House of Commons photo


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

Business of Supply May 31st, 2005

Mr. Chair, I received a letter from my constituent last week in which she relates that her parents have now been able to join her in Canada. She was quite excited because the grandparents would now have the responsibility of caring for the children while her and her husband were at work. They are shift workers and also hold multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. This was a great advantage to them because they were not able to find any facilities in the community, which is a small rural community, to meet their needs.

With respect to recent immigrants who are forced to sometimes work in multiple jobs, shift workers and so on, could the minister tell me how this program will assist them in meeting their needs? As I understand it, and I would like an explanation, this is focused toward those who have more regular jobs that are within what would be commonly known as a work day and the amount of flexibility that this particular family requires may not be met with the type of program that the minister is suggesting, particularly under the agreement with Ontario, as I read the agreement.

I am wondering where the choice for this family and similar families will be in the program.

Business of Supply May 31st, 2005

Mr. Chair, if I may, I will be asking a series of questions.

Canada is made up of many cultures. I have seen and participated in many of the diverse communities in my home province of Ontario. I know that each of our communities has its own traditions and values as to its sense of family and its children.

I have seen the children at Villa Columbo in Toronto's Italian community, where preschool children interact with their grandparents and other seniors because that child care centre is part of a community based seniors centre within that community.

At the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, the day care centre is housed in the midst of a culturally rich milieu, where children can learn Japanese and the traditional arts, songs and activities of their families' heritage.

The parents of these children choose to place their children in these centres because their heritage and their traditions are important to them. They choose to respect their heritage and they know that in the wider educational system their heritage is only introduced as one of a foreign land and is seen as an activity or traditions that are only exotic curiosities. These parents protest. They want this type of choice for their preschool children.

How will the minister meet the needs of these families and permit a choice for cultural diversity within his child care program?

Copyright May 20th, 2005

But when are we going to tighten the borders, Mr. Speaker?

A recent RCMP raid seized over $800,000 worth of illegal DVDs and CDs in a Markham mall, only to see more on the shelves days later. Movies are being taped illegally in a Montreal theatre, to be fed into the global counterfeit movie market. Ineffective fines and the absence of strong laws have made Canada a priority country, along with China, for its woeful enforcement of intellectual property rights.

What will the government do to ensure that Canada is no longer being probed by the U.S.A?

Copyright May 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a haven for pirated and counterfeit CDs, videos, DVDs and video games. Millions of dollars of illegal goods are crossing our borders every day.

Yesterday, the court of appeal took a step to further protect the copyright of creators. The courts are doing their job. However, earlier this month, Canada was put on a U.S. watch list with 14 other countries. A special review has been ordered.

Why has the government failed to stop the illegal importation of cultural products?

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments May 16th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak to Bill C-48 today.

When I spoke to Bill C-43 in this House, I pointed out how the budget presented in February by the government would only see 3% of the announcements flow in this budget year.

Bill C-48, which is being debated today, is weaker than that. This bill has its origin in a deal made in a hotel room in Toronto. This is not how government legislation should be undertaken. This is not how budgets should be developed. This is not how Canada's economy should be planned. This is not responsible nor accountable governing.

This is deal making; a desperate deal to maintain power. It is a deal to spend $4.6 billion, maybe, of taxpayer dollars. Will these dollars flow to deliver what the NDP has been promised? There should be substantial real doubt.

Bill C-48 stipulates that payments may only be made in either 2005-06 and 2006-07 if there is a $2 billion surplus and, in fact, in this budget year there is no requirement to spend $1.00.

Before I proceed, Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Edmonton—Sherwood Park.

The only stipulation in this budget is that no more than $4.6 million be spent over two years or before the end of the 2007 fiscal year. In other words, Bill C-48 gives the government the power to spend billions but does not actually require it to spend the money.

My experience in business is that surpluses are not determined until the end of any fiscal year. This means that none of the moneys in Bill C-48 would even have a chance of flowing until the 2006-07 budget begins. Is there a real deal here or not? More important, will the deal deliver and improve the lives of Canadians?

Canadians want more than words, whether just spoken or written on paper.

