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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was standing.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for Kitchener Centre (Ontario)

Lost her last election, in 2011, with 31% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Foreign Affairs May 27th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, the government is practising wilful ignorance. Despite a litany of missteps by the former minister and serious questions about his judgment, for weeks the government House leader has stood in the House and repeatedly told this House that questions about the former foreign affairs minister's judgment were not a national security issue.

When the minister resigned everyone then knew there were serious security concerns around his portfolio. Why did the House leader participate in this deception?

Memorial Cup May 26th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I ask the House to join me in extending congratulations to the Kitchener Memorial Cup organizers and volunteers. The 10 day Canadian Hockey League championships wrapped up in Kitchener at the auditorium yesterday.

Congratulations to the cup winners, the Spokane Chiefs, who will be taking the Memorial Cup south of the border for the first time in 10 years. The Chiefs defeated the Kitchener Rangers, hometown favourites and Ontario Hockey League champions, to go on to win the tournament. While it was a disappointing loss, the Kitchener Rangers had a fantastic season, and I know everyone in Kitchener is extremely proud of their 2008 successes.

My colleague from Hull—Aylmer was extremely pleased to be on hand to cheer on his Gatineau Olympiques, who showed outstanding sportsmanship.

Hosting the Memorial Cup is an enormous undertaking and Kitchener met and exceeded expectations. Through the hard work and dedication of 600 volunteers, Kitchener was able to showcase junior hockey in Canada. Thanks to all those involved for making it such a wonderful success.

May 13th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the fact that my hon. colleague is carrying the can for his party on this issue, but there is a tape. It has not been doctored. It has been presented by the author of a book on Chuck Cadman. We have the testimony of his wife Dona Cadman, his daughter Jodi, and his son-in-law, who all say the offer was made.

The fact that Chuck Cadman was a man of integrity is beyond dispute. The fact that a tape exists with the Prime Minister's own words on it would lead one to ask, as a reasonable person, why is the Prime Minister not coming clean, coming before a committee, and explaining the comments that are on the tape that he does not deny are his voice and his words?

May 13th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity this evening to speak to the House on the issue that has garnered many questions over the past few months but very few answers from this Conservative government.

This winter I asked the Prime Minister to provide the names of the individuals who were representing the Conservative Party when they went to the parliamentary office of the late Chuck Cadman and offered him a $1 million life insurance policy in exchange for his vote.

Canadians expect elected officials to conduct themselves with integrity, honesty and transparency. As a matter of fact, these are the very things that this current Prime Minister promised Canadians two years ago when he came to office. He promised openness and accountability.

Yet today, this very same Prime Minister, who claims to have done nothing wrong, refuses to provide any information on a very important allegation. The Prime Minister has been very tight-lipped on an issue for someone who claimed they have simply nothing to hide.

This Conservative government has been heavily cloaked in scandals for several months now. It has created a bit of confusion among the public trying to keep them all straight. We have NAFTA-gate, the Mulroney-Schreiber scandal, and the Kilrea-O'Brien affair, involving the environment minister. More and more this Conservative government adopted a motto that says: “I have nothing to say, I have everything to hide”.

Anyone who knew Chuck Cadman, and I knew Chuck Cadman as I served with him for years, would say that he was a man of the highest integrity. He respected this House and he earned the respect of his colleagues, his constituents and Canadians-at-large.

The Liberal opposition has called upon the Prime Minister to appear before a parliamentary committee to explain his role in what has become known as the Cadman affair.

One would expect that a prime minister would readily agree to dispel any of these allegations of vote buying when they have been levied against himself and his party, the Conservatives.

Canadians want to know what role their Prime Minister played in efforts to recruit Chuck Cadman's support. Do Canadians no longer have the right to demand transparency and accountability from the federal government?

With this constantly changing story on this issue, we cannot believe the Conservatives are telling Canadians what actually happened in the days leading up to the dramatic confidence vote in 2005. All the Conservative comments on this issue sharply contradict the claims that are made by the three remaining Cadman family members. They claim Conservative representatives offered the terminally ill MP Chuck Cadman a $1 million life insurance policy in exchange for being the swing vote bringing down the previous Liberal government.

Of course, the more serious part of the allegation is really the matter of the tape recording, where the Prime Minister himself appears to confirm that there was an offer involving financial considerations to get Mr. Cadman to switch his vote. The tape suggests the Prime Minister knew about the financial considerations that were being provided to Mr. Cadman ahead of time and yet, did nothing to stop the offer from being made.

When will the Conservative government end its stonewalling and allow parliamentary committees to get the answers about the Cadman affair and come clean with Canadians?

