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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

Supply November 24th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about the critical need for a change in the leadership, government and culture in how this country has been run.

Today, we have a corrupt and arrogant government that does not believe in democracy, accountability, and has learned nothing from the Gomery report or the Auditor General of Canada.

First and foremost, I stand on behalf of the honest hardworking men and women, the families across our country, the seniors who after a lifetime of work deserve better, and our children and youth who will inherit this country as the next generation. The government has made a mockery of the democratic process and robbed the public purse with which it was entrusted. This is not the legacy we should be creating.

The citizens in my riding of Durham want the same things Canadians in Nova Scotia want. They want the same things Canadians in Quebec and B.C. want. Honest Canadians want honest government, principled and accountable to the people. However, my constituents know that this is not possible with the government. They know this country has a sorry future with a government that has been found guilty of criminally stealing public funds and makes promises it has no intention of keeping.

If we allow the government to continue in office, what does that say about us as a country? What does it say to our children whom we want to grow into adults with integrity and principles, who see a purpose in hard work and earning an honest living, who enjoy the fruits of their labour, and will willingly contribute to the well-being of fellow Canadians and to this country's future?

If we allow the government to stay in office, we are saying that bribery, criminal activities, and deception are the basis on which we choose to build our country, making us no better than countries based on corruption and thievery, countries many of our newer Canadians have left behind. The Conservative Party is not prepared to let that happen.

We believe that Canadians deserve a government that earns their trust, not abuses their trust, and a government that believes it is accountable to every voter and not entitled to break laws and deny it when caught. This Liberal government is about sponsorship, HRDC boondoggles, Shawinigate, and remember our subs and helicopters.

For years members of the Liberal Party have been abusing taxpayers and using our money for their own purposes. The Liberal Party ignores laws and does nothing to strengthen laws to protect Canadians. Despite the Prime Minister's promise to clean up government, like his other promises, the scandals and abuse just keep happening. This cannot be allowed to continue.

Canadians want an open, transparent, and accountable government that cares about the issues that they have to deal with every day, such as jobs, the environment, education, public security, and rising energy prices and taxes. These are the issues that we should be debating in the House of Commons.

The seniors in my riding are facing rising costs, lost income and struggling to stay in their homes. Why did the government keep Bill C-66 off the order paper for so long, a bill that would provide them with the help they need? Why threaten income trusts which are the retirement savings of thousands?

Why did the government cancel the take note debate last week on the agricultural crisis requested by a member of the opposition? Why did the government vote against so many motions to help farmers in Canada? Why did the government vote against the bill to protect young children from sexual predators? Why has the government not delivered its promised auto strategy only to see the announcement this week that almost 4,000 auto workers in Durham are facing job losses? I could go on and on.

The government has to be held to account for its inactions on so many issues challenging Canadians today. Conservatives have shown good faith in trying to make government work. Of the 72 government bills put before the House of Commons, the Conservative Party voted to support or indicated it supported over 60% of those bills. Canadians have given each of us in this chamber their trust, a trust that we will look to their concerns, well-being and futures.

Canadians' tax dollars are an investment in a prosperous future for our nation. That prosperity will not become a reality under the government. Why? Canadians' tax dollars are being wasted on a $2 billion gun registry, but gun violence increases.

Payments to advertising agencies end up in envelopes to pay for Liberal election campaigns and millions are lost and unaccounted for in contracts to Liberal friends. Now the government is on a free fall spending spree with no more forethought than the spectre of the upcoming election.

As each day passes the amount goes up and up at a rate of a billion dollars a day. This frantic frenzy has to stop. This is craziness. It is no more than bribery for votes. The Liberals are trying to bribe Canadians with their own money.

Canadians will not be fooled by these shabby tactics, nor will they be deceived by the threats that seniors will lose their GIS increases that have already been passed by the House.

The military knows that as of last April it has been receiving the raises in salary the Prime Minister claims will be lost if an election is called. The municipalities in Durham can be assured that their infrastructure dollars are not in jeopardy.

I am certain that these final, desperate attempts to cling to power will only reinforce the resolve of Canadians to elect an honest, principled and more accountable government. We need leadership that will not close its eyes or deny its culpability in these acts.

