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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was cbc.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Mississauga East—Cooksville (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2008, with 50% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Old Age Security June 20th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the fifth actuarial report on old age security was tabled in the House. We learned that our old age security payments will increase from $25 billion to $93 billion annually in just 25 years.

These payments to nearly eight million retired Canadians will be made from general tax revenue. The cost of OAS will grow almost 40% faster than total employment earnings.

Having conquered the challenge of the deficit, it is time that we begin setting aside part of our current surplus to pay for future retirement costs and prevent destructive tax increases or cuts in our seniors' benefits.

Canadians who have paid a lifetime of taxes deserve and expect that their old age security will be secured by government foresight.

Health May 30th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, last week the government of Ontario announced that heart surgery programs in the cities of London and Ottawa will be terminated and children will be shifted to Toronto for treatment. Some parents now face a four hour commute to be near their critically ill children, adding even more financial and emotional strain on already challenged families.

These are parents who are struggling to keep jobs and businesses while trying to be at the side of a sick family member. The closure of these regional heart surgery centres is just the latest evidence that health services in Ontario are failing to give proper regard to the needs of patients' families.

I would ask our Minister of Health to register her objection to these closures and to investigate ways the federal government can ensure that Canadians are not kept at an unreasonable distance from critical health services.

Jim Coutts December 4th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, today a great Liberal who made an indelible contribution to the success of the Pearson and Trudeau governments will be honoured with the Order of Canada.

Nanton born Jim Coutts was principal secretary to Prime Minister Trudeau during the years that defined our Liberal concept of social justice. In the time that I worked for Jim in 1983 and 1984 he demonstrated a genuine connection with the struggles of people trying to get a foothold in the country and become contributors to the economy.

His personal efforts and many charitable pursuits evidenced that the public policies he propelled were motivated by human concerns more than politics. In his book A Canada that works for everyone: changing the way we look at our future , he wrote in 1984:

There is an opportunity this year to examine two of our most fundamental national concerns: How to make the economic pie bigger and how to divide a bigger pie more fairly.

These goals defined his political party and continue to resonate today.

Vic De Zen November 27th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, Canada was built by attracting skills, energy and talent from around the world with the promise of boundless opportunity and a quality of life that has no equal. One Canadian life history epitomizes the struggles and successes that are the Canadian dream for so many newcomers.

Vic De Zen, a tool and die maker, arrived in Canada in 1962 with little English, little money and few immediate prospects. Within 10 years he founded Royal Group Technologies, a company employing over 8,000 people that has made Canadians proud at home and abroad.

Vic De Zen has not only contributed to Canadian society. He has reached beyond the borders of his country to show how Canadian ingenuity can raise living standards and environmental conditions for struggling people in developing countries around the world who can now build secure futures from secure homes.

Vic De Zen's belief in Canada has brought this country esteem and gratitude from across the globe.

Attack on the United States September 17th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, what is left to say to that comment but ditto? I could not agree more. I think the House will certainly find a way to ensure that our police officers and firefighters are suitably equipped to fight the ordeals and challenges that we face ahead.

Attack on the United States September 17th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his comments. There is no doubt in my mind that the government must resolve to fulfill its commitment to eradicating terrorism. We heard earlier from the former solicitor general who said the government has a responsibility. We have heard from the parliamentary secretary to the justice minister who said there will be a comprehensive plan in place to deal with terrorism. I think the collective will of the House will forge the right policies for the country.

There is no doubt in my mind that Canadians have had an illusion shattered in recent days and will demand and expect a robust response from their government and their parliament.

Attack on the United States September 17th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, six days ago the most devastating attack ever against the free world rendered our world far less free. No longer are we free to fly without a credible fear of hijacking, no longer are we free to travel anywhere any time without extended delays at the border or security check-ins.

We are no longer free to presume that everyone who enters our country is here to pursue a better life. We are definitely no longer free to take for granted the role of our firefighters and police officers, some of whom from my region have gone to New York to help at the scene.

The United States has paid an enormous price for leading the free world. Thousands of people left for work last Tuesday worrying only about their job, the economy and family bills. Horror and death awaited so many who had no idea that they were at war. Thousands of family members wait and hope. Time is needed to mourn the dead and then the free world must act to protect the living.

The terrible tragedy and loss of life in New York has been called an attack on America, but Canada is far from immune to the virus of terrorism that is infecting the globe.

For the first time terrorism from the Middle East has drawn the blood of civilians in the United States. We have seen suicide attacks against civilian target groups in Israel, Egypt and in western Europe. We have even seen an Egyptian airliner take off from New York and then be driven into the sea by a suicidal pilot, again not that long ago. For some reason we thought we were safe in North America. Terrorism was viewed as a distant threat that was only raised by alarmists.

Today we realize that our security was an illusion. We were protected more by chance than by choice. Now, as Dick Cheney said yesterday, we would be absolute fools to not protect ourselves from the credible threat that we now know has always existed.