The citizens of my riding and all Canadians are hard-working and they are now questioning the intent of the government. If people in my riding ask what is in the NDP-Liberal deal I cannot answer that in all honesty. I have to say that this bill, a one and a half page document, has no plans and no specifics on how $4.6 billion would be spent.

My constituents are telling me that they are fed up with waste and mismanagement. They want their representatives to ensure that their tax dollars will work for Canadians, not for advertising firms and party followers.

Yes, I, along with my constituents, care about the environment. We care about infrastructure. We care about post-secondary education. We care about housing. They care about, as all Canadians, the same things as every other Canadian. They are also willing to pay their taxes so needed services can be delivered by every level of government to meet their legitimate responsibilities.

The citizens in my riding have watched the environment, our roads and infrastructure deteriorate. They have seen how our youth are struggling to find a future in Canadian society. However for the past 12 years they have seen only higher taxes and little improvement in the delivery of government services. The level of frustration is peaking. What has peaked now is the lack of trust, faith and respect for the government.

Therefore, can I say with any level of certainty that any of the matters in Bill C-48 will be delivered? The answer is no.

I believe Canadians deserve greater certainty. They should have a level of confidence that the budget presented in February which was the best budget the government could responsibly deliver. How solid was that budget when only weeks later another $4.6 billion was tacked on?

Why were the matters in Bill C-48 for housing, tuition and the environment not in the February budget? The budget making in Bill C-48 is compounded by the flurry of announcements made by the government more recently. Why were these announcements not in the February budget?

There is no plan. The only plan behind these announcements is to continue in power. Canadians want sound fiscal management. They want real programs, not just speeches and announcements. They want accountability and responsible program spending. They also want a fair deal and a balanced fiscal policy to meet the needs of both urban and rural communities.

The February budget and Bill C-48 do nothing for the farmers in my riding. Bill C-48 is spending without a plan. I cannot support the bill. It would be irresponsible to support a bill that takes $4.6 billion of taxpayer dollars without any accountability, particularly from a government and a party whose track record has created a sentiment in Canadians of mistrust and cynicism.

Canadians need to have faith that Canada will flourish and that they will have their needs met, first by themselves with the resources they have worked hard to earn and keep, then by the community as friends, families and neighbours because we are a caring people, and by a government, every level of government, which will fulfill the responsibilities given in a responsible, accountable way with full disclosure of not only how much is going to be spent but how and in what programs.

Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act May 10th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak to Bill S-14, an act to protect heritage lighthouses, put forward by my colleague, the member for South Shore--St. Margaret's. I also want to commend those in this House and in the Senate who have supported this bill previously in Parliament.

Lighthouses are an integral part of Canada's heritage and history. There are countless stories of crises in our past in which Canada's lighthouses have played a critical role. Whether it is off the coast of Newfoundland or in the gales of the north Pacific, they have saved the lives of many Canadians and foreigners. Now for many, lighthouses not only provide an essential service but lighthouses have become a special part of what Canada means to them and others around the world.

They have become part of our artistic cultural works in songs, paintings and even tapestry. The picturesque images of Peggy's Cove, and the lighthouse on the northern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands on Langara Island: these pictures say this is Canada.

These structures identify an integral part of our heritage and draw thousands of international travellers each year. In Ontario, one can take the Bruce Coast lighthouse tour. Each of the 500 lighthouses in Canada has a special meaning in our lives, our history and to the communities in which they are situated. I support this bill as it is urgently needed.

For many of our historic lighthouses, we must offer recognition of their part in our heritage and maintain them for future generations. Without protection, neglect is destroying many of these historic structures. The impact of wind, water and deterioration are destroying these treasures each year. Without Bill S-14, we will lose a precious part of our natural history and marine culture.

This bill's purpose is to preserve and protect our heritage lighthouses in three ways: first, by providing for the selection and the designation of heritage lighthouses; second, by preventing their unauthorized alteration or disposition through a process that allows for public consultation; and third, by requiring that heritage lighthouses be reasonably maintained.

Current legislation gives two federal government bodies the power to select and designate heritage lighthouses, the Federal Heritage Building Review Office and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board. However, under the current legislation, more lighthouses are being rejected than are being protected. Only 19, or 3%, of our lighthouses across Canada have genuine heritage protection. Only 101, or 12%, have partial protection. In the U.S.A., 70% of lighthouses that are over 50 years of age have heritage protection.

