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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was million.

Last in Parliament July 2012, as Conservative MP for Durham (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 55% of the vote.

Statements in the House

International Cooperation December 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the member is quite right. The response that Canadians deserve is what we are doing with international assistance.

The government is choosing to make its international assistance more effective and more focused. We want to ensure that we have value for our aid dollars, which means keeping children and mothers alive, more food, more education and better health for those in developing countries. This is what Canadians want and this is what we are delivering.

Situation in Haiti December 13th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I thank the member across the floor for the suggestion and also for working with us to ensure that those people, in many countries, are being helped the best we can as Canadians.

I also appreciate the fact that he recognizes, in situations that are overwhelming for the governments in those countries, that both have to happen. In terms of short-term humanitarian relief, we are supporting the feeding of 400,000 children every day in Haiti, as well as trying to move ahead on reconstruction, respond to the cholera outbreak, and so on.

I know the member is very aware of another major disaster that we are also dealing with, which is the flooding in Pakistan. The United Nations has said that it is, in fact, by its estimation, the biggest humanitarian challenge faced by the United Nations. So things do change.

I also will take note of the member's suggestion. As the member knows, when the government went ahead on maternal and child health, we had a coalition and we worked very closely together. On the suggestion that the member has put forward, the challenge there is to make sure that the international community comes to recognize the presence.

I was just informed that the Canadian Red Cross was invited to the international table in Haiti, as the first NGO to be at the table with the interim commission in making decisions about reconstruction.

We are always looking for ways to improve our work.

Situation in Haiti December 13th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, there was speculation early on when the cholera outbreak struck.

We were getting reports from the United Nations and from the World Health Organization, PAHO. We have just recently read a report saying it is coming from South Asia. By identifying the strain, they are better able to provide the needed treatment.

Situation in Haiti December 13th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question because I share his concerns.

This is why we receive daily reports. We receive reports not only from our mission in Haiti but also from the partners with whom we are working.

To describe the challenge, when I asked the Canadian Red Cross, in a new field hospital, to send a unit there to help with the treatment of cholera, they had to send someone. The very next day two people were sent down to talk to the Government of Haiti as to the best place to have it located. They had to work with the local community.

We know some of the challenges. Cholera is new to this population, so they are unaware of the disease itself. Time has to be spent in the communities explaining that there is going to be a treatment centre. In some of the more remote areas, they believe that bringing in a treatment centre means bringing cholera to the community. This does take time.

Transportation has to be arranged. The field unit is now being manned by Canadian professionals who responded to the call. Each of the 170 treatment centres that are in Haiti now had to go through the same process.

We are receiving reports as to how much medicine and how many clients they are seeing every day. We are hopeful that the statistics coming out will show that we may be slowing the progress down, and hopefully we will be able to stabilize very shortly.

Unfortunately, the member is quite right; the ability of our workers and the workers of the various organizations who are on the ground to provide care requires safety. We would not be able to provide any medical care unless we could assure the safety of the people who are there to offer that help.

Consequently we have groups working on safety logistics, infrastructure, health, treatment, and all of this is being coordinated to the best of our abilities. We are calling for peace. We are calling for stability.

We are very concerned that if we do not manage the cholera epidemic, things will only get—

Situation in Haiti December 13th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, our government is very concerned about the recent events taking place in Haiti, the most impoverished country in the Americas even before this past January. Our thoughts continue to be with the people of Haiti as they struggle with each destabilizing event that they face.

The Government of Canada and the people of Canada remain committed to helping the Haitian people as they rebuild their lives after the earthquake and are now fighting the cholera epidemic, and peaceful political dialogue is essential for Haiti to emerge from the current political crisis. Canada calls on all individuals involved in the Haiti electoral process to prioritize peace and the best interests of the population. Allow me to bring the House up to date on our development work in Haiti.

First, since the terrible earthquake, Canada has responded swiftly and effectively with immediate humanitarian assistance including food aid for 4.4 million people and emergency housing and supplies for 2.2 million people. Since then, we have responded to the critical needs caused by the cholera epidemic. While the recent political unrest has caused some disruption in providing medical care to those affected, the rate of infection is finally slowing.

On December 2, the Pan American Health Organization said that in-hospital case fatality rates have dropped from 9% at the beginning of the outbreak to 3.2% now. We must continue to work to stabilize the spread of disease and prevent further deaths.

With 11 months having passed since the earthquake, we can say that progress is being made in Haiti; however, the process of rebuilding will be slow. The pace of reconstruction left many more vulnerable to the onset of cholera. Medical experts estimate that Haiti will have approximately 400,000 cases of cholera over the next year, with 200,000 cases occurring over the next three months.

