House of Commons photo

Track Cathy

Your Say

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word is terms.

Conservative MP for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 2015, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Indigenous Affairs June 15th, 2016

Again, Madam Speaker, this is a decision that has been coming for a long time. It came down about two months ago. We are no further ahead in understanding than we were two months ago in terms of the response to a very important specific decision.

Regarding medical benefits, are they in or are they out? Natural resource projects are very complicated already and we are again no clearer in terms of how we will integrate the Métis and non-status into the decisions around natural resource projects.

The Liberals are very quick to come forward in terms of accepting, for example, the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but they are very slow in terms of what they are doing with the Daniels decision, and more importantly, showing it both to the Métis and non-status Indians, and to all Canadians.

Indigenous Affairs June 15th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I am very glad to have the opportunity to follow up on a question that I asked with respect to the Daniels decision.

On April 14, a very important decision was rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada. For the first time, our Métis and non-status Indians got some clarity that they had long been waiting for, that is, that they are Indians under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act. This really has significant, immediate, and important consequences. There are approximately 200,000 Métis and 400,000 non-status Indians who really have been left in limbo for a long time.

We did note at the time that the minister said that she welcomed the decision, respected the Supreme Court, and was really glad to see that there was some important interpretation put around it.

My concern is this. The government always likes to suggest that we are not respectful of rights, that we are indifferent, and that we are not concerned about the significant challenges our indigenous communities have over the years. There is nothing that is further from the truth. However, it is our responsibility, and the government's responsibility, to share with Canadians the consequences of many important decisions.

I will provide a quick example. At the time I had said that because the government members knew the decision was coming down they should have been anticipating how it would end and have a plan in place: plan A if it goes in a certain direction and plan B if it goes in a different direction. Instead, they sort of acted surprised, as though they received this decision and had not contemplated anything in terms of how they were going to respond to it, other than saying they welcomed it.

There is a simple example that was immediate. I believe it was the son of Mr. Daniels, or it might have been another person, who was interviewed at the time who said that they have an expectation that they will have the rights to the health care benefits that status Indians have. If members are not aware, those are simple things like dental and pharmaceutical coverage. That is an expectation. Therefore, we asked the government at the time if it had thought about it and whether it would be providing those kinds of supports. It responded that it welcomed the decision and that we were wrong to ask the question. It said, “Don't ask the question because that's inappropriate.” Therefore, we are trying to find out what analysis the government has done and where it will go next.

This is not the first time that government members sort of jump in and have great glowing words but actually do not do a good job, such as when, all of a sudden a year ago in June, they said, “We are going to implement the 94 recommendations”, but did not have a plan.

What continues to concern us is that there was this significant decision and we are now two months later. Therefore, perhaps tonight we will get a bit more detail, other than the general statements that we always get, in terms of what the government will do in response to this very important decision.

Natural Resources June 15th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, as members can see, both the minister and the Prime Minister continue to do a dance on this issue of a veto.

When they promised to implement the UN declarations, the expectation of first nations, clearly, was they would have a veto over resource development. As Chief Bellegarde said, “...the right to say yes, and the right to say no...”. The Liberals are creating confusion.

Again, we need a simple answer, yes or no?

Natural Resources June 15th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the AFN chief said that more than 130 first nations were dead set against pipelines and energy development. The rest were demanding an absolute veto over any proposed developments. As can be imagined, this creates great uncertainty for investors.

Could the Prime Minister clarify for all Canadians whether first nations have the right to veto, yes or no?

Main Estimates 2016-17 June 14th, 2016

Madam Speaker, the revisionist history of the current government is absolutely incredible. What the Liberals are forgetting is an economic action plan that rolled infrastructure money out the door very rapidly, but the Conservatives did not have a minister who needed to spend almost $1 million on furniture. If they are going to roll out the infrastructure program the way they have rolled out setting up offices, Canadians have a lot to be concerned about.

Main Estimates 2016-17 June 14th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I listened both to the minister and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. I find it quite stunning that they are trying to defend spending almost $1 million on of office furniture to run this department.

It is important to not get into a lot of revisionist history here, but I think back to the time of our economic action plan. Of course the former minister of transport and infrastructure, John Baird, ran both of these ministries. He managed to get $40 billion worth of infrastructure out the door. Not only that, he did it with the Auditor General being very approving of how that program was managed, and he ran it with half the staff.

If he could run one of the largest infrastructure investments in Canadian history and he ran Transport Canada at the same time with half the staff, why does the minister need almost $1 million in new furniture and office space?

Main Estimates 2016-17 June 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and what I heard was that he had to hire a chief of staff, and he had to hire staff. However, every minister who was appointed by the Prime Minister had to appoint staff. The issue here is that every other minister did not have extraordinary costs in setting up their offices associated with hiring these staff.

We have heard time and again that there is space available in terms of staff. There is a surplus of equipment, furniture, and artwork. Therefore, the reason we are talking here tonight is not because he had to hire staff, like every other minister had to, but because his expenses stand out extraordinarily high in comparison to every other colleague.

Modernizing Access to Product Information Act June 14th, 2016

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-290, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (machine-readable code).

Mr. Speaker, this private member's bill would modernize the Food and Drugs Act so that regulations may be made with respect to the addition of smart phone code providing prescribed mandatory information and supplementary product information to the label of all foods, drugs, cosmetics, devices, and therapeutic products.

It is my hope that the use of smart phone code will provide consumers with an easy way to read information more readily and assist them in their daily lives.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Indigenous Affairs June 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, let us review the Liberals' actual record for indigenous people.

In spite of a ruling from the Human Rights Tribunal, they have put children in jeopardy by not implementing Jordan's Principle. Three months and friendship centres are still waiting for operating funds, and apparently there is no interest in resolving long-standing land claims.

Now we hear the northern Manitoba Dene, who were almost at the finish line, are now back at the starting point. Why will the minister not commit to sit down with the Dene and resolve the north of 60 land claim?

Indigenous Affairs June 7th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs said she knew exactly how first nations feel about transparency. Yet a member of Odanak First Nation said that without the transparency act, “It's not difficult for First Nations to get information on how their money is spent, it's impossible....”

Beverly Brown of Squamish First Nation said the government would be “negligent if they didn't enforce the act”.

Would the minister tell these individuals why they do not deserve easily available information, like all other Canadians?