MPP Sabawy’s Media Appreciation Dinner & Iftar

MISSISSAUGA – On Thursday, March 14, 2024, Sheref Sabawy, Member of Provincial Parliament for Mississauga-Erin Mills, hosted a public Media Appreciation Dinner & Iftar at his constituency office. He provided the following update to media about the provincial government’s work to support the people of Mississauga:

Welcoming Remarks to Media Present

Thank you!

Good evening, everyone.

Ramadan Mubarak and Happy Lent to all of you!

I am very happy to welcome all of you here in my office, 

I hope everyone is having a good time!

I just wanted to start off by highlighting how important it is to have ethnic media outlets in our communities, delivering high-quality journalism to the diverse communities of Ontario. 

Thank you all for your hard work.

Thank you for making sure that our citizens have access to the latest news.

No matter what your background, religion, or language, you make sure that Ontarians and Canadians are aware of what is happening! So thank you for doing what you are doing.

You may or may not know this but this year both Ramadan and Orthodox Lent started on the same day!

How special is it that we can all come together with fasting and traditions, and reflect regardless of our religion. 

This is a great reminder that despite the large diversity of our community, there are many similarities.

It’s important on all occasions that we continue to join together with respect, unity, love, and peace.

Not many places that you can go into a room and meet so many people from so many different backgrounds.

When we come together, we can learn from each other, celebrate our diversity, and work towards common goals.

We can address challenges, create positive change, and build a brighter future for all of us.

By respecting each other and becoming a united front we can create a stronger, more resilient society where everyone is safe, valued and celebrated.

Supporting Ontarians

On that note, we know that these last few months and years have not been easy for everyone.

From a pandemic and inflation, to natural disasters, wars and increasing violence on our streets. 

Times are tough!

People need a break!

And now more than ever our government is firmly committed to supporting Ontarians.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  My goal has always been to make life easier and more affordable for individuals and families in Mississauga.

When we came to office six years ago, people were struggling.  We committed to making life more affordable.

We abolished the costly carbon pricing program.  And later decreased the gas tax by 10 cents per Litre.

We froze fees for driver’s license renewals, and we abolished the license plate renewal fees entirely.

Under our watch, minimum wage was responsibly increased to 16 dollars and 55 cents per hour.

And ODSP rates have been tied to inflation.

To support parents struggling with high costs of child care, we negotiated the best deal possible for Ontarians — cutting costs to 10 dollars per day and maintaining flexibility.

To support transit riders, we recently implemented the One Fare program — allowing transfers between transit organizations at no additional cost — saving commuters up to $1,600 per year.

Most recently, legislation has been proposed that would, if passed, abolish tolls on provincial highways, and prohibit future governments from implementing a carbon tax without referendum.

We promised that we would be there to support the people of Mississauga.

We promised to improve affordability, and build infrastructure.

We’re getting it done.

Building Mississauga

Right here in Mississauga, we are seeing investments in infrastructure like we have never seen before.

For example, the South Common Community Centre — a cornerstone of our local neighbourhood in Erin Mills — required a $61 million dollars reconstruction.  After it got rejected by the federal government, I have worked with the Ontario Government to provide more than 70% of the funding to get shovels in the ground faster.

In education, we are building and expanding schools in Mississauga.

Thomas Street Public Middle School recently completed a $4 million dollar expansion — allowing 160 new spaces for students.

With our support, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Elementary School added 73 new child care spaces.  And Saint-Jean-Baptiste Catholic Elementary added 39.

These investments in education are allowing us to fulfill our Back to Basics promise:

We are reviving our focus on critical subjects, like reading, writing, technology, science, and math.

With these new curriculums and investments, we’re giving students the tools they need to succeed in the modern day.

To fulfill this goal, we’re hiring 2,000 more front-line educators who will be hired based on merit, not seniority.

Our investments in transportation are also coming to fruition.

We have started and completed the 18-Kilometers expansion of Highway 401 from Milton to Mississauga and the 8-Kilometers at Cambridge; which have alleviated much traffic and keeps people and goods moving faster. 

Anyone who has traveled recently near Hurontario Street, Highway 10, can see the progress and the construction for the 18-Kilometers Hazel McCallion Line.

Last month, it was confirmed by the Minister of Transportation that Ontario will be pursuing two-way all-day GO train service on the Milton Line.  For me, this is a dream come true.

And work on the Highway 413 will soon be underway, saving commuters time on their daily commute.

We’re investing in health care for the people of Mississauga with a comprehensive plan for Convenient and Connected care.

Our government is supporting construction of a new hospital in Mississauga.  It will be 2.8 million square feet — the largest hospital in Canada, the Largest Emergency Department in Canada.
A multi billion dollar project that will reduce waiting time, providing faster and state-of-the-art healthcare facility.

A new Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the first of its kind in Canada, will be here in Mississauga.

And we’re building long-term care beds.

Whereas the previous government neglected to fund long-term care, our government has a goal of 58,000 LTC beds.

This includes projects such as the 160-bed long-term care at Ivan Franko Homes in Erin Mills which broke ground last fall.

We also opened Wellbrook Place with Trillium Health Partners, bringing 632 new beds to Mississauga.

Just to compare, the previous government only brought 640 beds to Ontario in 7 whole years.

And we’re building housing.

When driving the other day on Rathburn towards Square One, I counted 11 cranes.  That’s almost a dozen new buildings under construction just in that one neighbourhood.

But there’s still more that needs to be done.

The Building Faster Fund is providing $1.2 billion to municipalities as incentives to get more shovels in the ground.

We’re encouraging higher density and transit-oriented communities.

We’re accelerating approval timelines, and increasing consumer protections.

All with the goal of building 1.5 million homes by 2031, allowing Ontario families to find a home that meets their needs.

Building Businesses & Developing Jobs

We’re not just building infrastructure.  We’re also creating the conditions that attract investments from the private sector, and bring new jobs to the province.

Last year, Ontario created more new jobs in manufacturing than all 50 US states combined.

From electric vehicles to pharmaceuticals to advanced technologies, and everything in-between, Ontario is attracting major investments.

The reason for this is simple.  Our government has cut red tape, making it easier for businesses to grow.

In total, businesses are now saving $900 million Dollars each year in red tape savings alone.

Additionally, the four Working for Workers bills that have been put forward are allowing more people to find jobs in Ontario, and supporting those already here.

In more than 30 occupations, new immigrants will no longer have to worry that Canadian Experience requirements will lock them out of a job in their profession.  We removed those requirements and are allowing more people to get jobs faster.

Protecting Ontarians’ Rights

The Working for Worker Acts are also increasing protections and improving working conditions for labourers.

For example, we increased fines against bad actors, such as employers who mistreat temporary foreign workers.

We established that ride-share and digital delivery workers have the same rights as other workers.

And our government has proposed policies that would ensure workers are paid fairly, without illegal deductions or tip confiscations.

And speaking of protections, I’m happy to say that my Ministry (Public and Business Service Delivery) was responsible for putting forward the new Consumer Protection Act of 2023.

This includes a multitude of protections for Ontarians.  But just to name a few:

Making it easier to cancel subscriptions and membership agreements

Protecting against automatic contract renewals

Prohibiting price gouging

And clarifying contracts by forbidding deceptive language.


These are just a few examples of our hard work in recent years.

I dare say that no government in recent memory has ever invested as much in Mississauga as we have.

And there’s more where that came from.

With the leadership of Premier Doug Ford, my colleagues and I are working relentlessly to support Ontarians, attract jobs, and continue building infrastructure.

We will not rest until our work is complete.  We will get it done for the people of Mississauga and for all Ontarians.

Thank you once again for being here tonight and for your continued support.

If any of you have any questions at any time about the work our government is doing, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

My office is always available and I’m happy to speak with each of you individually and answer any questions.

Please continue to enjoy yourself, have a great evening, and stay in touch.