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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was system.

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

Won her last election, in 1993, with 55% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Fisheries February 22nd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to offer my firm support to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in his efforts to conserve Greenland halibut and turbot.

The European Union has launched a formal objection to the quota decision of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization. It was the European Union's use of this objection procedure in the late 1980s that led to the moratoria on flatfish and cod on the tail of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

Even as scientific findings showed evidence of stock decline, the Spanish ignored all warnings and actually increased their fishing efforts.

The NAFO decision is the result of a vote by the world's major fishing nations: Japan, Russia, Norway, Iceland, Cuba and Canada. Its findings are based on conservation, science and traditional shares.

It is irresponsible for the European Union to play by the rules only when the rules are in its own favour. We cannot allow further destruction of Canada's fisheries resources while communities such as those in my riding of St. John's West are suffering economic devastation in the name of conservation.

Petitions December 2nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw to the attention of the House a petition signed by residents of the regions of St. Mary's, The Capes and Whitbourne area in the province of Newfoundland in the riding of St. John's West. I fully support this petition which reads as follows.

"We the undersigned residents of the province of Newfoundland draw the attention of the House to the following: That there is a severe unemployment problem in this area of our province causing great hardship to many residents. Therefore, your petitioners call upon Parliament to provide emergency response funding to provide employment in the short term to alleviate this hardship".

Reform Party Of Canada November 28th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, last week when the Reform Party of Canada announced its proposed cuts to the federal budget, the most draconian cuts ever proposed in the history of Canada, the leader of the Reform Party had the nerve to claim that these cuts focused on non-social spending.

By calling for a 25 per cent reduction in the budget of CMHC, Reform Party members are calling for the federal government to break hundreds of federal-provincial contracts and agreements as well as thousands of contracts with public and private non-profits and co-operatives across Canada. They are also calling for cuts in social spending in the worst areas, affecting the poorest of the poor.

They are kicking those most in need, the poor, the old, the young, the disabled, single mothers and aboriginals, out into the streets. The Reform Party is saying to people whose annual income is on the average less than $12,000: "Get out of social housing and out on to the street corners".

This would have the effect of reducing the federal share of the shelter by 25 per cent.

Department Of Public Works And Government Services Act October 26th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to the bill today.

The basic mandate of the Department of Public Works and Government Services is "to provide cost effective and efficient delivery of common services to government departments and agencies". This seemingly simple statement of responsibilities in fact represents an enormous challenge, given that the department must deliver a vast range of diverse products and services to more than 150 federal departments and agencies with physical locations scattered all across Canada.

The department bears much of the responsibility for fulfilling our government's directive that the administration of its operations must be made more efficient and that waste and duplication must be rooted out throughout the service.

As the primary provider of common services for the government it must take a lead role in meeting the government's goals in that respect. I think this is a good argument for the amalgamation and centralization of common services for which the department was formed, and for the bill which will give legislative force to its operations.

In pursuit of its mandate Public Works and Government Services must try to achieve greater levels of both standardization and flexibility in its operations. Standardization in such areas as communications systems, procurement processes and so forth can make a real and positive contribution to reducing administrative costs throughout government. In its service to client departments, Public Works and Government Services must also strive to be as flexible as possible so as to address the real needs and to respond quickly and effectively to them.

One of the techniques used by the department to give it flexibility of action, which has been carried forward from previous legislation, is the use of revolving funds. A revolving fund is essentially a revenue spending authority. It is a standing authority like a line of credit which given to the organization enables it to use its revenues to pay all or a portion of its expenditures.

The objective is that all revenues will equal all expenditures over time. It is the continuous authority to draw on the consolidated revenue fund up to a specified limit, as opposed to an annual appropriation of cash. Revolving funds are particularly useful in facilitating large scale, multi-year projects, the type of projects Public Works and Government Services Canada frequently undertakes in the service of its clients.

Bill C-52 provides for the transfer of six such revolving funds from their existing legislation with no change in their terms and conditions. These include architectural, engineering and reality services; consulting and audit Canada; the Canada Communication Group; government telecommunications and informatic services; optional services; and the defence production revolving fund.

In addition the bill establishes one new revolving fund for the disposition of real property. The new real property disposition revolving fund is being established to permit the repayment of expenditures made in the disposal of real property from the proceeds. At present parliamentary appropriations are used to fund these expenditures.

As members are aware, the new department and one of its predecessors, Public Works Canada, have been quite active over the past few years in disposing of unwanted and unneeded federal property which represented an unnecessary cost to the Canadian taxpayer. The establishment of the revolving fund will streamline and simplify the administration of this process in the future.

