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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

Elections Modernization Act October 26th, 2018

Madam Speaker, the amendments made by committee and throughout this process would allow for persons with disabilities to have better access to be able to vote. We know our democracy is only improved when we allow access, as my colleague just mentioned, to Canadian citizens who are allowed to vote, who have the proper voter information and who could subsequently provide either their own identification cards or have someone with the proper documents vouch for them. The number of amendments made that would ensure persons with disabilities are able to vote is really impressive, because it would allow for more inclusivity. Could he speak to other measures within this piece of legislation that would allow for a more inclusive part for Canadians to play in our democracy?

Polio October 24th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on World Polio Day to recognize the efforts of governments, health workers, partners, donors and volunteers who are working hard to stop this virus for good.

Two years ago, the Minister of International Development announced major Canadian support for the global polio eradication initiative, which seeks to end polio by 2020. The UN Foundation, CanWaCH, RESULTS Canada, Global Citizen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and UNICEF have been hustling to make this vision a reality. Rotary International has also been doing heavy lifting. I want to thank all Rotarians, especially the ones in Whitby, who are leading the fight.

Canada has long been a champion of global health and polio eradication. I think every member in this House would agree. Let us keep taking bold steps to end polio.

Corrections and Conditional Release Act October 23rd, 2018

Madam Speaker, I am going to repeat the same things that I have said in my other questions.

When we talk about removing administrative segregation and still having the capacity to separate individuals who pose a safety risk, we would separate them from the general population and put them into secure intervention units. Not only that, but we would also give the resources necessary for them to receive mental health services, rehabilitative programming and other interventions so that we can decrease the likelihood that they will continue to pose a safety risk not only to the staff but to other people within the institution.

I would ask my colleague if he does not believe that there should be any mercy in this system, and to look at how we can help individuals who are in the prison system be reintegrated back into the prison or back into our communities.

Corrections and Conditional Release Act October 23rd, 2018

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.

I have listened to the Conservatives say that this will endanger Correctional Service Canada staff. However, this bill will make more resources available for reintegration programs, mental health care and other interventions and services for Correctional Service Canada staff.

Would the member comment on how this measure will enhance safety within Correctional Service Canada?

Corrections and Conditional Release Act October 23rd, 2018

Madam Speaker, I too am a mom. I am hoping to be able to speak to this piece of legislation from possibly a different perspective, but I do want to talk about the needle exchanges within prisons.

The member talked about safety in prison, including for staff. Right now in federal prisons, the incidence of HIV is 10 times higher than among the general population. If a needle is brought in and shared among many in the population, it is very dangerous for the guards and staff.

That said, needle exchanges in communities are based on international evidence that they decrease infectious disease. There is no correlation with increased violence or increased drug use, but needle exchanges do decrease infectious disease and allow people to move toward treatment.

Does she not believe that until we get to a point where we could totally eliminate drugs, the evidence for needle exchanges allows for a safer context?

Corrections and Conditional Release Act October 23rd, 2018

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague spoke quite a bit about how removing segregation from the system would create an unsafe work environment. I want Canadians to know that members on all sides of the chamber support the fact that our correctional workers do a tremendous job and should be kept safe.

While this particular piece of legislation proposes removing administrative segregation and the capacity for people to be placed in administrative segregation, people actually would be assigned to secure intervention units. Usually, when they are removed it is for safety reasons.

I am not sure how my colleague would describe this as weakening the system when we would be placing them in a secure unit and giving them the tools necessary to help rehabilitate them while they are in that population. Those interventions could possibly reduce the amount of violence that does happen within the prison system. We would be providing our correctional system with a separate place to house those inmates.

It is not like we are just getting rid of it altogether. We would have secure units. We would also be giving inmates mental health support and rehabilitative support to help them reduce violence and correct themselves, thereby adding to the safety of our correctional officers.

Corrections and Conditional Release Act October 23rd, 2018

Madam Speaker, although I was not in the chamber, I was listening in the other room.

As other colleagues have mentioned, I really appreciate my hon. colleague's comments. I wonder if she could comment specifically on the need to look at some of the historical issues individuals face and to address them, not just through mental health supports but also through other rehabilitative supports to ensure that we take a more comprehensive and holistic view of the individual when we are looking at reducing recidivism rates and removing that individual from the general population.

Corrections and Conditional Release Act October 18th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is very well known and recorded that I am very much a strong advocate for mental health. I know the member spoke quite a bit about the mental health issues of inmates and the safety of those who are in charge of them.

While I recognize the need for safeguards, I do take some offence with using the mental health case as a reason to misinform Canadians by saying that inmates will be rewarded, as my colleague mentioned. Inmates will be separated through a secure intervention unit. Inmates will be separated when necessary while providing not only mental health services, but rehabilitative service and other intervention services that are necessary. This is not just about mental health. This is about securely having someone away from the general population and providing them with the services that they need because there is the capacity to rehabilitate and reduce recidivism rates.

The warden has the opportunity to review at five days and then at 30 days, while the person is in the secure intervention unit. I am hoping that my colleague could speak to why he focused on the mental health aspect when he clearly understands that this is not the complete intention of the bill.

Small Business October 16th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, our government was elected on the promise to fight for our small businesses, to reduce red tape and to help them scale up, grow and become export ready. Small businesses are the restaurants, stores, services and artists we love, as well as the high-growth companies that are innovating across sectors and creating good middle-class jobs.

Could the minister tell the House, Canadians and the businesses in Whitby what is being done to highlight the contributions of these hard-working Canadians to our country's economy?

Canada Labour Code October 16th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for what is a historic piece of legislation, Bill C-65. I want to add a dimension to it.

The minister mentioned that women often do not report and that their stories are often not heard. When we add intersectionality to that, either of race, disability or sexual orientation, the reporting is often a lot lower. I am wondering if the minister can elaborate on how this piece of legislation would adjust for that but also make more inclusive workplaces, not just within the federal jurisdiction but beyond that.