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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 February 3rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, this party has asked more questions about agriculture in this House because repeatedly we get the same one answer over and over again.

We have heard other members refer to the movie Groundhog Day where people keep reliving the same day over and over. Again, the same answer comes from the government about what it is doing for agriculture.

Consequently, my party has had to repeatedly ask more and more questions and make more and more references to circumstances in individual ridings that are deteriorating each day as we go along.

The farmers in this country are now going into a season where they will have to make some very critical decisions. If we do not get some answers we will continue asking more questions of the government to make sure that farmers get the relief and the remedy that they need right now.

Supply February 3rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Brandon—Souris.

“Scugog Farmers are calling for help” was the headline in the Port Perry Star , a local newspaper in my riding of Durham, last week. The farmers in Canada are calling for help from the government.

Yesterday I spoke about a meeting in my riding where, despite a winter storm, hundreds of farmers, not only from Durham, but from York, Victoria, Simcoe and Essex counties, gathered to express their frustrations and to consider how to be heard by governments in this country.

As Geri Kamenz, vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, has said:

Ontario farmers are running out of alternatives to keep their farms in production. They have called on their organizations to lobby government, but government ignores them. They have conducted tractor rallies and highway blockades, but government ignores them. They have staged orderly demonstrations, but government ignores them.

Today, representatives of over 28 agricultural organizations and boards are meeting in Guelph to come together to create one voice for all the cultural industries in Ontario because they are not being heard and they need help.

Well, this side of the House has listened and is speaking and has spoken for this industry throughout this session of Parliament.

As our leader has said, we are the voice of rural Canada in Ottawa.

We demanded a debate on the BSE crisis in the first weeks of this session. We forced a full day debate on the expropriation of farmlands at Mirabel. Our leader has called for a cull cow program. Our agricultural critic has pressured the government over and over to meet the real needs of farmers in Canada. In fact, we have asked more questions on agriculture in this House than all other parties put together.

Today I am proud to stand and speak to the motion before this House.

As Joe Hickson, from Lindsay, has said:

It doesn't matter if you're in cattle, dairy, grain, corn...the whole industry is going backwards and if we don't put the brakes on it, we're going to be so far behind the ball that we won't be able to dig ourselves out .

The government's response has been consistently to point to the CAIS program as its answer to the current crisis.

The CAIS program does not work. It was never designed to be an emergency fund program and the government knows that. The CAIS program does not address trade injury and the government knows that. It was told that in the George Morris Centre report when the CAIS program was set up.

Therefore, when the U.S. border closed, the CAIS program, as it was, would not serve Canada's beef industry.

The CAIS program does not work for the grain and oilseeds sector in its current deteriorating circumstances. CAIS needs to be changed.

First, we must eliminate the deposit requirement and not penalize those who need the money to pay the bills and to pay suppliers. They must have access to the money now and without being penalized for three years after.

The program needs much greater transparency in calculations and formulae so that the producer-accountant payment projections are bankable numbers with much higher probability of realization when payments are actually made.

The appeal process needs to be clarified and clearly communicated.

The modified accrual accounting treatment of inventory valuation must be addressed. This Enron type of accounting distorts the support provided by CAIS.

I have only made reference to a few ways in which the CAIS program can be improved to really serve the farmers in Canada. The farmers in Ontario, I am convinced, will be coming to Ottawa with one voice to ask for these and other remedies to the CAIS program. They deserve to know how the government plans to respond to the EU's decision to reinstate export subsidies on wheat. This decision clearly violates the spirit of the WTO negotiations. As long as Canada fails in its responsibilities to play a leadership role in this matter, Canadian farmers will continue to suffer.

Today the government is failing our agricultural community. Agriculture and the auto industry are the two industries that drive the economy in my province of Ontario. The farm community in Ontario is calling for help. I believe they deserve to be heard. I challenge the government to answer their call for help.

Today I am pleased to stand here on their behalf and ask that they not be ignored once again. I am proud to stand with my party and support this motion for the immediate removal of the CAIS support program deposit requirement. This is now a cash flow issue for farmers and the other sectors affected by the current state of the industry.

I ask all members to support the motion and to support the agricultural community in Canada.

Agriculture February 2nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, in January I was pleased to attend a meeting of the Region 4 Chapter of the Ontario Corn Producers Association in Durham. The annual meeting was followed by a grassroots meeting to discuss the real challenges faced by my farmers day after day as they move into another season.

Thanks to Joe Hickson and Dale Mountjoy, over 300 farmers attended this session, representing the cattle, dairy, feather farms, suppliers and banking institutions, all an indication of the significance of their challenges.

What is clear to me is the government's support programs are not working. Simply working to open the border is not enough.

This industry can no longer afford a reactionary issue by issue agriculture strategy that the government has given it for the past decade. What the farmers in my riding and what farmers across the country need are programs that work for them, a domestic agricultural and agrifood policy.

Telefilm Canada Act December 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, this amendment to the Telefilm Canada Act is a technical bill, an exercise in housekeeping for this agency.

Telefilm was created as the Canadian Film Development Corporation in 1967. Its mandate was to foster and promote the development of a feature film industry in Canada. Originally, it was given $10 million to invest in the film industry as a loan fund. In 1984 it was renamed Telefilm Canada.

Over the years it has nurtured creative minds in Canada who wanted to be part of our country's legacy in the field of film. The government's investment into this organization has grown from $10 million to $19 million in 1977, to $165 million in 1980, and to today's allocation of $250 million.

