Government of Canada invests nearly $1 million to bring high-speed Internet to 4,557 more homes in the Durham region


Whitby, ON – The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we rely on our connections.
Now more than ever, Canadians across the country need access to reliable high-speed Internet
as many of us are working, learning, and staying in touch with friends and family from home.
Right now, too many Canadians living in rural and remote communities lack access to highspeed Internet. Through the Universal Broadband Fund’s (UBF) Rapid Response Stream, the
Government of Canada is taking immediate action to get Canadians connected to the highspeed Internet they need.

Ryan Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Whitby, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam
Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development,
announced $999,200 in federal funding to bring high-speed Internet to 4,557 underserved
households in the communities of Orono, Hampton, Blackstock, Enniskillen, Columbus, Solina,
Manchester, Burketon Station, Pontypool, Raglan, Ashburn, Myrtle Station, Kendal and
Nestleton Station, North Oshawa and Macedonian Village. Ruralwave powered by Rogers is
investing an additional $542,000 and Bell Canada is investing an additional $210,000.
The projects being announced today were approved within six months of the November 2020
formal launch of the now $2.75 billion UBF. Projects funded under the UBF, as well as through
other public and private investments, will help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed
Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.


The announcement builds on the progress the Government of Canada has already made to
improve critical infrastructure in Ontario. Since 2015, the federal government has invested over
$2.85 billion in over 4,060 infrastructure projects in Ontario communities with a population of
fewer than 100,000 people. These investments mean 481 km of new or upgraded roads that are making our communities safer; more than 938 projects to provide residents with cleaner,
more sustainable sources of drinking water; and more than 5,427 additional housing units built
in rural communities, helping ensure all Ontarians have a safe place to call home.

Quotes

“The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that reliable, high-speed internet access is a necessity, not
a luxury. This significant Federal Government investment through the Rapid Response Stream
of the Universal Broadband Fund will bring Internet access to more than 4500 households
across rural areas in Durham, including in Brooklin, Myrtle, Ashburn, Myrtle Station, and the
Macedonian Village in Whitby. This high-speed internet access announcement means more
families in our communities will be better supported to work, study, and access other essential
services from home.”

– Ryan Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Whitby

“The last year has put a spotlight on the vital role connectivity plays in the lives of Canadians
and businesses in communities across Canada. Thank you to the Government of Canada for
their support and investment to connect more Canadians to Fixed Wireless Home Broadband
internet in Clarington and Enniskillen and high-speed fibre connectivity in Burketon and
Tyrone.”

– Dan Risebrough Barnes, Director of Operations, Ruralwave

“Access to high-speed broadband networks will be a driver of Canada’s recovery from the
COVID-19 pandemic and of future social and economic prosperity, and Bell has committed to
further accelerating our industry-leading capital investment plan over the next two years to
connect even more communities across the country. We’re proud to invest $$210,000 and to
partner with the Government of Canada in providing residents of Macedonian Village with
access to the fastest fibre home Internet speeds available.”

– Bruce Furlong, Senior Vice-President, Access Engineering and Deployment, Bell Canada

“COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of strong broadband access to how we live, play and
build local prosperity and jobs. My thanks to MP Turnbull and the Government of Canada for
making this investment. Increased broadband availability in underserved areas of our Town, in
particular, will benefit our residents and local businesses for years to come.”

Don Mitchell, Mayor of the Town of Whitby

“On behalf of the Municipality, I want to thank the Government of Canada and Ruralwave, for
this significant investment in broadband for our underserviced areas. Municipal staff have been
working with internet providers for quite some time to support their efforts in obtaining
funding to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure in our rural communities. This
funding will bring those efforts to fruition and ensure that a number of our rural communities
finally have access to reliable, affordable and stable internet to support our residents who have
shifted to working and learning from home.”

Adrian Foster, Mayor of the Municipality of Clarington

“Thank you to the federal government and local providers for this funding. It is so incredibly
important to our community. This funding will help our agricultural operations, provide
opportunities for existing and future businesses, people working remotely from home and of
course school age and post-secondary students who are currently attending school virtually.”

Bobbie Drew, Mayor of the Township of Scugog

“For too long residents in the area like those in Macedonian Village have struggled for internet
service. Many are working from home or have children in school, who even during nonpandemic times, have been at a disadvantage. Regionally, we talk about the residents north of
highway 7 needing service when all the while we have an area right here in the GTA and south
of Highway 7 that is equally disadvantaged. It’s nice to see them acknowledged. We know this is
an essential service in modern times and I’m grateful for our community today.”

– Rhonda Mulcahy, Regional Councillor, Town of Whitby

“I want to thank MP Ryan Turnbull and the Government of Canada for this much needed
funding for broadband internet in Whitby. The past year has shown us how vital high-speed
internet can be for our communities and residents. We need to work to ensure all residents can
have access to high-speed internet service and this funding will help make that happen.”

