A Message from Ruby...
Feb. 12, 2008
Dr. Ruby Dhalla
In this time of growing economic crisis many families are struggling
to make ends meet; seniors are having to make the choice between
filling up their fridge, filling their gas tanks or filling the
medicine cabinet. Over the past few months I have been meeting with
many constituents and Canadians that have lost their jobs because
their companies have closed their doors. In a community like Brampton
in which the manufacturing and auto sector employ thousands of people
there has been a huge impact on the daily lives of people. Some
of the single mothers I meet wonder how they will put food on the
table, the fathers worry about next month’s mortgage payment,
and families are concerned about their savings being washed away.
Since Parliament opened I have been speaking in Parliament to ensure
there is action taken by the Government for the people that are
struggling. People are tired of political games, partisanship, and
rhetoric. They want leadership, action and hope. Our new leader,
Michael Ignatieff, and our liberal team are focused on ensuring
the Government delivers on its promises and provides the help that
Canadians need. I look forward to being a strong voice for the constituents
of Brampton Springdale and those families, men and women that are
In addition to the budget discussions in Parliament, an emergency
debate was also held in Parliament about the growing humanitarian
crisis in Sri Lanka in which innocent children, women and men are
losing their lives. Unfortunately the Conservative Government remained
silent on the issue until persistent pressure from opposition MP`s.
As a nation, Canada has always been a strong promoter of peace and
champion of human rights. As Canadians we have always been respected
leaders on the world stage we must ensure we find our voice once
again and bring people hope.
I am sending you this E-News to keep in touch, and to give you
a glimpse of the activities in the past month! Hope you enjoy reading
it. Lastly I join many of you in congratulating President Obama
on his great victory that gives hope of the possibilities that exist
when we work hard and go after our dreams!
Speech in Parliament about the Budget...
"Many of the other G8 countries acted. They acted on behalf
of their citizens and on behalf of their nations to provide stimulus
packages. What did we have in Canada? We had the Prime Minister
of the day denying there was an economic recession. We had the Prime
Minister and the Conservative government denying there was the possibility
of a growing crisis. We had thousands of people losing their jobs,
having the door shut in their faces. We had seniors struggling to
make ends meet, to pay their energy bills and their mortgage payments.
They received absolutely no hope from the government.
The government told us there would be surpluses. A few months later,
when the budget came out the other day, we all learned Canadians
would be inheriting an $84 billion deficit.
Then the government promised a stimulus to help create jobs with
infrastructure spending. One only had to read the fine print. ..In
order to access the infrastructure spending provided in the budget
they must come up with the money. The problem the cities don’t
have it! This is why our leader and my Liberal colleagues have put
the Prime Minister and the government on probation to ensure that
there is accountability, to ensure the funds that have been promised
do not just look great as words on paper but are delivered to the
municipalities and to the people who so desperately need them. Canadians
across the country and constituents like mine in Brampton are looking
to government. They are looking to all parliamentarians, regardless
of their political stripe, to put aside their partisanship. They
are looking to us for hope.
I think by working together in a spirit of cooperation, in a spirit
of collaboration, we have an opportunity to give those people, who
are struggling to make ends meet, the hope that they so desperately
need for a brighter future and a better tomorrow.
Ruby named as Critic for Multiculturalism
and Youth in Michael Ignatieff`s Shadow Cabinet
Last month, Liberal Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff announced
the new line up of critics for his shadow cabinet with Dr. Ruby
Dhalla being appointed as Critic for Multiculturalism and Youth.
Since being elected, Dr. Dhalla has been a strong champion and advocate
of ensuring the voices of ethnic communities are heard. "Canada
is a symbol of hope for nations throughout the world. As the daughter
of immigrant parents I have a seen first hand the sacrifices and
courage of new Canadians in an effort to have their voices heard.
I look forward to ensuring issues such as foreign credential recognition,
improved access to Government services and efficiency in our immigration
system are brought to the forefront. The contributions of immigrants
are a cornerstone of our nation's success," said Dr. Dhalla.
As one of Canada's youngest female Members of Parliament, Dr. Dhalla
recognizes her responsibility in also reaching out to young Canadians
and promoting and encouraging youth participation in the political
process. In parliament Dr. Dhalla has been a strong voice on behalf
of youth to ensure they have the necessary resources they need to
succeed. In April 2008, Dr. Dhalla launched the Brampton-Springdale
Youth Advisory Council to empower youth to actively participate
in designing and developing solutions for issues that confront them.
This council provides students a platform to speak openly and directly
with educators, elected officials and community members to address
youth related violence in schools.
As the only Member of Parliament from the Region of Peel in Mr.
Ignatieff's shadow cabinet Dr. Dhalla also looks forward to being
a strong representative for the needs of Peel residents.
Black History Month
This year marks the 13th anniversary of Black History month in
Canada. To honour the achievements and remember the injustices done
to African-Canadians Liberal Opposition Critic for Multiculturalism,
Dr. Ruby Dhalla joined members of her caucus in marking this momentous
"Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in recognition of
the 13th anniversary of Black History Month. Let us take time to
celebrate the achievements and contributions of African-Canadians
and remember the journey of the past" said Dhalla in her address
in the House of Commons.
"There was a time in the seventeenth century when a young
African boy, Olivier Le Jeune, was brought over as a slave, a time
in Canada when slavery existed, where there was white supremacy
and black subordination. We fast forward to today and the Black
community in my own riding of Brampton comprises the third largest
visible minority community. We have seen first-hand the Black community
achieve great success with their faith, perseverance and determination."
Dhalla also noted the importance of this year's Black History month
celebration with the election of President Barack Obama.
"As the world celebrates the first African-American president,
we here in Canada also have our own success stories with our Governor
General, the Right Hon. Michaëlle Jean; the first black member
of Parliament, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Lincoln Alexander;
and trailblazers such as the former member of Parliament and minister,
the Hon. Jean Augustine, who introduced the motion to recognize
Black History Month."
"We as a nation are enriched by the contributions of the Black
community, their hard work and perseverance. I look forward to celebrating
with all Canadians the success stories of past African Canadians
and the even greater successes that are to come as the African-Canadian
has played a vital role in building the social fabric of Canada
and is to be commended," said Dr. Dhalla.
Dr. Dhalla visits India to speak at
Last month Dr. Dhalla had the honour of speaking at a conference
for the global diaspora of Indians in Chennai, India. Dr Dhalla
was invited to speak at the opening session with India’s Minister
of External Affairs Hon. Pranab Mukerjee. Dr. Dhalla spoke about
the role of India in the global arena, the importance of expanding
the trade and cultural relationship between Canada and India and
the role of youth and women in changing India`s future. During her
visit to India, Dr. Dhalla also met with officials at the Canadian
High Commission to discuss challenges her constituents encounter
in the area of immigration. In addition Dr. Dhalla met with various
Ministers and officials in the Prime Minister’s Office to
discuss issues of bilateral importance. While in India, Dr. Dhalla
was also honoured by the World Punjabi Organization for her achievements
and contributions in advancing the role of women and youth in politics.