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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was let.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Canadian Alliance MP for Edmonton North (Alberta)

Won her last election, in 2000, with 51% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply March 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, as I rise in the debate today I look around and think about how many people were here on January 16, 1991, when we saw gulf war one.

You and I were here, Mr. Speaker, and three more were of these members were here in 1991. Everyone else in the House is experiencing their first gulf war. I got out my speaking notes from that night and I think I was the one who was up on debate exactly when CNN declared that the war had begun. That was a traumatic experience for all of us. I said back then, over 12 years ago:

Those of us who have been following the news hour by hour in these last several days, have seen Saddam Hussein and his entire Iraqi Parliament standing up and chanting: “With our blood and with our souls, we will die for this cause and go to death for Saddam”.

I wonder how many of them have in the ensuing years, and maybe not by choice. I think about that kind of attitude where they would stand up and be so blinded as to say that this was a noble thing for them to do. Here we are 12 years later and I really wonder what we have learned or how far we have come.

On that same day, Mr. Speaker, your leader at the time, John Turner, said that we were global citizens and had crossed that boundary and were involved. You were part of that caucus, Mr. Speaker. I am sure you remember him saying that. It was a traumatic night for all of us.

He said that we were global citizens and had crossed that boundary and were involved. Those are true words now. I see a member across the way who is a member of the government now and was a Tory at the time. I am sure he remembers that day as well.

Sometimes we do not get any options about whether or not we would like to be involved; sometimes we get dealt a hand. But in fact we might not want to go war. I do not think any one of us in the House is keen to go to war. Nobody could be accused of being a warmonger. Let us get that inflammatory language right out of this debate.

When I think about what has changed in those 12 years, I wonder. I have seen a regime change here, if I may use those words. Instead of the Conservatives in power, as they were in 1991, now the Liberals are and suddenly they need a UN Security Council recommendation and resolution. But when they were in power in the late 1990s, we saw that they did not really need a UN Security Council resolution to go into Kosovo. I wonder about the consistency and I wonder about the matter of principle and the matter of disarming Saddam Hussein.

When it was important in 1991 and there were resolutions brought forward for disarming, to have a ceasefire, not an armistice, as was mentioned earlier, we somehow think 12 years later that it was okay, but the government continues to say that it needs time. Now, in gulf war two, I think about what has lapsed in those 12 years, about how many innocent people have died. The question being asked on the government benches and by many people, which is a fair enough question to a point about “we need more time”, is this: How much time is enough? Of course the answer to that is that there is never enough. It would never be enough for people to think that some good nature of Saddam Hussein's is suddenly going to take over and that he is going to think it is cool to live up to the resolutions.

If we watch human nature and look at the patterns of people and how they develop, we can see that if someone is not going to change their behaviour in a dozen years, my answer would be to everyone here, and I surely think they would agree with me, that there is never enough time for that. He simply is not going to change. In these last few days we have seen weapons being fired that were definitely on the list of equipment he was not supposed to have. So again, if we prove someone inconsistent in one area, then guess what, it is quite likely we will prove him inconsistent again.

It was fine for the member from York to stand up and talk about how we need more time, how we need to be really careful about being nasty to Saddam, and that as for the weapons he is basically a good guy and the weapons are okay. That is ridiculous. What is going to happen when something else comes trotting out? It is going to look foolish to say we did not really know that he was lying to us or we did not really know that he was being inconsistent. Good heavens, we have enough proof right now six ways to Sunday to know that this man is evil, inconsistent and dishonest and has people in his country thinking that he is going to be kind to them as their leader when thousands upon thousands of people have died at his own hands or by his own orders.

I see the government across the way being inconsistent, especially in regard to the Kosovo deal when it did not need a UN Security Council resolution then, which was important, as it ran under NATO. This week it is showing its inconsistencies by saying we really need it. If the Liberals were to look at their former leader, John Turner, they would see that he at least had the nerve to stand up and say, “I did not like it and I was not keen on it, but I think I should read it a third time”. It was not because it was John Turner. He would be the first to admit he is not the most wonderful or brightest fellow on the planet, but he was a member and the leader of the Liberal Party that sat in opposition and is now the government. I wish the Liberals would take the time to let this sink in. We are global citizens and we have now crossed that boundary and are involved, so we do not have a lot of options.

We talk about humanitarian aid. They are waxing on about when the war is over: We were not there with our allies, but boy, we will be there to do mop up and hope we get all kinds of contracts. In fact, on humanitarian aid there are now several working groups starting to put these things together, because we know there will be cleanup and rebuilding of all kinds. There are 14 groups working in the United States right now. What part is Canada playing? Precious little. Canada is not in the running. It has been basically non-existent. The minister for CIDA stood up in question period today and said yes, CIDA would be there, but there are no dollar figures and nothing is committed to.

If there is anything we know how to do well in this country it is oil exploration and oil recapping. Someone from my province of Alberta was being interviewed the other day and said that we are experts at this. He was involved in the Kuwaiti cleanup when all the oil wells were burning in Kuwait. He said on national TV that we are not going to have a chance of getting in there, first, to help, but second, for any sort of economic benefit in terms of cleaning up. He asked why we would when we were not there to stand with them in their time of need. Why would we expect anyone to be kind and loving to us so that we could say, “Good luck on your war and thanks a lot for our contracts. We will be there to pick up the economic benefit”. That is just ludicrous.

There are many expatriates in Canada who are in exile and would love to go home, to their homeland of Iraq, and start rebuilding. I think that is going to be excellent. I think that will be a positive thing.

