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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

Communications Security Establishment November 15th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, last March the Minister of Canadian Heritage was approached in his constituency office by a constituent whom he had not met before and who he has not met since, to write a letter drawing the attention of the CRTC to his application for a radio licence.

The minister explained to this constituent that as the minister responsible, he could not interfere with the workings of the CRTC but he agreed as a member of Parliament to do his best to ensure that he was treated fairly.

On March 15 the minister wrote to the chairman of the CRTC in his capacity as the MP for this constituent, asking the commission to give the application a fair hearing. This was the letter of an MP seeking to ensure that a constituent received due process. The letter was not meant in any way to be an endorse-

ment of the licence application, nor was it intended to exert pressure on the CRTC.

On March 30 the CRTC acknowledged his letter, categorizing it as a letter in support of the licence applicant. That acknowledgement letter was never brought to his attention. If it had been he would have immediately rectified the matter.

As soon as he learned that one of the interested parties wrote to him in September regarding his "alleged support" for the licence application, he took immediate action. He wrote to the interested party clarifying his earlier letter and clearing up any misunderstanding. In this letter dated September 30 he wrote:

My letter of March 15, 1994 to the CRTC simply asked that due consideration be given to the application. It is not intended to convey support for or opposition to the application. The CRTC is the body mandated by law to make independent decisions on all such applications. It is, therefore, for the CRTC to weigh the merits of the arguments raised by the applicants and the interveners.

Members will note that he took these actions before the matter became public. He did his best to clear up the situation, not because of public or media pressure which did not exist at the time, but because it was the right thing to do.

Department Of Canadian Heritage Act October 18th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I sometimes feel the Reform Party should be called the 1 per cent party because it spends all its time criticizing 1 per cent of the government programs.

The government believes in communities, strong linkages among communities and promoting understanding from wherever people come. The government is committed to pursuing programs which foster understanding and harmony.

However it is a dark day for members of the Reform Party; they should be promoting and endorsing the bill. How does the opposition permit itself to criticize an administrative change that saves all kinds of moneys for taxpayers and actually reduces bureaucracy? The number of assistant deputy ministers has been reduced from 14 to 3. It increases efficiency. Actually the administrative cost savings will be $7.3 million. They may scoff at that, but it is $7.3 million of Canadian taxpayers' money. Members of the Bloc and Reform should unite and applaud us for this initiative rather than indulging in tangential tirades about programs. These improvements would actually increase efficiency. It should leave the Reform speechless but they prefer to remain groundless rather than speechless.

Department Of Canadian Heritage Act October 18th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure the hon. member that Canadian culture belongs to all Canadians wherever they come from. I read the hon. member's speech and I am surprised by her suggestion. She proposes that francophones be confined to local cultural resources only.

I want to add that Canada's culture and history were built by all Canadians together. Sharing our culture and history is the basis of Canadian heritage. It is easy to see why the Bloc

Quebecois is against our goal. I think that Quebecers and Canadians agree with us.

When the hon. member talks about telecommunications coming under the purview of the Department of Industry, is she aware of the growing role of telecommunications as an important source of Canadian economic activities? Broadcasting is easier to integrate into the mandate of Canadian Heritage, as it relates to Canadian culture, identity and content.

Departments work in close co-operation-and I think the hon. member will agree with this-in order to manage these sectors efficiently. I wonder why the hon. member is laughing, when she should be applauding us for saving Canadians, including Quebecers, money. I think that she should be applauding.

Department Of Canadian Heritage Act October 18th, 1994

You do not understand me? She wants me to speak in English. But I want to practice my French but, as you can see, she will not give me this opportunity.

Department Of Canadian Heritage Act October 18th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois complaints only make the achievements and importance of Canadian heritage stand out. We often hear that Canadian culture belongs to all Canadians wherever they come from. I think the hon. member should be the first one to admit that we save taxpayers, including Quebecers, money. She should applaud us instead of criticizing us because we do not do exactly what she wants. The Bloc's goals are different from those of the department.

Department Of Canadian Heritage Act October 18th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today in the House to speak in support of Bill C-53, an act to establish the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Over the past few months it has been my privilege as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage to work closely with him in advancing the department's initiatives on many fronts. I have had occasion to journey to the farthest reaches of our department's operations, visiting and consulting with local officials and community groups. Most striking among my findings was the intense enthusiasm of our Department of Canadian Heritage personnel whose zeal I am sure is fueled by the value they attach to their work.

The Department of Canadian Heritage is not some distant or insulated agency. It is an active participant in countless commu-

nities. In a real sense the department is a large part what makes many towns and cities into strong communities, very often the focal point, the gathering ground for communities, events or institutions that might not exist were it not for the support of the ministry.

From museums, parks and orchestras to sporting and multicultural events, literally millions of Canadians are attracted to our programs every year. The Department of Canadian Heritage is the guardian of our inheritance as Canadians. This department, this minister, stands at the gate protecting rich and unique elements of our culture, our vast stretches of unspoiled habitat, national historic sites, buildings and monuments, which offer Canadians a glimpse of the struggles that built this country.

The Department of Canadian Heritage is the protector of our artistic tradition, our sporting tradition, our official languages, the multitude of contributing cultures from our native citizens to the newest Canadian.

This is not a department which regulates a commodity. Our product is a better Canada, enriched with its natural and historic treasures.

Up to now, the debate taking place in the House has highlighted a number of interesting points, not the least of which being the diversity of programs administered by the new department.

Bill C-53 reflects very well the mandate sought by Heritage Canada and the scope of its field of endeavour. Although this has been mentioned by others, I should repeat that Heritage Canada incorporates programs from five existing or abolished departments.

