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  • Her favourite word is families.

Conservative MP for Mississauga—Brampton South (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 44.70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House June 13th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Health in relation to Bill C-17, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act.

The committee has studied the bill, and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

Health May 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, concussions are something I know a little about, having endured one now for a couple of months and continuing to deal daily with a concussion.

Canada is a leader when it comes to investing in health care research. We are the single biggest investor in health care research in the entire country, investing over $1 billion.

I was very pleased earlier this year in Toronto to make a very sizeable announcement investing in acquired brain injuries.

The Budget February 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Canada has one of the safest and healthiest food systems in the world. Economic action plan 2014 would commit a new $400 million in spending to hire additional food inspectors. That is in addition to the $500 million we have already additionally invested.

Food Labelling February 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in the Speech from the Throne, our government committed to consulting with Canadian parents to improve the way nutritional information is presented on food labels.

I have been thrilled to work with our Minister of Health, who has asked me to spearhead consultations with families across the country to ensure that labels provide the best information for moms and dads.

I was pleased this week to see the First Lady of the United States announce new ways that they plan to present this information. It is encouraging to see these efforts toward healthy eating and healthy living not only here in Canada but also internationally.

In the coming months, I look forward to continuing these face-to-face consultations with Canadian families to gather the information about what food-labelling changes are needed to make healthier and more informed choices. Our government is going to make sure that Canadians receive the information they need to make the most healthy choices for their families.

Rail Transportation February 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, CN is following the service discontinuance process that is outlined in section 146 of the Canada Transportation Act. This section of the act is in place to encourage the retention of rail lines by providing interested parties with the opportunity to continue railway operations.

If the member opposite wishes to strike a committee and perhaps purchase the line, he is most welcome to do so.

CN must maintain the rail line as this process unfolds so that the service is not disrupted. VIA Rail, a crown corporation that makes its own operational decisions independent of our government, will decide on the routing and schedule of the Ocean service in the region based on the outcome of this discontinuance process.

Rail Transportation February 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question.

VIA Rail's objective is to operate a national rail system that is safe and efficient. To help VIA Rail accomplish this, our government provides it with significant funding to deliver passenger rail services to Canadians.

In 2012-13, our government provided $275 million to VIA Rail for operation and maintenance of its network. In addition to providing annual funding, our government has provided nearly $1 billion in capital funding since 2007 for VIA Rail to upgrade track and signalling infrastructure, modernize stations, and refurbish rail cars.

As the minister has indicated on previous occasions, VIA Rail is a crown corporation that operates independent of our government. Our government does not operate the railway or get involved in its day-to-day operations. It is VIA Rail that is responsible for determining how best to provide passenger rail services, what routes or tracks those services will operate over, and how frequently its various services will be offered to consumers.

VIA Rail also determines the price that it charges for these services. VIA Rail is ultimately responsible for making business decisions on its operations, including making decisions about its passenger rail services in New Brunswick. Our government has made it clear that it does not intend to purchase the rail line in New Brunswick that CN has listed for sale. Our government is not in the business of buying rail lines and believes this is best left to those who are in the business of operating railways.

Instead, our federal government's approach and role is to provide a legislative framework under the Canada Transportation Act that encourages stakeholders to seek commercial solutions to issues such as the discontinuance of rail service. The line transfer and discontinuance provisions in the Canada Transportation Act are aimed at encouraging the retention of rail lines, by giving railway operators and other interested parties the opportunity to buy rail lines for continued operation where it makes economic sense for them to do so.

In the meantime, CN will continue to be responsible for maintaining the rail line during the discontinuance process to ensure that service is not disrupted. It is also important to note that there are public transportation options available in this region. In addition to the service that is provided three times weekly by VIA Rail, there is a bus service between Moncton and Campbellton that provides daily service.

Health February 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, having an appropriate level of regulatory oversight for compounding-like activities is a priority for our government.

Health Canada acted quickly following the reported under-dosing of certain chemotherapy drugs in Ontario and has taken on a leadership role in facilitating the development of a long-term solution for all of Canada.

