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NDP MP for Scarborough—Rouge River (Ontario)
Won her last election, in 2011, with 40.60% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Democratic Reform March 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government tried its best today to prevent committee members from hearing testimony from Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand, just like it has been trying to prevent Canadians from having their say on this bill.
It is clear that Conservatives are afraid of consultation. However, that is no surprise after hearing Mr. Mayrand's critique of this unfair bill. He has delivered a point-by-point rebuttal of almost everything that the minister has claimed. Mayrand warned that this bill focuses on voter fraud that does not exist, instead of voter participation, which is a growing problem.
The government refuses to take people at their word and treats law-abiding Canadians like criminals. Meanwhile, Conservatives are happy for millions of dollars to be paid out to political parties without a single receipt.
This bill is an affront to our democracy. New Democrats know it. Canadians know it. In 2015, we will start fixing what is broken in Ottawa.
International Women's Day March 3rd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, this International Women's Day I look forward to attending events in my riding and celebrating the contributions of the women of Scarborough to our community.
It is also important to raise awareness about the barriers that women continue to face. Since 2006, when the Conservative government came into office, we have seen the slashing of funding for local women's organizations, no funding initiatives for child care, the closure of 16 Status of Women Canada offices, and the abolition of the court challenges program.
Some of the women hardest hit by the Conservatives are immigrants, who bear the lioness' share when caring for children and older loved ones. Backlogs at Citizenship and Immigration Canada continue to keep families separated, adding strain to new Canadian women caring for loved ones at home, here in Canada, and around the world.
With the Conservative government, we are not seeing any fair plan to eliminate the backlogs in both citizenship and immigration. There are no plans to make life better for new Canadian women.
This International Women's Day, I am proud to work with the women and men of our caucus to continue the NDP's fight for gender equality and to break down barriers for all Canadian women.
Petitions February 14th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of constituents in my riding for the creation of Rouge national park. The current Rouge Park is home to the endangered Carolinian forest, mixed woodland, and plain life zones of Canada. It is also home to the ancestral home of the Mississauga, Huron-Wendat, and Seneca first nations, and their sacred burial and village sites.
This is the last chance that we have to create a large national park in southern Ontario, an area with 34% of Canada's population. Roughly 77% of its land and agriculture and human settlement uses only 1/400 of its land protected in national parks.
The petitioners are requesting that the Government of Canada protects the irreplaceable 100 square kilometres of public land assembly within a healthy and sustainable Rouge national park. They are calling on the government to protect and restore the 600 metre-wide wooded main ecological corridor linking Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine in Rouge national park, and to conduct a rational, scientific, and transparent public planning process to create Rouge national park's boundaries, which would include consultations with first nations communities, residents, and activist groups in the community.
Canada Post February 14th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, after the ice storm, Toronto experienced widespread mail delivery delays. It took Canada Post weeks to respond. Constituents from across my riding are still reporting mail delays. I am not alone. MPs from all over Toronto are fielding complaints. When a two-day delivery turns into a six-day delivery, cheques arrive late and bills do not get paid.
What is the minister doing to fix the mail delivery delays in Toronto?
Petitions February 12th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, Gatineau Park is one of the most frequently visited parks in Canada, and a park that I have enjoyed. Its boundaries are not recognized by any federal legislation and, therefore, Canadians are calling on the House of Commons to pass legislation that would give Gatineau Park the necessary legal protection to ensure its preservation for future generations.
Petitions February 12th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from many constituents of New Brunswick. Considering that VIA Rail service cuts in northern New Brunswick would pose real hardship on many residents for their personal transportation as well as a lot of the local economy and commerce in the community, the petitioners implore the Government of Canada to undertake all measures to reinstate daily round-trip VIA Rail passenger service between Montreal and Halifax through the cities of Campbellton, Bathurst, and Miramichi, New Brunswick.
Petitions February 12th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, my first petition today is from my home community of Scarborough—Rouge River where we know that 100 square kilometres of public land assembly surrounds the Rouge River and Duffins Creek watersheds in Toronto, Markham, and Pickering. It is publicly owned provincial, federal, and municipal land. It is home to the endangered mixed Carolinian forests and is the ancestral home of the Mississauga, Huron-Wendat, and Seneca first nations and their sacred burial sites. The petitioners are calling on the government to protect the irreplaceable 100 square kilometres of park public land assembly within a healthy and sustainable Rouge National Park and to conduct a rational, scientific and transparent public planning process to create the Rouge National Park boundaries.
Citizenship and Immigration February 11th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, Rajini Subramaniam, a young mother from the GTA, was deported recently while waiting to file a humanitarian and compassionate application. She was removed from the country, separating her from her two small children, ages four and seven. They are now left in the care of her husband, who has had to quit one of his jobs to be able to take care of the children alone.
Why are the Conservatives continuing to defend reckless policies that are separating families?
Fair Elections Act February 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am really confused by what the minister of state is saying, because we know that the motion before the House right now is yet another time allocation motion and yet another opportunity for the government to stop debate or to attempt to stop it.
The bill was presented very recently. It is over 240 pages long, and we have had less than 48 hours to study it. There have been just two speeches. Two people of the 308 members elected to represent their constituents across the country had an opportunity to speak on the bill before us, which is 240-something pages long, yet the minister of state wants to shut down debate in the House.
As the representative of almost 140,000 people who live in the community Scarborough—Rouge River, I would have loved the opportunity to participate in the debate. I know the minister of state will say that we can debate it and that we are now doing that. Maybe he does not understand, because he keeps saying that over and over again, but right now we are not debating the bill itself but the fact that he wants to end debate on it.
Petitions February 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the second petition I am depositing today is on behalf of the residents of Scarborough. Members know that I proudly represent the northeast corner of the city of Toronto and Scarborough, where public transit is a very real concern. We only have buses. There is no LRT and no subway, or any other means of public transportation.
The people of Scarborough deserve a fast, reliable, and affordable public transit system. Wait times of the average commute there are currently over two hours. The petitioners are asking the government for long-term, predictable, and non-partisan funding for public transit now.