– Steve Lee, North Ward Councillor, Town of Whitby

Quick facts
• Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at
least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.
• The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is a $2.75-billion investment designed to help connect all
Canadians to high-speed Internet. Applications to the UBF were accepted until March 15, 2021 and
are now being evaluated.
• The UBF is part of a suite of federal investments to improve high-speed Internet. The suite includes
the Connect to Innovate program, which is expected to connect nearly 400,000 households by 2023,
and the recently announced $2-billion broadband initiative from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Media Advisory: Government of Canada to invest in Broadband Internet in North Whitby & Durham Region

Ryan Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Whitby, will host a virtual funding announcement for Broadband Internet Investments through the Universal Broadband Fund in North Whitby and Durham Region. 

MP Turnbull will be joined by local municipal officials.  

Date: Friday May 7, 2021 


Time: 9:00am  

Zoom:  

Topic: Broadband Internet Announcement 

Time: May 7, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

Join Zoom Meeting 

https://zoom.us/j/99902951059?pwd=Y0FKcERhS09yRThWNW9xLzcwRGluZz09

Meeting ID: 999 0295 1059 

Passcode: 281277 

Notes: Those present will be available to take questions after the event. 

Letter to the Minister of National Revenue about Tax Filing Deadline

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

April 23, 2021

The Hon. Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P.

Minister of National Revenue

Dear Minister:

Re: Extension of Tax Filing Deadline

Thank you for your leadership throughout the crisis of the last year. Canadians are appreciative of our strong leadership as a government.

I have heard from some constituents regarding the need to extend the tax filing deadline given the stay-at-home order being enforced in Ontario. The Ontario Ministry of Labour has indicated they will be inspecting accounting firms – hampering the ability for tax professionals to help their clients with tax filing.

I am writing today to support their requests for an extension to the deadline.

I have included correspondence from Ritchie, Shortt & Tully LLP, a Chartered Professional Accountant firm in my community of Whitby who wrote to me expressing their concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Ryan Turnbull

Member of Parliament for Whitby

Letter to the Premier and Minister Elliott regarding Vaccine Availability in Durham Region

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

March 29, 2021

Honourable Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario

Honourable Christine Elliott
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health

Dear Premier and Deputy Premier:

Re: Vaccine Availability in Durham Region

Thank you for your public service through one of the most challenging crises to face our country and communities in a century.

I write today with concern regarding the equitable distribution of vaccines to Durham Region. I appreciate that you have the difficult task of ensuring that vaccines are distributed across the province and to the hardest impacted areas and this can be tough to balance. However, as you know Durham Region has been hovering between the Red and Grey zones since the stay-at-home order was lifted. As the Member of Parliament for Whitby, I have heard from constituents and community leaders with concerns about the local vaccine supply.

With Canada and Ontario receiving increased deliveries every week, it is critical that we get as many vaccines into the arms of residents as possible as quickly as possible. I know Durham Public Health is ready and able to receive increased vaccine shipments.

I am writing to request immediate action in three areas:

  • Ensure Durham Region is receiving an equitable share of the vaccines available to the Province
  • Immediately include Durham Region in the pharmacy pilot program
  • Work with Durham Region Public Health to lower the age of eligibility for those who can             receive a vaccine

These measures will allow more members of our communities to be vaccinated during a time when over 30% of new cases are a variant of concern. I am hearing from people daily who are ready to receive their vaccine.

Thank you for your time and consideration of these requests.

Yours Sincerely,

 Ryan Turnbull

Member of Parliament for Whitby

cc:
His Worship Mayor Don Mitchell, Town of Whitby
John Henry, Chair of the Regional Municipality of Durham
Dr. Robert Kyle, Medical Officer of Health, Durham Region
Chris Leahy, Deputy Mayor and Regional Councillor, Town of Whitby
Rhonda Mulcahy, Regional Councillor, Town of Whitby
Elizabeth Roy, Regional Councillor, Town of Whitby
Steve Yamada, Regional Councillor, Town of Whitby
Durham Region MPs
Durham Region MPPs

Event: Pre-Federal Budget Consultation

Event: Discussion with Healthcare Workers

Updated Statement on COVID-19 Outbreaks in Whitby

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

I have heard from a number of constituents concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak at Sunnycrest Nursing Home. As someone whose own mother is in a senior’s residence, I want you to know how alarmed I am at the rapid increase in cases at this facility and the stories I am hearing from constituents about conditions at the facility.

Though long-term care is managed by the Ontario Government, I have reached out to Sunnycrest to offer my support on anything the federal government can do.

I have been in contact with Federal Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, Federal Minister of Seniors, Deb Schulte, and Federal Minister of Public Safety, Bill Blair to convey my serious concern. The Federal Government remains ready to assist if called upon by the Ontario government.

I have written to Premier Doug Ford and Ontario’s Minister of Long-Term Care, Merilee Fullerton conveying my deep concern for the situation and repeating my support for an independent, public inquiry into Ontario’s long-term care system.

We must all work together to protect our community. We simply cannot allow those who built our country to be treated this way.

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.