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  • Her favourite word is children.

Liberal MP for Etobicoke North (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 42.40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Children's Rights November 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was National Children's Day and the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It also marked the anniversary of the motion of the House of Commons to eliminate child poverty by 2000. Fourteen years later, conditions remain unacceptable for Canada's children.

On poverty, Canada ranks 24th of 35 industrialized countries, with one in every seven Canadian children still struggling to have his or her basic needs met; 36% of food bank users are children; and 40% of all indigenous children live in poverty.

We all share the desire for the well-being of our children, the most universally cherished aspiration of humankind. Every child has the right to survive, develop, be protected from all forms of violence and be protected from adverse economic conditions.

How will the government champion children's rights domestically and internationally, and keep the promise made to our children 25 years ago?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns November 19th, 2014

With respect to Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s initiative entitled “21st Century Consular Plan: Canadian Consular Services — A Modern Approach 2014”: (a) what are the names, positions, organizations or affiliations of all the stakeholders consulted during the creation of this plan; (b) what submissions, proposals or recommendations were made by stakeholders during the consultation process; (c) what are the dates, times and locations of the meetings with those individuals or organizations consulted during the creation of this plan; (d) what is the total of all government expenditures arising from the consultation process related to the plan, including, but not limited to, (i) travel expenses, including transportation, accommodation, rental of meeting spaces or equipment, food, and other travel-related expenses, (ii) staff time costs, including any overtime pay incurred, (iii) any services or other support procured from consultants or other contractors, (iv) other relevant expenses incurred, broken down by related details; (e) what are the titles and file names of all reports, emails and briefing notes prepared in relation to the development and consultation process involved in finalizing the creation of the plan; (f) how many requests for consular services have been classified as “complex”, noting whether or not they were resolved from fiscal year 2006-2007 to 2013-2014; (g) what are the details respecting the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit, as they relate to (i) the budget of this unit for fiscal years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, (ii) the number of full-time equivalent employees employed in this unit, for fiscal years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, (iii) the titles and file names of all reports and briefing notes prepared by this unit for the last fiscal year; (h) what partnerships and technologies are currently being discussed in relation to modernizing the approach for outreach of this plan; (i) what methods have been employed to increase “the scope of public awareness campaigns” to make Canadians more aware of important travel tips; and (j) how much funding has been allocated to the deployment of this proposal for fiscal year 2014-2015?

Petitions November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, each year in Canada 10,000 people die from prescription drugs taken exactly as prescribed and some 3.5 million Canadians have inadequate drug coverage, or no coverage at all.

Petitioners call on the Government of Canada to establish a committee with the necessary authority, mandate, expertise and funding to make recommendations to reduce the number of deaths by prescription drugs and to work with the provinces and territories to ensure all Canadians have a drug plan that covers the costs of prescription drugs and expand catastrophic drug coverage for all Canadians.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns November 7th, 2014

With respect to the approval of Project Ojibwa for stimulus funding for Port Burwell, Ontario: (a) (i) according to independent analysts, what is the economic development return on investment of Project Ojibwa, (ii) has the submarine museum ever won an economic development award that is supported by the federal government; (b) is there another submarine museum in Ontario; (c) when is the 100th anniversary of submarine use in Canada; (d) on what date (i) was stimulus funding applied to this project, (ii) was it approved and by what department, (iii) were applicants notified they had been successful in receiving funding; (e) what specific conditions, if any, were attached to the funding, and by what dates did conditions have to be met; (f) what meetings, and on what dates, did the applicants have with (i) economic development departments, (ii) the Department of National Defence; (g) what concerns did either department have with the project; (h) what challenges did the government foresee in transporting a submarine from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Port Burwell, Ontario, including, but not limited to, (i) dredging the Port Burwell Harbour, (ii) building a road in Port Burwell, (iii) transporting the submarine on a barge, accompanied by tug boats, (iv) re-fitting the submarine at Hamilton, Ontario, (v) designing and building cradles upon which the submarine would eventually sit at Port Burwell; (i) how were these challenges communicated to the project managers and when; (j) what real-world examples or precedents existed for the departments to provide conditions and timelines for transporting a submarine in a safe, suitable, and timely manner from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Port Burwell, Ontario; (k) which departments defined conditions and timelines, and how, and when, were these conditions and timelines communicated to the project managers; (l) what specific assessments were the applicants required to undertake, including, but not limited to, environmental assessments; (m) for each assessment required, what is the typical time taken for such an assessment, and its approval; (n) on what date were the applicants presented with a ceremonial cheque and for what amount; (o) what political representatives were in attendance; (p) did Port Burwell have a government “Economic Action Plan” sign showing the community the government’s contribution, and if so, when was the sign installed; (q) did the applicants ever apply for an extension of the timelines for funding, and if so, (i) on what date, (ii) what were the reasons given for an extension; (r) was there ever an extension of the timelines for funding, and if so, (i) by whom, (ii) what were the reasons given; (s) what exact amount of federal funding did the applicants receive; (t) were the applicants ever successful in (i) dredging the harbour at Port Burwell, (ii) building the required road in Port Burwell, (iii) transporting the submarine from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Port Burwell, Ontario, (iv) bringing the submarine ashore at Port Burwell, (v) installing it for viewing by the public, and if so, what are the dates for each; and (u) has HMCS Ojibwa been open to the public, and if so, (i) from what starting date, (ii) how many guests have visited the site?

