Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
I want to start by congratulating all members elected to the 43rd Parliament, and you, Mr. Speaker, on your appointment as the Deputy Speaker. I want to thank the residents of Surrey—Newton for once again putting their faith in me to represent them as their member of Parliament. I am honoured to be back and to be able to work hard on their behalf. I am proud to represent one of the most diverse ridings in Canada.
That said, I would like to take a moment to extend my heartfelt greetings to all who recently celebrated the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Milad un Nabi, which is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him. I also want to wish all those who are celebrating a very merry Christmas and happy holidays.
Voters across Canada have given us a responsibility to work together to grow our economy and better support their families so that it is easier for them to save, get an education, buy their first home and have a good retirement. This is the mandate Canadians have given us, and the throne speech we heard from the Governor General last week lays out a road map to help get this done.
In the previous Parliament, this Liberal government laid a foundation that has made the lives of Canadians better. With over one million new jobs created and record investments in programs and services that Canadians need, such as health care, the CPP and infrastructure, we have made progress. While the other side did nothing but oppose, our government delivered results.
This Parliament is an opportunity for all members to support the needs of Canadians and support the programs and services Canadians want. We will provide better health care and more affordable housing. We will lower taxes for those who need it the most and continue our record investments in infrastructure and public transit. We will address climate change while creating good-paying jobs.
Most importantly for residents in my constituency of Surrey—Newton, our government will take steps to ban assault weapons and give cities the power to ban handguns. My constituents have said loud and clear that these types of weapons do not belong in our neighbourhoods.
On this note, I want to acknowledge the hard work of my friend and former minister, Ralph Goodale. Ralph worked hard to make sure Canada remained a safe and welcoming country. Every time I went to him with an issue or concern, he listened intently and worked with me to find solutions. Two years ago, when I spoke with Ralph about the policing needs for Surrey, he was clear that this government would support the wishes of the municipal government, whether it was delivering 100 new police officers, as the previous government failed to do, or offering its support to the City of Surrey as it looked at transitioning to a local police force.
I know all members on this side are passionate about doing what is best for Canadians. The actions laid out in last week's throne speech will make a real difference in the lives of Canadians. Canada's economy is growing, and we continue to have a low unemployment rate. We are going to further cut taxes so that Canadians and those most in need can keep more of their hard-earned money.
We need to make sure that our young people can turn their dreams of owning a home into a reality. That is why we will work hard to address affordability and invest in affordable housing so it will be easier for families to buy their first homes.
Parents want to give their children every opportunity for a good education and a chance at making their dreams come true. This government shares that same desire. That is why are going to make before-school and after-school care more affordable and accessible.
To help seniors retire with the dignity they deserve, we are going to strengthen pensions so they can live with confidence, not fear.
The health of every Canadian is paramount. We are going to work with provinces and territories to make sure all Canadians can access a family doctor. We will introduce mental health standards in the workplace and make sure workers can get mental health care when they need it.
Finally, we will take steps to introduce and implement national pharmacare so that Canadians have the drug coverage they need. These are the steps we are going to take to make sure families have the support they need.
However, as I mentioned earlier, families in Surrey—Newton want tougher gun laws in order to reduce gun-related violence on our streets. It is time we took bold action to do that. That is why we will ban military-style assault weapons and introduce a buyback program. This is the action we need to take to tackle guns and gangs and keep Canadians safe.
All these steps combined make a path that will lead Canada to a brighter future where everyone will have a fair chance at getting ahead. This is what Canadians wanted and this is what we will do.
I am proud to stand in support of this plan and I request each member of this House to support it so that we can be a force for good in Canadians' lives and make their lives better.
I want to congratulate each member who was elected to the 43rd Parliament. I wish them all the best.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays.