As-Salāmu ʿAlaykum --
In our final edition of the Muslims in The House publication for the 42nd session of Parliament, the issues that we will discuss are relating to the Ban on Single Use Plastic and the Environment, Taxation, & the 50th Anniversary of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto.
Want to know what we've been up to in the past couple of weeks? On Friday the 21st, a sold-out crowd of over 1,000 were joined by 75 elected officials, media representatives, and personalities such as Toronto Raptors Superfan, Nav Bhatia.
This was TCMV’s best Eid Dinner yet, and has put Muslims on the political map this election season as the event has been recognized by politicians and media across Canada. As a Get-Out-The-Vote campaign kick-off, it was the first public event featuring major party leaders since the last day of Parliament’s sitting.
The Canadian Muslim-Vote wants to know what's most important to you this election - Fill out our 2019 Issues Survey - Just 10 quick Questions! : TCMV - 2019 Feedback Survey
Final Report of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare
MP Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, BC - NDP) highlighted the release of the Final Report of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare and its recommendation of a public, universal and comprehensive pharmacare system. MP Davis asked whether the government will immediately begin implementation of the recommendation. Prime Minister Trudeau welcomed the report and accepted the council's recommendation on the implementation and stated that the government has made progress on making prescription drugs more affordable, moving forward on a Canada drug agency that would negotiate better prices, and on providing half a billion dollars to reduce the high cost of rare disease drugs. MP Erin Weir (Regina—Lewvan, SK - Independent) stated that the report estimates that the pharmacare plan will save Canadians and employers $23 billion but cost governments $15 billion, and asked how much the government will transfer to the provinces to make pharmacare a reality. MP Ginette Petitpas Taylor, the Minister of Health, responded and stated that in budget 2019, there was a funding commitment of $35 million to ensure the creation of a Canadian drug agency and $1 billion to address the area of rare diseases. Minister Taylor stated that the government looks forward to working with provinces, territories, Indigenous groups and others to make sure that all Canadians will have access to a pharmacare program.
Ban on Single Use Plastic and the Environment
MP Sean Fraser, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, spoke of the Prime Minister’s announcement to ban single-use harmful plastic products and implementing extended producer liability. MP Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, BC - NDP), stated that the NDP had called for this ban for months, and pointed to the government giving a $35 million grant to a company to expand plastics and asked how Canadians can trust the ban will be realized when the government has subsidized the plastics industry. Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, stated that the government knows Canada has a problem and can do better, and that the government is taking action. MP Joël Godin (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC - CPC) stated that the government announced a spur-of-the-moment decision to ban plastics by 2021 but spent over $4 billion on a pipeline and asked when the Prime Minister will admit that Canada will not meet the Paris Agreement targets. Prime Minister Trudeau stated that Canada will meet the Paris targets and that the government is putting a price on pollution, protecting the oceans, and moving forward on a plan for creating growth and protecting the environment. MP Paul Manly (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC - Green Party) asked the government when it will reduce the emissions of the oil and gas industry in Canada and ban the practice of gas fracking. MP Fraser responded and said that the government plans to reduce Canadian consumption of oil and gas products through over 50 measures, including putting a price on pollution, moving toward 90% of our electricity being generated from non-emitting resources by 2030, and making the largest investment in public transit and record investments in efficiency, green technology and others.
MP Jagmeet Singh (Burnaby South, BC - NDP) spoke of the need of all to have access to the Internet and good cellular services and the NDP’s plan to place a price cap on cellphone bills. MP Singh asked why the government has failed to stand up to big telecom. Prime Minister Trudeau responded by stating the government has taken steps to support affordability, competition and consumer interests, and that prices are up to 32% lower in regions with more competition, there are now low-cost data plans, and the CRTC has been directed to investigate high-pressure sales tactics.
MP Sylvie Boucher (Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC - CPC) stated that the government’s first term in office has cost taxpayers and that the cost of living is too high for Canadian families. MP Boucher stated that in addition to raising taxes, the government has eliminated tax credits for public transit and children's fitness. Prime Minister Trudeau stated that over the past four years, the government has lowered costs for middle-class families by $2,000 by lowering their taxes and increasing taxes for the wealthiest one per cent, that the government introduced the Canada child benefit, which gives more money to nine out of 10 families and has raised 300,000 children out of poverty, as well planned improved benefits for seniors and investments in housing and public transit.
50th Anniversary of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto
MP Shaun Chen (Scarborough North, ON - Lib) recognized the Islamic Foundation of Toronto as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. MP Chen acknowledges the IFT as one of the oldest mosques in Canada, established in 1969, and its service to thousands of people through its meals on wheels program, community tax clinic, workshops for seniors and high-ranking elementary school. MP Chen congratulated Imam Shaykh Yusuf Badat, the board of directors, trustees, volunteers and the worshippers of IFT.
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