My family had the privilege of supporting Durham Regional Crimestoppers on January 21 during their annual benefit hockey game where the Whitby Professional Firefighters faced off against retired NHL Pros at Iroquois Park Arena to raise money for charity. Thanks to Durham Regional CrimeStoppers for organizing! It was a fun game!! Go Whitby!
It has been several weeks since we last connected and it has been a whirlwind. My family has grown and we are adapting to this new rhythm as a family of four. Meetings with constituents and stakeholders have ramped up and I look forward to returning to Parliament Hill and to keeping you informed. This week’s update is bursting with important news!
Whitby Awarded $24.9 Million through the Housing Accelerator Fund
I am absolutely thrilled that after months of advocacy, on January 23, the Government of Canada and the Town of Whitby announced that they reached an agreement to fast track over 650 housing units over the next three years. This work will help spur the construction of more than 18,000 homes over the next decade. I was pleased to join Whitby Mayor Liz Roy, CAO Matthew Gaskell, Regional Chair John Henry and Regional Councillor Rhonda Mulcahy for this long-awaited and exciting announcement.
The agreement under the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF), will provide $25 million to eliminate barriers to building the housing we need, faster. Whitby’s Action Plan commits to nine local initiatives that enable a variety of housing forms and densities to meet the diverse needs of the community. The funding will help expedite the housing approval process through electronic permitting, enabling additional residential units and up to four units as-of-right across the town to encourage the creation of additional housing units on existing residential lots, the disposal of town land for the creation of new affordable housing, the creation of a Community Improvement Plan, developing pre-approved housing designs and promoting more modular homes, purpose-built rentals, and using alternate construction materials when building, as well as encouraging higher density around major transit stations and other areas of Whitby.
HAF is helping cut red tape and fast track at least 100,000 permitted new homes over the first three years, which towns and regions estimate will lead to the creation of over 500,000 permitted new homes for people in towns, cities, and Indigenous communities across Canada over the next decade. It asks for innovative action plans from local governments, and once approved, provides upfront funding to ensure the timely building of new homes, as well as additional funds upon delivering results. Local governments are encouraged to think big and be bold in their approaches, which could include accelerating project timelines, allowing increased housing density, and encouraging affordable housing units.
With federal funding and federal leadership, we are changing how towns let housing get built in their municipalities. With a greater focus on higher density housing, student housing, homes near transit and affordable housing, we are going to get more homes built for Canadians at prices they can afford. This is just one way the Government of Canada is making life more affordable for Canadians – and housing is key to its work. It will continue to work with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, as well as Indigenous partners, to keep building more homes for Canadians, faster.
Stay tuned as our government continues to invest in Whitby and improve the lives of all residents. #TeamWhitby
“Our government is proud to be working with the Town of Whitby to ensure we are doing our part to fulfill the housing needs in our town and indeed across Canada. This funding of $25 million for housing in Whitby will accelerate the development of safe and affordable housing to meet the needs of our rapidly growing town where we need it most.” — MP Turnbull
Collaboration Makes Good things Happen in Whitby
After the historic announcement for the Town of Whitby, I had productive discussions this week with Mayor Liz Roy, CAO Matt Gaskell and Strategic Initiatives Director Sarah Klein. Collaboration makes things happen! Onward #TeamWhitby This is part of my monthly check with the Town to establish and follow up on mutual priorities and keep Whitby moving forward. Collaboration is the key to good governance.
Listening to the Concerns of Whitby’s Small Businesses
Early this month, I sat with @WhitbyChamber CEO, Susanne Gagnon, and Policy Advisor, Preeti Sangwan, to discuss issues that matter to #Whitby businesses including innovation, skilled workers, affordability for businesses, and new @FedDevOntario programs like Tourism Growth Fund and My Mainstreet. If you own a business in Whitby, ask me about these two new Federal programs to support businesses.
Congratulations to our Jeopardy Champion!
Congratulations to Whitby’s own Dr. Juveria Zaheer on her Jeopardy win in the Champions Wildcard Tournament.
Dr. Juveria Zaheer is a scientist with the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research and General Adult Psychiatry and Health Systems Division at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). She is also an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
You have made us all proud and I have no doubt this is just the beginning of many more triumphs to come.
The Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) hosted their Youth in Policing’s 4th annual IMPACT youth forum on Saturday, January 13 at the Abilities Centre. This event is focused on leadership and empowerment. It aims to help youth start a ripple of change and turn it into meaningful impact. I was very happy to be present and engage with the DRPS leadership, including Chief Moreira, and the many youth at IMPACT. I am very supportive of the DRPS’ Youth in Policing initiative which emphasizes the importance of leadership, teamwork and community engagement. Such programs enrich the fabric of our community and build the community leaders of tomorrow.
Canada to decrease number of new international student permits
International students enrich our communities and are a critical part of Canada’s social, cultural and economic fabric. In recent years, the integrity of the international student system has been threatened. Some institutions have significantly increased their intakes to drive revenues, and more students have been arriving in Canada without the proper supports they need to succeed. As a result, Minister Marc Miller has announced several measures including a cap on International Students today which will see a 35% reduction in the number of study permits. This is an important step in recalibrating our immigration system with our capacity.
Rapid increases in the number of international students arriving in Canada also puts pressure on housing, health care and other services. As we work to better protect international students from bad actors and support sustainable population growth in Canada, the government is moving forward with measures to stabilize the number of international students in Canada.
In the spirit of fairness, individual provincial and territorial caps have been established, weighted by population, which will result in much more significant decreases in provinces where the international student population has seen the most unsustainable growth.
These temporary measures will be in place for two years, and the number of new study permit applications that will be accepted in 2025 will be re-assessed at the end of this year. During this period, the Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces and territories, designated learning institutions and national education stakeholders on developing a sustainable path forward for international students, including finalizing a recognized institution framework, determining long-term sustainable levels of international students and ensuring post-secondary institutions are able to provide adequate levels of student housing.
Local institutions are invited to reach out to my office to share their concerns as we move forward with these new measures at email@example.com.
Government of Canada Announces National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft
Whitby has not gone unscathed as auto thefts run rampant in suburban towns and cities across the province and country. After months of advocacy, Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs; Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport and Quebec Lieutenant; François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board, announced that a National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft will take place on February 8, 2024 in Ottawa. The Summit will bring together leaders from key jurisdictions and sectors to ensure a coordinated response to this issue.
Auto theft is a highly lucrative, highly sophisticated trans-national crime that not only affects Canadians but empowers criminal organizations through the proceeds of crime. The Government is committed to combatting auto theft in Canada, including the shipment of stolen vehicles through our borders. This Summit is in keeping with the Government of Canada’s commitment to combatting serious and organized crime and ensuring the safety of communities.
New Programs to Support Small Business
FedDev Ontario has announced a $15 million investment to continue the recovery and revitalization of main streets across southern Ontario. This funding will support up to 5,750 jobs and up to 3,200 businesses and organizations across southern Ontario.
This funding will continue the important work of the My Main Street (MMS) initiative. MMS was launched in 2021 with an initial investment of $23.25 million, and has since supported nearly 4,000 businesses and organizations, nearly 6,100 jobs and leveraged nearly $16.3 million in additional investment.
This new round of funding will be delivered through two new programs aimed for businesses and community not-for-profit organizations:
My Main Street Business Sustainability Program: will provide non-repayable contributions of up to $20,000 in direct-to-business funding to support productivity enhancements for up to 325 businesses located on main streets across southern Ontario.
Funded projects will include common storefronts such as Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Clothing Stores, Boutiques and many more.
My Main Street Community Activator Program: will provide non-repayable contributions of up to $250,000 to support up to 75 community not-for-profit projects across southern Ontario, including the GTA, focused on high-impact placemaking activities.
Funded projects will include initiatives such as local markets, festivals and streetscape improvements.
This funding will be delivered via the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI). CUI will also create and provide Main Street Community Profiles, a service that businesses and organizations in your community can use to understand the social, economic and demographic makeup of consumers in the region.
The programs will launch on February 15, 2024.
FedDev Ontario has funding available through the Tourism Growth Program for businesses and organizations to help draw people to our vibrant communities year round. The Tourism Growth Program (TGP) is a key element of the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, which builds on Canada’s inherent strengths and unique qualities while using a whole-of-government approach to realize the full potential of the tourism industry.
If you have a project to build a new attraction, create a winter festival, or launch other products and experiences that will attract tourists to your community, reach out today!
Apply to the first round of funding before February 29, 2024, to start your projects!
Do you have a project with activities happening before March 31, 2024? Apply ASAP for priority consideration.