The Gomery report may have exonerated the Prime Minister from responsibility for the operation and management of the sponsorship scandal. Sure, he was not the shop foreman, but as the finance minister, the second in command at Treasury Board, in control of the Liberal Party in Quebec, how could he have not known? Either he was involved or he was incompetent. Either way, we know that this is not leadership.

Let us remember, the Prime Minister was there for the GST flip-flop. He was there for the tainted blood scandal. He was there for the APEC inquiry, Pearson airport and David Dingwall.

Now is the time for principled Conservative action. Now is the time for the Leader of the Opposition's federal accountability act, a contract with Canadians, to clean up government and put Canada back on the track to prosperity.

I came to this chamber with a deep sense of pride and the weight of the responsibility given to me by the voters in Durham. Each of us has a duty; the duty of public service, not entitlement. I was honoured to have the opportunity to work for my constituents, for all Canadians and for my country. However, there is no honour in allowing corruption, mistrust and inaction to invade the core system of our nationhood, the federal government.

At the beginning of this new millennium it will be a Conservative government that will fight to bring honour and pride back to Canada. Under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition, the Conservative Party is a powerful and effective force in Parliament, a party of principled direction, honesty and vision.

We are a party with a plan for Canada. We have a plan to give families jobs and the right to the rewards of their earnings; a plan so seniors can live in their retirement without worrying about access to health care, paying bills and safety in the street; a plan for economic prosperity and growth; and a plan so our children and youth will care about their neighbours, their community and their country because they are proud to be Canadians.

We believe in and hold the same values as Canadian families, communities and individuals. We believe each one of us deserves the same opportunities to a good job, an education, and to the economic well-being for families and seniors in safe, strong communities.

Let the people of Canada define themselves as a people who want trust and integrity, not corruption; action, not only promises; a prosperous future, not financial woes. Canadians must have the opportunity to decide the kind of Canada they want and the future they believe the next generation deserves. That is why I am confident Canadians will choose to elect a Conservative government.

Automobile Industry November 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the government has promised an auto strategy. The government continually fails Canadians. Now we are losing almost 4,000 jobs in GM in Durham, my riding, plus the thousands working in the parts businesses. The minister's response to GM's layoffs was that it was an industry adjustment.

Mr. Speaker, minister, I ask you to speak to my constituents. What will you say to the families in Oshawa and Durham who are facing--

Supply November 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for articulating the situation very clearly and also for his sentiments about how important the agriculture industry is to Canada, particularly how important those agricultural producers are who provide Canada with safe, good quality food. We want to maintain that.

I know that our turkey, chicken, egg and dairy farmers are a key part of keeping Canada's food products safe. The products are of great quality. In fact, the quality and the safety of our food are the best in the world. We have to continue to ensure that we do this in Canada, and we can do this here in Canada.

We have to also ensure that we have a sustainable agricultural sector. Right now we are discussing the WTO negotiations that are about to be undertaken. We have heard about the impact that a reduction in over-quota tariffs or an increase in the tariff quotas would have on our farmers.

I have had meetings with many of the farmers in Durham, but even prior to that, I note that these are my neighbours. In fact, dairy cows trespass on my lawn occasionally. These are the people I meet at the grocery store. I want to make sure the House understands that I have heard from every sector of the supply management farmers.

I would like to ask the member if he could help us by giving us a little more reflection on this. I spoke about my neighbours. I have actually lived beside a dairy farm for about 10 years, which unfortunately coincides with the decade or more than this government has been in power. I have seen the agricultural community get further and further into reduced incomes, struggles and challenges.

I would like to ask the member how we can make sure that the supply management approach to our industry is maintained. The member is quite right when he says that this is not a subsidy. This is a way to ensure that we have good quality and safe food at an affordable price for Canadians, yet there seems to be a perception among other countries that are against supply management that it is a subsidy. It is not a subsidy. We have to maintain it. We have to ensure that we have strong representation in Hong Kong to ensure that we have the continuation of supply management in this country.

Could the member explain why the government is unable to correct the perception that supply management is a subsidy program when it is not?

Automobile Industry November 21st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, part of the government's promised auto strategy was its support for the Beacon project, a partnership between GM, UIT in Durham and other universities. This project means new innovative programs in research and development for Canada's auto industry.

We know GM has confirmed its commitment to the Beacon project. Will the minister confirm unequivocally his government's commitment to Beacon in the House today?

