Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was women.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Halifax (Nova Scotia)

Lost her last election, in 1997, with 22% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Privilege March 13th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I was loath to rise and comment on this matter but a number of things require some clarification.

As you frequently remind us, Mr. Speaker, this is a Chamber in which passionate debate and passionate partisanship exist. I would be the last to deny that I relish both passionate debate and passionate partisanship. I want to say something that needs to be said. Every member of Parliament in the Chamber is here because he or she believes very deeply and passionately in the form of public service he or she has chosen.

There are certain things that perhaps get lost in debates of this nature. With regard to what I presume are the intentions of the member for Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt, I do not disagree with those. I have difficulty, however, with the wording of the motion. I agree wholeheartedly with my colleague, the member for Scarborough-Rouge River, and with other members, including the chief government whip. The difficulty is while this place is the

highest court in the land, it is not a court of law in the context of the courts in all of our ridings.

It would ill behove us as members of Parliament to usurp the actions of those courts even as in this particular case prosecutors have refused for whatever reasons to make a charge. It would be unparliamentary of us to use the words that we on the government side feel should be deleted. However, we will let that pass.

I do every much want to see the question of privilege go to the committee for its proper disposition. With regard to all members of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition who have spoken on this matter, I am very proud that these matters can be debated in the Chamber.

North American Aerospacedefence Command March 11th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time this afternoon with the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

It is a delight to be participating in today's debate on the renewal of NORAD. As many members are aware, Canada and the United States have a long history of friendship. Our political, economic, social and cultural ties are the most extensive of any bilateral relationship existing in the world today.

Our defence ties are far reaching. Although we have always had and will continue to pursue an independent foreign defence policy, our geography, our history, our trust and our shared beliefs have made the Americans our close partners in the defence of our common continent. They have also made us natural allies in the pursuit of international peace and security.

NORAD is one of the pillars of this defence relationship but our co-operation does not end there. Members should be aware of the extent and importance of our military partnership. As it evolves to meet new demands and challenges this partnership will continue to play a major role in ensuring Canadian security and in enhancing international stability.

Canada and the United States have maintained a close security relationship since the end of the 1930s, when President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie King united our two countries in a continental defence partnership for the first time.

During the second world war, our defence relationships expanded and deepened. That is how, under the Ogdensburg accord of 1940, the permanent joint board on defence was established.

As for the Hyde Park declaration of 1941, it united the Canadian and U.S. economies to counter aggression.

After the war as the east-west confrontation took root, the relationship continued to develop. As years passed, new bilateral agreements and arrangements, NORAD being the most famous, were added to the list. Today this list is very long. Our military partnership now includes 60 formal bilateral defence agreements, 200 memoranda of understanding and numerous service to service understandings. These agreements and arrangements cover virtually the entire sphere of military activity: joint planning and operations, combined exercises, defence production, logistics, communications, research and development, and intelligence. In all, there about 600 Canadian military personnel serving south of the border.

Canada and the U.S. consult in roughly 150 bilateral forums that require regular consultation, discussion and meetings. In addition to NORAD, this includes the permanent joint board on defence. The PJBD is the senior advisory body on continental security. It meets twice a year providing an opportunity for diplomats and military officials from both countries to discuss important and sensitive bilateral and international defence matters. There is also the military co-operation committee established in 1945. This forum allows our respective military staffs to meet and carry out combined military planning for the defence of North America.

Canada-American defence co-operation also includes an extensive network of defence production research and development arrangements which provide the framework for our close economic ties in this sphere.

The defence production sharing agreement signed in 1956 sets out the terms of bilateral trade in defence material. It allowed Canadian companies to compete with American companies on the American market.

The defence development sharing agreement signed in 1963 helps Canadian companies develop products for use by the U.S. armed forces and promotes research and development in Canada.

Trade in defence goods between the two countries amounts to almost $2 billion Canadian every year. Our longstanding industrial co-operation has resulted in a highly integrated defence industrial base.

We also have the Canada-U.S. test and evaluation program, allowing our countries to test important weapons systems at each other's military facility. This cost effective and flexible arrangement has become an integral component of our defence relationship.


And, naturally, Canada and the United States are tied by their membership in a variety of multinational organizations, including the UN, NATO, the organization responsible for security and co-operation in Europe as well as the Organization of American States.

Recently, we participated in a number of multilateral operations, such as the United Nations mission in Haiti and the activities conducted under NATO in Bosnia by the peace plan implementation task force, or IFOR.

Closer to home, Canadian and American military personnel have a long tradition of working closely with each other in operations and training exercises. At sea, Canada-U.S. co-operation involves the surveillance and control of vast ocean areas on both coasts and in the Arctic. We exchange information in support of search and rescue and any narcotic operations, co-operate in humanitarian emergencies and hold regular bilateral exercises at sea.