Also, in the current system the public has no right to participate in the process of selecting or designating heritage lighthouses.

Currently there are no provisions to ensure that these structures are adequately protected. In fact those who maintain our operating lighthouses do not have a mandate to protect culturally significant lighthouses.

Bill S-14 addresses all of these issues. The appropriate minister will have the authority to recommend to the governor in council that a lighthouse be designated as a heritage lighthouse. In its deliberations the governor in council must give the public an opportunity to make representations about the heritage designation of that lighthouse. The bill also ensures public participation in this process by allowing the public to submit petitions on its own to propose heritage designation for any lighthouse.

Finally, the bill prohibits anyone from altering or disposing of a heritage lighthouse without the authorization from the minister and without giving the public notice of his or her intentions. The owner of a heritage lighthouse must also maintain it in a reasonable state of repair in a manner in keeping with its heritage character.

This bill not only ensures that lighthouses will continue to be an integral part of our Canadian heritage, it has the potential to create opportunities and partnerships with local communities.

By having the ability to participate in a lighthouse's designation and future, the local communities have the opportunity to incorporate lighthouses into their lives as potential interpretive centres or tourist destinations. Thus, this bill will allow lighthouses to become part of the larger social fabric. It is important for Canadians to be able to take part in determining what they believe is important to our country's history and cultural heritage.

I am encouraged by the provisions in Bill S-14 that allow for such full public involvement. It is Canadians who should determine what is important as monuments to our country's history. Without this bill we will lose too many lighthouses to natural deterioration, wilful destruction and neglect. We must take this step to preserve and protect our heritage for future generations. If we do not, we will lose the structures that have become icons in our history, such as the lighthouses, railway properties and grain elevators.

As the hon. Senator Pat Carney stated in 2002, this bill was modelled after Canada's Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act and it will strengthen our heritage archival asset base for generations to come. Senator Carney also pointed out that there is nothing currently in place to ensure that heritage status will also cover the historic dwellings or equipment that are integral to the heritage value of the lighthouse site. This legislation does so.

This legislation also has other benefits. The bill works within the existing system so it does not create any new bureaucracy or programs. There will also be a uniform set of standards and criteria within which the assessment of the significance of a heritage site will be determined.

As I have said, Canada has roughly 500 lighthouses across the country. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has indicated that over time about 200 lighthouses may become surplus to its operational requirements. This shows that this bill is truly important to Canada and its historical heritage. We must act now to ensure that a significant part of our country's past is saved and preserved.

I ask all members of the House to support Bill S-14, an act to protect heritage lighthouses.

Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act May 10th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order. Following consultations I believe if you seek it you would find unanimous consent for the following amendment. I move, seconded by the member for South Shore--St. Margaret's:

That the motion for the second reading of Bill S-14, an act to protect heritage lighthouses, be amended by deleting the words “Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage” and replacing them with the words “Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development”.

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration May 4th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister, I remind the House, has already been forced to withdraw comments attacking a Sikh member. To have a minister, particularly the immigration minister, who has a propensity for racial slurs is unacceptable.

They are not racial slurs if the public and the media believe that there are characteristics of that party that are similar to a popular television program. If the shoe fits, wear it. Will the Prime Minister demand his resignation or--

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration May 4th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, they applaud when they call the kettle black. As a member of the official opposition, I have been called an extreme racist by the immigration minister. No one in this House, never mind the millions of Canadians who voted for the Conservatives, should be subjected to such a low act of desperation. The Liberal Party will not deny in this House its own corruption and is flailing about with extreme accusations to deflect the truth.

Will the Prime Minister remove his immigration minister?

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration May 4th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are desperately using any means to cling to power.

If people are against corruption, thievery and lies, then they are the target of extreme name calling and scare tactics. The Liberals have crossed the line. How dare they accuse honest Canadians, Canadians who will not stand for corruption any longer, of anything less than caring about Canada. Let us remember Ernst Zundel ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party.

The record will show Conservatives have done more for minorities in Canada than any other party. Canada cannot have an immigration minister who attacks honest Canadians in his desperation. The Prime Minister must force the immigration minister to apologize and resign as the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.