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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was terms.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Conservative MP for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 2019, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply March 23rd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague and I have both travelled down the same path in terms of HIV-AIDS and have similar concerns about some things that have happened. My question to the hon. member is how paragraph three, looking at another country and making negative comments, is in any way helpful to Canada and its relationship with other countries. Why is that part of the motion?

Business of Supply March 23rd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, my background is in nursing. A lot of my time was devoted to maternal and child health care in many remote communities in Canada. I recognize the importance of supporting mothers in some family planning options.

I have read the motion which the Liberals have put forward. When I hit the third paragraph, I was absolutely astounded that they would bring our neighbours to the south into the debate. It is terrible and inappropriate to bring that part of the motion forward for debate.

I would like to ask my hon. colleague what would have possessed the Liberals to actually include the third paragraph in the motion.

Sébastien's Law (Protecting the Public from Violent Young Offenders) March 19th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I listened with interest and I listened earlier when the Minister of Justice talked about the importance of prevention and rehabilitation and about the protection of society. I also listen to statistics, and whether the crime rate is going up or down, there are times when we have people who are not remediable to either rehabilitation or prevention. We have horrific circumstances, horrific crimes.

Would the member not agree that in those cases we need to have the proper legislation to ensure the protection of society?

Taxation March 17th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, opposition members have never met a tax they did not like. Given the chance, they would raise the GST and introduce a job-killing carbon tax.

Yesterday the NDP introduced a bill to tax MP3s and iPods. Both the Bloc and the Liberals support their coalition partners on this tax on Canadian consumers.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell the House our government's position regarding this new tax on Canadians?

The Budget March 8th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I think every Canadians was absolutely thrilled. We were all engaged in the Olympics in Vancouver. It was sunny and beautiful and it showed us all at our best. Our athletes performed exceptionally well and I think we are all very proud of them. To continue to support our athletes is very important.

I also want to touch briefly on the importance of the stimulus for our municipalities. The gas tax that has been doubled and came to them early was one of the things I heard in my consultations, and how important the sewer, water and highway programs are. Our municipalities are very pleased with many of the measures that the government has taken.

The Budget March 8th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the NDP members at least read the budget this year. That is certainly a move in the right direction.

However, I cannot believe they would not vote for the spending of $4.1 billion on housing for low income seniors and people with disabilities. We have many things that the NDP members often say is important. I cannot believe they will not support measures that will help people in their communities.

In order to pay for social programs it is always important to have a robust and strong business economy. That is something that the NDP members have never fixed in on. Business is what pays for the many social programs that we desire.

The Budget March 8th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I hear the comments of the opposition but I do not think our Conservative government needs to take any lessons from the Liberals in terms of how to manage a budget. When we were in a difficult time before. we saw them cut health transfers and social services transfers. They devastated provinces and municipalities.

We are looking at deficit reduction with a modest, reasonable plan. A tax and spend self-described government that looks at increasing GST and an unaffordable child care program, I do not believe our government needs to take any lessons from the Liberals on this.

The Budget March 8th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today to join the debate on year two of Canada's economic action plan and support the budget tabled on March 4. We are at a key moment in history, as we emerge from the global recession, where we must maintain our commitment to the nation's economic recovery. We cannot stray from our course and risk the gains that we have made.

The focus of this year's budget on jobs and growth will help to address the needs in my riding of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo. It is important to start by acknowledging the very difficult circumstances families and communities found themselves in over the last year. Through no fault of their own, the deepest global economic recession since the 1930s took its toll on cities both large and small.

One example that stands out in my mind is the community of Clearwater, which is located in the North Thompson Valley. With a population of 5,000, they enjoy living in a stunningly beautiful area in the interior of British Columbia. The residents rely on tourism, farming and the forestry industry for their livelihood and all these areas experienced significant challenges during the recession.

In July of last year, the community received the very difficult news that the mill was closing down indefinitely, affecting hundreds of employees. Long-tenured workers found themselves without employment. Families had to live with drastically reduced means and the impact resonated throughout the community, from the hockey rink to the local shops.

With fortitude of spirit, they have maintained optimism, searched for ways to diversify their economy and ensured that they leverage maximum support from the two years of our economic action plan. Funding from the community adjustment fund, the job opportunities program and RInC will create much needed jobs and build important infrastructure for the future. Job retraining, support for long-tenured workers and an extension of EI benefits have provided and will continue to provide necessary assistance for families.

This need for support will be transitional and the community remains confident that the forestry industry will turn around in the upcoming year. Therefore, maintaining the stimulus for a second year is of critical importance to help mitigate these difficult times.

We all recognize, however, that these measures are no replacement for a vibrant sector and economy. Clearwater is just one example of both the hardships faced in my communities and how our action plan has provided assistance. The story is similar in South Cariboo, Valemount and many of the small towns in the interior of British Columbia.

