- On the Parliament site
Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Ottawa West—Nepean (Ontario)
Won her last election, in 2004, with 41.78% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Transportation Amendment Act November 28th, 2005
Mr. Speaker, as I pre-warned you, this is my last speech in the House of Commons after 17 years and I trust you will not be tough on relevance to the topic at hand.
It was 29 years ago that I first ran for and was elected to municipal council, and 18 years ago that I first entered the House of Commons as a member of Parliament. They have been fabulous years.
I want to thank all my constituents in Ottawa West--Nepean who have placed their confidence in me through five consecutive elections. I also want to thank the hundreds of volunteers and those who have contributed financially to campaigns. Volunteers are the fuel of our democracy. It is not money, but people who help fight elections and win or lose them. These individuals make democracy work at the grassroots.
I want to thank my staff who have worked unbelievably hard hours for an unbelievably difficult boss and for constituents who are not always friendly, as we all know. They have done this with great goodwill and with a determination to do whatever they can to help when it is needed.
I want to thank my family. Nobody in the House is unaware of the fact that our families pay the price when we have the great privilege of serving in this place. They pay it in time away, missed birthday parties and missed Christmases. They miss a normal relationship with a parent, a child, a granddaughter or daughter.
For all of the above, I thanks because serving in this place is a great privilege.
Very few Canadians will ever have the privilege of sitting in this chamber, playing a role in the history of our country and helping shape public policy that creates a country that we will be leaving to coming generations.
When I first walked into the House of Commons as a member of Parliament, I sat in my seat very aware of those who had come before me, those who had helped create a country that is the envy of the world. I was very aware also of my obligations to try to do the same for generations to come, to leave them a better country than I found it.
Parliament is the crucible of the country. Here we hear all the voices of Canada, the east, the west, the north, small communities, large communities, urban communities, rural communities and resource communities. It is here we try to deal with the diversity of our great country and make decisions that will affect all our citizens. It is here that we hopefully resolve differences so we can move forward as a nation.
I have been very privileged to take part in some of the great debates of our time such as the debate on free trade and the debate on how we manage the fiscal policies of the country so we can afford those programs that Canadians want and need.
I have been privileged to see the implementation of the first new national social program in a generation, the national child benefit. I have been privileged to see us address the problems in our health care system and to participate as we tried to address the important environmental issue of climate change. I leave here proud of what I have contributed and proud of the people with whom I have served.
I also leave here with some sadness. In the last 12 years I have not seen one iota of improvement in the representation of women in this chamber. In my view that is one of the greatest democratic deficits we have to address.
I also leave with sadness at the disrepute this place and those who come here to serve have fallen into. I attribute that to repeated criticism and negativity both among us in the House and in the media. It has contributed to an impression that neither this place nor the people who serve here deserve
I have been privileged to work with people from all parties and from all parts of Canada. I know they come here to serve their country and their constituents. They work hard at great personal sacrifice. Members serve with integrity and with honesty. They do not deserve to be tainted with the brush that belongs to a very small number.
If I have one message to leave the House and Canadians, it is that. The people who serve here and this place deserve our respect. When people lose respect for their institutions, in my view democracy itself is at risk.
I call upon all the members who will return to remember that what people think of this place matters. It matters more than the criticisms we might want to launch, and important as they are, they too are a part of democracy. However, let us not do it at the expense of respect for this place and respect for all members as people.
My father chose this country as his adopted country more than 70 years ago. From the time when I was a little girl, I learned how lucky we were to be Canadians. The first morning I walked into the House of Commons through those great big doors and into the Hall of Honour, as a member of Parliament, I thought of my dad. He had died only a few months before that election. I said to myself, “Okay, daddy, so what is the daughter of a lousy immigrant tailor doing in this place?” The fact that I was able to make that journey and sit in this place is a measure of the value of the country and what it stands for.
I thank all members for the privilege of serving with them and the opportunity of serving my country.
Petitions November 24th, 2005
Mr. Speaker, I have the great honour to present a petition on behalf of residents of Kingston and the Islands who call to the attention of Parliament the period from 1965 to 1973 when more than 50,000 draft age Americans made their way to Canada and were granted refuge here. The petitioners call on the government to demonstrate its commitment to international law and treaties by making provision for U.S. war objectors who have sanctuary in this country.