Canada-U.S. defence co-operation, having lasted through more than 50 years of evolving challenges, continues to thrive. The Canadian government believes that this co-operation still serves the fundamental interests of Canada. Although the world has changed dramatically in recent years, we must always be ready to co-operate with our American allies in the defence of North America. There may be no direct military threat to our continent at the moment but there are no guarantees for the future.

The government would like the Canadian Forces to be able to continue to work closely with the U.S. armed forces under various circumstances. We must bear in mind that there are other immediate benefits to maintaining a close relationship with the U.S. for defence purposes.

For example, extensive training and operational experience are gained by Canadians. We retain a useful degree of influence in critical areas of United States defence policy that directly affect us. We gain access to important defence related information. Canadian companies benefit from access to important technologies and the large U.S. defence market.

If the Canadian government remains firmly committed to its defence relationship with the U.S., we also understand this relationship must continue to evolve. Although Canada and the U.S. are cutting back on some continental defence activities, we are also looking into ways to preserve the Canadian-American defence relationship. NORAD is a perfect example.

Given the current international environment and urgent domestic priorities, it might be tempting for us to turn our backs on a longstanding co-operative agreement, but the lessons of history teach us that this would be shortsighted. While still conducting an independent foreign and defence policy, we must continue to work with the U.S. to meet the challenges of the coming century and to preserve our relationship as a source of stability in a turbulent world. The benefits of our defence partnership far outweigh the costs, all the more so since activities have been scaled back to deal with today's realities.

The Canadian and American governments must also show vision and imagination in ensuring this partnership has the capability to meet future demands. This new NORAD agreement being debated today offers clear proof we are following a wise path. That is what this government does best: it follows wise paths and gives good government.

Goods And Services Tax March 6th, 1996

Time to be true blue.

Immigration And Refugee Board December 14th, 1995

The hon. member, is yelling "which they do not have". I am thinking of some of the members of the IRB whom I have come in contact with at consultations and at meetings and whom I have seen both in my years as a member of Parliament and before. I am thinking of the expertise, the knowledge and the hard work. I am thinking of some of their constituents and of people across the country who work hard. It is really unfortunate that duly elected members of Parliament will say the kinds of things this crew is saying about very good members of the Immigration and Refugee Board. I say shame.

Departmental officials could be trained to do the job but current members are specifically selected because they already have the qualities the job calls for. By having an independent body we can specifically recruit the best people for the job.

I presented the reasons for having an Immigration and Refugee Board but now I would like to turn to recent changes we have made in the refugee system. My early assertion that we are fixing the system is no idle boast. Canada does not turn her back on those in need. That is a tradition we are proud of, a tradition the government is working to preserve.

We are not alone. The world forces of migration affect all countries. It is unfortunate again that the hon. members opposite do not take the opportunity from time to time to travel as members of Parliament, as representatives of Canada, and see why the United Nations has called this the greatest country in the world and to see what can only be described as a horror in certain parts of the world.

If they take that opportunity, as I hope they will in the limited time they have here, they will understand why we are so justly proud in Canada of our immigration and refugee programs.

The forces of world migration affect all countries. European nations are confronted with the same challenges we face. That is why the government is working hand in hand with foreign governments to find ways to address the root causes of migration.

International groups like the international organization on migration are an important vehicle for co-operation and for positive change. However, if we are to continue to be a welcoming country, and we will, a haven in a dark and oppressive world, we need a system that is efficient, fair and affordable.

Over the past few years we have heard concerns over the methods of appointment to the board and to some extent over the quality and consistency of decisions. We also realize the in Canada refugee determination system has to be streamlined to keep pace

with world developments. It is with this in mind that the Department of Citizenship and Immigration reviewed its policies over the last year and the minister introduced important changes.

Planned changes to the Immigration Act reduced the number of people on refugee hearing panels from two to one. The annual savings from this measure alone will be $5.7 million. This money will be targeted for the selection and settlement of refugees from abroad, and that is a good thing which I am proud of.

The minister announced the creation of an advisory committee to assist in the selection of all IRB members. This advisory committee will be chaired by Gordon Fairweather, a man whose name rings with integrity in this country.

These are only a few of the things we have done to change and improve the IRB. In Canada we are proud that we are generous. We are proud we have a full and fair refugee and immigration system.

I would like to say to you, Madam Speaker, to the members of the IRB and, in the spirit of generosity and the season, even to that lovely clack on the other side, and also to my good friend the hon. member for Bourassa, Merry Christmas.

Immigration And Refugee Board December 14th, 1995

Perhaps the word Liberal might rub off on the member yelling it, although I doubt it. To be Liberal is to be honourable and to care and to be open minded.

While the government has no interest in denying protection to those who need it, there is a requirement for justice to be done and for justice to be seen to be done. This means the possibility that decision makers are seen as simply doing the will of the government of the day must be avoided. That is why the creation of an independent body was seen to be so important. It reinforces both the reality and the perception of impartiality.

