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

The Late Walter Albert Tobin September 19th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, a funeral was held yesterday for a distinguished Newfoundlander who passed away on Friday. Mr. Walter Albert Tobin, 97 years old, was the last survivor of the first world war Battle of Beaumont Hamel.

Mr. Tobin was only 17 years old when he enlisted in the army. He had no way of knowing then that on July 1, 1916, his Royal Newfoundland Regiment would be virtually wiped out at Beaumont Hamel. Over 300 people died or went missing; 386 were wounded. The next morning only 68 men were able to answer the roll call. Mr. Tobin was one of them. Although wounded, he received medical attention and then returned to the battlefield.

I recently spoke with Mr. Tobin at a veterans ceremony in St. John's and I was indeed honoured to meet a man of such courage and stature.

There are fewer than 2,300 first world war veterans living today. As we mourn the passing of Mr. Tobin we would do well to listen and learn from their experience and their wisdom. We should seize the opportunity to tell these men and women how grateful we are and how proud we are of their service to our country.

Transportation June 5th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, it is appropriate that the inauguration of this year's National Transportation Week took place in St. John's, Newfoundland, the first time the kick-off has ever been held in our province. It gave us the opportunity to focus on our important local and provincial transportation issues.

The organization committee provided the delegates with a taste of Newfoundland life that included a harbour tour and a seminar at the Marine Institute, St. John's world class marine science research facility.

As islanders, Newfoundlanders understand the value of transportation. We rely on marine transport to take our products to market and bring back to us the goods we need.

The theme of this year's National Transportation Week is "Careers in Transportation: Opportunities, Training, Skills". It is a reminder that the modern national transportation system requires highly skilled and dedicated people. We all have a stake in seeing that the transportation sector continues to attract the best candidates possible. A successful transportation sector will keep the country moving into the next century.

Newfoundland Dockyard May 10th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.

There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the future of the Newfoundland dockyard. Currently only a few tradespersons are working at the dry dock, down from 850 last year. Given the importance of the dockyard to the economy of St. John's will the minister inform the House about his plans for the dockyard?

Fisheries May 9th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the secretary of state for fisheries and oceans.

On April 28, 1995 while Canadian fishery officers were conducting a NAFO inspection on the Spanish vessel Mayi Cuatro , the vessel dropped its net. The net has been recovered and both Canadian and EU inspectors confirm that the net contained an illegal liner.

Can the secretary of state tell Newfoundlanders and all Canadians what further action the government is taking to stop this kind of violation of NAFO regulations?

V-E Day May 8th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on this 50th anniversary of V-E Day to pay tribute to the Canadians who helped bring about the end of the second world war.

During the war thousands of men and women from the Dominion of Newfoundland proudly served with the allied armies, navies, and air forces. Thousands of others served with the merchant navy, risking their lives to keep the vital shipping lines across the Atlantic open.

Members of the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit worked in Britain to ensure the continuing supply of lumber, while many others joined the British Home Guard.

At home, people felt the reality of this war as well. In the fall of 1942 four allied ships were sunk by U-boats off Bell Island of Newfoundland, the only community in North America to come under direct enemy fire. Sixty-nine men were killed and a memorial now stands in Lance Cove in their honour.

As Mr. Churchill said 50 years ago, "Today is V-E Day; long live the cause of peace".

Royal Newfoundland Regiment's 200Th Anniversary April 28th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell the House that the Royal Newfoundland Regiment marked its 200th anniversary on April 25. This is the oldest regiment in North America and today is an outstanding unit of the Canadian reserves.

The Newfoundland regiment has a proud record of service in the War of 1812 and World War I and recently in the former Yugoslavia. During World War I, Newfoundland recruited and sent one of the highest numbers of soldiers per capita of all the Commonwealth. Sadly, we suffered extremely high casualties as well. At the battle of Beaumont-Hamel the Royal Newfoundland Regiment lost 91 per cent of their unit. Their commander praised them as better than the best, and this has become their unofficial motto.

The soldiers of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment are a reflection of the people of Newfoundland. They are hardworking and tough but with a sense of humour that carries them through the most difficult times.

Congratulations to the regiment on an extraordinary anniversary.

Fisheries April 25th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, the Reform member for Prince George-Peace River seems to think the government should just abandon the fishing families of Atlantic Canada. Can the minister please explain to this member and the third party what the TAGS program is doing to help the people of Newfoundland and the maritimes survive this difficult time and improve their chances for a much better future?

National Women's Hockey Championship March 27th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work and dedication of the organizers of the 14th Annual National Women's Hockey Championship. It took place this past weekend in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

The winning team from Quebec is deserving of the title of national champion. It emerged on top after three days of intense and high calibre competition, although I do not think it competed against a Newfoundland team.

Women's hockey has seen remarkable growth over the past decade. Today over 15,000 girls and women play the sport on a competitive basis, adding every year to the talent pool that has given Canada three world championship titles.

We can now look forward to the 1998 winter Olympic games when we will have the opportunity to cheer the Canadian women's hockey team since women's hockey has now been added to the Olympic games schedule.

Congratulations to all those involved with this year's national championships in P.E.I.

Fisheries March 24th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

On Monday, March 27 the United Nations conference on the straddling and highly migratory fish stocks reconvenes. The recent fishing of the Spanish fleet on the nose and tail of the Grand Bank clearly shows the urgency for a binding convention to end the threat of foreign overfishing.

Can the minister tell the House what Canada hopes to achieve in these crucial meetings next week?

Learning Disabilities Month March 22nd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Learning Disabilities Association for Newfoundland and Labrador, I would like to remind all Canadians that this is Learning Disabilities Month. As a former volunteer with the association in St. John's, I understand and appreciate the work the organization undertakes.

It is estimated that one in ten Canadians suffers from a learning disability ranging from mild to severe. They have trouble receiving information through the senses and transmitting that information accurately to the brain. It is much like a bad telephone connection or a fuzzy photograph.

Students young and old who live with a learning disability are able to achieve if given the right help. When assisted they can become productive and valued members of society. Without assistance, the social costs are high.

I am pleased to be able to take this moment to commend the Learning Disabilities Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and all community organizations for the many hours they have spent to make a difference.