Nov 28 2013

REQUEST FOR IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION

My letter to Canada’s Interim Privacy Commissioner

Permanent link to this article: http://mikesullivan.ca/ndp-mp-asks-privacy-commissioner-to-investigate-denied-us-entry/

Nov 04 2013

Open letter to Glen Murray and Bruce McCuaig- November 1, 2013

RE: Air-Rail Link Construction

Permanent link to this article: http://mikesullivan.ca/open-letter-to-glen-murray-and-bruce-mccuaig/

Oct 25 2013

October 24, 2013

Support for Mike’s Bill to Protect Persons with Disabilities

from

Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario
www.cwdo.org

Permanent link to this article: http://mikesullivan.ca/2310/

Oct 21 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IMG-20131021-00022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2013

MIKE SULLIVAN INTRODUCES BILL TO PROTECT PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES FROM HATE CRIMES

OTTAWA – York South—Weston MP Mike Sullivan, who serves as the NDP’s Deputy Critic for Persons with Disabilities, today introduced a Private Member’s Bill to protect persons with disabilities from hate crimes.

“As a father and grandfather, I was appalled to hear about the family of a 13-year-old boy with autism who received a letter telling them to move, or have their son euthanized,” said Sullivan. “I was even more shocked to learn that hateful actions like this are not prohibited under the Criminal Code. My bill corrects that oversight and protects all persons living with disabilities.”

Sullivan was joined by Karla and James Begley, whose son was the target of the letter.

“This legislation is long overdue,” said NDP Critic for Persons with Disabilities Manon Perreault (Montcalm). “Persons living with disabilities are vulnerable and have to overcome enough obstacles in life without the added burden of hatred and discrimination.”

Sullivan’s bill is endorsed by Richard Burelle, Executive Director of the Autism Society Canada.

“As Canadian citizens, persons with disabilities deserve to be protected from hate crimes,” said Burelle. “They have the right, just like you or me, to live free from worry about persecution. We wholeheartedly support Mr. Sullivan’s initiative.”

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:
Paul Ferreira, 416-656-2526 or mike.sullivan.c1a@parl.gc.ca

http://www.ndp.ca/4tx

Permanent link to this article: http://mikesullivan.ca/2300/

Oct 02 2013

Media Release – September 30, 2013

Media Release – September 30, 2013

Mike Sullivan welcomes establishment of stolen cellphone database to protect cellphone clients

NDP MP Mike Sullivan (York South-Weston) today welcomed the initiative announced by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWRA) to establish a National Stolen Wireless Devices Blacklist to combat the theft of stolen cellphones by rendering them useless for re-activation. On June 18, 2012 Mike Sullivan introduced a Motion in the House of Commons calling on the wireless industry to establish such a blacklist, in response to the growing crime of cellphone theft in his community and elsewhere in Canada.

“Cell phone theft is a growing crime problem in my community and across Canada. It’s a crime of opportunity because, up to now, these stolen phones could be easily reactivated by a different carrier,” said MP Sullivan. “Young people are particularly vulnerable. By having the carriers share information on stolen cellphones, these phones would then become worthless.”

As part of the effort to combat cellphone theft, earlier this spring (March 5, 2013) MP Sullivan introduced Bill C-482 in order to make illegal any attempt to tamper of alter cellphone identifiers – the unique number assigned to each cellphone. Said MP Sullivan: “This initiative will cripple the illegal cell phone trade by making it a criminal offence to tamper with the cell phone identification numbers, and will go a long way towards decreasing robberies and the threats of violence and intimidation that go with them. The industry initiative needs to be supported and the Government should act on this by passing my proposed legislation.”

Toronto Police have indicated that cellphone theft is the largest form of street crime in Toronto (Sullivan media conference, June 27, 2012).

-          30 –

For more information, please contact Paul Ferreira at 416 656-2526.

Permanent link to this article: http://mikesullivan.ca/media-release-september-30-2013/

Sep 14 2013

Midterm Review – Two Years of Harper’s Majority Government

Midterm Review – Two Years of Harper’s Majority Government

Permanent link to this article: http://mikesullivan.ca/midterm-review-two-years-of-harpers-majority-government-2/

Jul 24 2013

Meeting Requested by Four (4) Members of the Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Standing Committee:

Click here

Permanent link to this article: http://mikesullivan.ca/meeting-requested-by-four-4-members-of-the-transport-infrastructure-and-communities-standing-committee-3/

Jul 24 2013

A letter to Hon. Leona Aglukkag, Minister of the Environment

Hon. Leona Aglukkag, P.C., M.P.
Minister of the Environment
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière 10 Wellington Street, 28th Floor Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3

Dear Minister,

Congratulations on your appointment as the new Minister of the Environment.

Toronto just experienced its worst rainfall ever. Thousands of homeowners have experienced significant flooding. In my riding of York South–Weston in particular, some residents had seven feet of sewage and rainwater in their basements, and infants and disabled individuals had to be rescued by boat from their residences.

Toronto’s experience pales in comparison to the effects of similar intense rainfall in Alberta, but the impact is nonetheless real, and worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Part of the culprit, many scientists believe, is changing weather patterns due to the climate-altering effects of greenhouse gas emissions. As I’m sure you and your constituents are all-too-well aware, as you watch Arctic ice recede to its lowest level ever, the pace of change is accelerating, and there does not appear to be political will on the planet to stop and reverse the emissions problem. However, the effects will continue, and adaptation will be necessary in every aspect of every Canadian’s life.

