis of climate change.  One of the main impediments to addressing global climate change is the private industries that continue to spew GHG emissions into the atmosphere contributing to our national emissions total.  As a government, we are committed to reaching Net Zero as a country by 2050 but this requires unprecedented and transformational shifts in all aspects of our economy, our purchasing decisions and behaviour as consumers and creating of new norms within the lives of Canadians.

All these concerns are at the forefront of people’s minds today and provide context for why I believe now is the time to introduce a Federal Government commitment to Sustainable Public Procurement.  We can achieve outcomes in all three of these key areas through adopting a sustainability framework into how the Federal Government evaluates bids and makes decisions on who we do business with.  By thinking about our purchasing decisions as a massive market force, we can introduce a new sense of social and environmental responsibility into the marketplace.  This means that through a competitive process we would favour businesses that are of different sizes and that operate domestically, that provide the most employment opportunities to equity seeking groups, and that reduce GHG emissions and their overall carbon footprint.  Changing the nature in which we do government purchasing will provide a shift in the market to enable Canadians to have more domestically sourced options while also lowering barriers to employment for equity-seeking groups and demonstrate a firm commitment to action on climate change.

 

Ryan Turnbull

Member of Parliament 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