House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was know.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Winnipeg South Centre (Manitoba)

Lost her last election, in 2011, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Aquatic Hall Of Fame February 27th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to invite all members of the House and indeed all Canadians to the Aquatic Hall of Fame and Museum of Canada. It is located at the PanAm Pool, one of North America's finest, on the rather appropriately named Poseidon Bay within my riding.

Vaughan Baird, the chairman of the museum, recently reintroduced me to the facility. Over the years he has thoughtfully acquired a variety of objects depicting the art and history of aquatics in Canada and around the world. The collection includes items ranging from the celebrated Cutty Sark collection of sailing ships and nautical memorabilia to the swim trunks of Olympic gold medallist Mark Tewkesbury and even those of the late Right Hon. Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

Items of interest from all aquatic sports can be found there: swimming, water polo, synchronized swimming, and of course Mr. Trudeau's favourite, diving. The total of all exhibits is valued at nearly $4 million.

I congratulate Mr. Baird and his team at the Aquatic Hall of Fame on assembling and maintaining such a singular collection.

Financial Management February 26th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board.

In his recent report, the auditor general stated that the government has made significant progress in improving financial management in government. Could the President of the Treasury Board explain what other steps the government is taking to build on these achievements?

National Microbiology Laboratory February 16th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, in the last three weeks the National Microbiology Laboratory, Health Canada, situated at the Canadian Science Centre for Animal and Human Health in Winnipeg, has been called upon to respond to three separate incidents: two involving testing a potentially lethal material and the third to provide urgent diagnostics on a Congolese woman suspected of having viral hemorrhagic fever. In all instances the staff responded in a competent, timely and highly professional manner.

The Canadian Science Centre for Animal and Human Health is a maximum containment, state of the art facility which houses what many believe to be the premier level four containment laboratory in the world. It was built to enable Canada to respond to current and emerging infectious disease threats which seem to be on the rise. It is heartening to see that the staff of the facility have responded so capably to these major challenges.

Events of the past week have reinforced the wisdom of the investment in the laboratory and have shown that it can be considered to be on equal footing with other maximum containment labs in the world.

Human Rights February 13th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism. Statistics show that 43% of victims of hate crimes attribute race and ethnicity to their victimization.

Statistics further show that the risk of victimization is higher for those born outside Canada and is highest for members of visible minorities and for young people. What is the secretary of state doing to fight racism, discrimination and hate in Canada?

David Iftody February 7th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as chair of the Manitoba caucus. On Monday this week we experienced the sudden and tragic loss of our friend and colleague, David Iftody.

David was more than a member of the House. He was an active member of his community and a kind, caring and dedicated Liberal. David fought tirelessly for his beliefs and brought the voices of not only his constituents but all western rural Canadians to Ottawa.

He was outspoken and persistent but always good-natured. There was never a doubt that David knew his actions were in the best interests of his constituents.

My office in Winnipeg received many calls yesterday and today from people across the province of Manitoba who wished to let me know how much David meant to them and how his seven years as the member for Provencher made their communities better. This is truly David's legacy.

The residents of my riding and members of my staff join me in the mourning of the passing of our friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Iftody family.

Speech From The Throne February 1st, 2001

Madam Speaker, I share the concerns the hon. member has about the farming community. I share the concerns for the farmers and I have concerns about the impact, as he well knows, on the city of Winnipeg.

I was pleased to hear the Prime Minister speak to it yesterday and to hear the comments in the throne speech on the issues related to the farming community, such as the commitment to work to provide a long term sustainable response to farming and not simply crisis management. I will be pleased to work as part of government and with the member, being a Manitoban, to ensure that the farmers of Manitoba have the opportunities that they and their families so deserve.

Speech From The Throne February 1st, 2001

Madam Speaker, earlier today we heard the Minister of Finance speak to the issue of the rebates to low income residents for rising fuel costs. I am pleased that he is in a position to do that. It has come about through sound, wise fiscal management and I applaud his efforts.

Speech From The Throne February 1st, 2001

Madam Speaker, it is indeed with enormous pride, great humility and some considerable nervousness that I rise to speak for the first time in the Chamber.

Let me offer you congratulations on assuming the role as a Speaker. It is indeed a pleasure to see you sitting there.

I also want to offer my congratulations to my colleagues, the mover and the seconder of the Speech from the Throne. They set a high standard of eloquence and commitment to the class of 2001.

I most especially want to thank the women and men of Winnipeg South Centre for the profound trust they have shown in sending me here. I also want to thank the many hundreds of volunteers who in four and a half weeks worked thousands of hour to ensure that a Liberal voice would continue to speak for Winnipeg South Centre.

I would be remiss if I did not say that for me family comes first. I want to publicly acknowledge the unequivocal love and support of my three daughters, Jessica, Elissa and Sarah for their support and understanding in this election campaign and many of the tasks that I have undertaken.