The Minister of Public Works and Government Services was recently made aware of certain practices within the Canada Communication Group in which the revolving fund was used to carry over funding from one fiscal year to another.

The minister responded quickly to deal with this problem. Working in conjunction with Treasury Board the minister took a number of steps to rectify the situation, including identifying and confirming the exact amount of funds that had been deferred for each department, invoicing departments for expenditures already made against these funds in the current year, immediately taking steps to return these funds to the consolidated revenue fund as a refund of expenditures for prior years, conducting a refund of all the revolving funds in the department, and instituting a series of processes and systems to improve management control over them.

The speed and decisiveness with which the minister responded to this problem attests to the government's absolute determination to govern with integrity and to take every possible measure to restore public confidence in the way in which government conducts its business. It also provides a good example of the value of amalgamating the government's common services within one portfolio.

In dealing with the situation the minister was not only able to correct the particular problem that had occurred in one area but also to take steps to ensure that similar problems could not arise in other similar operations within his department.

The new Department of Public Works and Government Services has demonstrated in its first year of operation that it is as valid and viable operation. It has already saved taxpayers' money by the elimination of duplication. It provides one-stop shopping for its client departments and a central focal point for suppliers and contractors to government. It has controlled a valuable body of specialized expertise in government administration and improved the government's ability to serve Canadians efficiently and effectively.

Juanita Lester October 26th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, it seems that we have a number of firsts by women today.

I want to congratulate Juanita Lester a constituent of St. John's West who is today being inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame. She is the first woman from Newfoundland to be granted this honour.

Having been involved in the family farm business for over 40 years and being an active participant in a wide range of farm related activities, Juanita Lester has had a career featuring many achievements.

Dedicated involvement with the Provincial Farm Women's Network, the Avalon Farm Women's Association and the Newfoundland and Labrador Farm Women's Network are only a few of her accomplishments.

Ms. Lester has served on the executive of the Provincial Farm Women's Association and is past president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture. She is presently serving on the Women's Institute, the food and livestock and agricultural training committees.

Congratulations Juanita. I am very pleased Juanita has been given this special honour.

Patrick And Elizabeth October 19th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, tragedy has once again stricken the residents of St. John's West.

It is with great sorrow that I rise in this House to inform members of a tragic loss of life. On Thursday, October 13 the vessel Patrick and Elizabeth was lost off the coast of Newfoundland with all five crew aboard. A massive search failed to turn up any signs of survival.

I express our deep sympathy to those families mourning the loss of Captain Patrick Coady of St. John's, crew members Edward Barry, Gerald Goldsworthy, and Mark Traverse of the Placentia area, and Wayne Giles of Southern Harbour.

My deepest sympathy.

Argentia Naval Base September 28th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, this week the U.S. naval base at Argentia, Newfoundland closed its doors. The negative impact of this closure on the historic town of Placentia will be far reaching. In addition to the number of people who will lose their jobs, we will have to deal with the severe economic impact on the business community as well as social and, last but by no means least, the environmental concerns.

I want to express my gratitude to this government and particularly to the minister of fisheries for their positive response to my efforts on behalf of the people of Placentia area.

I want also to assure the residents of Placentia that I will continue my efforts on their behalf in making sure that there is a very rigorous campaign to address the redevelopment and reuse of the base facilities.

Child Support June 2nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the Secretary of State for the Status of Women announced the details of the government's plans to consult with Canadians about the taxation of child support payments.

In the past few weeks I have received many letters from my constituents wanting to see the present system changed. I would like to take this opportunity to urge the people in my riding to share their views with the government.

This government has prepared discussion points for people to read and they can offer their views right on the document and fax their presentation to Ottawa toll free.

Many parents face a daily battle to make ends meet because of inadequate or late child support payments. This government is concerned and wants to help. I encourage residents of St. John's West to call my office and obtain a copy of the discussion paper and share their concerns directly with this government.

Supply June 2nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his comments and his speech, and for the many comments that he made about inter-regional solidarity and co-operation between regions.

I ask the hon. member whether he feels that this same kind of co-operation must exist between provinces, particularly between Quebec and other parts of Canada, and that in fact the Bloc is the very reason that this kind of co-operation does not exist right now and that its philosophy and the way it wants to handle the government is one of the reasons that the solidarity that we need is not now there.

Fisheries May 25th, 1994

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

On May 12 amendments to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act received royal assent. This legislation will allow Canada to take action against foreign fishing vessels fishing contrary to conservation measures on the Grand Banks outside Canada's 200-mile limit.

Can the minister advise this House when and how we can expect to see this measure enforced?