There is another compelling reason for having an independent body devoted to refugee determination status. This work calls for particular skills, for particular expertise. It requires a knowledge and understanding of refugee issues.

Immigration And Refugee Board December 14th, 1995

Someone said that is insulting. It was intended to be. I am glad the member grasped the intent as it was thrown across the floor.

That the IRB is not perfect does not mean we should close the doors and begin experimenting with alternative and very expensive forms of status determination. We do not throw out something without dealing with it. That is what we are doing. We are dealing with it and we are dealing with it well.

Since it was created in 1989, the board has evolved and grown to meet the changing needs of the times. Evolution and growth to meet changing needs of times I realize are things our hon. friends in the third party have a little difficulty with.

The challenge has been to maintain objectivity and efficiency in the system in the face of changing world conditions. We have made a lot of progress and we continue to do so.

Before I talk about what the government has done it might be best to remind my hon. colleague why we have an IRB in the first place. It was not an arbitrary invention. It evolved in response to some very concrete and important needs and concerns. This may come as an overwhelming flash to some of my friends in the House, but evolving in response to concrete needs and concerns is all in the process of good government.

First and foremost there were serious charter concerns raised about how we previously ran our refugee determination system. The charter of rights and freedoms provides that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person, and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. This is where we get serious, because those are magnificent words. They are words I am very proud of in the Canadian context.

In 1985 the Supreme Court ruled that refugee claimants are entitled to a hearing on the merits of their claim in accordance with the charter right to fundamental justice. The court pointed out in the Singh case that claimants had a right to an oral hearing before a decision maker where questions of credibility were at stake.

The opportunity to be heard is only one element of fundamental justice. Another is the importance of ensuring the decision maker is both unbiased and impartial; called rights of natural justice.

Immigration And Refugee Board December 14th, 1995

Madam Speaker, it gives me great delight to take part in the debate.

To the hon. member for Calgary Northeast, it appears from his comments he is almost as familiar with his material as he is with the facts. It warms me greatly to think of all those briefing sessions I attended with the hon. member in which clearly he did not get it.

It gives me great pleasure to stand in the House today and do something. It is always good when one gets to do the job one was born for. It is a delight for me to stand in the House today and attempt to cast a little light into the darkness that is the Reform Party policy in the whole area of immigration, in particular with regard to refugees and the Immigration and Refugee Board.

With regard to the board, it interests me that the hon. member and all in his party who can get their heads around the immigration question seem to think everything is supposed to be perfect. Never on this side do we claim it is perfect. We do, however, claim it is a very good system and it works well.

I am not sure, and I would never attempt to get into the so-called minds of my colleagues on the other side, what their actual thoughts are with regard to this.

Finance December 14th, 1995


Violence Against Women December 6th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, six years ago the unspeakable happened in Montreal. I want to pay special tribute to my former colleagues, Dawn Black and Mary Collins. Five years ago the House, in a rare show of unanimity, passed Ms. Black's private member's bill creating this day in perpetuity as a day of remembrance and action.

I would also like to pay tribute to the hon. member for Saint-Hubert. She is another individual who supports very strongly many of the measures which we fought for across party lines in the House.

Violence against women is a very special horror which this country deals with. It is not one which responds merely to platitudes. It is not one which responds to political responses with respect to social programs or gun-

Constitutional Amendments Act November 30th, 1995

That, Mr. Speaker, is unfortunate. I did not say anything about Quebec not welcoming immigrants. The province has a good immigration agreement with the federal government.

At no time did I suggest that immigrants were not welcome in the province of Quebec. I did make reference to the question of pure laine and by implication to the remarks by Mr. Parizeau. However, I do not by any means attribute those to Quebec and its history of welcoming immigrants.

It was unfortunate my colleague cast the kind of aspersions he did in his opening comments. It is clear that he looks the wrong way. He should have listened to my remarks. Perhaps he is not aware of it, but I am not from western Canada. I do not know what the situation was vis-à-vis the airlines.

I have flown to western Canada many times, to your city, Mr. Speaker, and to cities farther west. If the hon. member is not aware of it, even for $50 to get on a plane and fly from Vancouver or Calgary to Montreal, go to a rally for two hours, get back on a plane and fly back to Calgary or Vancouver is not a joy ride. It is exhausting, tiring and cramped. If it is not done out of love then there are thousands of people in western Canada who possibly need to have their heads examined for doing this.

The hon. member is really reaching when he suggests that people took advantage of cheaper air flights to have a good time in Montreal, not that Montreal is not a city where a wonderful time can be had. But I would suggest that very few people had the opportunity to do that on that Friday. Time schedules were very tight.

Second, as the hon. member heard me mention in my earlier remarks, my good friend, the fundraiser, raised all that money joyfully. People just rushed to contribute. Many people from Nova Scotia came at no cost at all because the money was raised by contributing businesses in Nova Scotia. Again, those people did not have any time to enjoy the benefits of Montreal. They went to

speak from their hearts to their love of country and their love of Quebec.