Twelve years ago we talked about Saddam Hussein. Here we are talking about him again, yet somehow the government hopes and prays that someone else will look after it. It is like someone standing up and saying, “Here I am. Send someone else”. That is not courageous. That is not responsible in the global community. We are global citizens and for the first time ever we have said no to the United Kingdom. Great Britain is our mother of parliaments; we all keep talking about how we are fashioned after Great Britain. It is the first time that the United States and Great Britain have been unified in a mission and Canada is not there as a part of it. I just cannot believe how we would be, first, ignorant enough, but second, arrogant enough to think that we could kind of sit out the war and then move on in for economic benefits. It is bizarre.

I would ask members to rethink their stand, to say that it is important globally to stand with our allies and say how important that is, and not just say that we are going to side with Jacques Chirac. That is not right, because they are showing an inconsistency.

Jacques Chirac is standing and saying that he is the veto man. I do not want to be aligned with the veto man. I want to be aligned with getting Saddam Hussein out of office. You and I, Mr. Speaker, sat here in January 1991, and I am sure you would admit that it was a very difficult time for both of us and we do not want to see a repeat of that. Therefore let us make sure that when people ask the question of how much time is enough, we say that it is never enough. We are there now. Let us get involved and get the job done.

National Defence March 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, that is a nice try. There is a gap there, that is for sure. I think it is his enormous cuts.

First, the Prime Minister threw a wrench in the plans when he cancelled the Sea Kings in 1993. He said that the old ones could keep going with a lot of maintenance, and I do mean a lot of maintenance, like 30 hours for every 1 hour of flight.

Now we do not even have these skilled mechanics required to keep these dinosaurs airborne; it takes four years to train them.

When will mister fix-it here stop tooling around and give our military the resources it is so desperately seeking?

National Defence March 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, our Canadian troops are still flying the 40 year old Sea King helicopters the government should have replaced a full 10 years ago.

Last week a report surfaced quoting a number of serious safety concerns regarding the aging craft. Now we learn there is a shortage of skilled mechanics to maintain these geriatric Sea Kings.

When will the minister address the Liberal government's royal Canadian air farce?

National Defence March 19th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, we know that those are dangerous missions and they simply are not equipped. Because of the Sea Kings' inadequate sensors, our choppers have to fly close enough to unidentified ships to read the writings on their sides. This leaves our crews wide open to being shot down.

It is high time the Prime Minister read the writing on the wall in great big letters. He had the opportunity to replace the Sea Kings 10 years ago. When will he admit that trying to save his political face could cost military lives?

National Defence March 19th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that is cold comfort to those people.

A military report last night has stated that our 40 year old Sea Kings lacked the appropriate night vision sensors required for their missions. Consequently, they have been unable to complete their given tasks while enforcing UN sanctions against Iraq and during Operation Apollo. In fact, our Sea Kings have even been excluded from participating in night operations with the U.S. navy.

I would appreciate it if maybe the minister could focus his dim vision on this problem right now. Why does the Liberal government continue to send our Sea Kings into missions it knows they simply cannot perform? Is it bad judgment or simply bad politics?

National Defence March 18th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, we would wonder how it is getting there, that is for sure.

Our Sea King helicopters are also involved, as the minister knows, in search and rescue operations. Inadequate or decrepit vehicles and aircraft could cost the lives of people as well as Canadian military personnel. Given his comments yesterday, perhaps this is not a big concern for this minister, but it is serious.

Expertise and daring have allowed our Sea King crews to rescue many people, but we have to locate the people before we can rescue them. Does the minister honestly believe that our Sea Kings are properly equipped to save lives at sea in all conditions, day and night?

National Defence March 18th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the core of Canada's contribution to the war on terrorism consists of a handful of capable ships, but they are equipped with 40 year old Sea Kings. That would be a tad past retirement age, I would think. Recently, a Sea King crash resulted in injuries to our pilots and embarrassments to Canada.

I would like to call ship to shore to the minister and ask, how does the government expect us to believe that Canada's Sea Kings are able to perform safely and effectively alongside our allies?

National Defence February 28th, 2003

They certainly have their confidence undermined, Mr. Speaker. He says it is a priority for the government. It surely is, but it is a pathetically low priority.

This week the defence minister said that he could not just snap his fingers and get new helicopter replacements. Oddly enough it took only days to get a luxury Challenger jet for the Prime Minister and his Challenger chums. That was untendered.

We now learn that the frigate HMCS Fredericton is on its way to replace the HMCS Iroquois when the government said not long ago that those frigates were just too small for command ships. The government does not know what it is doing.

Why does it take years for our troops to get what they need, but only days for the Prime Minister to get what he wants?

National Defence February 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will soon be back from Mexico. I am sure he will be red-faced, but it probably will not be from a sunburn. His face should be burning with embarrassment as a result of the Sea King crash yesterday.

The Prime Minister and the Liberal government have put Canadian lives at risk by cancelling, 10 years ago, the EH-101 contract and delaying the purchase of Maritime helicopter replacements. Now we face international embarrassment because our allies cannot even rely on our 40 year old equipment.

Why does the Prime Minister continue to put saving face before saving lives?

Liberal Party of Canada February 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, evidently today is international hypnosis day, which is as good a time as any to delve deep into the psyche of the members across the way. If they will just relax and follow the swing of the pendulum, I think they will find themselves growing sleepy, so sleepy.

Oh look, there is the promise to eliminate the GST. But wait, it is still in place. Surely they feel a little embarrassment about that one. And then there are those repressed feelings of guilt and remorse over cancelling the Sea King contract. They must just feel sick about that.

Oh, and here we see the billions of dollars of taxpayer money squandered on HRDC grants and contributions, the flawed gun registry boondoggle, and advertising scandals. They have even voted down their own promise for an ethics commissioner accountable to Parliament. It seems that is buried so deeply it has not even registered on their consciousness.

Well, it has been a full therapy session today. Looks like it is time for the Liberals to wake up.