Madam Speaker, first of all, I am so happy to see my friend and colleague from Winnipeg South Centre speaking on behalf of his constituents today. For sure, we want to hear the musical instrument that he plays so well.
It is an honour to address the House on behalf of residents of Brampton South to speak in support of the throne speech, which introduced our government's vision for the future of Canada. The throne speech acknowledged the difficult time our country has faced as a result of the worst health crisis of our generation, as well as the measures our government has taken to support Canadians throughout the pandemic. It also laid out the plan for our recovery.
Over the past six months, we have seen Canadians come together to help each other. We are united now more than ever as we face new challenges from COVID-19. People from across my riding have shared inspiring stories about acts of kindness and generosity, stories about young volunteers delivering groceries for seniors, non-profit organizations stepping up with donations and essential businesses serving the community.
When the pandemic started, our government moved quickly to support Canadian families and businesses. In fact, in Ontario, 97% of all direct financial support came from the federal government. The Canada emergency response benefit supported approximately nine million Canadians to help them pay their bills and support their families during these difficult times.
Canadians required a strong response, and our Liberal government has been there to provide direct support to the Canadians who needed it most. Over 9,500 seniors in my riding received a one-time GST payment. Thousands of workers were supported by the Canada emergency response benefit. Many businesses were supported through the wage subsidy, the Canada business account and more, while community organizations also received much-needed funding.
For example, Lady Ballers Camp is a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides girl-centred programs to encourage physical, emotional and educational development. Our government supported this organization through the Canada summer jobs program and the emergency community support fund. This support allowed Lady Ballers to continue operating, and our community is better because of that.
I had the pleasure of meeting with some other amazing organizations in my riding that are doing vital work throughout the pandemic, organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, Cancer Warrior Canada, United Achievers' Club, Canadian Association of Retired Persons, Lockwood Seniors Club, Brampton Senior Citizens' Council and many others. They have been stepping up to support our community. To all organizations supporting Bramptonians during these difficult times, I say thanks from the bottom of my heart.
This spring, my team and I worked tirelessly to reunite families of Brampton South who were stuck abroad. A constituent of mine was stuck in Morocco, and my office worked closely with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Public Safety Canada and Global Affairs Canada to make sure they had a flight home. This story is one of thousands from my riding and across the country from people who were thankful for our government's largest repatriation effort in Canadian history.
Health care workers have been on the front lines of this war since the very beginning. I had the chance to speak with many nurses, doctors and hospital staff at Peel Memorial Centre in my riding, as well as with experts such as Dr. Lawrence Loh and Dr. Naveed Mohammad. They are doing great work. Their dedication makes them real-life heroes. I thank health care workers across the country for their incredible efforts. I was honoured to thank health care workers in many socially distanced care parades, like the one at Amica Peel Village seniors' home.
On the topic of long-term care homes, it is an absolute tragedy what happened to seniors during the first wave of this pandemic. Eighty per cent of all COVID-related deaths in Canada occurred in long-term care homes during the first wave. The CAF report done in May on five long-term care homes in Ontario was deeply troubling for me and many in my riding.
One of the five homes mentioned in the report was in my riding of Brampton South. Since the Canadian Forces report, I have worked with a number of my colleagues in advocating for real change for our seniors. I would like to take a moment to recognize my colleagues: the member for Scarborough—Rouge Park, Etobicoke Centre, Pickering—Uxbridge, Humber River—Black Creek, Mount Royal, Ottawa—Vanier and others for their tireless advocacy. I was beyond thrilled to see our government make commitments to set new national standards for long-term care and to amend the Criminal Code to penalize those who neglect seniors under their care. This would ensure that Canadian seniors get the best care possible, which they deserve.
The throne speech has a good plan for workers and for businesses in Brampton South and across Canada. It extends the Canada emergency wage subsidy program through the next summer and expands the Canada emergency business account to help with fixed costs, which provides business owners with a clear path for getting through this challenging time. As we build back better from COVID-19, the federal government will launch a campaign to create over one million jobs to restore employment to previous levels. This will be done through investing in housing, transit and green infrastructure projects. I am looking forward to this much needed campaign to get people back to work and invest in communities like mine.
We have also moved forward with a new way of care and a $240 million investment, made in May, to develop, expand and launch virtual care and mental health tools to support Canadians. These measures will ensure that Canadians with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, get the quality of care they deserve. During consultations with my residents, members of the CARP seniors organization and many others, I heard clearly the necessity for national pharmacare. I was pleased to see the reaffirmation of this national program.
Members of my Youth Council, a local organization and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health told me about the importance of investing in mental health. That is why this government is going to expand on the first ever mental health promotion innovation fund, which provides national funding to support the delivery of community-based programs for mental health. Our government recognizes that infrastructure investment creates good jobs and builds healthy communities. Bramptonians know that we need strong investments in our city and I have been working hard to ensure we get our fair share, whether it be $35 million in safe restart funding to support the City of Brampton; the largest investment in housing by the federal government the Peel Region has ever seen, which will create over 2,200 affordable units and shelters; or more transit funding, like we saw this summer where the federal government invested approximately $45 million to upgrade Brampton's transit system. This government knows now is not the time for austerity. It is the time to invest in our communities and in Canadians.
Some of the people hardest hit by COVID-19 are women, especially low-income women. I am proud that the government has listened to the needs of women and is taking bold action to support them as they establish affordable, inclusive and high-quality child care. Creating a Canada-wide early learning and child care system will relieve the burden on women and families.
Recently I visited a local child care facility in my riding, Lullaboo Nursery, to see how it was adapting during COVID-19. I was thrilled to see that support is coming for this essential service. Let me be clear: There can be no recovery without recovery for women.
Finally, I would like to discuss the fight for racial equality for all Canadians. The throne speech addresses these concerns and will take steps to address online hate by introducing legislation to address systemic inequalities and by bringing reforms to the RCMP. Brampton South is a beautiful community that everyone should feel safe to call home. One's religion, who they love or the colour of their skin should not matter.
This is a vital moment to shape Canada's future for the better. Our Liberal government's Speech from the Throne lays out bold action on the environment, the economy and equality. We are focusing on protecting Canadians from COVID-19, and helping them get through the pandemic by supporting Canadians and businesses for as long as it lasts and building back better to create a stronger, more resilient Canada.
We are making commitments to extend key supports to help Canadian workers, families and small businesses through COVID-19. I am asking all members of Parliament to support the bill so that Canadians continue to receive the help they need in this most difficult time.