Criminal Code November 21st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for this opportunity to expand on the discussion that occurred at the heritage committee.

We all agree that this is a very important piece of legislation that has to be passed. Consequently, I wanted to make sure that we had thoroughly explored all aspects of it.

I know that within the military there are obligations regarding cultural properties that already exist and therefore, I asked for clarification on how this bill would work with those existing obligations. We were told that this bill not only complements what the military has as an obligation, but it enhances the obligation of the military and of all Canadian citizens and the Canadian judicial system. That makes very good sense because we are not replacing one with the other. In fact, we are strengthening our obligations to the international community.

I was assured by the department and the people who have studied this piece of legislation thoroughly that the retroactivity would not necessarily apply. We all have heard stories about past conflicts where cultural objects have been seen under certain circumstances as trophies to bring home if people were able to access such objects from another country during times of conflict.

I suggest in the terms of this legislation that would be an acquisition in good faith and there would be no retroactivity for those properties.

When we look at this bill and the conflicts that are happening in various countries and states that have a rich tradition of cultural heritage, I think it will help the world enhance the protection going forward.

My party has no problem with this bill and is pleased to support it.

Criminal Code November 21st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill S-37, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

This is very important legislation, not only for Canadians but for Canada as part of a global community that believes in the protection of culture and heritage. It asserts Canada's position as a forerunner of multilateralism and a proponent of peace and civility. The bill would allow Canada to fulfil its obligations under the two protocols of the Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict.

Born in the wake of the second world war, the Hague Convention serves as a reminder of the widespread destruction that was done to cultural properties during the two world wars. Much of that destruction was meant to wipe out the cultural heritage of certain groups and we as Canadians must be part of an effort to prevent the continuation of these acts of destruction and theft.

Since the middle of the last century, the Hague Convention has been applied to the 1967 Middle East conflict and to conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia and Iraq according to the UNESCO, but it could also apply in other cases.

In 2001, the Taliban, Afghanistan's ruling party, destroyed two giant Buddhas in the Bamiyan Valley in its quest to wipe out all signs of pre-Islamic culture in that country. This was an act of brutality by a regime that has time and again proven its disregard for culture. The president of the World Monuments Fund has termed this an act of cultural terrorism.

The list goes on. During the Kosovo conflict it has been reported that archives were destroyed.

During the Iraq wars many ancient sites in the so-called cradle of civilization were badly damaged and looting has been documented. In Eritrea, the historic town of Massawa on the Red Sea sustained a great deal of damage during the war of independence with Ethiopia in 1991.

The destruction of cultural property is a common and widespread tactic during times of conflict used by aggressors to oppress and tyrannize by erasing the cultural heritage of a population, often a minority group.

Canada cannot stand by and allow these tactics to be used again. We must stand side by side with the international community in stamping out the theft and destruction of cultural property, the very pillar of a civilization.

This legislation allows states, in which arson or theft of cultural property have occurred, to have recourse against citizens or Canadian permanent residents and stateless individuals habitually residing in Canada who have perpetrated acts against cultural properties. For example, if a Canadian citizen commits an act of arson against cultural property in a certain state, that state will have recourse against the individual in a Canadian court under the Hague Convention.

I am certain that this legislation will garner the whole-hearted support of all my colleagues. This will facilitate the task of holding the perpetrators to account as it will be done in their countries of residence. It is an avenue to promote justice and lawfulness on an international scale, something with which we all agree very strongly given the turbulence that faces the international community today.

Any steps that Canada can take to bolster the rule of law on an international scale should be taken. It would strengthen our position internationally and allow us to continue our role as a global leader, leading by example. The convention defines cultural property broadly to include immovable and movable items of artistic, historic, scientific or other cultural value. This includes cultural objects, monuments, collections and the premises housing them, sites and archeological zones.

The definition of cultural property given by the convention has been repeated in the legislation tabled before the House. It is very important that the definition we give to cultural properties encompasses a broad range of items so that we can ensure maximum protection of the world's global heritage.

The protocols would also allow for the recovery of cultural property that was illegal exported from a state. This is an equally important provision. If that property ends up in Canada, the state from which it was legally removed will have recourse under the new legislation to recover it through the Canadian judicial system after all interested parties have been heard.

