July 6th, 2022
NDP MPs work with community leaders to address the challenges people face in the Lower Mainland
COQUITLAM – Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, and NDP MPs Bonita Zarrillo (Port Moody-Coquitlam) and Peter Julian (New Westminster-Burnaby) met with local Korean community and business leaders in Coquitlam for a roundtable discussion on opportunities and challenges in the Lower Mainland. They discussed the rising cost of living, increased incidents of racism since the pandemic began, and concerns around access to health and dental care.
“Families are struggling as they pay more for food and gas, and also to keep a roof over their heads,” said Singh. “Canadians are feeling crushed by the soaring cost of living while big corporations are making billions off people’s backs without paying their fair share of taxes. That is why we are calling on the Liberals to make sure the ultra-wealthy are paying their fair share and redistributing $1000 back into Canadian's pockets by doubling the GST tax credit and increasing the Canada Child Benefit to help working families struggling with the rising cost of living.”
In addition to helping with the rising cost of living, the NDP is asking the government to help provincial and territorial health care systems cope with the increased demand for services. For the past seven years, Justin Trudeau has maintained the cuts to the Canada Health Transfer that the Harper government put in place. New Democrats have been urging the Liberal government to restore health care funding to ensure provinces and territories have enough beds for patients, more staff to address shortages and improved diagnostic services that save lives.
“People in our communities have been through a lot in the last couple of years. Canadians rightly expect the health care services they need will be there when they need it,” said Zarrillo. “People need the government to take actions that make it easier for them to stay healthy like making investments in healthcare and dental care. The federal government must increase healthcare transfers immediately to the provinces and territories to ensure there are enough frontline health care workers to take care of people when they become sick.”
While the urgent need for health care services is a huge concern in the Lower Mainland, the NDP MPs also met with community leaders to discuss the rise of racism people have experienced in their communities since the pandemic began. For instance, Anti-Asian racism has been on the rise. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government must take further action to tackle hate crimes – words are not enough.
“Racism and hate have no place in Canada,” added Julian. “That is why I tabled a bill that aims to ban symbols of hate. People want their government to stop the spread of hate in our communities to keep families safe. The NDP is ready to work with everyone committed to eliminating hate from our places of work, leisure, and communities.”
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