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Conservative MP for London North Centre (Ontario)
Won her last election, in 2011, with 37.00% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Status of Women March 7th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to preventing all forms of violence against women and girls here in Canada. Since 2007, we have invested over $63 million in funding over 300 projects to end violence against women and girls. It is the highest level of funding ever. We also launched a call for proposals that will support local projects to help prevent cyber and sexual violence against women and girls. We introduced legislation that would give police and prosecutors new tools to address cyberbullying.
If the members opposite are serious about making Canada safer for women and girls, they should support our initiatives.
International Women's Day March 7th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, March 8, Canadians will come together to celebrate International Women's Day. This year's theme is “Strong Women, Strong Canada: Canadian Women — Creating Jobs One Business at a Time!”. This year's theme reflects the priorities announced in economic action plan 2014, including plans to support women entrepreneurs by increasing mentorship opportunities.
Today the London Abused Women's Centre is hosting their annual International Women's Day breakfast, bringing together Londoners from all backgrounds to celebrate and recognize the many women and girls across London.
Our government is working to support women-led businesses through the economic action plan for this reason. When women-led businesses succeed, communities benefit and Canada prospers.
Questions on the Order Paper March 4th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.
Status of Women March 3rd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Oakville for his question and for his work on the status of women committee.
Our government is proud to support Canadian women in the workforce and encourage them to lead successful careers. That is why, since 2007, Status of Women Canada has provided more than $53 million for projects that focus on improving women's economic security and prosperity, including over $9 million to address women's entrepreneurship. In economic action plan 2014, we would commit $150,000 to Status of Women Canada to increase mentorship among women entrepreneurs.
This government knows that, when women prosper, Canada prospers.
Aboriginal Affairs February 28th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, ending violence against aboriginal women is a priority of this government. We have taken concrete action. We have invested $11 million since 2007 through Status of Women Canada toward local projects that work to eliminate violence against aboriginal women, and $24 million over two years for the family violence prevention program, which provides funding to shelters and violence prevention programming on reserve. We passed the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act, which extends basic rights and protections to aboriginal women on reserve, and those members did not support it.
Aboriginal Affairs February 28th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to preventing all forms of violence against women and girls, and that is why we have taken concrete action.
Our investments in local community-based projects have nearly doubled. We launched a call for proposals that supports local projects to help and prevent cyber and sexual violence against women and girls. We passed the Safe Streets and Communities Act to improve the safety of all Canadians, particularly the most vulnerable members of society. We increased support for victims of crime, and we launched the national action plan to combat human trafficking.
Aboriginal Affairs February 28th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Loretta Saunders. This is a heinous crime, and the individuals responsible for this act should be punished to the full extent of the law.
It is our government that brought in tough on crime measures, and it is that party that votes against it.
Aboriginal Affairs February 25th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, this government shares the outrage of all Canadians that this situation exists. We have committed to concrete action to resolve this issue and we renewed that commitment in the recent Speech from the Throne.
Thanks to the extensive number of reports and recommendations, along with the testimony from expert witnesses at the special committee tasked with studying this issue exclusively, we have a good idea of what needs to change, but the reality is that the causes of the violence are complex, and lasting change will require coordinated and sustained attention from federal, provincial, and territorial governments working together with aboriginal people and other stakeholders to develop more effective and appropriate solutions on a community-by-community basis.
The government will continue to seek further information and advice on what is and is not working. However, in this era of fiscal restraint when tough choices must be made about priorities, we cannot agree that a major inquiry with yet another report is the responsible or proactive way to move forward to end the violence against indigenous women and girls.
I would close with the words of a B.C. report from 2005 entitled “Researched to Death”. The report states that “It is important to note the amount of time and the countless years of advocating...have all led to similar findings, directions, and approaches. These approaches...need to be acted upon, rather than becoming just another report on aboriginal women and violence.”
The government chooses to focus on taking concrete action now.
Aboriginal Affairs February 25th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member opposite for giving me the opportunity to restate the commitment of the Government of Canada to addressing this important matter, as expressed most recently in October's Speech from the Throne opening this current session of Parliament.
