Ruby Dhalla, celebrates 1st anniversary as Member of Parliament
Reflecting on 4 Years as your Member of Parliament
Toronto, July 23, 2008
Gary Singh, LA
Dhalla, M.P. (Brampton-Springdale) Creates History and said:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my constituents
and the Brampton community for the support and faith you have given
me as your representative in Ottawa.
June 28 marked my 4 year anniversary as the Member of Parliament
for Brampton-Springdale. Over these years, I have had the privilege
of working with the constituents of Brampton-Springdale and Canadians
on issues that are important to them and their families. I have
had the honor of reaching out, and connecting with some of the most
vulnerable in our society and those that are struggling to be heard.
Instilling hope in people has given me strength and inspiration
to empower and work with many of you in building the type of community
and nation we want for the future. A Canada, in which people have
the resources, skills and tools they need to succeed and realize
their dreams. A Canada, in which equality, opportunity, and acceptance
continue to be our hallmarks.
From advocating for better health care services for Bramptonians
to working with those in the manufacturing sector who have lost
their jobs, I have seen first hand how acting upon the voices of
the people, can make a difference.
This year marked the launch of the Brampton-Springdale Youth Advisory
Council. The Youth Advisory Council consists of 18 dynamic youth
from all of the schools in the constituency who work together to
address issues impacting youth such as gangs, bullying and violence.
The council is for youth and by youth, and provides students the
opportunity to design and develop solutions for challenges they
face. In the coming months the Youth Advisory Council will engage
and involve more youth, community leaders and stakeholders. Recently
I had the chance to speak to a number of youth at graduation ceremonies
across Brampton. Speaking at these graduations allowed me to see
the talent, energy and enthusiasm of our youth. The ideas, dreams,
and passion of young people, which have the power to change the
world. I look forward to working with youth to build a vibrant dynamic
in which youth believe in themselves and recognize the value of
giving back to their community.
Throughout my four years I have heard from constituents regarding
a number of important issues. In fact, as a female MP many women
have come forward with their personal stories of abuse and violence.
I have heard first hand the voices of these women who suffer in
silence and of the growing impact of violence against women. I believe
that it is the responsibility of the entire community to speak out
against these injustices and tragedies. I have been working with
many of our community members to establish an organization for women
that will provide an opportunity for women to connect with each
other and increase awareness of the resources and support that exists
for women and families in need.
Many people in the community have also come forward with their
concern regarding the issue of fraud marriages. I have worked with
many of those in the community impacted and raised this issue in
both parliament in Canada and during my visit to Punjab in India.
I strongly believe that measures and protocols are needed by both
the Canadian and Indian Governments to put a stop to fraud marriages.
This parliamentary year was of special importance as it saw the
successful passing of my historic private members motion asking
the Government to apologize to the Indo-Canadian Community for the
Komagata Maru Incident. This incident was an injustice that served
as a black mark in our nation's history. This apology will allow
our children to learn of the sacrifices, struggles, and challenges
faced by immigrants and send the message that we will never go back
to the divisive politics of the past, but rather, will work together
to ensure every Canadian has the faith, belief and confidence to
build a nation we can all be proud of.
As the Member of Parliament of the riding with the largest South
Asian demographic in the country, I have also worked with many constituents
to ensure our country's immigration legislation embodies fairness
and quality. Previously immigrants applying to Canada with the surname
of Singh and Kaur were forced to add another last name, however
after persistently speaking out against this discrimination the
policy was changed so that no individual wanting to come to Canada
with the last name Singh or Kaur will have to change their name.
I have also been vocal in my opposition to Bill C-50, which are
the Conservative government's proposed amendments to the Immigration
and Refugee Protection Act. These amendments may threaten the more
than 900,000 prospective immigrants currently on the waiting list
and allow the Minister the ability to pick and chose who will enter
We are a nation that has been built on the hard work, vision and
passion of its immigrants. With 57% of the population of Brampton
now hailing from ethnic communities, I have also been a strong proponent
of ensuring the disparity in income between immigrants and Canadian
born individuals is eliminated as one of my first initiatives in
Parliament was championing the issue of Foreign Credential Recognition.
I have also had the privilege of working with our seniors over
the last 4 years to champion issues important to them. From visiting
and speaking with seniors in parks, to old age homes to meeting
with the seniors in my office I have had the honour of working closely
with out immigrant senior community. Just last month I invited seniors
to come to Ottawa to speak on Bill C-362 which will amend the Old
Age Security Act to reduce the residency requirement for old age
pensions from 10 years to 3 years for those coming from countries
such as India and other parts of Asia.
Having worked on global issues of importance to the riding and
constituents has also given me a sense of pride of how fortunate
we are as Canadians to live in a nation in which equality and opportunity
are valued. Traveling to Punjab earlier this year provided a great
opportunity to raise issues that affect our NRI community in Brampton
and Canada. I am currently negotiating and requesting the Punjab
Government to designate a state holiday to celebrate the achievements
of women. I hope this will be made into a reality in the near future.
Another issue of grave importance which I have been working to
raise awareness is the global fight to stop Tuberculosis. Last fall
I had the opportunity to travel to Capetown, South Africa, in which
I witnessed first hand the importance of helping those who live
in poverty and are affected by infectious diseases. Recently I launched
a petition campaign asking the Government of Canada to increase
their commitment to the Global Fund and overseas development aid
to address this issue.
By far, one of the greatest highlights of my career this year was
my recent honour at the Rotary Club of Brampton’s Presidential
Awards Gala. The Rotary Club of Brampton is an organization which
has been a symbol of pride for Brampton’s diverse and rich
community dynamic. I feel extremely privileged to have received
the Rotary Club’s Humanitarian Award for my community service
in Brampton. This is a memory I will always cherish
I hope my journey thus far has given people hope and inspired the
youth of our community, women and families to believe in themselves
and go after their dreams. By working together and staying united
we have an opportunity to continue to achieve and succeed.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if i can ever be of help or
if you would like to volunteer. I am fortunate to have a strong
and dynamic team. Thank you to my riding association, my supporters,
family and the constituents of Brampton Springdale.
I look forward to working with you as we build a stronger, safer
and vibrant Brampton community and a nation in which every Canadian
has a voice. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for 4 wonderful years
as your Member.
Dhalla Celebrates Canada Day at Chinguacousy Park
Dr Dhalla joined residents of Brampton in the annual Canada Day
celebration at Chinguacousy Park. Hundreds of local community members
joined in the festivities. Many youth volunteers joined Dr. Dhalla
in handing out Canada Day flags and pins