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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was ensure.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Independent MP for Whitby (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2015, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families March 19th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague mentioned a staggering number of 52% of children in care. When we look at the overrepresentation of children in Ontario's child protection system, it is black children. In the work conducted by Kike Ojo that looked at Toronto specifically, 42% of children in care have at least one black parent. That is more than five times the population of black children in that system.

Therefore, could the hon. minister talk about the lessons learned through this legislation that could translate to other communities that are really affected by a child welfare system that disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable in our communities?

The New House of Commons February 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House, in our magnificent West Block, in this Black History Month. Skilled people have been working on renovating this building for years, and it is obvious that they have done a great job. We are grateful for their years of dedication.

Looking upward at the soaring glass roof supported by steel columns like giant trees, I am reminded that, while we remain rooted in both a proud and painful history, we as parliamentarians are boundless in our capacity to create positive change for Canadians. It takes a team of world-class artists to create an environment that invokes in each of us a tremendous sense of responsibility and duty, while at the same time inspiring us to push boundaries, redefine the status quo and amplify the voices of those most marginalized in our communities.

I thank all who were involved in this project. It is truly an honour to continue to serve the people of Whitby in this majestic place.

Business of Supply February 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague said that Canada is in hot water. I want to get a sense from her of the exact temperature of that water, because it seems we are doing pretty well. We have the lowest employment in decades, which means Canadians are working. In fact, with our investments, Canadian businesses have helped create over 800,000 new jobs.

My hon. colleague went on to talk about the Canada child benefit. In her riding of Sarnia—Lambton specifically, over 8,600 payments have been made through the Canada child benefit. There are 16,000 children in her riding who have received these payments. I know my hon. colleagues on the other side are heckling, but I am sure the parents of these children appreciate having this money, an average of $600 per month.

The record of this government is that our investments in Canadians have allowed them to create jobs, put more money in their pockets and ensure they have a better quality of life.

Business of Supply February 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I agree. Here we are with another opposition day motion talking about taxes, so it is a little like groundhog day for the Conservatives. I also agree with him about the Conservatives' fearmongering with this motion. It seems to be a repeat of things they are accustomed to doing.

As my hon. colleague looks through this long list of cancelled tax credits in the motion, I am sure he and his constituents are aware that they would have had to have been able to afford these programs in order to receive the tax credit. With our Canada child benefit, our national poverty strategy and our national housing strategy, we are taking a holistic approach to ensuring Canadians are well off. Would he not agree that programs like the Canada child benefit ensure that Canadians have more money in their pockets and that it is not only a better strategy than the Conservative one, but one that allows them to choose what they want to do for their children with the money?

Business of Supply February 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague spoke about the investments that we had made in Canadians.

When we look at the motion before us today, Canadians can clearly see that the Canada child benefit is putting $2,000 more into families pockets, compared to 2015. That is having a real impact.

In order for Canadians to have utilized some of the tax credits that the Conservative Party named in the motion, they needed to afford to pay for it in order to get that tax credit somewhere down the road. We have changed that. We have made our policies such that we are putting more money in their pockets so they can choose to do what they want for their families.

Could my hon. colleague speak a little more to the investments we have made in Canadians?

Business of Supply January 29th, 2019

Madam Speaker, my colleague mentioned that we did not have anything to show for the investments we had made in Canadians and that Canadians were not going to get anything out of it. What Canadians have seen, and will see, is that we have the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years and the strongest growth in G7 countries. Through our investments, we have been able to create conditions where 800,000 new jobs have been created by Canadians. This helps to build resiliency.

In addition to that, to help our businesses grow, expand and export, we are the only G7 country with trade agreements with each of the other G7 countries. In fact, we have 14 trade agreements. In terms of competitiveness, we have the LNG, a mega project, the largest investment of $40 billion, and we have decreased red tape for small businesses. Canadians can clearly see that our investments are working on their behalf, and this government is working on their behalf as well.

Federal Sustainable Development Act January 28th, 2019

Madam Speaker, as I mentioned, we accepted amendments one and three. We rejected amendment two, because it fell outside the policy intent of this particular piece of legislation.

This particular piece of legislation is to ensure that across governments, through a whole-of-government approach, we have a collaborative and coordinated effort toward improved oversight and reporting and continued conversations with indigenous people and Canadians about how to ensure that our strategy is robust and will look to improve the lives of Canadians now and in the future. It has increased accountability for departments and agencies in setting and achieving very ambitious sustainable development targets and ensures that we have leadership and can reach our goals.

Federal Sustainable Development Act January 28th, 2019

Madam Speaker, if nothing was more important to the Conservative members, they would understand that climate change is real. It impacts our generation now and will impact future generations. If we do not take it seriously, they will be living with the repercussions of our inaction. If the Conservatives were really taking this question seriously, they would have a plan. For 200-plus days they have said that they would have a plan, but they do not.

When it comes to looking after our children and grandchildren, we have put in place a number of initiatives, including a price on pollution to ensure that polluters pay, looking at a national poverty strategy to ensure that we are lifting children out of poverty with our CCB and ensuring that we have a plan that is comprehensive, holistic and whole-of-government and allows our children and grandchildren to have a prosperous future in this country.