Sikhism November 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I recognize Guru Nanak Dev Ji's birth, which is celebrated worldwide and is an ideal time to share his message of peace and respect for all faiths.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji is the founder of Sikhism and the first of the Sikh gurus. He travelled widely, teaching people the message of one God, human rights, and justice. His life and teachings are of profound significance to all. In fact, his message of community, equality, love, and service provides inspiration for all humanity.

My favourite Guru Nanak Dev Ji story is that, when his father gave him money to find a job and seek his fortune, he instead took the money and fed those in need.

Canada is proud to be home to one of the largest Sikh communities outside India. We think of the community as it comes together in prayer and looks forward to the coming year.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns November 5th, 2014

With respect to Canada’s response to the international Ebola outbreak in West Africa: (a) how is Canada working with other countries to address the outbreak, (i) through the Global Health Security Action Group and the Global Health Security Agenda, (ii) in other ways; (b) what specific departments are involved in the Canadian response and what is the lead agency in each of (i) preparedness, (ii) response, (iii) recovery related to the outbreak in West Africa; (c) what specific actions is each of the departments listed in (b) undertaking; (d) what is the government doing to ensure the safety of Canadians who are travelling to West Africa to undertake activities including, but not limited to, (i) humanitarian work, (ii) commerce and trade, (iii) safeguard the well-being of those who are there now and in areas where Ebola is spreading; (e) what guidance is being provided to Canadians traveling to West Africa (i) before they leave, (ii) while in areas in which Ebola has been reported, (iii) if they think they have symptoms consistent with Ebola, (iv) for after their return to Canada; (f) how specifically was the April 18, 2014, funding of $1,285,000 to address the outbreak spent, broken down by item and amount spent on each item; (g) how many specialists, and in what disciplines, did Canada send to work with the World Health Organization (WHO), or to West Africa to help; (h) how specifically was the August 8, 2014, funding of $5 million to address the outbreak spent, broken down by item and amount spent on each item; (i) what specific plans were put in place to monitor the health of the three-person mobile team from Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory as they were brought home from Sierra Leone and afterward kept in voluntary isolation; (j) for how long will the persons mentioned in (i) be in isolation; (k) does the government plan to respond to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s “international rescue call” and the WHO’s $600 million request for funding; and (l) is the government ready to isolate and care for someone if affected with Ebola within Canada; (m) does the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) have a public awareness plan to help Canadians understand the prevention, transmission, and signs and symptoms of the disease; and (n) does PHAC have a communication link with all provinces and territories?

Petitions October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition regarding eating disorders. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are serious mental illnesses that incapacitate more than 600,000 Canadians and can be fatal.

The petitioners call upon the government to work with the provinces, territories, and stakeholders to develop comprehensive pan-Canadian strategies for eating disorders, including better prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and support.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns October 29th, 2014

