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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was atlantic.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Fundy Royal (New Brunswick)

Lost her last election, in 2019, with 26% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act November 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her interest in the dairy industry. As members may know, Fundy Royal is considered the dairy centre of the Maritimes and is something in which I am certainly very invested as well.

As I said, the farmers absolutely were pleased that there is a level of commitment toward the dairy industry and progress in the industry in the future. The details of such have not been forthcoming yet, but there certainly has been a show of good will. Over the last several months, the minister has met with many stakeholders in the dairy industry, and they certainly are pleased that their concerns are being heard and addressed.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act November 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague across the way for his question and for his commitment to the dairy industry.

I think this government has been very clear that we are very invested in the dairy industry and its success. I recently had the opportunity to meet with dairy farmers in my riding of Fundy Royal to talk about what the future looked like. I was very proud that they are very focused on the future of the industry, looking at measures that will strengthen the industry.

In fact, they are very pleased with the investment that this government has committed to, $250 million for producers and another $100 million for processors. These are the very things that will improve the dairy industry in Atlantic Canada, and I am pleased with the moves we are making.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act November 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, our government believes that the Canada-EU comprehensive economic and trade agreement will lead to increased prosperity in Canada, create good-paying jobs, and strengthen the middle class. Most importantly, it will do so in a fair and responsible way.

I believe we can all agree that the opening of new markets has the potential to increase Canadian wealth. Our country's small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up the majority of Canada's exporters, are looking for our government to open up new markets, and our government is committed to this goal.

SMEs employ some 10 million Canadians, or nearly 90% of Canada's total private sector workforce. These businesses can benefit most from better access in international markets, secured through free trade agreements. Stakeholders from across the country and a wide range of economic sectors continue to tell us to help them to grow. New export sales improve economies of scale, thereby reducing risk, lowering costs, and increasing profits.

In my riding of Fundy Royal in New Brunswick, SMEs will benefit significantly from CETA. The EU is already New Brunswick's second largest export destination and fourth largest trading partner. This agreement would eliminate tariffs on almost all of New Brunswick's key exports, in addition to opening up new market opportunities.

New Brunswick's fish and seafood sector is a vibrant and diversified industry. Eliminating tariffs on value-added goods like cooked and peeled shrimp, frozen cod fillets, and processed crab and lobster will make these goods more competitive in the EU, allowing New Brunswick processors to sell more of their goods and create new jobs. By the opening of new markets and increased access within the EU, Canada's world-class fish and seafood industry would have a competitive advantage from CETA that would benefit workers in the fish and seafood sector from coast to coast, including workers in New Brunswick's exceptional fish industry.

Of the EU's more than 9,000 tariff lines, approximately 98% will be duty free for Canadian goods when CETA comes into force. Almost all of the remaining tariff lines will be eliminated when the agreement is fully implemented. This will translate into increased profits and market opportunities for Canadian businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, and in every part of the country.

CETA will provide Canadian companies with a first-mover advantage in the EU market over competitors from markets like the U.S., which do not have a trade agreement in place with the EU. It will allow Canadian businesses to establish customer relationships, networks, and joint projects first. CETA also offers Canadian SMEs the opportunity to be part of a broader global supply chain anchored in the EU.

One of the most important complements to creating these advantageous conditions for SMEs is to encourage companies to pursue these new opportunities aggressively. Our government is committed to developing trade agreement implementation plans to help Canadian businesses take advantage of the opportunities that flow from these agreements. It is because our government realizes that some Canadian businesses are not aware of the potential opportunities provided by CETA that plans have been developed to promote recently concluded agreements, with SMEs specifically in mind. As a small business owner, I know personally that SMEs often lack the time and resources to inform themselves of game-changing international business developments, such as free trade agreements. As a result, they may not pursue the advantages created by the agreements.

The promotion of new FTAs follows a common, three-part approach. First, we are ensuring that information is available through the web and information seminars for business audiences organized with provincial, territorial, and private sector partners. We have recently launched a new CETA web page, geared toward Canadian businesses, which links to information on export opportunities by sector and member state; explains the public procurement processes in the EU; provides a detailed guide to doing business in the EU; and provides information about events and testimonials from businesses that have already had success in the EU, as well as a guide to finding the tariff rate for Canadian goods. Eventually, an FTA tariff finder will provide tariff information for all of Canada's FTA partners.