Federal Sustainable Development Act January 28th, 2019

Madam Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to stand in our new chamber to speak to Bill C-57 and to continue to represent the people of Whitby, who have graciously allowed me to be here and who I know are very interested in the environment and issues that relate to the sustainable development goals.

I be splitting my time with the member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

The bill responds to a number of recommendations from the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. I would like to thank the committee members in this place and the other place for ensuring we have legislation that focuses on ensuring increased accountability by departments and agencies for setting and achieving a very ambitious sustainable development target, one that promotes close collaboration with all agencies through a whole-of-government approach. It sets a higher bar with respect to transparency, with improved reporting, oversight and continued conversations with indigenous peoples and individuals right across Canada to respect diversity and gender parity. It provides improvements through our robust and wholesome look at a federal sustainable development strategy, ensuring it incorporates the different views of Canadians across our country.

We have released the draft 2019-2022 federal sustainable development strategy. It is open for comment by Canadians until April 2. We want Canadians to help make the strategy stronger, so I would invite individuals to provide their commentary on that. The sustainable development goals data hub is on the Statistics Canada website.

I get a lot of questions from young people. Millennial kids, for example, email me and are seized with what we are doing as a government to ensure we keep on top of our commitments around sustainable development, particularly the environment, and to ensure we leave a world that is better for them, our children and grandchildren.

I happened to be part of the delegation that went to the UN last year with the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, at which Canada gave its voluntary national review on sustainable development. It was a great moment for Canada to be there to express its commitment to a whole-of-government approach to sustainable development.

Today we are talking about the amendments that came from the other place. We accepted amendments 1 and 3. I know that other colleagues have questioned why our government did not accept amendment 2 to have incorporated in some of the contracts the sustainable development goals and targets. We have not supported this amendment because it goes beyond the policy intent of the legislation, which purpose is to make decision-making related to sustainable development more transparent and subject to accountability to Parliament.

I want to reference the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and member of Parliament for Central Nova. Last year, he spoke to the legislation quite passionately. In his comments on amendment 2, he spoke to the 2018 report, a progress report that shows that we are on target to meet many of the targets set forth in the 2016-2019 development strategy. In particular, in December 2017, he spoke to the fact that almost 8% of coastal marine areas were being conserved or were on track to reach our target of 10% by 2020.

He also referenced reducing greenhouse gas emissions from federal government buildings and fleets. We have achieved a 28% reduction in GHG emissions relative to 2005, more than half way to our target of 40% by 2030. The progress report highlights that we are well on our way to achieving this target. When we talk about protecting terrestrial areas and inland waters, we are not moving fast enough. Through having a whole-of-government approach and legislation that focuses on ensuring we are measuring those targets, we are able to see where we are doing well.

I mentioned our marine and government approach to reducing GHGs and where we could improve. We saw that we were not moving fast enough to protect our terrestrial and inland waters. Therefore, in budget 2018, we invested $1.3 billion in biodiversity and conservation to help us bolster that target and ensure we keep on track.

I would like to outline some of our government's accomplishments. We have heard others in this place talk about what we have done on the environment and our environmental stewardship, as well as putting a price on pollution, our insistence that polluters pay for the damage they do to our country. However, more important, we cannot just look at climate change in a silo.

One of the principles of the legislation is to ensure there is a whole-of-government approach. We have taken initiatives to ensure that climate change does not negatively or disproportionately impact individuals in our society who may not have a lot of means. We introduced Canada's first-ever poverty reduction strategy. That is built upon previous investments from the Canada child benefit, our national housing strategy, our public transit investments and our investments in the Canada workers benefit. We know that individuals who are working to become part of the middle class tend to be more negatively impacted by climate change, so we have to put in buffers. We have to put in place the means to ensure those individuals are well protected.

We know women and children are often the first to feel the brunt of the impact of climate change. We have a strategy around gender equality, ensuring we are looking at the legislation that comes before us through a gender lens and ensuring that women are given the opportunities they need to thrive in Canada and do so successfully.

For our indigenous population, we are working toward ensuring long-term water advisories are lifted by March of 2021. We are well on our way to doing that.

A number of initiatives need to be put in place to ensure we are not looking at the impacts of climate change in a silo. We have taken leadership around ensuring our climate plan is secure. However, we have also put forward different initiatives to ensure all Canadians, no matter their means, no matter their diversity, are able to have a sustainable future in our country. While we look to protect our environment, we also need to have the capacity to grow our economy and have good, well-paying jobs not just now but in the future.

Elections Modernization Act December 13th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague outlined quite a few measures that Bill C-76 would put in place to ensure that our democracy remains open to all Canadians to be able to vote, would increase their capacity to vote and would increase their engagement from a very early age.

The specific amendments that were brought back from the Senate speak to foreign interference and ensuring that all parties support that there is no foreign interference. As this proposed legislation would strengthen what we do across the country, this additional amendment would protect from foreign interference. Could my hon. colleague speak to the fact that we have all-party support on this, and that this proposed legislation would further engage Canadians and also protect Canadians and our democracy?