Update on the situation in Ukraine and announcing an investment in Mississauga’s public transit
Thank you Omar.
It is always so good to be back here in Mississauga. Glad to be, as Omar pointed out, joined by our great team here in Mississauga, Peter, Sven, Rechie and Iqwinder. But speaking of great teams and strong voices for Mississauga, such a pleasure to be back here with you, Mayor Crombie – Bonnie – you’ve been such an extraordinary leader and advocate for Mississauga in general but specifically for transit, so the announcement we’re making today is outstanding, and Stan – Minister Cho – great to have you here with us.
One of the things we’ve seen through this pandemic is that it is such a good sign for all citizens when you have three orders of government working seamlessly together on delivering for their citizens. And anytime I can stand here with friends from the municipal level and the provincial level, as well as us from the federal level, we know it’s a good day and this is a good announcement we’re about to make.
But before I get into that. I do want to say a few words on the situation in Ukraine. Yesterday evening I spoke once again to President Zelensky and shared with him my deep concerns for the dangers of Russian attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Obviously, we need to see great care taken and a de-escalation of violence in general in Ukraine, but specifically around nuclear power plants. That would be a compounding level to this crisis and a problem that nobody wants to see, and we certainly hope that that will be the case moving forward.
Canada continues to support the Ukrainian people. We have already sent shipments of military equipment, including weapons, with more on the way. We are also welcoming Ukrainians here in Canada; we have welcomed thousands since the beginning of the year.
But we’ve also announced special immigration measures that are going to allow Ukrainians fleeing Ukraine or trying to come to Canada, either permanently or for a little while till the situation calms down, to be able to get here quickly, to be supported by the incredibly strong Ukrainian community here in Canada, but indeed by all Canadians.
The coordinated economic sanctions are working. Russia is reeling from the strong and aligned measures that democracies around the world have engaged in. We see the ruble falling to record lows, we see the three major credit agencies significantly downgrading Russia’s economic status, and we just see an extraordinary cost associated with this wrong-headed decision, this terrible mistake by Putin to violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a neighbouring country.
The west is united in making sure this is extremely costly for Russia, and quite frankly, I think we are all inspired by how strongly Ukrainians are standing to defend their lands. Although all of us, who in Canada know how strong and courageous Ukrainians are, are not surprised by the approach and attitude that everyone has.
Next week I’ll be travelling to the United Kingdom, to Latvia, to Germany and Poland to meet with partners and allies, we’ll of course be discussing how to continue to support Ukraine, how to strengthen democratic values around the world, and how to stand up even more for democracy, to stand against Russian aggression and to work very hard on combatting the kind of disinformation and misinformation that we know is a facet of day-to-day life these days, but a particularly strong facet of this conflict, this war in Ukraine.
We’re also going to be obviously talking with our allies in Europe about economic recovery, about fighting climate change, about being there to create inclusive growth for people which segues nicely into this announcement we’re going to be making… we’re making today.
Great pleasure to be back here in this centre in Mississauga to talk about transit once again, because we know how important transit is to Canadians but particularly people living in the GTA. It’s about quality of life, it’s about spending less time on the road stuck in traffic, more time doing the things you love, being with your family, going to soccer games, not wasting time in transit, and it’s about cleaner air and a better future for our kids.
That’s why, since 2015, we’ve been huge believers and partners in massive transit investments across the country, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do. We’ve worked for many years now extremely closely with leaders in Mississauga, particularly with Mayor Crombie, and this morning I’m very pleased that we have more great news to share.
Our government will be investing over $271 million for transit in Mississauga, which will mean 358 new hybrid buses to replace old diesel vehicles, which is less pollution and a better ride for thousands upon thousands of people. It’ll be faster bus routes, including a new rapid route on Dundas Street, so buses don’t get stuck in traffic. And of course, as we engage in the construction of new projects, this will create good middle-class jobs across the region.
But this will also mean real results for real people. Like Youna, who’s a student, who’s going to be able to get faster and easier to school or to Square One. Or parents like Stephanie, who is raising her family here, wanting cleaner air and a brighter future for her two kids.
Since 2015 our historic investments in public transit across the country are making a real difference in people’s lives. We remain focused on the priorities of Canadians: jobs for the middle class, a clean environment and a strong economy.