Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring a different perspective to the debate before us. Today's discussion has focused on a mistake made by a member of this place. However, as we have also heard from others in this chamber, the hon. member has apologized and voluntarily corrected the record.
It is not surprising that the member has proactively corrected his statement. I am pleased to say that I have known the hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville for more than 15 years. I know him to be reliable, trustworthy, and a dedicated member of this place.
The member for Mississauga—Streetsville works hard to serve the people he has been elected to represent. In fact, he is one of the most community-focused members of this place. There are countless examples of this. From his annual seniors forums and constituent round tables, to his recent job forum, yearly tax clinic, and creation of a volunteer medal, this member is dedicated to serving the community which he represents. He regularly holds town hall forums in Mississauga—Streetsville on virtually every issue, to inform and solicit input from his constituents. This member of Parliament was elected in 2011, but even before his election he was an active resident of the city of Mississauga.
He was born in Ottawa, in 1967, and his family returned to Mississauga the next year, where he has lived ever since.
The member has a keen interest in community volunteerism and public service. Having served on more than two dozen boards and committees in Mississauga, including for seven years on the Mississauga Committee of Adjustment, he gives back to Mississauga each and every day. He has an interest in working with organizations, including the Mississauga Food Bank, safe streets Mississauga, the Mississauga Sports Council, the Peel children's aid society and foundation, the Mississauga Arts Council, and the Mississauga Public Library Board.
His outreach work does not end there. The member for Mississauga—Streetsville has built a professional career, advocating for the rental housing community and affordable housing initiatives, as president and CEO of the Greater Toronto Apartment Association, a position he held from May 1999 until he was elected to Parliament in May of 2011. He regularly interacted with public officials and all orders of government throughout the greater Toronto area. His direct input into housing issues has had a major effect on public policy in Canada.
For years he hosted a widely acclaimed public affairs television program on Rogers Television in Mississauga. I watched it many times and learned a great deal about public affairs issues. He interacted with many of the leaders of the political world in Canada, and the business and arts community, and through that program enlightened and informed the people of Mississauga.
In Ottawa, he is hard at work for the constituents he represents. He serves as a member of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities; and the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. These committees have dealt with a number of important topics, including opportunities for older persons in the workforce, the Centennial Flame Research Award for persons with disabilities, and opportunities for aboriginals in the workplace.
I would like to use my time today to highlight some of the important accomplishments made by the member for Mississauga—Streetsville over the past three years. I would like to demonstrate to this place that we must not let today's debate overshadow the hard work and many accomplishments of this hon. member.
I can say with confidence that this member is one of the most hard-working, community-focused members who sit in this place. He has participated in countless outreach activities each and every year, which have had a positive impact on the people he represents. The hon. member hosts a yearly job forum to provide information on the services that are available to constituents in assisting with a job search. This forum provides an opportunity to connect residents and local organizations, in the hopes of broadening their job search and helping them seek out new tools for employment opportunities.
The job forum brought out many Mississauga—Streetsville residents and employment organizations. It included a presentation from a wide variety of local organizations. Because of this forum, constituents of Mississauga—Streetsville were made aware of the wide variety of free services available to them when searching for employment. That is much appreciated in a city like Mississauga, where we have unemployment that is higher than the national average, for a number of reasons, including that we have many new Canadians who find they have to spend extra time looking for that first new job in Canada. This member takes that task seriously and does everything he can to help new Canadians integrate well into our economy.
The member also hosts an annual seniors forum, which focuses on how we can assure a secure and dignified retirement for our seniors that reflects the contributions they have made to this great country. At these forums, the member has highlighted our government's action on several files, including enhancements to the guaranteed income supplement for low-income seniors, providing an annual top-up amount that will benefit more than 680,000 seniors; and increased funding for the new horizons for seniors program, which ensures that seniors can benefit from active living and participation in their communities. The member works to eliminate mandatory retirement, allowing Canadians to choose how long they wish to remain active in Canada's workforce. He supported a pooled retirement pension plan, which is a low-cost pension option to provide additional help to seniors who are saving for retirement. This member is focused on taking strong action to support our seniors. We should not let today's debate overshadow these accomplishments.
