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Last in Parliament November 2005, as Independent MP for Churchill (Manitoba)

Lost her last election, in 2006, with 17.16% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Health November 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, on April 27, 2004, the health minister admitted that the Liberal government was open to the public paying for private health care. The use of private for profit companies for nurses, surgery and diagnostic testing increases the costs to the health care system. This also goes against what Canadians want, which is a quality, accessible, not for profit, universal health care system.

Would the Minister of Health explain why the Liberal government is supporting private for profit health care?

Supply November 21st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, there is no question about it, I do support changes that take place, but the reality, with all due respect to the government and my colleague from the Yukon, is that I listened to the same thing in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, and heaven forbid, we are going to have a meeting at the end of this week and we will get to hear it again in 2006.

It is not okay to keep mouthing those words and not putting into place concrete action to really make changes in first nation communities. It is not okay to place small first nations communities against large ones because one can get more votes out of the large communities. The majority of first nation communities number less than 500 people. Who will be their voice? Not the Liberal government.

Let me come out and say it. It is not okay just to get votes and put money into this Liberal candidate's riding when there are all these other communities that are struggling so their children can get their educational facilities and have gyms and libraries, the things that a small white community in Canada would not tolerate doing without. It is not okay just to say the words.

Supply November 21st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I wish to indicate for clarity to those listening that the question that I have for the late show today is in regard to a question that I put to the government on October 20. This was the question as I put it:

Mr. Speaker, education is critical to improving the social and economic strength of first nations people. The community of St.Theresa Point has over 700 nursery to grade eight students attending school in trailers and satellite rooms that were supposed to be temporary. They have no gym, no library and no playground. Indian Affairs says it will start design planning in 2009 for a new school. In the next five years 500 more children will reach school age. Would the minister and the Liberal government accept their children receiving their education under these conditions?

I was absolutely appalled at the answer I received from the government. The government indicated that it spends millions of dollars for first nations. Fair enough. There is no question that millions of dollars are being spent. The reality is that there is still a huge need within first nation communities considering the situation we have seen in Kashechewan and numerous other communities throughout the country.

The reason that need is there is the fact that for years there have been shortfalls and no proper funding provided by the government. The government has provided no accountability. I am not suggesting that it was first nations who were at fault. I firmly believe that in the cases I am dealing with that is not the case.

I put a question on the order paper asking for the capital funds that had been spent in first nation communities in my riding over the last 10 years. I was astounded when I received the figures. What really jumped out at me was the great disparity among first nation communities. There seemed to be no set reasoning as to how the funding would be done in the communities.

What upset me was that we could have a situation with 700 students in portables and yet the government was not looking at putting in a school until 2009, and that is only the design plan. We all know it takes two or three years after the design plan to get a school in place.

What upset me the most was looking at the 10 year fund. I am not denying any community the right to have a beautiful new school. I am not denying any community the right to have a school that it probably needs. What jumped out at me was the fact that in 2000-01, $86,812,000 was spent in the Churchill riding. The next year 2001-02, the year after the election, $61,956,000 was spent. That amount then increased again tremendously over the next three years, but it went to the Liberal candidates home community.

I do not deny that this community needed a new school. However, when a community has 700 students in portables, how does the government justify putting $38 million toward a new school in another community that already had a school? Granted, the community needed a new school, but a priority factor came into play. It was also the fact that $15 million had been cut from the budget to put additional facilities into our riding.

When I hear of the situation in Saugeen First Nation where the government representative absconded with money that should have been there for first nations, I begin to question the accountability of the federal government in these communities. I also question its commitment to first nations people. It is not acceptable to play one community off against the other.