Northern Haiti remains the area with the highest caseload. Hastened by inadequate sanitary conditions in many parts of Haiti after the earthquake, the devastating progress of the disease grew worse because of the heavy rains brought on by Hurricane Tomas. Now in addition, civil unrest in the north since November 15 has unfortunately slowed some activities in response to the outbreak. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that the situation in Haiti remains very serious. Canada is working with all who are on the ground in Haiti to respond to these multiple challenges.

Before I give some examples of what Canada is helping to achieve, I would like to inform the Speaker that I am splitting my time with the member for Beauport—Limoilou.

The Canadian International Development Agency is working with five experienced partners in response to the UN appeal for assistance. These partners are the Pan American Health Organization or PAHO, UNICEF, World Vision Canada, Médecins du Monde Canada and Oxfam Canada. They are working together to ensure that Haitians benefit from coordinated, effective and proven interventions that get to the people who need it.

There are currently some 70 organizations coordinated through the UN-led health cluster responding to the epidemic. PAHO is overseeing the coordination, establishing cholera treatment centres, providing technical assistance to help authorities and implementing disease surveillance. UNICEF is coordinating the national water and sanitation response and material and logistical support for the treatment centres, training national health care workers, providing sanitation services for schools in residential child care facilities, as well as implementing a national information campaign on cholera prevention measures.

Oxfam-Québec is providing emergency water and sanitation service for health facilities and affected communities. With the Government of Canada's support, World Vision Canada will provide up to 120,000 cholera patients with life-saving treatment in specialized health facilities and provide additional families with access to clean water and the necessary supplies to slow the spread of cholera in Port-au-Prince, La Gonave and along the border with the Dominican Republic.

Médecins du Monde Canada will establish rehydration and cholera treatment centres in Cité Soleil. It will also provide further training on cholera treatment and prevention measures to community-based and hospital health workers. CIDA is also working with partners on the ground previously funded for earthquake relief to respond to the cholera epidemic.

I am pleased that, after our request, the Canadian Red Cross has deployed part of its newly-created emergency field hospital, created with CIDA's support, to Haiti. The treatment centre is now up and running in Port-au-Prince with Canadian health professionals.

As the first of its kind in the Americas, it is already providing a timely response to urgent needs. Services are being provided through cholera treatment centres, treatment units and oral rehydration centres. Individual and community-based prevention measures such as the distribution of soap, water purification tablets and rehydration salts are ongoing. Tens of thousands of litres of chlorinated water are being sent to affected areas.

I remind the House that Haiti was the poorest country in the Americas prior to the earthquake. When the earthquake hit, it was devastating; 26 out of 28 government department buildings were destroyed, thousands of people lost their homes and livelihoods, children lost their schools, medical facilities were lost as well as basic services and infrastructure, and roads were not passable. The poorest situations existed before the earthquake and then came the cholera epidemic.

The cholera epidemic is now being fought by all NGOs that are there currently working on the earthquake as well as the cholera epidemic. There is a capacity problem. There is again a problem with the destruction of infrastructure and facilities and a medical system that is virtually all being provided by the international community. Canada continues to work within the model set out internationally and agreed to by the government of Haiti, a sovereign country.

I can assure everyone that the Government of Canada continues to monitor the situation very closely to help ensure that the needs are being met even under these most difficult circumstances.

Afghanistan December 13th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that my colleague, a member of Parliament, cannot be proud of the work that Canada and Canadians are doing in Afghanistan. The Dahla Dam is helping those who live in the agricultural area and will provide increased food.

The security of all of our projects is the responsibility of our partners. They must abide by Canadian laws and regulations. We are assured that the protection needed for this work to continue, the protection needed by our humanitarian workers, is going to be provided responsibly.

Haiti December 13th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that there is always a concern about the protection and safety of women in all the countries where Canada is working, particularly in Haiti.

We have set up protection centres, not only for women but also for their children, as well as ensuring that senior women have access to needed food and medicines and ensuring that women's access to food and basic necessities is always foremost in the minds of those we work with.

International Co-operation December 10th, 2010

The answer to the question, Mr. Speaker, is no. It was made on the most effective use of public funds for people living in poverty, and, no, the decision will stand.

International Co-operation December 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, quite the contrary. I will take full responsibility. It is my responsibility to ensure that Canadian public funds are utilized in an accountable and effective way to help people living in poverty. As I have always done, I take advice from the department as well as other parties.

This is something that is important to Canadians. They want to see more food, more children going to school and more medicine getting to those in need.

International Co-operation December 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I will reiterate what I have already clearly said.

Departments always make recommendations to ministers and the minister ultimately decides what course to take. This government always ensures that our international assistance is directed effectively, efficiently and transparently to those people who live in poverty, and that is what we will continue to do.