Peterborough is getting a new NET ZERO fire station thanks to the Green Municipal Fund! I was proud to deliver the great news, on behalf of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, alongside Scott Pearce, President of The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Mayor Jeff Leal to announce an investment of $9.3 million ($1,226,080 in grants and $8,173,910 in loans) through the Green Municipal Fund to construct a new net-zero fire station in #Peterborough Ontario. This transformative project, set to replace the aging Fire Station 2, will incorporate renewable energy, mass timber construction and water-saving technologies, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and substantial operational-cost savings of $24,270 per year for the city.
Celebrating Tamil Heritage Month
On January 20, it was a pleasure to attend a vibrant celebration of Tamil Heritage in Whitby organized by the Tamil Cultural and Academic Society of Durham! Thank you to the Tamil community across Whitby and Durham for all your contributions, and for generously sharing your rich culture and traditions with us.
Canada’s Tamil community is one of the largest outside Asia, owning businesses, starting media outlets and running grassroots organizations to serve their communities and strengthen our country. Their contributions in academia, literature and science have made our communities and our country stronger.
Commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day
On January 27, Canada joined the world in commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This solemn day honours the memory of the more than six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, along with the millions of other victims of Nazi barbarity during World War II. This day, marking the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, by Allied forces in 1945, is not just a moment of remembrance but also a steadfast commitment to preventing such unconscionable atrocities in the future.
Honouring the Victims of the Quebec City Mosque Attack
Seven years ago, an act of terror took the lives of six people at the Grand Mosque in Quebec City and seriously injured 19 others. Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Azzeddine Soufiane and Aboubaker Thabti were fathers, husbands, brothers, colleagues and Muslims. Their deaths were heartbreaking for their loved ones, for Muslim communities around the world and for Canadians. Islamophobia, hatred, radicalization—and the denial of these realities—are the root of this horrifying act of violence.
I join Canadians across the country to remember and honour those who were unjustly taken from us. Our thoughts are with the victims, their loved ones, and all those who still live with the pain and trauma caused by this terrorist attack. We also pay tribute to the first responders whose courage and professionalism saved lives that night. Our government will always stand up and continue to take action against Islamophobia and all forms of hate, to ensure the safety of all Canadians.
Catching Up on Social Innovation
I had an engaging meeting with Social Innovation Canada to get updated on their current projects. We also discussed the challenges of scaling up social innovation projects that are in development across the country. Andrea Nemtin, CEO of SI Canada, is a force to reckoned with in the field of social innovation. For over 25 years she has led complex organizations and initiatives focused on creating positive social and environmental progress.
Politically engaged on Electoral Reform
When ordinary citizens are constructively engaged in the politics of our country it makes for a healthy, thriving democracy. This is why I was very happy to meet with a group of Whitby constituents who are advocating for the creation of a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform. We had meaningful discussions on the importance of electoral reform and Motion 86 and the challenges and possibilities of advancing electoral reform through legislation. My gratitude and support to this group for your involvement and initiative on a matter of such fundamental importance to our democracy.
You’re Invited to Write Valentines for Veterans
Building a Sustainable Food System
Canada is a world leader in food production. Building a resilient, sustainable and affordable food production system has been a field that I have been very interested in and involved with for many years. Food security is a growing national and global priority that has come into focus in light of recent global events such as the COVID 19 pandemic, destabilizing geo-political events and global warming. So I was very pleased to engage with the Deans Council – Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Medicine (AFVM) on this subject earlier this month. The Deans Council AFVM comprises the Deans of Canada’s 13 university faculties that provide world-class education and conduct cutting-edge research in agriculture and veterinary sciences.
Exploring the benefits of the Greener Homes Grant
This month, I had the opportunity to meet with Aaron Freeman and Michelle Hjort to discuss Neighbourhood Energy Solutions and the Greener Homes Grant. This grant provides Canadians with the opportunity to make green retrofits to their home with the help of the federal government ans has had a lot of participation. We explored the opportunity that this grant provides for Durham residents to make their homes environmentally conscious while taking into consideration some changes that could make this program even better! I look forward to continuing our conversation and our push toward a greener Canada.
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MP Ryan Turnbull
Member of Parliament for Whitby
105-400 Dundas Street West
Whitby, Ontario L1N 2M7
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By Tamara McKee|2024-01-31T10:35:35-05:00January 31st, 2024|Comments Off on January 29, 2024