We are also undertaking proactive initiatives to reach out to Canadian businesses across the country, and from our missions within the EU, in co-operation with our provincial partners, as well as Export Development Canada, and the Business Development Bank of Canada.

We are launching a series of business outreach events featuring technical experts in CETA who can advise business participants in detail about CETA's provisions and the market access improvements it brings.

Second, we are ensuring through training that our team supporting international business development—be they our trade commissioners in Canada or abroad, other federal government departments or agencies, or our provincial and territorial partners—are fully familiar with the free trade agreements, so that they can advise clients of the opportunities they bring.

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service has 26 points of service based in our diplomatic missions in the EU to support Canadian businesses wanting to access the market. They offer invaluable assistance to those wanting to do so, through market advice and intelligence. Earlier in 2016 we began building the capacity of our trade commissioners to advise their business clients on CETA, through training sessions on the agreement.

Third, following a detailed assessment, we will work with specialized industry associations and identify priority sectors to increase the interest and knowledge among exporters. This more focused, hands-on approach should lead to higher exports in these high-opportunity areas.

We have consulted with a number of sectoral business associations to explore the development of sectoral strategies, which would identify actions needing to be taken by the private sector to advance export growth. This is in addition to sources of assistance from all levels of support for trade missions and trade fairs, market intelligence from the trade commissioners network, and programs from other government agencies to support product development or expansion capacity.

This more intensive engagement with firms to help them pursue opportunities generated by free trade agreements is what we term "FTA aftercare". Consultations with the private sector are continuing, and a limited number of sectors will be identified to develop a pilot approach.

The promotion of CETA's benefits to the Canadian business community is very much the government's priority, given the range of opportunities that the EU and its market of more than 500 million consumers offer. We recognize that the EU market, despite its size and the significant market access improvements CETA delivers, requires a considerable degree of preparation for exporters, particularly for new-to-market SMEs.

CETA is indeed the most progressive trade agreement ever negotiated. It would lead to increased prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic, create well-paying jobs, and help strengthen the middle class. This agreement clearly provides the advantages that our industries are seeking in expanding their footprint internationally and does so in a fair and responsible manner that would benefit Canadian society as a whole. This is why it is so important for Canada to implement the CETA agreement as soon as possible.

Immigration to Atlantic Canada October 26th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleagues for their thoughtful perspectives and overwhelming support for the efforts to increase immigration in Atlantic Canada. This debate in the House of Commons has drawn attention to this critical call for action, as Atlantic Canadians look for ways to achieve a more prosperous future, a future that allows for the repatriation of our youth, economic growth, and sustainability of communities throughout the region. Immigration will play a role in the outcome of all of these factors.

I would also like to thank the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship for his friendly amendment to Motion No. 39, which recognizes the challenges associated with the retention of newcomers to Atlantic Canada. I am pleased with his amendment and, to respond to my hon. colleague from Calgary Nose Hill, it would broaden the scope of the study for the committee. I also want to thank her for her comments today and her extensive work on this file. I think the study of retention is incredibly important and would add to the study of the Atlantic growth strategy. The member may not be familiar with the strategy, which was conceived by the 32 MPs from Atlantic Canada and supported by the government. It is essential that Parliament see the effect of this strategy.

By studying factors that increase the retention rates of newcomers, the committee would not only contribute to the success of the government's Atlantic Canada immigration pilot, a component of the Atlantic growth strategy, but would also provide a point of reference for best practices. The practices can then be shared across Canada, knowing that national demographic projections show that all regions in Canada will be impacted by an aging population. Atlantic Canada is facing that impact first.

I believe that best retention practices will include much broader actions in government policy. Increased retention will only happen when communities, employers, and individuals take steps to ensure that newcomer families will not only be settled into their work life, but also be involved in their communities. Extra efforts need to be made in rural areas to help newcomers develop support systems, which happen a little more naturally in urban areas with larger immigrant communities.

In the course of this debate, my colleagues have raised concerns about protecting the French language. I agree that we need to pay special attention to francophone immigrants who settle in the Atlantic provinces, particularly in my province, New Brunswick, which is Canada's only bilingual province.

New Brunswick's official languages commissioner says that Ottawa and the Government of New Brunswick must maintain the proportions of francophone and Acadian communities. She says that immigration is the only way to grow Canada's population and that New Brunswick's francophone population is no exception.

