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

Constituency Youth Council 2020/2021 Applications Now Open!

Constituency Youth Council

Applications for the 2020/2021 term of the Whitby Constituency Youth Council (CYC) are now open! Apply today! 

Our government believes that youth must play an important role in shaping the future of our country’s success, and Whitby’s Constituent Youth Council (CYC) is a wonderful opportunity for us to engage with young community members in Whitby!

The Whitby CYC is an initiative mean to engage citizens in our riding by organizing meetings and facilitating discussions and concrete actions on the issues that matter to them. The CYC is a great way to meet other young professionals, get involved with volunteer work in your community, gain some new experience and skills, and ensure your voice is being heard.

The Whitby CYC will execute its duties through 3 activities;

  1. Conducting research about local policy issues to present to the Member of Parliament in a professional format.
  2. Engaging in community outreach to create and maintain relationships and;
  3. Volunteering and organizing community support projects.

If you are interested in joining the Whitby CYC, please apply by following this link by 11:59 p.m. on July 31st, 2020.