House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was process.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Reform MP for Surrey North (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 1993, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Tobacco Products February 4th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

The issue of whether to lower cigarette taxes is especially complex and divisive because there are many other issues involved, including health care and crime to name but two.

Since the convictions of members on this issue do not follow party lines, will the Deputy Prime Minister allow members of her government to vote on cigarette taxes without considering it a confidence vote?

Social Security System February 2nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, first I will comment on the health forum. It is not a new role that we are looking at in relation to gathering data on health problems or situations. In my address I said that there were already a great number of people out there who have seen the deficiency in the economic situation, have already been conducting studies on it and have

been offering recommendations either at a federal or provincial level. I have named two such groups.

Instead of reinventing the wheel over the next few months, we must make sure that these groups are part of the national health forum and that many other new ideas are brought forth from other groups or forums such as the ones the member is talking about. Maybe this is something that we should all be looking at to get the data. However there are people out there already who have some tremendous ideas that certainly should be in front of the forum.

As far as the five basic principles of the health care program are concerned, I do not think anybody is arguing them. They are the basis for Canadians having one of the best health care programs in the world. User fees come into it as they are a component of one or more of those five principles. That aspect goes more to the management of achieving those five components and providing the service than being one of the five components.

Social Security System February 2nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his comments on my first speech. I would also like to say that possibly we are saying the same thing but using different words.

I agree with him that today and in the past the emphasis has been on men in health care. I personally can recall that the average height of a human being when I was studying was that of the average man and at that time he was considered to be 5 feet, 7 inches tall.

What I am saying is that the component of women and women's needs have not been addressed. It should be seen as a weakness in our overall assessment or how we are approaching health care. Instead of looking at this as being a special area it should be looked at as being part of the whole. At the present time we are much better with our approach toward the male body than we are to the female body.

My fear is that we may go through the next 100 years by putting women's health before men's. Let us get matters even and look at it as a whole. There are two sexes.

Social Security System February 2nd, 1994

It is a privilege and a great honour to stand and address the House. Again I would like to thank the citizens of Surrey North for providing me with this opportunity.

Also, Mr. Speaker, I offer my congratulations to you on your successful appointment to the position of Deputy Speaker in the House of Commons. It is a challenging role at the best of times but even more so now, with over 200 brand-new members of Parliament here. I am confident that we will receive the guidance and direction needed to participate successfully in the ways of the House. I wish you every success in that role.

Today I will address health care. Specifically I will direct my remarks to the national forum on health and to women regarding health. My remarks on both topics will be brief and general in nature in order to comment on both today.

First I would like to congratulate the hon. member on her appointment to the position of Minister of Health. I wish her success in her new and challenging role.

Since health care is a major interest of mine, I shall be following closely the activities of the government in this field. I can assure the minister I will assist her to meet the health care challenges ahead by providing constructive criticism and alternate options whenever it seems necessary.

I commend the government on its decision to recognize health care as a high-priority social program. I think very few, if anyone, could find fault with that decision. Its agreement to continue to support and fund this program is encouraging news, and its objective to seek more efficient ways to spend our tax dollars in this field is even better news.

The question before us is the nature and effects of these more efficient ways. The establishment of a forum on health as a vehicle to gather data from as many sources as possible, to identify these more efficient ways, has been mentioned by the government in its red book, in the speech from the throne and in the minister's speech here last Friday, to name but a few occasions.

I think we can safely say that this will come to pass in the near future. It seems a main objective of this forum is not to change from the five main principles of our health care system, but to identify alternate methods or to streamline the existing ones so as to allow us to continue with and even enhance our health care programs while maintaining these five main principles.

In her speech the Minister of Health offered some suggestions as to how this may be achieved, and many of her suggestions are echoed by other groups such as the Canadian Nurses Association. In a brief prepared by this association entitled Nurses Make a Difference, reference is made to such things as better use of health resources, greater public involvement, more equitable access and so forth.

I understand there is a project presently under way at the University of Ottawa that is being funded by both federal and provincial funding sources as well as from some professional associations and private enterprise sources. This group is examining specifically cost effectiveness in our health care system and is also offering suggestions or recommendations, some of which are very similar to those made in the speech by the Minister of Health.

Opinions and options about health care have been expressed by health care professionals, other professional groups, the general public and our colleagues in this and other Houses across the nation. Potential solutions range from managing our resources better, changing the structure of transfer payments, increasing the provincial jurisdiction over health, and increasing public awareness, to name a few.

I welcome the decision to establish a national forum on health care so that these and other possible options can be identified and debated to produce a solution to our economic difficulties in maintaining a high standard of health care for all Canadians.

I return to the Canadian Nurses Association brief once more. It also mentions the need for national health goals, and that nurses and nursing associations across our country support this. It seems that in September 1991 an agreement was obtained from the federal, provincial and territorial ministers of health to establish a process to develop national health goals. To date little action, if any at all, has been taken to this end. I recommend to the Minister of Health that the development of national health goals become another objective for the national forum on health.

I shall now turn to my second topic. Reference has been made to women as having special conditions or requiring special attention in the health care field. The Minister of Health said: "Women do have special conditions, from osteoporosis to menopause, and they merit equal attention from research to treatment, to care and prevention." One could say the same thing about men, by changing two words, women to men, and menopause to prostate.

I caution our use of the word special in this context. Special tends to imply a situation or circumstance that differs from the norm or status quo. The normal composition of the human race is female and male or women and men. The biological nature of the body structure and, to some extent, the physiological aspects are the reasons for the two categories or components.

I advocate that neither one of these components, the male or the female, should be seen as special unto itself, but both should be seen as equal parts of the whole of the human race, and that our health care system should be addressing the needs of the

human race as a whole by meeting the needs of both components and not singling out one over the other.

Today we recognize this as a weak area in our health care programs, a weakness in the sense that our main focus has been and still is more on one component than the other. I believe that applying the word special to this weak area in our system, in this case the programs for women, will lead to approximately half the Canadian population being seen as a special needs group, a special interest group or possibly even a minority group. Such a concept will be detrimental in successfully achieving equal status for and equal attention to the needs of both sexes, genders or components, and thus the entire human race. I repeat that we should use caution when using the word special so as not to single out one component or sex over the other.

My time for speaking is slipping away rather quickly it seems. In closing I would remind the government that the promotion of health and the prevention of disease must continue to be the major focus in our deliberations on our health care programs.

I also advise the government to employ a wellness approach versus an illness approach as we seek solutions to manage our health care resources more efficiently and effectively. In this time of fiscal restraint we face many challenges in our nation and an efficient health care program is but one, and a very important one, for the well-being of all Canadians.

National Forum On Health Care January 31st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I express my thanks to the voters of Surrey North who chose me as their representative in the House. I also congratulate the many new MPs whose presence here reflects the desire of the Canadian people for a real and lasting change.

This Parliament is going to face many new challenges. As a member of the nursing profession the challenge I am most familiar with is that of health care in Canada. Therefore I welcomed the government's announcement in the throne speech of a national forum on health.

I believe a frank and open dialogue is necessary to ensure the survival of our health care system, and I look forward to participating in this dialogue. Debates on health care are never easy. I hope when we approach the enormous task of examining Canada's health care system that members will do so with an open mind.