The member for Mississauga—Streetsville has also introduced a very popular award, with the establishment of the Timothy Street Medal of Honour, for residents of Mississauga—Streetsville. Timothy Street was the founder of the Town of Streetsville, and this medal of honour was devised by the member for Mississauga—Streetsville in his honour. This award recognizes leaders in our community for their selfless dedication to making Canada a better place through volunteerism. Following the very successful Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, the hon. member decided that his community should have an annual medal to celebrate the great volunteers in the city of Mississauga who have made a difference to our community. Each year, in January, the member presents 10 medals to residents who have been nominated from the community for their exemplary volunteer service.
Furthermore, the member can be seen at activities throughout the community each week. I see him at these events, and I am always impressed with the time he spends connecting with the people of Mississauga. Here are some examples. He recently welcomed the Minister of Status of Women for a round table at Mary Kay cosmetics, on Meadowvale. He attended a groundbreaking ceremony at the GO Transit terminal in Streetsville, with the Minister of Transport, for the Mississauga transitway project. Later that same night, he attended the World AIDS Day event, hosted by the Peel HIV/AIDS Network; and the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce winter gala. The list goes on.
Last month, the member for Mississauga—Streetsville attended the Vietnamese Association of Toronto new year's Tet Festival, and later that night, he attended the Shen Yun performance at the Living Arts Centre of Mississauga. He recently visited Streetsville Leisureworld to present World War II veteran Art Lett with a valentine for a vet, and to thank him for his great sacrifice for Canada. He also attended the National Council of Canadian Tamils' dinner in Richmond Hill. He joined the Minister of State for Sport as an honorary coach for the Mississauga Winter Classic between the Streetsville and Applewood hockey teams, and he attended the third annual Vianney Academy of Learning's family fun day and skate at the Vic Johntson Community Centre.
I could spend the remainder of my time today listing the many important activities that the member for Mississauga—Streetsville participates in each and every week. However, I would also like to take this opportunity to discuss some of the government programs that the member has advocated for while working hard for his constituents here in Ottawa. The member has played an important role in securing funding for central projects in Mississauga—Streetsville. The member was able to announce the new horizons for seniors funding for the people of Mississauga—Streetsville. Seniors in the riding will have new opportunities to volunteer, mentor younger generations, and help raise awareness of elder abuse, thanks to funding through the new horizons for seniors program. Four organizations in Mississauga—Streetsville have received funding through this program. They include the Peel Multicultural Council, the Canadian Coptic Centre, the Hindu Heritage Centre, and the Toronto–Sri Lankan Ex-Tamil Police Officers' Club.
However, the support does not stop there. The member knows that world-class infrastructure is the backbone of our country's economic productivity. It helps to get goods to the marketplace more efficiently, and connects Canadians and our businesses to the world, generating jobs and growth. It also has the added benefit of reducing commuting times so that families can spend more time together.
For these reasons, the member for Mississauga—Streetsville has tirelessly advocated for investments in infrastructure. The constituents of Mississauga—Streetsville have benefited from the recent investments in infrastructure funding. In fact, over $4.5 billion was invested in greater Toronto area infrastructure projects by this government between February 2006 and January 2014.
The City of Mississauga has received $250 million toward GO Transit, and the Mississauga bus rapid transitway has received an investment of $83 million. In addition, the City of Mississauga has now received a whopping $131,823,271 from the gas tax fund. This money will provide the city with the funds it needs to expand public infrastructure projects. These are just some of the many ways the constituents of Mississauga—Streetsville benefit from the representation of this hard-working member.
I would like to conclude today by reviewing the main points that are central to this debate. The hon. member has apologized and has voluntarily corrected the record. There is nothing for a committee to study. All of the facts are known.
We do not want to create an environment in which hon. members are punished for doing the right thing, and that is exactly what a continuation of this debate would perpetuate. Instead, we should continue with the business that should be before us, business that focuses on the reasons Canadians elected us. Canadians can count on our government to continue to focus on what matters to them: jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity. That is what we should be debating today.
Once again, I return to the point that we must not let today's debate cloud what the hon. member has accomplished for the people of Mississauga—Streetsville. He is a member who works hard for the people he represents. He is a community-focused member who promotes countless programs that benefit the people of Mississauga. From his annual seniors forums and constituent round tables to his recent job forum, a yearly tax clinic, and the creation of a volunteer medal, this member is dedicated to serving the community he represents. He has advocated for a world-class infrastructure system that helps people across the city and has advocated for record best investments in that regard.
These are just some of the many programs the constituents of Mississauga—Streetsville benefit from, and I look forward to continuing to work with the hon. member to increase these important investments for our city.