Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was children.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for St. John's East (Newfoundland & Labrador)

Lost her last election, in 1997, with 27% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Government Of Newfoundlandand Labrador March 19th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the new Liberal cabinet of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Keeping his election promises, Premier Brian Tobin has appointed four of the six elected Liberal women MHAs to his cabinet team, more than any previous administration .

Assisting Premier Tobin to create jobs and economic growth are Judy Foote, Minister of Development and Rural Renewal, Julie Bettney, Minister of Works Services and Transportation, Sandra Kelly, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Recreation, and Joan-Marie Alyward, Minister for Social Services.

Given their strong backgrounds in community and economic affairs in the province, they will bring a fresh new drive to the cabinet table and serve as great role models for all women of Newfoundland and Labrador.

My congratulations to Premier Tobin and these four dynamic women who are helping to lead the charge of increasing the number of women holding public office in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Atlantic Canada November 21st, 1995

Mr. Speaker, lately Reform Party members have been spending a lot of time talking about Atlantic Canada. They have made a couple of trips east and now claim to be instant experts on our region.

For example, these Reform experts believe that the Atlantic fishery is dead, even though it was worth over $1 billion last year; that we should have been softer on foreign overfishing; and that the federal government should get out of Hibernia, despite the fact that it creates thousands of jobs and means millions of dollars to the Newfoundland economy.

As a Newfoundlander born and raised, who lives and pays taxes in St. John's East, I would like to tell the third party what we do not want. We do not want the Reform slash and burn agenda, which includes massive cuts to UI, health, and regional development. We do not want the Reform plan for a flat tax, which would guarantee that poor people are taxed at the same rate as the rich.

It is clear that Reform's ignorance is far greater than its knowledge of Atlantic Canada.

Auditor General Act November 20th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, a number of years ago Nellie Nippard was stabbed 33 times by her husband and left for dead. By some miracle Ms. Nippard survived and today works with the women's organizations in Newfoundland.

Just two years ago another woman, Brenda Young, suffered multiple stab wounds at the hands of her boyfriend while her two young children slept in the other room. Unfortunately Ms. Young did not survive her attack.

Both of these women are from my home province of Newfoundland. One of them lived in my riding of St. John's East. The violence they endured was extreme but unfortunately it is not rare.

There are thousands of women in Newfoundland and across the country who live in fear and are subject to violence. In spite of the good work and good will which exists across the country for enhancing the security and safety of women, the violence persists.

Statistics show that more than half of all women in the country have experienced at least one incident of violence, as defined under the Criminal Code, in their adult lives. Twenty-five per cent of women have experienced violence at the hands of a current or past marital partner. On average, a woman is killed every six days in Canada, often in a private home or by someone she knows.

Women make up 59 per cent of all homicide victims killed in a domestic relationship. Forty-two per cent of women surveyed in 1993 reported they felt unsafe walking in their neighbourhood after dark, over four times the figure of men.

Despite the statistics, some cling to the belief that the problem is not that bad or dismiss it as a women's issue. This problem needs to be addressed. The eradication of violence against women can be accomplished only with the full partnership of all members of society.

This can no longer remain a women's issue. Violence against women affects us all. When women are abused there are costs to the victim, the family and to society. Taxpayers pay significant sums of money in medical costs for doctors, hospital emergency wards and medical health clinics; in criminal justice, costs for police services, courts and corrections; and in social service, costs for welfare, housing and daycare. As well, employers pay for violence against women in higher absentee costs and low productivity rates.

The most recent example of how violence against women affects more than just the victim was raised in the Newfoundland Select Committee on Children's Interests. The committee has been holding public hearings across the province. It heard from the administrator of the Iris Kirby House, a women's shelter in my riding, about how devastating domestic violence can be for our children.

The committee heard how children who witness family violence show signs of low self-esteem, which leads to a lack of self-confidence and a feeling of insecurity. As these children get older, depression, withdrawal and pessimism set in, leading to suicidal tendencies, drug dependency and emotional instability.