That adaptation for municipalities means adapting sewer and stormwater management systems to deal with future intense storms. It may mean expanding the ‘no-build zone’ of floodplains near watercourses to accept the new reality of the potential size of future floods. It may mean dyke and diversion systems such as employed in southern Manitoba to deal with the regular flooding there. It may mean changing building codes to ensure that water absorption is part of the design of roads, homes and buildings.

In Toronto in particular, starting in 2008, civic leaders undertook to examine the problem in a study appropriately called ‘Ahead of the Storm – Preparing Toronto for Climate Change’. Unfortunately the current civic leaders have shelved the study.

Whatever the adaptation required, it will require more resources than municipalities currently have at their disposal. It will mean significant increases to infrastructure spending. It will require guidance and direction from a federal government as the infrastructure is designed and implemented. There will clearly be limits to what man can do to tame the weather, and those limits will form part of what the federal response might be in terms of resources.

I would appreciate hearing from the federal government, and from you as the new minister of the environment, as to what help Canadians, and in particular my constituents, can expect from the federal level for adaptation for the effects of climate change. It would send a very clear message to all Canadians who now wonder what actions they should be asking their politicians to take, at all levels, to begin to deal with this problem.

I look forward to your response, and would make myself available to meet with you to discuss this matter further.

Yours truly,

Mike Sullivan
M.P. York South-Weston

cc Hon. Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities & Intergovernmental Affairs

Permanent link to this article: http://mikesullivan.ca/a-letter-to-the-minister-of-the-environment/

Jul 24 2013

An Open Letter to Kathleen Wynne

The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, MPP
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Assembly, Queen’s Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1

Dear Premier Wynne,

Re. Public Transit in Toronto – Government waste on the UP Express worse than the cancelled Gas Plants

I am writing you as a concerned federal politician about current Ontario decisions and plans for public transit, in particular in Toronto. I have a particular interest in my riding of York South-Weston in plans for the Air-Rail Link, now dubbed the UP Express. But I also have concerns about much of the planning for transit in general, and the political nature of some of the decision making. As we know from the gas plant debacle, politics and planning don’t mix well. I have asked for a meeting with your Minister of Transport & Infrastructure on these matters but have been refused thus far.

The Air-Rail Link had its genesis in a request from the City of Toronto for federal help in creating a subway to the airport, to replace the Eglinton line abandoned by the provincial Conservative government of Mike Harris. The federal Liberals morphed the project into a dedicated private sector ‘business class only’ diesel service, with the proviso that ‘not one nickel’ of taxpayers money would be spent on it. However the public was quickly on the hook for GO rail expansion to accommodate the link, and when the province took over the project from SNC Lavalin, the costs soared from $300 million to $2.5 billion. For that much we could have built a subway to the airport! Ironically, the GO service will NOT be the promised all-day two way service, as UP Express will eat up too much of the expanded corridor.

How do I arrive at $2.5 billion? Metrolinx has admitted, in its conversation kit on The Big Move, that the GO rail expansion will cost $1.2 billion. In the same kit, the UP Express is costed at $456 million. According to the kit, electrification of this corridor will add $900 million more – $400 million for a 4th track made necessary by the decision to run diesel first and later switch to electric, and $470 million to electrify the service. The total is in the order of $2.5 billion.
2

If it were built as a subway as originally requested, it would have cost about the same, and it would provide the western leg of the ‘downtown relief line’ now pegged to cost a staggering $7.4 billion. It would have permitted single seat service to the airport from downtown, Scarborough, and many points in between. It would be much more useful transit than a single-purpose business-class train.

The subsidy required to provide this service is staggering. Even at a conservative 4% interest rate, and ignoring the future cost to electrify, the interest alone on the $1.6 billion is $64 million per year. The targeted ridership is 1.2 million per year. That means each ride will be subsidized by $53 before operating costs are factored in, and before any capital is actually paid off. Add in electrification and the subsidy grows to $83 per ride.

How can we fix this? First, let’s make this an electric system, like every other airport-city connection in the world. And do it before putting the line in service, to save $400 million. Next, make this investment useful public transit for the people of Toronto. The money is now spent. There’s no going back. The community wasn’t listened to, so we won’t be getting a connected subway. But there is room for 180 passengers on each train between downtown and the airport. The Metrolinx plan is to have an average of 24 per train. That’s what the demand is between Pearson Airport and Union Station. In order to pay for operating costs with so few passengers, the fare will likely be $30 to $40 a trip. There’s already a pent-up demand for public transit all along that corridor. By adding a few more stops, and making the fare equivalent to a TTC fare, those trains would be full. All day. Yes, the business elite the train is designed to serve would have to rub shoulders with ordinary citizens going to work, but that should be a small price to pay for efficiency, and provide a better return for the taxpayers’ investment.

So, three simple steps: (1) Make it electric from the start. (2) Make it stop in a few more places. And (3) make it a reasonable fare. It will still be a quick trip to downtown for airport patrons, but it will be a much better and more useful part of the overall transit infrastructure for residents in Toronto.

I sincerely urge your government to revise the UP Express project to incorporate the features I have mentioned above. I would be happy to discuss this further with you and your officials.

Yours truly,

Mike Sullivan
MP York South-Weston

Permanent link to this article: http://mikesullivan.ca/an-open-letter-to-kathleen-wynne/

Jul 10 2013

Midterm Review – Two Years of Harper’s Majority Government

Permanent link to this article: http://mikesullivan.ca/midterm-review-two-years-of-harpers-majority-government/

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