I am here today because the Hon. Lloyd Axworthy has chosen to leave politics and follow another path. Many of us wonder what political and public life in Manitoba will be like without him. Involved in our politics for almost 30 years, Lloyd Axworthy served us with great distinction, with a real pride in the community that sent him to serve them in the nation's capital. In Winnipeg and in Manitoba his landmarks are everywhere. Those of us who have worked with him will be true to his legacy by keeping alive his vision of public service.

Winnipeg South Centre is as diverse an urban community as one can find in the country. It is a riding of many faces: great wealth and privilege coupled with great poverty, many young people and students and many who have long passed three score and ten. There are many communities of recent immigrants and many whose families have lived there for several generations. There are large numbers of single parents and many young families throughout. There is a large urban aboriginal community in this riding.

It is, indeed, a community I know well having represented a large portion of it as a member of the board of trustees of the Winnipeg school division for the last 14 years. Much in the Speech from the Throne spoke to the concerns, the issues, the activities and the initiatives of the residents of Winnipeg South Centre and I would like to focus on just a few.

Members may be surprised to know that 25% of the children of Winnipeg South Centre live in poverty. Although child poverty exists throughout the community, there is a handful of places where it has reached epidemic levels. Winnipeg's inner city is unfortunately one of these places.

Furthermore, there are 50,000 people of aboriginal ancestry living in the city of Winnipeg, a large number of whom live in Winnipeg South Centre. In 1971 approximately 57% of Winnipeg's aboriginal households lived in poverty. In 1996 that number was 65%. Unfortunately it continues to grow.

The Speech from the Throne spoke directly to aboriginal people, from reducing the incidents of fetal alcohol syndrome, preventable diabetes and tuberculosis to meeting the basic needs of health, housing, work and education. It also spoke to strengthening their entrepreneurial spirit and business expertise.

My pledge based on my record to the people of Winnipeg South Centre was to ensure the safety and well-being of our children, to ensure them a solid future and to ensure that all children have the opportunity to be the best they can be. The Speech from the Throne has addressed this concern on many fronts. It refers to making sure that no child suffers from the debilitating effects of poverty.

The government has begun to tackle this ominous task by committing to increase the contribution to the groundbreaking national child benefit and by investing $2 billion in the early childhood development agreement. We heard the Prime Minister commit yesterday to a major focus on an investment timetable that will allow us to make real progress for children.

It is also reassuring to know that the government will take steps to ensure that laws protect our children from those who would prey on their vulnerability through Internet luring.

I am proud to be part of a government that recognizes that the real engine of growth is the human mind. Continued learning and skills training is a challenge facing all areas of the country. The establishment of registered individual learning accounts will make it easier for adult learners to finance their learning. Workers will be able to learn while they earn.

It is also important to the residents of Winnipeg South Centre to know that the government is committed to give colleges, universities and research hospitals a greater role in feeding the networks and clusters that will connect the brightest researchers with dynamic entrepreneurship.

Very important, financial responsibility and growth is reflected in the Speech from the Throne. The people of Winnipeg South Centre are looking to their government to continue to make Canada one of the most attractive places to invest and to do business. They look to our government to support innovation and to ensure that all Canadians benefit from technology.

I also know that many will applaud the increased commitment to both the CBC and the arts and heritage community.

Much is currently happening in Winnipeg South Centre. It is a vital, vibrant, dramatically diverse community where initiatives abound, be it the Little Red Spirit Head Start Program, the community justice program in West Broadway, the innovative health initiatives at the Riverview Health Centre, the Asper Jewish Community Centre or the Centro Caboto Centre.

At the risk of being parochial, I want to pay particular tribute to the community of the Winnipeg School Division. Not only does it provide quality education to young people, it has frequently, often without support from other jurisdictions of government, piloted or facilitated many programs that are finally now gaining recognition. These are primarily childhood interventions and assessments, culturally appropriate programs and curricula for aboriginal children, housing registries and family resource centres and policies and programs of inclusion.

It is indeed a remarkable institution often not acknowledged for the groundbreaking efforts on behalf of children and their families. It gives me great pleasure to do so here.

In closing, I want to say how proud I am, on behalf of my community, to be part of a government that believes in opportunity with a social conscience, inclusion for the strangers among us, justice and opportunity for our first nations and public generosity for those in need.

It is a government with an understanding of the importance of a strong foundation, a sound economy with incentives and opportunities and growth. It is a government that provides opportunity in a country where citizens will honour their responsibility to give something back to their communities. It is a government that recognizes that sound financial management is indeed a means to an end. It is a government that acknowledges that life is also lived in the spirit in our benevolence toward each other, in true respect for our differences and in the quality of our public service.

I am pleased and proud to be here on behalf of the citizens of Winnipeg South Centre.