These children often do poorly in school because they have difficulty concentrating, are frequently absent and show behavioural problems. Also, research shows that children who witness violence in the home are more likely to live in a violent relationship in their adult lives.

We are approaching December 6, which some may not realize is the national day of remembrance and action on violence against women. It is a time for us to pause and remember the 14 women who died tragically at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal six years ago. As important as December 6 is, we need more than just one day of awareness about violence against women. We need to take action on a daily basis.

We need to continue to provide support and funding for the various women's shelters and treatment programs which provide cost effective support and services.

I know the government has taken action over the past two years to address the issue of violence against women, but I would like the parliamentary secretary to assure my constituents and all Canadians that this is and will continue to be a priority of our government.

Canadian Veterans November 6th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, the past year we watched Canadian veterans return to the Netherlands to places they had fought and where many of their comrades laid down their lives in the defence of freedom. These veterans were greeted as the heroes they are. Dutch children have been taught about the Canadian sacrifice to liberate their country.

It is imperative for Canadian children to learn those same lessons. This week is National Veterans' Week. My home province of Newfoundland has also signed a proclamation declaring this Remembrance Week, the first province to do so. The flag of remembrance will be flown outside schools and municipal and provincial buildings across our province.

These tributes are important. We must take the time to remind ourselves and to teach our children about the courage and sacrifice of Canada's veterans.

In wartime and in peacekeeping missions around the world they have left a legacy of which we can be extremely proud.

Domestic Violence November 1st, 1995

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Newfoundland's select committee on children's interests heard how devastating domestic violence can be for children. There is the horror suffered by one family when a woman was stabbed 33 times by her husband and left for dead.

Could the Secretary of State for the Status of Women tell the House what action the government has taken to help eliminate violence against women?

National Unity October 30th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a Newfoundland MP and a proud Canadian. I speak on behalf of my constituents of St. John's East and the majority of Newfoundlanders. My message is to the people of Quebec and it comes from our hearts:

Today you will vote in a referendum to separate from Canada and the outcome affects us all. It was not that long ago that the people of Newfoundland voted to join Canada. You welcomed us and we have lived together in one peaceful nation.

We may come from different regions and face different circumstances but we share many of the same values and principles.

Like you, I want the best for my family and for my children. I want them to be able to find good jobs, to have the service and programs they need and to live in a generous and compassionate country. These goals are possible in a united Canada. Anything is possible in a united Canada. Let your children inherit the best country in the world, Canada. Vote no.

Canadian International Development Agency October 2nd, 1995

Madam Speaker, the second petition is from the Tenants' Action Association from Brophy Place, Hunt's Lane and Kelly Street in St. John's who call on Parliament to retain the Canada assistance plan in its present form.

Canadian International Development Agency October 2nd, 1995

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I would like to present two petitions to the House.

In the first petition, students from St. Michael's High School in Bell Island call on Parliament not to cut CIDA's funding for its public participation program.

Regional Development October 2nd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, day after day we hear Reform members criticize regional economic development especially in Atlantic Canada. I am an Atlantic Canadian and I would like to know the facts.

My question is for the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Can the minister tell the House and my constituents what ACOA's success rate is, what concrete benefits it brings to the region and what is his response to the criticism from the third party?

Gun Control September 27th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, last night St. John's City Council gave unanimous support for the government's gun control initiative, Bill C-68. City council's resolution was in response to a letter from the Canada Safety Council.

The city agreed with the safety council that the failure to pass this bill would undermine the efforts of people working in the criminal justice, safety and mental health fields.

City councillors know what the Reform Party refuses to acknowledge: the majority of Newfoundlanders support stricter gun control. As a member of the St. John's Women's Council said: "Placing restraints on weapons can only help public safety".

A number of headlines from the St. John's Evening Telegram also show support: Gun control in Canada, the tougher the better'',Gun lobby scare tactics ineffective'' and ``A national gun registry? Of course, the sooner the better''.

If the Reform Party and members of the other place truly want to represent the will of Atlantic Canadians they must support Bill C-68.