Canadians quickly understood that the threat against the United States could quickly find Canadian targets in range. I know that within hours of the attack at least one major Canadian company convened a meeting to discuss whether it might also be a target before continuing its Toronto operations. Simply remaining at work was now considered to pose enough risk that it was at least worthy of discussion at the highest levels.

Today Canadians are faced with a disturbing choice. We can defy the goals of the terrorists who resist constraints to our freedom, changes to our laws and stifling security measures. Alternatively, we can accept that our world has changed and our open and almost casual concept of national security is now a threat to our freedom and no longer its hallmark.

President Bush has repeatedly said that the United States is already at war, but this is a war where people are in fact the principal weapons. The men responsible for last Tuesday's tragedy brought only themselves to North America. Immigration would have found nothing in their bags or backgrounds to stop many from entering the country. Yet these men were the most dangerous of weapons, and efforts to keep them out of North America will be the top priority of U.S. law enforcement for the foreseeable future.

The restrictions on the U.S. border to Canada will likely be proportional to the laxness that Americans perceive in our entry requirements. With our country entirely dependent on the free movement of goods across the U.S. border, tougher border security could become the greatest trade barrier we have ever faced. If American plants cannot rely on Canadian shipments getting across the border on time, they will simply switch suppliers with immense consequences.

To prevent this hardship, Canada must demonstrate to the United States that it would be as hard or harder for a terrorist to get into Canada than to go directly to the United States. This inevitably requires changes to our immigration, refugee and visitor visa policies.

We know that the vast majority of immigrants and visitors to Canada come from countries where no realistic terrorist risk exists or has ever existed. We must make sure the current crisis does not restrict the flow of talent, skills and investment from new immigrants on whom we rely for so much of our growth. As well, we must not simply cut off Canadian citizens from their relatives abroad through the widespread denial of visitors permits.

We already have very restrictive visa rules when it comes to people who it is feared will stay and work in Canada. Among the targets of deportation in recent months was a Polish family who had come here, built a business, employed six people and never taken a dime from our social services. Their deportation, while devastating for the children involved, was also a loss for Canada as good, contributing business people were lost.

Conversely, a terrorist by the name of Ressam was never deported and would still be here were it not for U.S. border guards finding explosives in his trunk. We clearly need to change our focus.

It is more than apparent that air travel to Canada from overseas will need to be subject to meaningful security measures. The fact that people can arrive at Pearson airport without any documentation and claim refugee status is an indication of the level of security we impose overseas.

Clearly no one can now be allowed to board a plane bound for Canada without at least a cursory security check, and everyone will need documentation. We must now consider foreign airports as entry points into Canada and establish immigration security checkpoints, much like the United States has at Pearson airport today.

These measures will not make us safe. We cannot stop a determined person from getting to Canada or the United States, but at least it must be a robust and comprehensive effort.

The aftermath of the World Trade Center has brought into question the respect with which we treat our own emergency personnel. In many policy debates of late, firefighters and police officers have too often been treated as regular workers whose pay and pensions must be restricted because every other group of workers would expect the same.

In New York we saw that the job of police and fire crews is not like any other job. While people with other jobs fled down the stairs of the World Trade Center to safety, firefighters were racing up into harm's way and indeed their own deaths.

It is common to salute the bravery and sacrifice of firefighters and police at times of great crisis when their lives are lost in great numbers. I call on members of the House to demonstrate the same respect to the thousands of Canadians who have the courage to sign up to be the first at the scene of any disaster and whose willingness to risk all keeps the rest of us safe.

The attack on America touched every Canadian. We saw the trauma. We shared the fear. We shared the loss and we learned an important lesson. We learned that security that is taken for granted can be taken away.

Petitions May 17th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, thanks to the tireless efforts of Ms. Carolyn Dazé, I have the honour to present a petition signed by some 10,000 individuals from across Ontario concerning the current inadequate state of Canada's laws dealing with cruelty to animals. Inspired by a recent act of brutality to a dog in Bewdley, Ontario, the petitioners call on the Government of Canada to enact into law significant increases in penalties for those persons convicted of cruelty to animals.

The Economy February 8th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, through the efforts of all Canadians we are enjoying some of the best economic conditions in over a decade. The unemployment rate was 6.8% in January, the lowest level since April 1976.

This is the largest decline in unemployment under the leadership of any Canadian government in over 50 years. Over 1.7 million new jobs have been created since the Liberal government took office in 1993.

Every Canadian is a part of this success: the lowest unemployment rate for women since 1974, 5.5%; for young people since 1990, 12.5%. With 16 consecutive months of economic growth the Canadian economy is experiencing the longest uninterrupted surge forward in over a decade. Job creation and economic growth are part of every party's political platform, but it is only this government that has delivered on that promise in liberal proportions.

Criminal Code October 19th, 1999

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-247, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (cumulative sentences).

Mr. Speaker, this bill is in the same form as Bill C-251 was at the time of prorogation of the first session of the 36th Parliament.

This bill would end automatic volume discounts for Canada's multiple murderers and rapists. It seeks to give judges greater ability to achieve justice in the interest of all Canadians.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)