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Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for Guelph (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2006, with 38.39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

June 7th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's comments are right on. This was the point I was trying to make earlier to the Conservative member of Parliament who spoke. It is all very well and good to list a whole list of things they do. It is onerous, we cannot take it in, it is so huge that nobody really knows to what money has been given.

However, what we do know is what the Conservatives have not done, and I want to go back to literacy. These are programs on the ground. The two Conservative members of Parliament who just spoke will have these programs in their own cities and towns. These programs deliver service to people we represent who cannot read and who need that tool.

The Conservative government has taken $18 million out of that fund. It is extremely important that the money be reinstated. While members can list all kinds of things, we have to look at the person in the street who cannot read, the person in the street who cannot get along, people who the Liberals were actually helping. Now the Conservatives have taken that away.

I ask the hon. member—

June 7th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the hon. member across the way but I did not hear him talk about two programs, one being the Big Brothers of Canada. It has had a cut of $200,000.

Last night I happened to run into the priest who is the head of Big Brothers right across Canada. I do not know if the member has spoken to him but I hope he will take the time and take it to the Prime Minister, because this is very serious. We have an organization in every town and city across Canada and this organization is hurting badly because of the $200,000 cut. I am making a very public plea here to ask the hon. member to go to the Prime Minister and ask for the reinstatement of those funds.

The member mentioned a whole lot of programs, and there is no doubt a lot of good in those programs. I am not downplaying that in any way, shape or form. However, the second program is literacy, a program that is hurting every community across Canada because of the cuts. The government cut a lot of money from literacy programs. As a past literacy provider, I can tell members that it is hurting some of our most vulnerable people, people who are in jobs and who cannot read, who have difficulty, who cannot progress and who are having trouble. There are young moms who need to administer medicines properly to their children but they cannot read.

The government has put a lot of people at risk by attacking those two programs.

My plea today is to ask the member to go to the Prime Minister and ask him to reinstate money for Big Brothers and for literacy. When we attack the ordinary, everyday person who is part of the Canadian fabric, who we are supposed to represent, we, the government, make a grievous error. I plead today for the reinstatement of these two programs.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007 June 6th, 2007

Twenty-nine. I stand to be corrected.

Things like the Kyoto accord which the NDP voted down. The Liberal government wanted to implement it, but oh no, the NDP wanted to go to the polls. This was important to that party. What about addressing the fiscal imbalance? We could have done that. Oh, no, the NDP did not want to accept that.

The member brings up child care. How can she stand in this House and possibly bring up such a thing when the NDP voted that down by bringing a Liberal government down. We had an agreement with every single province that we worked for years to get and finally it went down because the NDP had the nerve and the gall to let this country down on child care.

I have so many constituents who wanted child care, wanted Kyoto, and wanted a better deal for cities rights across Canada. I think that is shameful.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007 June 6th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I want to talk a little bit about what the hon. member is yelling about right now, quite frankly, because it is a real concern to me when she talks about aboriginal people and what has happened to them. There was a thing called the Kelowna accord in case she forgets and there is a reason that it is not being implemented. It is because the NDP decided to bring down the past government.

The NDP is critical of everything. It does not matter what anyone does or what government works. It is critical, but it does not have positive solutions. There is a reason the NDP has 28 members.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007 June 6th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I thought the hon. member made some excellent points. Interest deductibility is a very big issue.

One of the things the member for Yukon has circulated today is the fact that income tax has increased under the new government. Calling it a new government is kind of a joke. It has now been in power for a year and a half. I wonder how long it can call itself new and improved. It is quite comical.

The government ran in the last election and promised it would help Canadians, particularly lower and middle income Canadians. Now, for Heaven's sake, it has increased income tax. It is shocking that the government, which promised during its campaigned that it would not do such a thing, has done that. It is again another broken promise.

I want to draw attention also, as the hon. member did, to the fiscal imbalance. The Premier of Newfoundland is now running an ABC program, which is to vote anything but Conservative.

Could the member comment on those two points?

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act June 5th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, in Bill C-57 there is no doubt and it is indisputable that there are some areas that need to be looked at, but there are so many other areas that are so very important as well. My hon. colleague from Scarborough—Agincourt talked about doctors working as cab drivers.

I know that this new government, as it wants to call itself, talked a lot about that in the last election campaign, how it would fix that up, and how it would help those people. I make that appeal to this new government which really is not very new any more. It really is quite old and it is getting a little tired.

People are telling me that they are still out there working as cab drivers. They still need the help and they are not getting that help from the government. I am glad that my colleague is continuing to push this issue because I know he has for a long time campaigned on this very thing.

The lost Canadians again is a very important issue which the government is not addressing. I think that it really needs to do so. I ask my hon. colleague who spoke about this what his thoughts are on it?

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act June 5th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the hon. member a question. I have worked in committee with the member a number of times and I know that he really does care about Canada.

The Canadian Council for Refugees is asking a fundamental question about this. Why is such work available in Canada if it humiliates and degrades workers? That is a key issue.

While the government is doing a lot of things that are not unimportant, what I am having a significant problem with is that it appears that some of what the government has tried to do is for political gain rather than addressing the root question of where we are going wrong as Canadians in allowing this sort of work.

I would ask the hon. member to tell me and all Canadians exactly what the government of the day is doing to address that. It is very important, much more important than the Conservatives calling themselves the new government or trying to brand themselves as something different. I think Canadians want to know what the government is going to do to help us in this matter and to make a better Canada. That is what is important. That is what is at stake.

Steven Truscott February 21st, 2007

Mr. Speaker, people across this country have expressed strong support for Steven Truscott in his efforts to clear his name. Those in his community of Guelph are no exception.

People like Alice Hebden, a resident of Guelph for 80 years, knew Steven when he was at the Ontario Training School for Boys. She described Steven as kind, good natured, and someone who would do anything for anyone. During their time together at the school, Alice grew to love Steven like a son.

Throughout her decades as cook for the school, Alice saw so many troubled youths, but Steven stood out as someone special. When she passed away two years ago at the age of 99, Alice still believed in Steven and in his innocence. To her dying day she stood with Steven in his fight.

Stories like these are not rare for people who know Steven.

I would like to thank those in my riding for their continued efforts and the support that they have shown throughout this struggle for justice.

Spousal Support February 6th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, as parliamentarians, we recognize the importance of having the love and support of our spouses and families. Without them, we would not be able to do all that we do.

Today I stand to pay tribute to a very special spouse in my riding, Marlene Truscott. For 36 years, Marlene has stood with her husband, Steven, in his fight for justice.

Marlene and Steven were first brought together by Steven's fight to clear his name. He has often acknowledged that “If anyone really wants to know how I have survived the last 34 years--Marlene is the answer”.

Together with their family, Marlene and Steven are continuing their fight before the Ontario Court of Appeal. They have climbed this mountain together and they are so close to making it to the top. I know that their love and respect for each other will get them through these very public days, weeks and, potentially, months ahead.

I would like to thank Marlene Truscott for the example of love and support that she has shown to every single one of us.

Petitions October 25th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the third petition calls upon the government to raise the age of consent in Canada from 14 to 16 years of age.