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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was children.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Hamilton Mountain (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2004, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

National Security February 1st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, we know that police services around the world have been focused on the investigation into the events of September 11 and the task of rooting out terrorists. We are proud of the work that Canadian police services have done in this regard.

However Canadians might concerned that other priorities are being ignored with this renewed focus. What assurances can the solicitor general give us that other criminal activities in Canada are still a priority?

Ymca December 12th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, in November the YMCA celebrated its 150th anniversary in Canada. It has played an enormous role in the lives of Canadians during the time of its existence.

A good example of a lifelong member is 91 year old Les Chater from Hamilton Mountain. Mr. Chater has been a member of the Y since he was eight. During the second world war Mr. Chater spent three harrowing years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp and credits his survival to what he learned at the Y. The Y not only helped him learn the importance of physical fitness but also instilled leadership skills and respect for his fellow man.

Today more than ever it is important that we recognize the positive mark the YMCA has left on the minds and spirits of countless Canadians, young and old.

Multiculturalism December 10th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, November 30, a fundraising event was held in Hamilton to raise funds for a Hindu temple that was burned to the ground as the result of an arson attack in mid-September. The temple was the spiritual home of 800 local Hindu families.

Approximately 1,200 people from the Hamilton area attended the fundraising event. This incredible outpouring of support showed the true community spirit of Hamiltonians. I am proud of the citizens of Hamilton who worked so hard to make this event a success. Without them we would not have been able to raise the badly needed funds for the local Hindu community.

This is an example of the compassion that Canadians feel for their neighbours, no matter their race or religion, in their time of need.

International Trade November 19th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade returned last week from the World Trade Organization meeting in Qatar where Canada agreed to participate in the new round of negotiations. There has been a lot of talk about this being a development round.

Will the minister tell the House what this means to Canadians?

Sports November 6th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, last Friday in Hamilton the Minister of Canadian Heritage, together with Sue Hylland, executive director of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity, announced that the Government of Canada would provide $200,000 for two sport and physical activity initiatives for Canadian women.

The Government of Canada will provide $150,000 for the development of a Canadian strategy for girls and women through physical activity and sport. The other $50,000 will support a national conference on women, sport and physical activity to be held in Hamilton in November 2002.

These two Canadian initiatives will be part of an upcoming world conference on women in sport, which will take place in Montreal, from May 16 to 19, 2002.

These initiatives will demonstrate Canada's ongoing leadership in the area of women and sport at home and abroad.

World Trade Organization November 5th, 2001

Mr. Chairman, there were some complaints before and after the Seattle meeting that there was not enough consultation. I think this has greatly changed.

We can start with the consultations that have been going on in the House of Commons. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade has had a long series of meetings about WTO. The Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food has had long meetings. The chair was here; he just moved over there.

The government has been working closely with the provincial and territorial governments over the last few years. The minister has been working with sectoral stakeholders and interest groups across Canada. Through the section entitled “Trade Negotiations and Agreements” on the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade website, all Canadians have been able to participate and give their comments.

Multi-stakeholder round tables have been held across the country and the minister has been part of this process. As a matter of fact I have a list of the meetings the minister has been to in the last couple of months.

He had a teleconference with his provincial and territorial counterparts on September 25. He had another meeting with them in person just a couple of days ago, on October 26. On Thursday, September 27 the minister met with the Business Council on National Issues, the Canadian Council for International Business and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. On Monday, October 1 there was a round table for stakeholders, businesses and NGOs. On Wednesday, October 3 there was a joint trade and development round table. On Tuesday, October 16 a trade and global poverty workshop was organized by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation.

I could go on with this list of day after day meetings that the minister has had.

World Trade Organization November 5th, 2001

Mr. Chairman, I do not know if he read the article or heard the statement made by the secretary general of the United Nations. He said that the best thing that we can do for developing countries is to liberalize trade. This could inject approximately $150 billion a year into their economies, more than all foreign aid combined.

Developing countries are making it very clear to all other countries that they want liberalized trade and that they need to participate fully in the international trade and investment system to meet their own development goals.

There are three particular things in which they are interested. They want to have market access for their exports so their economies can grow. They want rules to recognize their development status but not rules that impose burdens they cannot yet support. This stems from the difficulties in implementing the results from the last round of negotiations in the Uruguay round. They need technical assistance for their governments and infrastructure so they can benefit from the rights and obligations of the WTO.

Canada has joined a widespread consensus in the need to support developing countries in their attempts to integrate further into the world trading system in these three ways. The growth and development round will further this objective. We have been working hard to demonstrate to developing countries that a new round would assist their developing efforts.

A new round of negotiations is also the best way to address the concerns of developing countries over the balance of obligations and concessions in the world trading system. Developing countries want a round that covers a limited number of areas. Many hold that they took on more than they were able to deliver and at the same time received less benefit than they were promised in the Uruguay round. They are more prudent now.

We are flexible in the scope of negotiations as we recognize that this is a major issue for developing countries. We have given careful consideration to their concerns in the three areas I mentioned, namely market access, implementation of rules, and technical assistance and capacity building.

World Trade Organization November 5th, 2001

Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to speak in the take note debate on the World Trade Organization meeting to be held in Qatar this week. The World Trade Organization is based in Geneva and came into being in 1995. It is the successor to the general agreement on tariffs and trade, GATT.

