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Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Thornhill (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2000, with 64.59% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Infrastructure May 14th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of State for Infrastructure. While I would like to commend the minister for working in partnership with the province of Ontario and the city of Toronto to provide $1 billion for the Toronto Transit Commission, my question is regarding the government's commitment to public transit throughout the greater Toronto area, Ontario and Canada.

Could the hon. minister please tell my constituents in York region, who are anxiously awaiting the construction of phase one of the York region transit plan, to others who are awaiting the GO Transit expansion and to those communities across Canada that support public transit--

Member for Thornhill May 14th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take the opportunity to do what I have not done often enough over the last 25 years, and that is to say thank you.

I wish to thank my husband Wilf, my best friend and my lover; my children, David and Leigh, Mark and Claire, Zane and Meredith; my grandchildren Findlay Lillian, Talia Jane, Benjamin Russell, Max Louis, Angus John, and Jacob Isaac, all Caplan; my sister Carol Lou and family who have always been there for me and loved me even when I was not there for them.

I wish to thank the voters of ward 13 in North York, the provincial riding of Oriole, and the federal riding of Thornhill for giving me the honour and the privilege to represent them and their interests since 1978 to 2004.

I wish to thank my wonderful staff who did their best to make me look good, often with great difficulty, as I made it hard for them.

I wish to thank former Premier David Peterson who allowed me to serve in his cabinet and gave me the opportunity to be the first Jewish woman in Canadian history to serve in a cabinet. I was his chair of cabinet, chair of management board, minister of government services and minister of health.

I wish to thank Prime Minister Chrétien for the opportunity to serve in his cabinet as minister of immigration and minister of national revenue.

I wish to thank old friends who have been waiting for 25 years for my return and to new friends, whose friendship will endure, and colleagues who I will never forget;

To Bill Graham for the thank you, and finally, to Prime Minister--

Member for Vancouver Kingsway May 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, born in China, she emigrated to Canada in 1962, received the Order of Canada in 1994 and, when elected to the riding of Vancouver Kingsway in 1997, became the first Canadian woman of Chinese origin elected to the House of Commons.

We were elected together and we worked together. We travelled to China and successfully secured travel documents for the misguided youths who boarded boats for a dangerous journey that led them to detention in a Canadian jail for a year, but saved them from a life of slavery.

I was moved by her impassioned plea to the most senior Chinese officials to help their children return home and alert other youths of the perils of the snakeheads. She said, “They are your children and your future”.

The House of Commons is losing a strong voice, an individual whose dedication and commitment to her constituents and this country have been an inspiration. She really made a difference.

We wish success to the member for Vancouver Kingsway, my dear friend and colleague.

Health April 28th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the hon. Minister of Health.

Just over a year ago my constituents in Thornhill, their neighbours throughout York region, the GTA and in fact all Canadians lived through the SARS outbreak that affected Canada.

Given the recent emergence of SARS in China, what new precautions are being taken by the federal government, and particularly Health Canada, to ensure the residents of Thornhill and all Canadians that we are prepared so that we will not live through another outbreak?

Holocaust Memorial Day April 20th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, this week, as Canadians remember the horrors of the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide, we also understand the evil consequences of remaining silent when hate confronts our society.

As the Prime Minister rightly said, “hate-motivated crimes are an assault on all Canadians”.

Last week the hon. Minister of Justice visited my riding of Thornhill. He met with members of the community, religious and elected leaders. He visited both the Jaffari Islamic Mosque and Temple Har Zion next door.

These two religious institutions have set a concrete example of the Canada we want. The mosque and the synagogue share their driveways and parking lots. All those who stood on that driveway made a commitment. There will be no acceptance of bigotry, racism and hate in this country. We are taking action together. We will not remain silent. We have learned from the lessons of history.

The Budget March 30th, 2004

$100 billion.

The Budget March 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I found the member's comments to be quite strange. On the one hand he complained about increases in government expenditure, and on the other hand he called for increases in government expenditure.

The member did not acknowledge the $100 billion in tax cuts, the largest tax cuts in the history of this country, which are still being implemented. He did not acknowledge the $37 billion increase to health funding right across this country.

He dismissed out of hand the fact that education is constitutionally a provincial responsibility.The federal government's role in support of education has been quite significant through R and D support and scholarship and access support for students at the post-secondary level. One of the most significant things the government has done has been to provide some $13 billion in support for post-secondary institutions through funding for their R and D programs and scholarship and loan support for students. The member opposite simply dismissed that fact.

I spent some time in opposition. I would ask the member if he would at least give the facts to all Canadians rather than simply give another opposition speech which was negative and unfair and which was not factual in giving Canadians the real goods about the record of the government.

Human Rights March 24th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Last week, Jewish homes, property, synagogues and schools were targeted and vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti, and a Jewish cemetery was desecrated. These were anti-Semitic incidents of hate.

Could the hon. minister explain to my constituents, to members of all minority groups, and to Canadians who are concerned and angry, what steps have been or will be taken to ensure that these acts of hatred and racism are not and will not be tolerated by the government?

Toronto Jewish Community March 23rd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I rise to day to express the outrage and concern of my constituents, my community and all peace loving Canadians.

On the morning of March 15, residents of the Thornhill Jewish community awoke to find swastikas and other hateful graffiti on their front doors, cars and garages. Nearby, at the cemetery where my late father is buried, headstones were desecrated. Synagogues were defaced with messages of hate. These are cowardly acts of anti-Semitism.

Canadians share the values of tolerance and respect. They are the cornerstone of our country and we have enshrined them in our charter, which guarantees equality for all.

Canada strives to ensure that we can live in peace and security. We must send a message, loud and clear, that Canada does not and will not tolerate these incidents of racial hatred. They are hate crimes. Our silence will signal acceptance of these acts and this is unacceptable to all Canadians.

Therefore, I stand here today sending a message expressing my personal outrage at these--

Canadian International Development Agency March 10th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the hon. minister responsible for the Canadian International Development Agency. Could the minister assure my constituents and all Canadians that the federal government's humanitarian and developmental funding directed to assist and improve the lives of Palestinians and the funding for the United Nations refugee relief association, the aid programs of UNRRA, which is intended for humanitarian assistance, is not being diverted to the Palestinian authority for unauthorized uses that do not support peace?