The legislation would allow Canada to play an essential role in returning stolen cultural property to its rightful owners. It would also guarantee that the cultural heritage of other countries is preserved for future generations to learn about and enjoy. As peacekeepers of the world, is this not the role that Canada has chosen to take on an international platform?

This is not to say that the cultural property would be taken away from a Canadian who has unknowingly purchased or acquired cultural property that has been stolen. The legislation provides that a judge may grant compensation to the purchaser of an item so long as they acted in good faith.

I think it is important to repeat that Canada must lead by way of example in the stamping out of illegal activities on an international scale. We have always been the initiators of such multilateral conventions and this is the time to continue that tradition for the sake of our global cultural heritage.

Finally, though not least important, the Hague Convention and its protocols allow Canada to benefit from the reciprocal recourse through other signatory state judicial systems in the event of a conflict on Canadian soil. That means that citizens, permanent residents and stateless individuals residing in a signatory state can be pursued through the state's courts and that Canadian cultural property can be repatriated.

The bill clearly enhances the wartime protection of cultural property in foreign countries and would give Canada another opportunity to demonstrate its respect for global cultural heritage as much as it respects and values its own cultural heritage and properties. It would allow Canada to maintain its position as a forerunner on the importance of multilateralism, creating increasingly strong ties with our global neighbours.

As we can all appreciate, cultural properties and cultural artifacts are of value to the citizens of every country and can never be replaced. We have a responsibility as a member of the global community to help every country protect its cultural properties and its artifacts. Therefore I ask the House to support the bill.

Canadian Heritage November 18th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, our broadcasting system must serve all Canadians, including our multicultural communities. The heritage minister welcomed the CRTC's announcement to allow more foreign language services in Canada.

Pakistani Canadians are desperate for Pakistani T.V. The Portuguese community, including the 20,000 who wrote the commission over nine months ago, still wait. The application process was completed four months ago. Why the delay?

What will the minister do to get this and the 32 other foreign languages services, waiting for approval, to thousands of Canadians now?

Canadian Heritage November 18th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the heritage committee met with the CBC president and its senior management to discuss the impact of the seven week lockout on Canadians.

In response, my motion asking the government to establish an independent task force to review the mandate, role and services of CBC-SRC was passed by the committee. The Conservatives in this House support Canada's public broadcasters.

Last week the government's heritage minister was against a similar motion for review of the CBC by Liberals in Quebec. Will she not support the CBC, listen to Quebeckers or the heritage committee?

She also claims the opposition does not support the UNESCO declaration for cultural diversity. We support UNESCO's declaration. The minister is misleading Canadians and our cultural industries.

Is the minister so out of touch with Canadians and even her own party in Quebec? How can Canadians have faith in the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the government when in desperation they mislead and deceive?

Multiculturalism November 16th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, last December, Canadians and the heritage minister welcomed the CRTC's decision to allow more foreign third language television services into Canada.

Nearly a year later, only one service, RAI television, has been approved, but Canadians of Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin are still waiting.

The government promised our multicultural communities greater access to these services and the CRTC chair promised speedy approval processes.

In October, the earthquake in Pakistan claimed an estimated 80,000 lives and left over 2 million people homeless. Pakistani Canadians are desperate for information on the welfare of their families and friends and updates on the rebuilding process, and yet PTV, Pakistani Television, is among the 32 services still waiting for CRTC approval.

Another unfulfilled government promise is standing between Canada's Pakistani community and the vital information they deserve in this time of crisis.

On behalf of the multicultural communities, I--

Japanese-Canadian Veterans November 2nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, next week we will be in our ridings to observe Remembrance Day. Today I want to recognize the Japanese-Canadian veterans who served in the Canadian forces in World War I and II, as well as in the Korean war.

With the onset of the first world war, not recognized as Canadian citizens, they had to fight to even be able to volunteer for service in 1915. And again in the second world war, even while all west coast Japanese were being evacuated as enemy aliens, when they were still not recognized as citizens, they volunteered to serve in our armed forces once again.

In these wars and the Korean war, they served with distinction, dignity and valour. These men and women and all Japanese in Canada finally received the right to vote and were recognized as Canadian citizens in 1948.

The Japanese-Canadian veterans fought to be able to say proudly, “I am a part of my country. I have suffered in her struggles and gloried in her victories. I was ready when I was needed. I am Canadian”.