The government is deeply concerned about the disproportionate level of violence faced by indigenous women and girls in Canada and about the disturbingly vast number of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. This concern is shared by Canadians from coast to coast to coast and I am sure by members on all sides of this House.
Simply put, it is unacceptable that any women or children in Canada should have to face violence in the course of their daily lives. I stand here now to say that using violence against another person is wrong. As parents, we tell our children to find better ways to express anger and frustration. It is even less acceptable when adults who have not learned to take responsibility for their own needs and emotions seek instead to take them out on someone more vulnerable.
I fully agree with the member opposite that concern and words alone are simply not enough. More needs to be done to build on the important work of awareness and prevention of this problem. Public awareness campaigns like “Don't Be That Guy”and “Be More Than a Bystander” and other demonstrations of leadership on this issue, such as the personal pledge to live violence free taken by the chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations, emphasize that there can be no observers in this struggle. Everyone has to play a role in ending violence.
The Government of Canada is keenly aware that leadership through action is needed before more lives are lost and more families and communities are devastated. The government has answered that call for leadership in four ways.
First, using violence against another person is more than socially unacceptable and morally reprehensible; it is a crime. As part of its responsibility for the criminal law in Canada, this government has made a number of changes to ensure that offenders are held accountable for their crimes against others. For example, amendments made by the Safe Streets and Communities Act promote safety and security to ensure that criminals are held fully accountable for their actions through increased penalties for violent crimes, restrictions on the use of conditional sentences and house arrest for serious and violent crimes, and increased penalties for child sexual offences.
Next, the member opposite asked if the government will support the plan of the opposition to take concrete action to end violence against indigenous women.
I would remind the House that the government already announced a plan to take concrete action in this area in October 2010 with the seven-step strategy, totalling $25 million over five years, to reduce violence against indigenous women and children and to increase community safety as a criminal justice priority.
The current strategy ends in March of next year, and the government has already announced its intention to make renewed efforts in this area.
The current strategy has produced some significant results. They include, first, a new national centre for missing persons and unidentified remains, responding to a resolution of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police asking for federal leadership. The centre has done an incredible amount of work to help improve police responses, launch a new national website to encourage tips, and much more.
Second is extensive work with aboriginal communities toward the development of community specific safety plans. Third is support for culturally appropriate victim services in seven provinces and territories, including for families of missing and murdered aboriginal women. Fourth is support for awareness activities by community organizations and for novel approaches aimed at reducing the vulnerability of indigenous women and girls.
Last is a new online resource for aboriginal communities looking to address specific challenges, which highlights some of the more innovative measures to reduce violence, designed by aboriginal communities in Canada.
These targeted actions were based on recommendations from many of the more than 45 studies, commissions, inquiries, and other reports that already exist on this issue and that emphasize the need for action. These studies and inquiries also form the basis for other work, including significant investments by the Government of Canada over recent years to address some of the underlying factors identified as the root causes of greater vulnerability to violence, including economic development, education, family violence programming, policing, and other relevant areas.
The concrete actions in the October 2010 announcement also complement other coordinated action taken by federal, provincial, and territorial partners working with aboriginal people and other stakeholders. For example, a dedicated police task force has been established in several jurisdictions to address unsolved murders, such as Project Evenhanded and Project E-PANA in B.C., Project KARE in Alberta, and Project Devote in Manitoba.
The Budget February 13th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member opposite for her comments and for reminding everyone that we are providing $5 million to the new horizons program, but I would also like to correct something in regard to her mentioning that the veterans' offices were closing again.
I would like to reiterate that five offices are merging in the exact same building. One office is across the street, one is less than a kilometre away, and the other one is less than four kilometres away. We are actually providing more services to veterans and not closing the offices.
I would like to list some of the other things we are doing for Canadians in helping them with jobs. We are launching the Canada job grant. We are creating the Canada apprenticeship loan. We are launching a job matching service. We have more paid internships for young Canadians, and we are helping older workers get back to work. Those are just some of the things in economic action plan 2014 that we are doing for Canadians.