Committees of the House November 24th, 2005
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), your committee has considered the recent Canadian Broadcasting Corporation lock-out and has agreed to report to the House its recommendations.
I also have the honour to present the 19th report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), your committee undertook in February a study on the Canadian feature film industry and has agreed to report its findings and recommendations to the House.
The committee started the study on February 10 and held 36 meetings. It travelled to Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax and Montreal and met with more than 80 organizations. The report makes 30 recommendations. I want to pay tribute to the committee members who worked with great collegiality throughout the development of this report, right up to the last moment yesterday, and to our staff who worked all night to ensure we could table the report today.
Ukrainian Canadian Restitution Act November 23rd, 2005
Mr. Speaker, I join others in congratulating the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette for his persistence and for his flexibility in ensuring we could come to this point tonight. As chair of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, it was a pleasure to deal with the member and other members of our committee. It also was a pleasure to see that an initiative by a member of Parliament could have the attention of the government. He, government officials and the minister were prepared to work cooperatively to come to an agreement on what should be in the bill that would satisfy everybody.
An important partnership in these discussions was also the Ukrainian-Canadian community nationally. All in all I this is a long overdue, but it is a most welcome step toward reconciliation for wrongs of the past. The House, and Canadians have heard the wrongs done to Canadians of Ukrainian origin during and following the first world war. These circumstances are not proud moments in our past. Nor are they actions that Canadians today would consider acceptable.
As we move forward, we are trying to do a couple of things. First, is to recognize and acknowledge a wrong was done. Second, is to work with the community as it decides how it would like that sad stage in the history of Ukrainian-Canadians, and in our history as a country, commemorated and how it would like other Canadians to learn about the experiences as a way of contributing to avoiding this type of thing happening in the future.
We did not have safeguards in place back then to protect the rights of Canadians, to ensure that governments could not act in this kind of arbitrary manner. As we move forward with the acknowledgement, commemoration and education of Canadians about these events, Canadians should be encouraged to appreciate how much Ukrainian-Canadians have contributed to our country and how much they have given despite the treatment received at that terribly dark time in our history. Ukrainian-Canadians are involved in every part of our society, in every profession, in the arts and culture. They have put aside understandable bitterness about the past to be fully contributing Canadians through many generations.
Part of moving forward is learning from the past and stiffening our resolve to not make the same mistakes again. I have to take a moment and say that at that time the government and Canadians thought it was all right in the name of security to remove certain privileges, rights and property of Canadians. I urge all of us to ensure that we examine the actions we take today so we do not make similar mistakes for which our children and grandchildren will judge us.
I am happy to support the bill. I also am happy to have had the chance to work on it, and that we have taken an important step toward reconciliation.
Ukrainian Canadian Restitution Act November 23rd, 2005
Mr. Speaker, if it is acceptable to the House, I would like to split my time with the member for Yukon.
Committees of the House November 16th, 2005
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 17th report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), your committee has considered the recent Canadian Broadcasting Corporation lockout and has agreed to report to the House its recommendations.
Committees of the House November 16th, 2005
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixteenth report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
In accordance with its order of reference on Tuesday, October 25 your committee has considered Bill S-37, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Cultural Property Export and Import Act and agreed on Tuesday, November 15 to report it without amendment.
Committees of the House November 4th, 2005
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 15th report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
In accordance with its order of reference on Monday, April 18, your committee has considered Bill C-333, the Chinese Canadian Recognition and Redress Act, and agreed on Tuesday, November 1, to report it with amendments.
It is not a common occurrence in the House to congratulate two private members on successfully having a bill reported back from committee with unanimous consent of the committee by and large. I do want to compliment the members and the government representatives who worked closely to make this a matter of collaboration and cooperation both here in the House and with the community at large.
Petitions November 3rd, 2005
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from constituents in Kingston, Ontario who call upon Parliament to pay attention to the situation of two objectors to the American war in Iraq who have sought refuge in Canada.
They recall the actions of Canada in giving refuge to objectors to the Vietnam War and call upon the Canadian government and Parliament to demonstrate its commitment to international law and treaties, to which it is a signatory, by making provision for U.S. war objectors to have sanctuary in this country.
Committees of the House November 3rd, 2005
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 14th report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
In accordance with order of reference on Thursday, March 24, your committee has considered Bill C-331, the Ukrainian Canadian Restitution Act, and agreed on Tuesday, November 1, to report it with amendments.