With respect to any information in the government's possession regarding Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRDs) in Canada: (a) how many Canadians are impacted by ADRDs today, (i) what is the incidence and prevalence in Canada, broken down by gender and by 5-year cohort above 65 years of age, (ii) what is the average age of onset, (ii) what is the average time from diagnosis to requiring informal caregiving, (iii) what is the average time from diagnosis to requiring formal caregiving; (b) how many Canadians are currently in hospital, as a result of having ADRDs, (i) what are the benefits and risks of having people with ADRDs in regular hospital care, (ii) do people with ADRDs get the care they need in hospital care and if not, why not; (c) how do the number of hospitalizations compare for older adults with ADRDs than for age-matched older adults without ADRDs, (i) how do clinical outcomes compare for hospitalized people with ADRDs than for age-matched older adults without ADRDs; (d) what is the average cost of an acute care bed in hospital compared with the cost of a bed in long-term care; (e) what is the average length of time people with ADRDs spend in fully dependent care, and how does this length of time compare with other conditions, including, but not limited to, cardiovascular disease and cancer, (i) how does this length of time impact the health economics of ADRDs; (f) how many Canadians are caregivers to people with ADRDs, (i) what is the average length of time (in years) caregivers provide to people with ADRDs, both informally and within formal care, (ii) what is the annual estimated value of the care caregivers provide for those with ADRDs in Canada, (iii) how many Canadian caregivers suffer stress, illness, or economic hardship as a result of caregiving, (iv) what are the estimated economic costs to the health care and social care systems; (g) what training do medical students and practising family physicians receive to ensure dementia is detected before it reaches a critical level; (h) do best practices exist for people with ADRDs, (i) how does care vary from one province and territory to another, and from one facility to another; (i) what research and studies has the government done, and what funding has it given following (i) the World Health Organization and Alzheimer’s Disease International report, “Dementia: A Public Health Priority”, and the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s report, “Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society”, (ii) what are the dates, results, recommendations, and funding amounts; (j) what is done by the government to (i) promote a dementia-friendly society, (ii) make ADRDs a national public health and social care priority, (iii) improve public and professional attitudes to, and understanding of, ADRDs, (iv) replicate some of the evidence-based approaches and solutions already adopted by countries to tackle ADRDs, (v) prioritize research, (vi) raise awareness about prevention, (vii) promote early diagnosis and management, (viii) strengthen workforce training and capacity, (ix) implement responsive care and health service delivery, especially for caregivers; (k) what research and studies has the government done, and what funding has it given regarding the need to work with the provinces, territories and stakeholders to develop a community-based dementia framework, designed to keep persons with dementia safely at home for as long as possible, (i) what are the dates, results, recommendations, and funding amounts; (l) what research, studies, funding has the government devoted to how a community-based dementia strategy would impact (i) emergency department overcrowding, (ii) hospitalizations, (iii) Alternative Level of Care rates, (iv) long-term bed placement, (v) freeing-up of hospital beds, (vi) hospital overcrowding, (vii) wait times, (viii) number of new nursing homes that would need to be built, (ix) quality of life for those with ADRDs, (x) costs; (m) how are ADRDs expected to increase over the next 20 years, (i) what are the estimated costs to families and the health care system; (n) how are healthcare costs and healthcare resources expected to increase over the next 20 years given the rapidly increasing numbers of persons with ADRDs; (o) what research, studies, funding has the government devoted to developing a pan-Canadian brain strategy to address (i) neurodevelopmental brain conditions, (ii) neurodegenerative brain conditions, (iii) brain and spinal cord injury, (iv) what are the dates of any studies, results, recommendations, and funding amounts; (p) what research, studies, and funding has the government given to developing a pan-Canadian dementia strategy, (i) what are the dates of any studies, results, recommendations, and funding amounts; (q) what consultations has the government undertaken with respect to a pan-Canadian brain strategy, (i) how many stakeholders are calling for such a strategy, (ii) how many Canadians and their families do each of the identified stakeholders represent; and (r) what consultations has the government undertaken with respect to a pan-Canadian dementia strategy, (i) how many stakeholders are calling for such a strategy, (ii) how many Canadians and their families do each of the identified stakeholders represent?

Petitions October 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition with dozens of signatures that were collected by my constituent, Dee Gordon, as she walks twice a week from Etobicoke North to downtown Toronto to raise awareness of autism.

Autism spectrum disorders, ADDS, are pervasive disorders which affect 1 person in 88. They are characterized by social and communication challenges, and a pattern of repetitive behaviours and interests. They are lifelong, affect life experience and exert emotional and financial pressures on families.

The petitioners call upon the government to work with the provinces, territories and stakeholders to develop a pan-Canadian strategy for ASD, including awareness and education campaigns, child, adolescent and adult intervention and innovative funding arrangements for financial therapy, surveillance, respite care, community initiatives and research.

Petitions October 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on Iraq. The UN Secretary-General calls on the international community to support the government and the people of Iraq and to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering of the populations affected by the current conflict in Iraq. Thousands of lives are at risk unless they receive urgent lifesaving items, including shelter. Many of those affected by the violence belong to Iraq's minority ethnic and religious communities, including Christians, Shabak, Turkmen, Yazidi, and others. Over 1,000 petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to protect and advocate on behalf of the people of Iraq and to increase Canada's humanitarian aid to Iraq.