It is easy for some to say that these programs have little in common, but this is a very superficial way of seeing things. A more thorough examination reveals that the three main areas of activity in the department have a lot in common, and I will come back to that later. More than that, they mesh very well and contribute to the prime goal of the department which is developing Canadian identity centres and encouraging the contribution of all sectors of society to the growth and vitality of our culture.

One of the major sectors of the Department of Canadian Heritage is Parks Canada, formerly a part of Environment Canada. National parks, national historic sites and the historic canals under the stewardship of Parks Canada represent some of the best examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage. These gems are to be found in every region of the country. The economic activity and tourism generated by the department's operations in this program area are of vital significance to many local economies.

The parks service is mindful of its importance to these communities and has been at the forefront of efforts to fashion innovative partnership arrangements with private and not for profit enterprises in carrying out its mandated responsibilities.

The second major sector of the department encompasses those programs which are aimed at the promotion of Canadian identity and civic participation. As one would expect with such a broadly based mandate, this sector includes an impressive sweep of program areas. In fact some of the government's most important initiatives are being implemented in this sector. They include the promotion of official languages, the pursuit of excellence in amateur sport, the promotion of our cultural diversity, and the encouragement of the full and open participation of every Canadian in society.

Here then are the programs that speak to us regarding what it means to be Canadian, that set us apart from the rest of the world, and that have helped Canada earn its top ranking by the United Nations for overall quality of life.

The third main activity of the department is cultural development and heritage. This includes arts, broadcasting and heritage preservation, as well as cultural industries like film, video, sound recording and publishing.

As regards the wide variety of activities involved, the best way to describe them is to quote the short statement in the government's red book on the importance of culture. Here it is: "Culture is the very essence of national identity, the bedrock of national sovereignty and national pride. At a time when globalization and the information and communications revolution are erasing national borders, Canada needs more than ever to commit itself to cultural development".

This shows not only the importance of the department's programs, but also stresses what its prime objective should be: To develop policies and mechanisms to ensure a steady growth of artistic and cultural sectors both strong and dynamic.

During debate on the bill we have heard the Minister of Canadian Heritage outline the important connotations imparted by the term heritage. For me one of the most meaningful uses of the term is to capture myriad ways in which we express ourselves not only to our fellow Canadians but to the world. In my view heritage conveys the idea of the link between the past and the present in matters of human endeavour, whether they be related to culture, language, shared values or common experiences.

When I think of Canada and its heritage what springs to mind is a nation forged on the principles of respect for the use and

equal treatment of its two major languages, French and English; of respect for the cultural diversity, the traditions and the contributions of its aboriginal citizens and their languages; and of fundamental respect for basic human rights and values and an all encompassing and abiding devotion to democratic principles. It is no exaggeration to say that all these sentiments and ideals will find expression and action within the programs embodied within the Department of Canadian Heritage.

It is vital not to lose sight of what will be accomplished by the passage of Bill C-53. Moreover the bill should not be viewed in isolation. It is part of a greater reorganization of government being effected through the passage of various pieces of enabling legislation now in different stages of parliamentary review.

This redistribution of programs and responsibilities, as we are all aware, had its origin in steps taken by the previous government last June. The current government has put its stamp on the reorganization, redefined it and refined it. We are now proceeding with the task of confirming these changes in law.

This exercise, however, is but one component of our overall effort to provide Canadians with the most effective and open government possible. Toward that end it should be emphasized that the government's program review is ongoing and that the tabling of the various pieces of enabling legislation is part of the process.

The wording of Bill C-53 establishes the overall responsibilities of the Department of Canadian Heritage without being prescriptive as to how the mandate will be delivered. In other words the bill does not limit the types of changes that government may implement to make services more responsive and efficient in the current fiscal context.

The enactment of the bill will summon the coming wave of re-engineering efforts in the department that can only yield even greater efficiencies and more focused services. We must not allow Canada to grow pale from the leaching of its natural and cultural resources. We believe in a Canada infused by the advancement of our sense of Canadian identity and participation as a society and by the continuation of our cultural development and the protection of our priceless natural and cultural heritage.

Terry Fox Run September 21st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of my colleagues in this House to the 14th Terry Fox Run which was held on Sunday, September 18.

At 3,400 different sites across Canada on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people took part in the event which raised a total of $8.5 million in 40 countries worldwide last year and is expected to raise more this year.

These donations pay 20 per cent of all the cancer research in Canada.

Over half a million Canadians walked, ran, pedalled or skated in memory of Terry Fox, who died of cancer in June 1981. I would like to pay tribute to the Canadians who once again volunteered their time to promote this cause they care about. Volunteers are needed now more than ever.

Television Broadcasting September 19th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, as of this morning our neighbours to the south can receive two new Canadian programming services, each owned and operated jointly by the CBC and Power Broadcasting. Newsworld International will focus on top international news, presenting a uniquely Canadian view of major world events while the second channel, TRIO, a family oriented television service, will provide the best of Canadian programming to its U.S. audience.

These two channels will be distributed in the United States via cable and Direct TV, a new satellite service for direct broadcasting, offering consumers programming that will include films, sports broadcasts and special events.

Exports to this new market will build on Canada's traditional programming strength and supplement the revenues of Canada's national public broadcaster.

Canadian Advisory Council On The Status Of Women June 22nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Secretary of State (Status of Women), I am happy to table two bilingual copies of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women's annual report for 1992-93.

Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act June 21st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like the record to show that I was unavoidably detained. Had I been here on time, I would have voted with my party.