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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

Government Response to Petitions April 18th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to one petition.

Parkinson's Awareness Month April 18th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, a month-long campaign across Canada to recognize those impacted by the disease.

Parkinson's is a disease of the brain that touches almost every aspect of daily living. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, which affects more than 100,000 Canadians, and to which there is no known cause or cure. Therefore, most Canadians, including many of us in this chamber, know someone who is affected.

Parkinson Canada offers services and support to those living with Parkinson's, their caregivers, and their families.

More broadly, Parkinson's disease is part of a larger group of neurological conditions that affect millions of Canadians. We must do more to decrease the stigma associated with neurological and mental health conditions by increasing our understanding, education, and awareness.

The Budget April 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for the work he does for his constituents.

My colleague spoke about employment insurance. The government believes that employment insurance should be available to those who have lost jobs and are looking to care for children or loved ones in a time of need. We have made great improvements to the EI system through budget 2016, improvements that will allow for changes for new entrants and re-entrants into the EI system.

We have also called for improved service delivery so processing times can be reduced and people can have access to money faster when they need it. We have reduced wait periods from two weeks to one week. We have extended the working while on claim. We have also made it easier and more flexible to access compassionate care.

Does my hon. colleague think these changes and investments will impact those not only across the country but those in the Quebec region as well?

The Budget April 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech and for representing his riding as well as he does. He spoke quite eloquently about our government's investment into infrastructure and post-secondary education.

I have two post-secondary institutes in my riding, Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. I am wondering if my colleague could speak further to how that investment into post-secondary education, along with the doubling of grants and the ability of students to not have to pay back their loans until they earn a threshold of $25,000, opens up possibilities for the students in his riding, who are probably from marginalized communities, as I know his riding well. How does that help those students?

Taxation February 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the changes in the structure of the Prime Minister's household staff reflect the needs of his young family. The Prime Minister values the Canadian taxpayer. As such, the changes will not result in an increase to his household budget.

As I said before, I am proud of the work that our government is undertaking to better support Canadian families. The Canada child benefit will give more money to nine out of ten families and lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. We are also working in partnership with our provinces and territories to address the critical issue of providing high-quality affordable child care.

As a parent herself, I am sure the member opposite agrees that it is our responsibility as elected officials to do all that we can to support Canadian families. I would repeat my invitation for her to join us in this work by supporting the Canada child benefit.

Taxation February 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand in the House this evening to respond to my colleague's question. The Prime Minister and his wife have three young children. As such, the needs of his family are very different from those of the former prime minister's family. The roles of the staff who support the Prime Minister and his family have been altered to better suit the family's needs and priorities. The Prime Minister has been absolutely clear that the changes to the staffing structure will not result in an increase to the household budget.

As a mother of three myself, I am proud to be a member of this government. We have committed to helping Canadian families who need it most. In the upcoming budget, the Minister of Finance will introduce the Canada child benefit, which would put more money into the pockets of nine out of ten families and help them raise their children. It would also help lift more than 300,000 children out of poverty. Unlike the previous government's unfair policies, which favoured higher-income families, the Canada child benefit is larger, monthly, tax-free, and tied to income, so it would provide the greatest support to low-income families and single-parent households.

I also want to stress that ensuring all families have access to affordable and quality child care is a priority of this government. In case the member opposite is unaware, I would like to inform her about the meeting that the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development had earlier this month with his provincial counterparts to move forward on this important issue. This government understands the need to work with our provincial and territorial partners to design a framework for child care that meets the needs of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. In the absence of past federal leadership, the provinces have been required to move forward with crafting their own child care programs. I am proud to say that they now have a partner with this government.

Like the Prime Minister, I am a parent and understand all too well the pressures of raising children while juggling a busy career. I hope my colleague across the aisle can agree that we can and must do more to support modern Canadian families. I invite her to join us in this important work.

Business of Supply February 18th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to say that we are not here debating whether we recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel, something in which we all truly believe.

The member spoke about healthy, necessary, and democratic debate that exists in Israel and Canada. I ask the member to define what “any and all attempts” means, and if this part of the motion impedes healthy, necessary, and democratic debate in the promotion of peace.

Business of Supply February 18th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I want to say that while I agree with the motion's rejection of the boycott, divest, and sanctions movement, the question that I have for the minister is around the particular wording of “condemn any and all attempts”. I find this wording peculiar in that when I think about this movement I also think about apartheid and how, at the time, we had to engage in discourse with persons who agreed and did not agree with something that was quite terrible in our history.

I ask the minister, how can we promote peace at the same time we are looking to engage in discourse with those who are for and against the movement?

Black History Month February 1st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on February 1 to recognize the beginning of Black History Month.

Throughout the month, Canadians across the country will have opportunities to recognize and commemorate many and varied contributions and experiences of black Canadians.

Too often we regard history as ancient, with little to no connection to our current lives. I strongly urge each member in this House to reflect on their own personal story and how it is impacted by black history.

My own parents, Ray and O'Dessa Caesar, came to this country from Grenada with $100 in their pockets. I have heard about the racism they endured and overcame.

It is important to recognize at this time how far we have come as a country and how far we still have to go. It is also an opportunity to recommit ourselves to ensuring equity and justice are realities for all Canadians, regardless of the colour of their skin.

Jiu-Jitsu Championship January 29th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about a remarkable young woman from my riding of Whitby. On January 2 of this year, Janine Lillian Mutton represented Canada in the 2016 European international Brazilian jiu-jitsu championship in Portugal, capturing the silver medal in the medium heavyweight class.

Janine is the number-one ranked medium heavyweight white belt in North America and number-three ranked in the world. She has also captured the gold medal in six international competitions in the past year alone. I am pleased to rise today to draw attention to this exceptional young woman and to thank her for representing Whitby and Canada so well on the world stage. Congratulations to Janine.