Memorial Cup May 13th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, Canada's junior hockey fans are turning their attention to Kitchener for the Canadian Hockey League's 2008 Memorial Cup.

The 90th edition of the MasterCard Memorial Cup will take place May 16th through to the 25th. The cup arrives in Kitchener on Thursday and we can be sure that the Kitchener Rangers, who captured the Ontario Hockey League championship last night, will make us proud in their quest to keep the cup in Kitchener.

The 90th anniversary Memorial Cup championship features the best hockey currently played on Canadian soil. As well, the Canadian Forces will be featured prominently.

The Memorial Cup was donated to the Ontario Hockey Association in 1919 as a memorial to the Canadians who fought and died in the first world war. Current military personnel and veterans will be honoured for their service this year.

Volunteers, community sponsors and the entire city have been working tirelessly to ensure that the 90th anniversary of the Memorial Cup is a fitting tribute to junior hockey in Canada. I ask this House to join me in wishing all players, the members of the Rangers' team, and all people in Kitchener the very best.

Business of Supply May 7th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. So we are all very clear on this, we would see the clock at 5:30 and then the bells would ring, so members of all parties would then have an opportunity to come to the chamber to vote.

Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act May 6th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, Liberals present will be voting no.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 May 1st, 2008

Mr. Speaker, Liberals will be voting in favour of this motion.

April 30th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I would just point out to my friend that in the 11 years that I have been here in Parliament, it has been an absolute rarity to see government members filibustering. It has not been the opposition parties that have filibustered at procedure and House affairs, but indeed the government members.

The Elections Commissioner identified the Conservative Party alone as a party that had used a practice that it felt was inconsistent with the current application of the law. It is not whether or not money is transferred from the central party to individual ridings, it is the fact that there was no benefit and no bill incurred at that local level.

That has been the contravention. It has been the overexpenditure by $1.2 million by the Conservative Party that is under investigation. The RCMP raided the Conservative Party headquarters. No other party has been under investigation. All hon. members and candidates know in this House, there is a regime by which candidates sign off on any kind of election expenses as do official agents--

April 30th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, in February I asked a question in this House about election expenses. The Conservative government has always been quick to brag about its accountability, but we rarely see that rhetoric in action. One only has to watch the proceedings, or the lack thereof, in the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, of which I am a member, to realize that the government really has no interest in opening itself up to public scrutiny.

Those of us in the opposition are anxious to put aside partisan interests and resume the meetings of the procedure and House affairs committee. This committee has not met in over a month because the Conservative government members have refused to hold additional meetings to investigate their party's alleged scheme to subvert election spending in the 2006 federal election and go over the limits that are set for all parties. This was revealed by the Chief Electoral Officer. As a result of the stubbornness of the government, regular committee meetings have ground to a halt, and even government legislation has been left sitting idle.

Members of the procedure and House affairs committee, and this includes whips of all three opposition parties, have urged the government to return to the work on Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (visual identification of voters). This is just one of many important pieces of government legislation that have been left sitting idle and are not being dealt with by the committee because of the Conservative government's stalemate.

The official opposition is determined to make this minority Parliament work and to have the work of the committees be useful. The Conservative government's fear of accountability should not be allowed to paralyze Parliament. Earlier this year, the three opposition parties united to remove the chair of the procedure and House affairs committee because he was using obstructionist tactics to prevent the parliamentary investigation of his party's in and out scandal. Unfortunately, the new chair who was elected subscribes to the same book of dirty tricks compiled by the Conservative Party.

The Conservative Party has been under investigation by the independent elections commissioner since last spring for allegedly funnelling over $1.2 million in national advertising costs down to regional candidates during the 2006 federal election. This was done in order to circumvent federal election spending limits.

In January, Elections Canada filed an affidavit pointing out examples of how Conservative candidates booked widely different amounts to claim expenses for broadcasts of the same national party ad. It indicated its concern that this scheme was designed to make use of unused local campaign limits to book national campaign expenses rather than to actually fund local campaigns for local advertising.

The Conservative government has literally written the book on how to disrupt democratic operations and to grind parliamentary business to a halt.

Canadians want Parliament to work, and we as Liberals are committed to doing the work that we were elected to perform. Liberals even told the committee chairperson that we were willing to temporarily postpone an examination of the in and out election financing in order to enable the procedure and House affairs committee to make progress on other issues, yet this committee continues to be locked out.

Why is the government going to such great lengths to block an investigation by Elections Canada? When will this important committee get back to work on behalf of Canadians?