Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough—Kawartha, Minister for Women and Gender Equality, and Minister of Rural Economic Development, made the following statement after receiving her mandate letter today from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
“I am pleased to see that the Ministerial mandate letters released today by the Prime Minister reflect the commitments that I made to the people of Peterborough-Kawartha and that our government made to the people of Canada during the campaign.
In particular, the letter to my colleague the Hon. Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, laid out the need to work towards creating high frequency rail for the Toronto-Quebec City corridor. The letter to my colleague the Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, included direction to help Canadians make their homes more energy efficient and climate resilient through interest-free lending for retrofits and grants for building Net Zero homes, in addition to continuing to deliver the $55 billion National Housing Strategy. And the letter to my colleague, the Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, includes leading government-wide efforts to develop a plan to set Canada on a path to achieve a prosperous net-zero emissions future by 2050.
My Ministerial mandate letter included my responsibility to enhance gender equality, breathe new life into rural communities, and build upon the work being done in Peterborough-Kawartha around affordable housing.
Having built a full department for Women and Gender Equality, I will continue to lead its growth. I will work with women’s organizations and equality-seeking groups, and provide them with the resources they need to do their important work. We will move forward together with a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, implement the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice, and tackle systemic barriers impeding women’s progress and economic advancement.
We will continue to invest in early learning, by creating 40,000 child care spaces across Canada by 2020. We will also create 250,000 more before and after school spaces, lower child care fees, and lay the groundwork for a pan-Canadian childcare system.
As Minister for Rural Economic Development, I will ensure that the concerns of rural Canadians are addressed in all government decisions. The opportunities that vibrant rural economies offer Canada are significant. Our government knows that what works for Bay Street must also work for Main Street.
I have been mandated to deliver timely rural infrastructure projects that support local business growth, tourism, and food security. This includes high-speed internet, safe roads and bridges, and clean water and wastewater. This builds on work being done in Peterborough-Kawartha, including the Eastern Ontario Regional Network mobile project and road construction in Trent Lakes and North Kawartha.
Finally, I remain committed to working with local leaders, developers, landowners and stakeholders to build more affordable housing for Peterborough. Our community can be a model for others in Canada. We have been successful when we collaborate, and need only look to the YWCA’s Homeward Bound project, Brock Mission men’s shelter, and Habitat for Humanity Canada for inspiration.”