This year's meeting will provide an opportunity for members to take stock of evolving global trade trends and issues as well as to review and advance the work of the World Trade Organization.

The Minister for International Trade in his speech to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade stated that Canada's current and future growth and prosperity were clearly linked to trade and depended on a healthy, open, transparent, multinational, multilateral framework of rules which provided access to growing world markets and kept pace with changes in technology, business practices and public interest.

He also said that many of our exporters were small and medium size enterprises that depended on trade to grow and recognized the importance of a framework of rules to enhance transparency and predictability for opportunities abroad.

The cornerstone of the multilateral trading system, the WTO system of agreements, is the foundation of Canadian trade policy and effectively constitutes Canada's trade agreements with a host of emerging markets worldwide. It also underpins much of our trade with the United States.

Canada's overall objectives for this meeting are to improve the lives of Canadians by increasing economic growth and productivity; to create opportunities for Canadian agrifood, industrial and service exporters and investors by achieving greater access to foreign markets and ensuring fair conditions for their activities; to provide Canadian consumers with better choices and better prices in goods and services; to reflect changes in the global economy by updating WTO rules; to encourage the WTO to be more transparent and open; to address public concerns about the social and environmental implications; and to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction in developing countries.

The Minister for International Cooperation, commenting on poverty reduction, mentioned recently that the best way to reduce poverty was through the economic growth provided by trade. She said:

I believe that helping them negotiate and exercise the rights and obligations of membership in the World Trade Organization will go a long way in helping these countries achieve that objective.

Canada believes it is important to better co-ordinate the activities of the WTO with a larger cast of international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to ensure they are not giving developing countries conflicting signals.

Many developing countries believe that they did not achieve enough access to other foreign markets during the Uruguay round of negotiations, especially for agricultural goods, textiles and clothing products. Canada believes that richer countries can help poorer nations through the WTO.

International trade is important for Canada because it drives our economy. Canada is by far the most trade oriented of the G-8 countries. Trade is vital to our continued prosperity. Our exports of goods and services now represents 45.6% of our gross domestic product, up from 25% in 1991. We traded an average of $2.5 billion in business daily with the world last year, of which $1.7 billion per day was with the United States.

The payback for Canada was immediate in that one job in three depends on exports. The 427,000 new net jobs created in 1999 marked the highest total since 1979 and part of this expansion related directly to our success in global markets.

One of Canada's main objectives at the WTO meetings will be to address important trade tariff barriers and other trade restrictions such as in Canada's steel trade industry. The steel industry's financial health is particularly important for my constituents in Hamilton Mountain.

Approximately 6.6 million tonnes of steel making capacity, or nearly 40% of Canada's total, is located in greater Hamilton. Approximately 16,000 people in greater Hamilton are directly employed in steel making and processing. In total, more than 500 firms are directly or indirectly involved in the industry.

On November 2 the United States international trade commission ruled that certain steel imports from 10 countries were hurting United States steel companies. The U.S. ruling may force steel imports intended for the United States to be diverted to Canada and subsequently flood Canadian markets.

The WTO ministerial conference in Qatar would be an opportune time to voice our collective concern over the possible effects of diverted steel from the United States into Canada. The WTO's overriding objective, after all, is to help trade flow smoothly, freely, fairly and predictably. The issue of Canada's jeopardized steel industry should be a high priority item which Canada should bring to the table at the WTO meeting in Qatar.

Another objective that Canada must bring to the WTO meeting in Qatar is to seek broader support for Canada's approach to cultural industries. In October 1999 the Canadian government decided to pursue a new international instrument on cultural diversity. The instrument would set out clear ground rules to enable countries to maintain policies that promote their culture while respecting trade rules and ensuring markets for exports.

Canada has stated that it will not make any commitment that restricts its ability to achieve its cultural policy objectives until the instruments can be established.

This year's WTO ministerial meeting is an important opportunity for the Canadian government to promote and reinforce the international trade agenda on a global stage. The Liberal government wants WTO negotiations that would open up markets for Canadian trade, update the multilateral system to reflect today's economic realities and help the developing world reap the benefits of liberalized trade.

A new round of international trade negotiations also holds the promise that all participating nations, developed and developing, have the opportunity to reduce poverty, enhance security and improve the quality of life for people around the world.

The Minister for International Trade said this would only occur in an environment of good governance and coherent domestic economic and social policies through new negotiations to preserve growth and development at home and around the world.

Foreign Aid October 3rd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, Pakistan has been home to millions of refugees from Afghanistan for years. In the aftermath of September 11, there have been additional demands put on the government of Pakistan to not only respond to the refugees, but to join the fight against terrorism.

Would the Minister for International Cooperation tell the House what Canada is doing to help the government of Pakistan deal with the overwhelming burden of the Afghani refugees and their severe social and economic situation over the long term?

Foreign Aid September 25th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, members on the other side of the House have been calling for a review of, or a stop to, government funding that is assisting the millions of starving people in Afghanistan and surrounding countries. They are claiming that the funds could end up in the hands of the Taliban.

Would the Minister for International Cooperation tell the House what she and her department are doing to ensure that this does not happen?