From its first years its attempts to create a viable film industry have been valiant and we have seen many successes. However, today, as over past decades, many films made by Canadians are unseen by Canadians. I look forward to a review of the Canadian film industry to be undertaken by the heritage committee in the new year.

Although government support for feature film development has increased over the years, it does not represent the major portion of the $250 million of Telefilm's budget. Over the years as technology evolved Telefilm has been assigned new responsibilities not by mandate nor legislative reform but by convention. These responsibilities are in other film related fields but fields not mandated through legislation to this agency. In fact, these activities are being done without a legal mandate, in some cases for over 20 years.

As its activities expanded the government directed more and more funds toward these non-legislated activities and not until the Auditor General identified these technical inconsistencies has the government acted to legalize these activities.

As the government stated earlier, through the parliamentary secretary, Bill C-18 simply places in law what it has been doing out of the legislative framework. Why does the government consistently disregard their responsibility for accountability in the use of taxpayers' dollars? The bill finally provides the legislative authority to expand Telefilm's mandate from only feature film into television programming, new media and sound recording.

Today we have an amendment to the act in response to the Auditor General's remarks, but this bill is only a first step. The ministry cannot plan to replace a real dialogue on the future of the film industry in Canada with only this exercise in housekeeping.

If the government were serious about governing and not only addressing inconsistencies when it is caught, this legislation would be bringing forward a new vision for Telefilm and not simply correcting the past. This bill should be part of a greater process. It should be part of the process of ensuring that Telefilm is relevant for the next 35 years, not simply catching up for the past 35 years.

Although Bill C-18 is better than the status quo, it is a housekeeping bill which I believe should lead to a bigger process, a process that we have been demanding in so many of the broadcasting and cultural areas.

As the parliamentary secretary stated, a review is called for, if only the government would determine its priorities. If Bill C-18 is bringing into the legislative framework activities the government has allowed it to carry on, we wonder what other activities the government is allowing to be carried on outside of the legislative framework.

What will happen to Telefilm in the future? What will happen to Telefilm Canada if its television production support program is now moved to the Canadian Television Fund to address the challenges faced by that fund? Will Telefilm's recent policy changes, to increase box office share by making movies with broader appeal, be maintained by its new executive director Wayne Clarkson?

In its annual report for 2003-04 the board of Telefilm itself also asks for a revision of the Telefilm Canada Act in order to modernize its framework and financial mechanism. Bill C-18 responds to that request. This bill is adequate for what it is, a first step. However, support for this bill should not imply that the challenges ahead have been met. There is more work to be done.

Now that Telefilm has been given a mandate that matches its activities, Canadians would like to be assured that Telefilm is not only acting in a way that is accountable to the Canadian, but that it is successful in meeting its mandate as well. The government is responsible for taking a leadership role. What Canadians need from our federal government is a vision and the courage to take hold of the future and to ensure that Canadian creators have a significant part to play in that future. I look forward to working on the future together with the creative and production community in Canada.

The audio visual industries are critical to Canada and each sector deserves the needed support through effective and meaningful programs. I find it interesting that the government has asked the opposition parties for support to convince the finance minister to ensure there is funding for the cultural communities. Support for the cultural communities was referred to in the throne speech. We would like to be convinced that not only are the cultural industries being supported by the minister and the parliamentary secretary, but by the entire government as well.

Broadcasting Industry December 8th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage said she could not interfere and hid behind the independence of the CRTC when Canadians wanted Rai television and CHOI radio, yet she feels free to meddle with CBC programming.

Why is it necessary for a Liberal appointed president of CBC to ask the minister to stop interfering?

Citizenship and Immigration November 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, letter after letter to newspapers over the weekend voice the outrage Canadians feel over this government's unfair immigration policies. Liberal promotion of favouritism and queue jumping has angered immigrants and their families. The Prime Minister must know that all the actions of his immigration minister have upset all Canadians and not just recent immigrants.

Will the Prime Minister do the right thing, restore integrity and fairness to the immigration system, and fire the minister?

Citizenship and Immigration November 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister's actions are hypocritical. She says she's against importing women into Canada to work demeaning jobs, but then says it is okay. She says she is the minister of hope and dreams, but is allowing 700,000 immigrants to languish in the queue while she rewards her campaign workers.

Will the Prime Minister admit she has failed as an immigration minister and fire her?

Canadian Heritage November 25th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, 50% of the moneys raised goes back to the magazine. This grant application was languishing in the department for over six months. Does the minister expect Canadians to believe that a $40,000 grant only one month after she was the cover girl is merely a coincidence?

Canadian Heritage November 25th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the September issue of a magazine featured the Minister of Canadian Heritage on its cover. We have now learned that the same magazine received a $40,000 grant from the minister's department.

Has the minister learned nothing from the sponsorship scandal? Why is she handing out taxpayers' money to buy her own publicity?

Daniel Andrew Iannuzzi November 22nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to Dan Iannuzzi, who passed away in Rome over the weekend.

Dan Iannuzzi, a third generation Italian Canadian, dedicated his entire life to international and multicultural media. He founded Corriere Canadese and the Ethnic Press Association of Ontario.

I have known Dan for over 28 years, an inspiration to many over the years and a friend of my family. He was a man with deep passion and a vision for Canada. I worked with him when he fought for and launched CFMT-TV, the first multilingual television service in the world.

Dan Iannuzzi was fiercely Canadian and proudly Italian, the masthead on his newspaper. The country has lost a champion and community leader with the passing of Daniel Andrew Iannuzzi.