Health Canada issued an interim directive to facilities undertaking admixing and compounding activities and outlined the conditions under which they could be allowed to continue providing those services.

The department continues to work with provinces, territories, and other stakeholders to develop a collaborative approach to increase patient safety and to ensure that an appropriate level of regulatory oversight is in place for compounding-like activities.

Health February 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, from the moment our government was told about the reported under-dosing of certain chemotherapy drugs in Ontario and in New Brunswick, we took the situation very seriously. We supported the provincial government's investigation into this incident and we accept the findings of the Thiessen report.

We agree that compounding-like activities conducted by third parties, such as Marchese Hospital Solutions, require more effective regulatory oversight, and we are determined that Canadians will have tough, effective regulations for drug safety.

While this work is ongoing, Health Canada has given direction to companies providing these types of services to ensure that they have oversight in place to protect patients' safety.

This direction states that admixing and compounding activities are done within a hospital, meeting provincial regulatory requirements; are done outside of a hospital, as a service under the supervision of a provincially licensed pharmacist; or, in the third instance, are done in a manner that meets the licensing and manufacturing requirements of the Food and Drugs Act and the Food and Drug Regulations.

Canadians can be assured that organizations following these directions have the appropriate oversight in place to help ensure the safety and effectiveness of health products prepared in this way.

The facts that emerged surrounding the under-dosing incident in Ontario highlighted how the practice of pharmacy has changed and evolved to include new drug preparation and purchasing models.

The regulation of traditional drug compounding is premised on the issuance of a prescription by a health care practitioner for a single drug to a single patient as part of the practice of pharmacy, and as such, it is in the realm of provincial and territorial jurisdiction. The regulation of drug manufacturing requirements and processes most often undertaken by pharmaceutical companies is in the realm of the federal government.

Under new drug preparation models, compounding-like activities are being conducted in dedicated facilities by third parties outside a health care setting for many patients at once and often without a specific prescription. This type of activity can be described as a hybrid of compounding and manufacturing.

As I said, Health Canada has taken on a leadership role in addressing this issue and is developing a proposal for a federal approach for these compounding-like activities. Our objective is to enhance the oversight of these practices for the safety of all Canadians: for my family, for members' families, for families across Canada. Federal oversight would focus on the quality of products and would include additional requirements such as labelling and reporting and enhancing patient safety.

Moving forward, it is important that we continue our collaborative, thoughtful approach with provinces, territories, and other partners to avoid unintended consequences in developing the new approach.

We also want to create an approach that respects both the federal role in drug safety and the provincial and territorial role in the safe use of drugs, particularly because of the diversity of approaches in the oversight of these activities across Canada.

The Budget February 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my hard-working colleague from British Columbia is quite right.

Transfers to the provinces are reaching record levels. However, in addition, we are also the largest investor in the nation for research, delivering over $1 billion of much-needed research money.

My colleague raises a question about matching skills with job shortages, and he is quite right. Our government has shown leadership on this issue, looking to tackle it. It is devastating to see our neighbours searching for jobs in areas of the country while other areas come to us and tell us how they just cannot fill jobs, how they are unable to compete successfully with other countries because jobs are going unfilled.

Our government is showing clear leadership, trying to match up this imbalance. That is why we are investing and focusing, and if the provinces do not join us, which we hope they will, we will take action.

The Budget February 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in fact it was not myself who spoke to that. Another colleague of mine spoke to that earlier on. However, I am happy to address it.

Some people are always going to be negative and doom-and-gloom. I think the facts speak for themselves. Around the world, one country has dominated and has really led in the recovery from the recession, and that country is Canada. As Canadians we ought to be proud of that.

There are other parties with obvious motivated self-interests, and it is to their benefit to deride Canada's economy. However, something is very clear: whether it is the OECD, an independent third party that cites it, or whether it is Canadians as they look at their own books and compare themselves to other countries like the United States, Germany, and Greece, the results speak for themselves.

Canada has shown leadership. We have pulled out of the recession. We are the strongest in pulling out of the recession. I am terribly proud to be a part of the government that has worked to do that for our neighbours.