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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

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.

700 David Hornell VC Squadron October 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I celebrate each and every one of the extraordinary Royal Canadian air cadets in the 700 David Hornell VC Squadron.

This past weekend, the Ontario Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada presented the following awards to our outstanding squadron: Warrant Officer First Class Ashley Eugine, a first-year McMaster student who travels back every weekend to serve, was named Air Cadet of the Year from 8,500 air cadets in 114 squadrons, which is a tremendous achievement; Warrant Officer Second Class Nikhil Peri was the top Ontario student pilot on the 2014 Power Pilot Scholarship and received a Hamilton Flying Club Legacy Award; 2nd Lieutenant Jack Tornabene received a certificate of merit, one of only 21 awarded; and, Major David Brown received a Cadet Instructor Cadre Award of Excellence, for which only six officers are honoured annually.

I ask the House to recognize the outstanding achievements of 700 squadron.

Health October 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the WHO and UN have called for more medical personnel to fight Ebola in West Africa and the international community has accepted the call. Yesterday the Minister of Health said no Canadian personnel would be sent without an evacuation plan. So far, the United States, European Commission and WHO have engaged contractors to facilitate the emergency transport of medical personnel, if needed.

Who has the minister met with with respect to developing an evacuation plan? What steps has the minister taken to put a plan in place?

Business of Supply October 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the UN mission responsible for the Ebola response, UNMEER, says the number of infected are growing exponentially each day and that new caseloads of approximately 10,000 per week are possible by December 1, meaning that they need 7,000 beds for treatment. Unfortunately, the UN mission is expected to have only 4,300 beds in treatment centres by that date. More difficult still, there is no staff to operate them under current plans.

The World Health Organization has been calling for more health care workers in West Africa. Canadians on the ground are calling for more personnel.

Canada would obviously have a duty to ensure the proper medical evacuation of any of its citizens. Is the government considering more personnel, and what exploration is the government doing with respect to evacuation?

Business of Supply October 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know if the government accepts that mere announcements cannot help the people of West Africa and right now that is largely what we have.

With respect to the personal protective equipment, the government auctioned gloves and masks for a fraction of what they were worth. Only two shipments of personal protective equipment have gone to the World Health Organization. The government is not even sure if that equipment has reached those who need it most in West Africa.

I want to point out that the $65 million pledged was pledged after the first case had come to North America. Why did we not have that kind of commitment before then? Of the $65 million pledged, only $4.3 million is actually committed funding. Canada's actual financial contributions come in at 17th place.

Does the government accept that commitments are not enough and we actually have to get the money, personnel and supplies to the people in West Africa who need it the most?

Business of Supply October 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is the job of government to protect the health and safety of Canadians. We have a major public health crisis, the worst outbreak of Ebola in history. It is also the job of government to communicate with Canadians in an open and transparent manner.

That is the reason we put forward our motion calling on the Minister of Health, the Minister of Public Safety, and the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada to appear in front of committee every two weeks. We then heard today that the government wants to respond in writing. That is not good enough. Canadians need to hear parliamentarians asking questions. Is the government prepared, should a case ever come to Canada? The government has to be prepared. It is not enough to submit written communications. We have to be able to ask those questions.

I amended the motion in order to hopefully get all-party support.

I had questions on Ebola last week. Families in my riding have families back home, as do many members of the House. We all need to be asking these questions to ensure that the outbreak in West Africa will come to an end and to ensure Canadians' health and safety are protected.

Business of Supply October 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Ebola really started to increase in the spring. At that time, $100 million was asked for to stem the outbreak. In July that increased to $600 million. There was a real cry for more help from governments around the world. Through a letter at that time I asked the government for more funding and it came through with $5 million, a very small amount. In the fall that number was increased to $1 billion. As of last week, that fund is only 25% funded.

I have been saying since the fall that the international community and Canada must step up their response. West Africa needs more hospital units, more beds, more transportation, more labs, and more personnel.