House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was heard.

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

Stanley Cup June 10th, 2010

Madam Speaker, last night, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in overtime in game six. It is their first championship since 1961.

The Blackhawks are a team of young stars, none more impressive than their 22-year-old captain, Winnipeg's own Jonathan Toews. He is this year's winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the NHL playoffs. Nicknamed Captain Serious, he is the youngest captain in the NHL and the second youngest winner of the Conn Smythe.

He has proudly represented Canada on the world stage: an all-star and gold medallist at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver; a gold medallist at the 2008 world championships; a double gold medallist at the world junior championships; and now, a Stanley Cup champion.

Jonathan Toews is the son of Winnipeg and the pride of Canada.

Committees of the House June 9th, 2010

Mr. Speaker: I would also like to have vote registered in favour.

June 8th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would, in fact, question who is using smear tactics and political rhetoric in this debate.

Members on this side of the House support the government's initiative but say that it does not go far enough. There is no question that we are all committed to reducing the deaths of women from unsafe abortions. However, why is the government picking who can live and who can die? Why is it ignoring the 70,000 women who die each year from abortions? Why is it ignoring the motherless children who are left? The member opposite cited the number of deaths of children. Many of those children are motherless children without the nutrition and without the opportunity.

I want to quote Jill Wilkinson, president of Women Deliver, who said, “Women need access to family planning programs and modern contraceptives. And they need access to skilled care”, we agree, “before, during, and after childbirth, especially access to emergency obstetric care....Women also need access to safe abortion services when and where they are legal”.

June 8th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to stand here and follow up on a question I asked on June 2, 2010.

Some members may recall that I asked the Minister of International Cooperation to elaborate on comments she made at the Standing Committee on the Status of Women on May 26. At that time, she quoted the Cairo plan of action on population and development as it related to maternal health. I asked her quite deliberately why she had neglected one sentence. She quoted one sentence, skipped one sentence and moved on to the next.

I want to read into the record the sentence the minister neglected to say at committee and that she would not elaborate on in the House. While she was talking about the plan of action, she quoted the sentence that said:

In no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning.

However, she chose to omit the following sentence:

All Governments and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations are urged to strengthen their commitment to women’s health, to deal with the health impact of unsafe abortion as a major public health concern and to reduce the recourse to abortion, through expanded and improved family planning services.

I said at the time that the minister cannot pick and choose what sentences to use when she is quoting an international agreement. In doing so, she deliberately did not provide full information either to committee members or to members of the House.

I want to reiterate that when we deal with maternal health and unsafe abortion, we have to remember that there are 20 million unsafe abortions each year. Unsafe abortions are in fact a leading cause of maternal death, and we have learned that a disproportionate number of the women who die are between the ages of 15 and 19.

As I indicated, 13% of total maternal deaths are from abortion, and 68,000 women die every year from unsafe abortions. That breaks down to 186 every day, or one every eight minutes. We also know that maternal deaths result in motherless children, who have a higher mortality rate. They are 10 times more likely to die prematurely.

I could cite many of the experts who appeared before the committee and talked about the full range of reproductive health services that are required for women when dealing with maternal health for women worldwide. It is incumbent upon a minister, in providing information, either to a committee or to the House, to provide the full information and to not be selective in what she chooses to say or not say.

Points of Order June 2nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, during question period, the Minister of International Cooperation said that she had read the 1994 Cairo action plan on population and development. I wonder if she could please table it in its entirety so that Canadians can see what in fact she left out in her remarks.

Maternal Health June 2nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, it is following it selectively. The Conservative government continues to pick and choose. It turned a blind eye to the 13% of maternal deaths which occur as a result of unsafe abortions, 70,000 women each year, one woman every eight minutes, and to the orphaned children of these mothers who are 10 times more likely to die prematurely.

On what basis does the Conservative government decide which mothers and which children in the developing world shall live and which shall die?

Maternal Health June 2nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, on May 26 the Minister of International Cooperation misled the status of women committee on Canada's international commitments regarding maternal health. Quoting paragraph 8.25 of the Cairo plan of action, the minister inexplicably skipped a key sentence that calls on all governments to “deal with the health impact of unsafe abortion as a major public health concern”.

When will the government stop picking and choosing which of Canada's commitments it will uphold and which it will not?

Duff Roblin June 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to pay tribute to one of Manitoba's and Canada's great statesmen. Duff Roblin served for 18 years in the Manitoba Legislature, nine of those as Premier, and 14 years in the Senate of Canada.

In 2008, a poll of Manitobans declared Mr. Roblin “the Greatest Manitoban”, an extraordinary tribute under any circumstances, and no less extraordinary for a living politician who, over his career, inevitably took decisions that were difficult and controversial.

Of these, perhaps the best known was his early advocacy of a floodway to save Winnipeg from the ravages of the Red River. Initially mocked and derided, the floodway, or Duff's Ditch as we know it, became one of Mr. Roblin's greatest achievements. In his own mind, however, his greatest legacy was his comprehensive reform of the education system in Manitoba.

Duff Roblin was a true progressive Conservative, a man of courage, intelligence and vision. He was, before all else, a remarkable man and a truly great Canadian.

Interparliamentary Delegations May 31st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union concerning its participation at the parliamentary meeting on the occasion of the 54th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the role of parliamentarians in enforcing gender equality in women's rights 15 years after Beijing, which took place in New York, New York, United States of America, on March 2, 2010.

Darfur May 27th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, today, members of the Canadian Jewish Congress Darfur Action Committee are in Ottawa to highlight the ongoing crisis in Darfur.

In the tradition of the Jewish concept of “tikkun olam”, “to repair the world”, CJC is joining with STAND Canada, The Darfur/Sudan Peace Network and the SubSahara Centre to advocate for the people of Darfur.

Mindful of international indifference to the plight of Jews in the Holocaust, these volunteers from across Canada are dedicated to making a difference and call upon Canada to take a high-level role in the diplomatic resolution to the conflict, and on this Parliament to create a committee for the prevention of genocide and other crimes against humanity. They further request that Canada take a leadership role in strengthening the friends of the UN assistance mission in Darfur, at the UN, where much remains to be done.

As the architect of the “responsibility to protect”, Canada can and must provide greater leadership on Darfur.