During the course of this debate, I have also heard concerns from my colleagues about the temporary foreign worker program and the provincial nominee program, with the suggestion that this pilot was introduced without consultation. This government has consulted and listened to Canadians, and it certainly has consulted with the Atlantic provinces. I am confident that the government will deliver based on the feedback received, and I look forward to the announcement of immigration levels on November 1.

I am also proud that the government's immigration pilot program was announced in July and was developed with the premiers of Atlantic Canada. It is designed to work in concert with the existing programs that are already contributing to the economic and demographic stability of the Atlantic region.

I was fortunate enough to be part of the Minister of Immigration's consultations with industry. I also know he has met with the premiers and economic advisers. All have confirmed that we need to grow the workforce in a targeted way that supports long-term sustainability. The growth of the economy will require more aggressive means than the provincial nominee program and the use of temporary foreign workers.

Historically, Canada has prospered when immigration was part of the plan for economic development. Studying the best ways to attract and retain immigrants in Atlantic Canada will benefit the entire country.

I am pleased to have brought this debate to the House of Commons, and to have provided the opportunity for parliamentarians to make a significant difference in the lives of my constituents of Fundy Royal, of Atlantic Canadians, and of all Canadians. When Atlantic Canada does better, all of Canada does better. To that end, I ask my colleagues of the House to support Motion No. 39.

Business of Supply October 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for the work she is doing with Standing Committee on International Trade. I understand that the committee travelled to Atlantic Canada this fall.

I wonder if the member could tell us of any feedback that she received from the industry in Atlantic Canada about trade, and specifically the upcoming agreement?

War Brides October 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, as we reflect this month on women in history, I am reminded of the impact of war brides in our communities.

Thousands came from Britain, including my great-grandmother and my husband's grandmother. Others came from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, and Germany.

Whether they crossed the U-boat-infested waters of the North Atlantic in troop ships, or arrived after the war with children in tow, we can only imagine their challenges as they dispersed across our great country to begin their new lives.

Ruby Gray, who celebrates her 95th birthday tomorrow, is one of these brave women. She came to Canada to spend her life with her beloved Albert, but over time she touched so many more lives.

Because of her, Sussex now has a Relay For Life. Because of her, the Little Jackie Fund helps children with orthodontic challenges. Because of her, I saw the power of women in politics when she served as deputy mayor of our town.

I thank Ruby for her significant contribution to the history of Canada. We all wish her a happy 95th birthday.

British Home Children September 28th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I stand here today to remember the sacrifices and contributions made by British home children in the building of our great nation. It is estimated that 10% of Canadians are descendants of these home children. A large number of those descendants live in New Brunswick and in my riding of Fundy Royal.

Between 1868 and the 1930s, over 100,000 British boys and girls were sent to Canada for a brighter future. Some were orphans and many were poor. Once in Canada, many home children were sent to live on farms. Some found loving families, but others unfortunately suffered neglect, abuse, and intense loneliness.

There are monuments erected in several provinces in commemoration of these sacrifices, including one in New Brunswick at King's Landing Historical Settlement.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to opportunity to share this piece of our history with the House and to remember the sacrifices made by British home children.

Immigration to Atlantic Canada September 23rd, 2016

Madam Speaker, I do consent to this amendment.

Immigration to Atlantic Canada September 23rd, 2016

Madam Speaker, my colleague asked what the government was going to do. The motion really is not about that. It is about asking the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration to look at ways of increasing immigration. I agree that we need to look at the francophone population as well and any specifics with respect to that, but this is about a study by the committee.

Immigration to Atlantic Canada September 23rd, 2016

Madam Speaker, there is a real opportunity here for the committee to study retention. Lets fact the fact. We cannot just attract people. We need to study the ways in which we can retain them in our communities, and the way that the communities need to be involved in this resettlement. We know that immigrants are most likely to stay in the areas where they arrive when they are welcomed and provided support. Sometimes that is as easy as a drop-in visit to see how they are doing, ensuring that the support is there for their families, and that their children are welcomed in the schools.

I have to look back at the refugee project that the country has undertaken as a real success story and how communities have shown that they are very excited to do this for newcomers. There have been many wonderful stories about how they have welcomed refugees into the communities. I look forward to the committee study on that as well.