Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to the throne speech. However, first I would like to recognize the wonderful families of Etobicoke North and our caring, resilient and strong community.
Our families matter. They are good people and they work hard. What makes Etobicoke North such a special place to live, work and play is that we welcome the world. We are proudly one of the most diverse communities in the country. We learn from one another, and we learn each other's beautiful cultures, languages and religions. We look after one another and lift each other up.
I thank the tireless front-line health care workers of the William Osler Health System for their life-saving services, as well as the Rexdale Community Health Centre and Rexdale Community Hub and their partners for their important community care, including providing health services and legal services, delivering food and providing computers and Internet access. I thank all workers who provide essential services, such as those working in grocery stores, personal support workers, truck drivers and taxi drivers, and everyone who worked to keep our community and country going.
I also thank our tremendous community organizations for their work during COVID-19, organizations like Albion Neighbourhood Services, which found new ways to deliver programs to youth and deliver hundreds of meals weekly. The Sikh Spiritual Centre Toronto provided langar as individual packed meals to our community. The International Muslim Organization and the Lions Club joined forces to serve hundreds of families and provided food and essential supplies each month. Trust 15 kept in constant contact with families and continued inspiring and mentoring our amazing youth.
I wish I had time to thank all our organizations and volunteers. I see their life-changing work and am grateful for the work they do each and every day. As I said, we are a community that cares and we are there for one another.
Before I ever came to Parliament, my own research area was on pandemic influenza, particularly on the 1918 influenza, and preparing for pandemics. I helped businesses, non-governmental organizations and industry prepare for a pandemic. I ran pandemic exercises. My priority will always be protecting the health and safety of the people of Etobicoke North and all Canadians, in particular our most vulnerable.
The plan outlined in the throne speech is good for our Etobicoke North families and our community. We will take bold action on health, the economy, building back better and building a more inclusive Canada. The throne speech outlines our plan for continuing to protect the health and safety of Canadians.
In Etobicoke North, in July and August, parents and teachers told me their concerns about their children heading back to school. As an educator, I understand. Our government listened and invested $2 billion to help provinces protect the health and safety of our children, teachers and indeed our families as they returned to school. Our government also invested in and shipped personal protective equipment across the country. We sent the Canadian Forces into long-term care homes to help look after our loved ones. We will make sure Canadians will be able to get a vaccine once it is developed, tested and ready.
Our priority is to look out for all Canadians, especially our most vulnerable. Poverty, hunger, good health, well-being, gender equality and economic status play a role in who gets sick, who gets treated and who survives. We must keep taking COVID-19 seriously to stop the second wave. We must all make sure we do our part to slow the spread of the virus by limiting our contact bubble, physical distancing, handwashing and wearing a non-medical mask or face covering as needed. Ensuring Canadians are supported through this health crisis is the best thing we can do for the economy.
The second part of our plan for the future is to do whatever it takes to support Canadians and businesses through the pandemic. That is why our government invested more than $19 billion to help the provinces and territories restart their economies, ensuring increased testing and contract tracing, increased personal protective equipment and support for our most vulnerable in long-term care.
To rebuild from job losses and strengthen our economy, we will launch a campaign to create more than a million jobs. We will extend the Canada emergency wage subsidy to next summer, rebuild an EI system that works for all Canadians and introduce further support for industries that have been hit the hardest, including hospitality, and travel and tourism. Families in Etobicoke North should not have to choose between their health and their jobs.
The third part of our plan is to build back better to create a stronger, more resilient Canada. The last six months have been hard for many families and have shown fundamental gaps in our society and in societies around the world. We must do everything possible to address these gaps.
This means we will keep strengthening the middle class and helping people working hard to join it. We will continue to invest in our communities, public infrastructure and, importantly, affordable housing. Our government brought in Canada's first national housing strategy and, more recently, the rapid housing initiative, which will build or purchase 3,000 affordable homes across Canada.
We will also invest in health care and address gaps in our social systems. High-quality, affordable child care is not a luxury; it is a necessity. That is why we will build a Canada-wide child care system that meets the needs of all Canadians. For our seniors, we have committed to increasing the old age security benefit at 75 years of age and to boosting the CPP survivor benefit. We will also set new national standards for long-term care so that seniors get the best support possible.
We will also build long-term competitiveness through clean growth while fighting climate change. Throughout COVID-19, we have been reminded of just how important our natural world is and that we are not apart from nature but a part of it. We live in a finite world with no planet B. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to protect our environment.
The fourth part of our plan is to stand up for who we are as Canadians and defend our values. We will continue to walk our shared path of reconciliation and will continue to welcome newcomers and support family reunification. We embrace our two official languages and celebrate our communities' and country's diversity.
However, we know there is more work to do to achieve gender equality and address systemic racism. We know that anti-Black racism is real, we know that systemic racism is real and we know unconscious bias is real. They all happen here in Canada. Our community will always stand against racism, and our government will always stand with it. We will always work to build a better, more equitable country for all.
My Etobicoke North families should know that they matter to me. My office and I will always be there for them. We have worked tirelessly for them throughout the pandemic.
We must learn what we always learn following a pandemic, namely that science and public health matter, not just when we are in a crisis. We must share lessons, update and test pandemic plans, and ensure that we are doing everything possible to protect the most vulnerable.
Finally, we are one small planet with one human family. Disease knows no borders, and through the pandemic and beyond, we are truly in this together.