Question No. 217 November 21st, 2005

With regard to the relationship between the government and private banks: ( a ) what was the amount paid by the government last year for private banking services; ( b ) is MERX still the private contractor for dealing with public tenders; ( c ) during the sale of shares of Petro Canada, what bank handled the sale and how much was the government billed for the services; ( d ) what is the tendering process for Crown corporations when seeking private banking services; ( e ) what are the ethical guidelines for Crown corporations when dealing with banks; ( f ) what are the ethical guidelines for government departments when dealing with banks; ( g ) are the guidelines different for departments and Crown corporations when dealing with banks; and ( h ) how much interest is accrued on the public funds that the government is temporarily giving to banks?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 216 November 21st, 2005

With regard to the use of federal money for First Nations communities in the riding of Churchill: ( a ) what is the amount spent in First Nations communities by each ministry, department, agency, Crown corporation and foundation over the past 10 years; ( b ) what are the projects and programs that have been supported by each ministry, department, agency, Crown corporation and Foundation over the past 10 years; and ( c ) what is the breakdown of these projects and programs and spending for every community?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 215 November 21st, 2005

With regard to federal actions concerning the town of Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids First Nation in Manitoba: ( a ) with the planned construction of the hydro dam in the Grand Rapids area beginning in the 1950s and continuing into the 1960s and 1970s, what was the consultation process with the local aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities; ( b ) did the government take on the representation of the First Nation community; ( c ) what was the impact of the project on the surrounding communities; ( d ) what is the current status of the planned Manitoba Lowlands National Park; ( e ) who were the stakeholders identified in the establishment of the national park; ( f ) what consultations were undertaken with the communities regarding the establishment of the park; ( g ) what contacts were made with the Mayor and Council of the Town of Grand Rapids; ( h ) what contacts were made with the Chief and Council of the Grand Rapids First Nation; ( i ) what is the expected opening date of the park; ( j ) have there been any environmental studies done on the effects of the dam; ( k ) have there been any outstanding monetary or land claim issues related to the dam construction; and ( l ) what was the total cost of compensation paid by the government to the First Nation or the town?

(Return tabled)

Development Assistance Conditions and Accountability Act November 16th, 2005

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-446, An Act respecting the provision of development assistance by the Canadian International Development Agency and other federal bodies.

Mr. Speaker, this bill is intended to provide a legislative mandate for the Canadian International Development Agency, a mandate with the central focus on poverty reduction and in a manner consistent with Canadian values, Canadian foreign policy and international human rights standards.

The legislation would improve transparency and accountability.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Taxation November 15th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, obviously the Liberals have not learned anything from Gomery. In another attempt at vote buying, the Liberal government has announced another so-called tax saving measure. The reality is Canadians will not be fooled.

Canadians know that the Liberals are giving away massive corporate tax cuts while giving minimal tax cuts to individuals, some of which will not kick in until 2010. If the government were truly committed to helping Canadians, it would start cutting the GST, so that everyone would receive the same tax relief.

Will the minister take that giant step and provide tax relief for all Canadians by cutting the GST?

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act November 14th, 2005

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-442, An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (additional claims).

Mr. Speaker, as many are aware, there is an injustice that takes place with workers in the event that a company goes bankrupt. Often a fair amount of their pay is not paid out as a result of the bankruptcy. This bill would ensure that severance or termination pay arising under a collective agreement or legislation, benefits and other payments, including payments required to eliminate any unfunded liabilities of pension plans that provide benefits to workers, as well as commissions and compensation owed to contract workers get paid.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Cross-Border Drug Sales November 1st, 2005

Mr. Chair, my colleague has said that the government wants to take action and wants to get something done. I go back to the comments that were made earlier about the vote in the House which had unanimous support to ban the bulk exports. Nothing has been done. It is wonderful to talk and talk about how wonderful one is and all the wonderful things one will do. However, when the government is in a position to do those things and does not do them, at some point Canadians have to say that it is just a lot of fluff. There is a key point that can be fixed and everyone seems to agree on it. That is the banning of bulk exports.

I know we want to look after Canadians first. There is no question that we want to ensure the pricing and the availability. I think we are all on the same page in that regard as well. However in return, as Canadians we should feel quite honoured with our health system and our system of pricing. Literally millions of Americans want to access our system. Their politicians are afraid to take action against them because they know they will be ripped to shreds by their own population. Somehow it is up to Canada to act responsibly because American politicians are unwilling to put in place the same type of system that we have, a system that benefits all their population.