Thank you Omar.
It’s always great to come back to Mississauga. As Omar pointed out, I am delighted to have our wonderful team here in Mississauga: Peter, Sven, Richie and Equander. Speaking of the great teams and strong voices of Mississauga, it’s great to be back here with you, Mayor Crombie. Bonnie, you are an extraordinary leader and spokesperson for Mississauga in general, but for public transportation in particular, so today’s announcement is extraordinary, and Stan – Secretary Chu – it’s great to have you here with us.
One of the things we have noticed during this pandemic is that we are sending a very positive message to all citizens when the three levels of government work together in harmony to implement projects for their benefit. And every time I’ve had the chance to be here, with friends at the municipal and county level, and with us, at the federal level, we know it’s a good day, and it’s a good announcement that we’re about to make.
But before going into the topic, I would like to say a few words about the situation in Ukraine. Yesterday evening, I had another conversation with President Zelensky, expressing to him my deep concern about the dangers of Russian attacks on the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. Obviously, it takes a great deal of caution and de-escalation of violence in general in Ukraine, but especially near nuclear power plants. This would exacerbate the crisis and create a problem that no one wants, and we certainly hope that will be the case in the future.
Canada continues to support the people of Ukraine. We have already sent shipments of military equipment, including weapons, with other shipments on the way. We also welcome Ukrainians here in Canada. Since the beginning of the year, we have welcomed thousands.
But we also announced special immigration procedures that will allow Ukrainians fleeing their country to come to Canada, either permanently or for a period of time, until the situation calms down, to come here quickly, to be supported by the very dynamic Ukrainian community here in Canada, as well as by all Canadians. .
Coordinated economic sanctions action. The tough and coordinated actions of democracies around the world are shaking Russia. The ruble is falling to unprecedented lows, and the three major credit agencies have significantly lowered Russia’s economic standing, seeing only the extraordinary cost of this bad decision and this grave mistake of violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a neighboring country.
The West is united in its desire to impose a heavy cost on Russia, and quite frankly, I think we are all inspired by the strength with which Ukrainians stand to defend their lands. Although in Canada we know how strong and brave the Ukrainians are, their approach and the attitude they display does not surprise us.
Next week I will be traveling to the UK, Latvia, Germany and Poland to meet our partners and allies. We will of course discuss ways to continue supporting Ukraine, strengthening democratic values in the world, defending democracy more effectively, opposing Russian aggression and trying hard to fight disinformation and disinformation that, as we know, is part of our daily lives these days, but is especially present in the context of this conflict, these The war in Ukraine.
Of course, we will also be talking with our allies in Europe about economic recovery, climate change and measures to create inclusive growth for people, which fits perfectly with our announcement today.
It gives me great pleasure to be back here, in this hub in Mississauga, because I know how important public transportation is to Canadians, but especially to people who live in the GTA. It is about improving the quality of life, spending less time in traffic jams, spending more time doing what we love, being with our family, going to football matches and not wasting time on our daily commutes, and it is also about leaving cleaner air and a better future for our children.
That’s why, since 2015, we’ve been a strong supporter and partner of massive public transportation investments across the country, and that’s what we’ll continue to do. For many years now, we’ve been working closely with the leadership in Mississauga, in particular with Mayor Crombie, and this morning I am delighted that we have even more wonderful news to share with you.
Our government will invest more than $271 million in public transportation in Mississauga, which will translate into 358 new hybrid buses to replace older diesel vehicles, resulting in less pollution and a more enjoyable ride for thousands upon thousands of people. Bus trips will be faster, including the construction of a new highway on Dundas Street so that buses do not get stuck in traffic. And of course, when you start building new projects, it creates good middle-class jobs across the region.
But it also translates into real results for real people. Like Yuna, a student who will be able to get to School or Square One more easily. Or like parents like Stephanie, who raises her family here and wants cleaner air and a brighter future for her two children.
Since 2015, our historic investments in public transportation across the country have made 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.