During the month of January, I engaged in an extensive public consultation throughout the riding in order to provide input into the budget process. This included meeting with local governments, seniors groups, chambers of commerce, students, the agricultural community and individual constituents. The input received recognized the significant challenges that the economy was facing and their suggestions were modest, practical and focused. It was with great pleasure last Thursday to see some of these specific concerns addressed effectively in the budget.

An important issue that I heard from the business community was that access to credit remained a significant challenge. I am pleased to hear that year two of the economic action plan will extend access financing through the business credit availability program and also the creation of the vehicle and equipment financing partnership.

Another example of an outstanding program made possible by our action plan was the $4.1 billion committed for social housing. I recently had the pleasure of announcing a contract for low-income housing for seniors. Using modular unit construction and pine beetle wood, a local Kamloops company will be building the units, which will be located in communities throughout the province. Not only will this support the forestry industry and much needed jobs, but it will provide an attractive and practical rural solution for low-income seniors who are experiencing housing challenges.

A less costly but no less important program is the increased funding for community futures. Representatives of small urban and rural communities in my riding said that they found great value in the program and were very happy to see this measure continue.

Agriculture is another important sector in my riding. With a proud history of ranching, our cattlemen have had to deal with many challenges over the last year, ranging from BSE to the recession. Our economic action plan last year provided $5.5 million in British Columbia for repairing pine beetle-damaged fence lines on Crown land. Additional support for the slaughter improvement program in this year's budget represents another area of critical funding.

The ultimate solution to ensure our hard-working ranchers survive these tough economic times requires increased demand for our beef and expansion in foreign markets. The Prime Minister's December 2009 announcement that Canadian beef exporters now have full access to the key market of Hong Kong, with an estimated value of $.5 billion, is a great start. This represents some of the important overseas trade negotiations that our government remains committed to.

In terms of mining, our government sees an opportunity for increased economic diversification. The extension of the mining exploration tax credit will help companies raise capital, modernizing the regulatory review process will support projects moving forward in a timely fashion and extra resources provided to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to support consultations with aboriginal communities is also imperative for moving forward on upcoming mining projects.

Budget 2010 recognizes the importance of returning to a balanced budget. Unlike the Liberal government in the 1990s, our strategy does not include simply shifting the burden to provinces and municipalities. We have committed to maintaining important social and health services and, in addition, we will not reverse the important gains and tax reductions that individuals and families have enjoyed.

We have established a three-point plan to return to a balanced budget and I would like to talk briefly about the strategy. Ending stimulus spending requires important timing and, although we are seeing important signs of recovery, we must remain focused on jobs and economic growth. In order to keep the momentum, we must fully implement the $19 billion in temporary stimulus. My earlier example of Clearwater is a prime illustration of the importance of continuing the stimulus.

Restraining spending, reviewing government operations and a few additional measures, such as closing tax loopholes, is anticipated to save $17.6 billion over five years. Many Canadians have had not only to live within their means over the past year, but in some cases they have had to significantly cut back. Private citizens expect the same of their government.

Freezing department budgets for 2010 and requiring the 1.5% negotiated wage increase to be found internally is a reasonable measure toward spending restraint. Measures such as a comprehensive review of all government administration and reduction in governor in council positions will ensure value for taxpayer dollars.

With the changing demographics, reductions through attrition will be less painful and the impact on our valued public service will be remarkably reduced. Who from British Columbia can forget black Friday when massive layoffs in the public sector resulted in the loss of many of our brightest and best? With creativity and ingenuity, departments will be able to adapt and continue to provide Canadians with the programs and services that we currently enjoy.

Of critical importance, our budget recognizes that we must create an environment where business will thrive. Lower taxes, free trade and the proposal to make Canada a tariff-free zone will all help businesses succeed.

I am very proud of our government's management of the global economic recession and I am relieved that although we are not comfortable with debt, it is at a manageable level and the envy of many around the world. Budget 2010 represents a strong plan that will lead the way on jobs and growth. I urge all of my colleagues to support this important budget and plan.

The Budget March 8th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech with great interest. I certainly appreciate his comments about International Women's Day and his knowledge regarding the fisheries.

I would like to focus on some of the budget elements of his speech. There are many things that we hear regularly in the House in terms of some of the things that the NDP value. I would like to ask the member how he can vote against $19 billion in economic stimulus that will be putting people to work.

There is significant investment of over $4.1 billion in social housing for low income seniors and people with disabilities.

I would like to ask him how, in good conscience, he can actually vote against these very important measures for all Canadians.

Petitions March 5th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition that follows many prior petitions from my constituents in Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo. They are asking all parliamentarians to support private member's Bill C-391 to finally get rid of the wasteful long gun registry.