House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was seniors.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for Brampton West (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2006, with 49% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Citizenship and Immigration March 13th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, 750,000 additional immigration cases have been added to the backlog under the government's watch. Its solution? Close the doors to immigration.

The government has no long term plan or vision for immigration at this time when we desperately need one. Why is this minister cutting corners? Why does she not find a real solution? Why does she refuse to fight for the necessary funds to clear up the backlog?

Citizenship and Immigration March 13th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, in spite of the rhetoric, 75 additional immigration cases have been added to the backlog under the government's watch. Its solution? Close the doors to Canada. The government--

Ethics March 5th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, the government has been very evasive on how many meetings and other attempts were made to bribe Chuck Cadman to vote with the Conservatives. It has taken a week, but the Prime Minister's office is now claiming there was no $1 million life insurance policy.

Is Sandra Buckler calling Dona Cadman, Conservative candidate in Surrey North, a liar? Is the rest of the Cadman family also lying, according to the Prime Minister's office, or has Ms. Buckler misspoken again?

Industry January 30th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, recently we have seen layoffs in the high tech sector at giants Nortel and Mitel in Ottawa and mass layoffs at NCR in Kitchener--Waterloo and at Johnson Controls in Whitby.

Despite what the minister thinks, manufacturing does matter, especially in Ontario.

Will the minister at least acknowledge this crisis? Will he act for the thousands of Canadians who are losing their livelihoods, or does he just not care?

Petitions November 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, as the government's interest in Africa wains, so does the aid. I have a petition from a number of constituents. Among other things, they would like us to send a special envoy to Darfur, bring the rebel sides together, form a diplomatic and lasting solution to the war in Darfur, increase aid, support the UN peacekeeping mission and provide additional funds to support the 3,000 UN troops who are currently there or who are about to be deployed and to support the current African Union troops.

Justice November 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservative government tries to mislead the House about its position on the death penalty, the facts are clear. The government has decided that our country will no longer co-sponsor a United Nations motion calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, a motion Canada has supported for years.

Why would the government not support this motion for a moratorium, which is in accord with the values of Canadians? Will the government change its position and co-sponsor the UN motion?

Canada Elections Act November 15th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, that was a really silly question.

I do not think that I have accused anyone in this House of deliberately targeting anyone else. I made that very clear from the outset of my speech. I have not singled out any Conservative member. I have not singled out any Bloc member. I have not singled out any member. I am simply expressing the way I feel. I am not even saying I am right and others are wrong, which is highly unusual in this House.

Canada Elections Act November 15th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I did say that the religious school funding was a media report. I had no intention of debating that in the House.

I sincerely do not believe that anyone believes they are targeting another group. However, when we talk about the integrity of voter identity, are we going to stop proxy voting? We all know that proxy voting does not have a great deal of voter identity involved with it. Are we going to stop mail-in votes?

This applies to so few people. With the problems we have on voting day with the lists with duplicate names at same addresses, this presents more of a likelihood of fraud, and fraud in large numbers, than something like a burka or having a bandaged face.

Canada Elections Act November 15th, 2007

The news did that.

I know that oftentimes we do things because we think we are going to curry favour with ethnic groups. I do not believe that Christmas trees should be taken down at Christmastime. When I send a Christmas card, it should say Merry Christmas. As a matter of fact, a Muslim imam once said to me that I was the only politician who sends him a Christmas card that says Merry Christmas. I asked him if he was offended by that and he said no. He said that if people cannot respect their own religion and customs, how could he expect them to respect his. I have learned much from the Muslim community.

We have now learned that “jihad” is a dirty word. It is a word that means terror, death and vengeance. However, it is not. Jihad is a holy war within oneself and yet we continue to misuse this word, which is a very precious word to Muslims, and we use it in such a negative way.

I know the Muslims have been targeted. I do not really see what the big deal is about four women in Quebec wearing burkas. If I can go in and not have proof that I am a Canadian citizen and I can take an oath, why can they not take an oath to say who they are?

I may be wrong but, and this is from my heart and soul, I believe this. I have watched many of these people stand with dignity while they were being put down and I am afraid this is just another example of that.

Canada Elections Act November 15th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what I normally like to do in this House, I really do not want to be confrontational. However, I would like to explain to the House my concerns about this legislation.

The hon. parliamentary secretary said that it will not hurt anyone. She may be right but I am concerned that we are on a slippery slope here. We do one little thing, which the member says is not targeting, but I believe it is targeting. Catholics and Hindus do not wear burkas.

I am not sure the legislation intentionally targets anyone. However, since 9/11, the Muslim community has been extremely patient. They have been targeted at borders and targeted by police.

Fourteen members of a food security company, which was doing testing for the government, needed RCMP clearance. They were all immigrants. It took about four months longer to process the security clearance for the only Muslim in the group, Dr. Eshaq Shishani. To me the reason was fairly obvious. It was because he was a Muslim. He was stopped by the police one night. They opened the trunk of his car and found some documents on food radiation. Food radiation is a scientific process being done in the lab. Since the documents concerned radiation, the police officers handcuffed Dr. Shishani, strip-searched him and threw him in jail. He was allowed to wander home the next day with no apology being given. Can anyone tell me that is not targeting?

I am just concerned that we continue to go on thoughtlessly without really considering how these people are feeling.

We have heard so much debate on burkas. Other women have said that Muslim women should not wear burkas because it is the subjugation women. I thought being an independent woman was about having a choice, a choice to be a cookie baker, a choice to be a member of Parliament or a choice to wear a burka without condemnation and criticism. It is not a matter of saying who is right and who is wrong. We do too much of that.

Religious school funding was an issue during the last provincial election campaign. Who was targeted in Ontario? Who did the newspapers show as wanting this religious school funding? It was the Muslim schools. It was non-white schools. It was the Sikhs. News reports would do a little clip on religious rights or on Jewish schools but the target was fear and it was using the Muslim community and its schools as a weapon.