House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was workers.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Hamilton Mountain (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 47% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Science and Technology June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, that answer is of little comfort to the 1,480 Bombardier workers who are losing their jobs in Toronto and Montreal.

After a decade of Conservative rule, the challenges facing aerospace are just one part of the huge issue facing Canada's manufacturing sector. The Conservatives cut $500 million in vital support for research and development, and it is Canadian workers who are paying the price. With more and more good jobs lost, will the Conservatives finally admit that their plan for aerospace is a failure?

Safe and Accountable Rail Act May 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no doubt that protecting the public is a core responsibility of this government—of any government, for that matter—and improving rail liability and accountability measures is long overdue. It is sad that it took the tragedy at Lac-Mégantic to get the government to be serious about that responsibility.

I listened carefully to my colleague's speech. I wonder whether she would comment on a different aspect, one that she did not get to in her speech. It seems to me that one of the things that has become apparent as we have studied the Lac-Mégantic tragedy and others is that the safety of railcars is also something that we need to take very seriously.

I come from Hamilton, where we have lost over 13,000 manufacturing jobs. We all know that under the current Conservative government the country has lost almost 420,000 manufacturing jobs, yet in Hamilton we have a company called National Steel Car, which produces railcars in this country. I know that the company would very much welcome the opportunity to talk to Transport Canada and officials about how to design and build those railcars in Canada.

I wonder whether the member could comment on whether she would support a strategy that would support manufacturing jobs here in Canada, in this case specifically for railcars.

Petitions May 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to give voice to the frustration and, dare I say, anger felt by many of my constituents about the Conservative government's decision to cancel door-to-door mail delivery and install community mailboxes. In my riding of Hamilton Mountain, Canada Post has now started the installation, and the petition campaign is ratcheting up again.

The petitioners are appalled that the Conservatives would allow Canada Post to eliminate home delivery for millions of customers, set up community mailboxes without getting the requisite permits from the city, put thousands of employees out of work, and then have the gall to raise the price of stamps.

Our postal service helps to connect us, and these cuts will unfairly impact the most vulnerable in our society, including seniors and people with disabilities. For all of those reasons, the petitioners call on the Government of Canada to stop these devastating cuts to our postal service and look instead for ways to modernize operations.

The Conservatives continue to find millions of dollars for their well-connected friends. It is time they found a way to keep the mail coming to our doors.

Pipeline Safety Act May 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened closely when the parliamentary secretary was questioning my colleague on the NDP side of the House. She was suggesting that the bill is so perfect, why would everybody not be supporting it?

Of course, we are supporting it. We are supporting it because it is a step in the right direction. However, it is far from a perfect bill when there are discretionary sections in the bill that would allow the cabinet, which is Conservative members for the moment, to decide whether and how much companies must assume liability. That should give Canadians some concern. The Conservative government's record on environmental issues is not exactly the best. I think about amendments to the Species at Risk Act, to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, to the Fisheries Act, to the Navigable Waters Protection Act. We have seen consistent gutting of environmental protections from the government, and now the Conservatives want us to believe that they are the best stewards of the Canadian environment. I find that hard to believe. I suspect my colleague finds it hard to believe.

I wonder whether my colleague would want to elaborate on what we need to do to truly get back to robust environmental protection in this country.

Pipeline Safety Act May 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, one of the things that all of us must strive to do in this place is to act in a way that is sustainable for future generations and I made that point when the Minister of Finance tabled his budget here in the House. At the time, I expressed my shock when he said that his tax cuts may not be sustainable, but he would leave that problem to the Prime Minister's granddaughter to resolve.

I have a granddaughter and I am completely objective. She is the most adorable granddaughter in the country. I want to make sure that Stella is not confronted with the legacy costs of decisions that we make here today. I am a little afraid that we are doing it again with the bill that is before us today.

The bill purports to implement the polluter pay principle, but there is a ton of discretion still left in the bill, both with respect to discretion for the cabinet and with respect to discretion for the National Energy Board.

If a true polluter pays principle is being implemented, it would require that polluters pay—that polluters pay; that part is critical—rather than leaving a debt on the backs of the next generation. That would respect the true meaning of the term “sustainable development”.

As the member has articulated in his speech and as he knows well from committee, the bill does purport to implement the polluter pay principle, but I wonder whether he would agree with me that in fact we could and perhaps should have strengthened those provisions when we had the chance both at committee and at report stage on the bill.

Pipeline Safety Act May 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I worked closely with the member from the Liberal Party on the bill as it was making its way through committee, so we heard many of the same witnesses, obviously, and perhaps drew some of the same conclusions.

I completely agree with him that a bill that purports to implement the polluter pay principle actually falls far short of doing that when so many of the provisions in the bill would actually be left up to the discretion of either the National Energy Board or cabinet.

I suspect that the solution to fixing the problem of the discretionary powers of the cabinet and the lack of confidence Canadians have in those powers we will need to resolve in the next election, and I look forward to the NDP forming the government after October 19.

However, I want to ask the member questions about the discretionary powers of the NEB. Canadians do not have very much confidence in the National Energy Board right now, either. I wonder if the member would talk about what amendments he thinks it is necessary to make to the National Energy Board, whether he believes it ought to be a complete overhaul of the NEB, and what specific amendments he would support when it comes to the future of the National Energy Board.

Canada Post May 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' cuts to Canada Post and the plan to phase out urban door-to-door mail delivery have been an outright disaster.

Instead of putting a stop to it, the Conservatives are allowing Canada Post to ignore city bylaws and railroad unwanted mailboxes into our communities. The City of Hamilton is taking Canada Post to court, just so it can have input on where those mailboxes go. Incredibly, Canada Post is going to court to strike down the bylaw.

Will the minister take responsibility, intervene and finally put a stop to this?

Employment May 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to get lower than gutting EI just to pay for benefits for the rich, but these callous Conservatives just do not seem to care. Thousands of families are struggling to make ends meet and they are getting absolutely no help from the government. Instead, 1,000 more auto workers are now out of work and add to that 400,000 manufacturing jobs already lost under the government.

When will the Conservatives own up to their dismal job numbers and introduce a real plan to create and protect family-sustaining jobs?

Ethics April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the man the Prime Minister chose as his parliamentary secretary, his spokesperson on ethics, is now facing possible jail time after violating the Elections Act, yet at every step, despite all of the accusations, the charges, and the investigation, the Prime Minister staunchly defended him.

Why did the Prime Minister insist on Del Mastro's innocence, or was this just the standard Conservative practice of denying everything—

The Budget April 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, when the finance minister delivered his budget, his goal was never to provide fiscal accountability; rather, it was to launch an election campaign that would buy votes with small, targeted tax breaks to the Conservative voting base, paid for with money from the rest of us. Fortunately, Canadians are not so easily duped.

Economists immediately pointed out that Canadians with higher incomes would be the big winners in this budget. Social justice activists noted that poverty was not even mentioned; neither was climate change. Once again, the EI fund was raided to pay for Conservative election promises rather than to help laid-off workers.

Others pointed out that this was a balanced budget built on sand, created with finance department pixie dust. It was one of the riskiest budgets in recent memory.

Even the finance minister acknowledged that his spending was not sustainable, but he simply shrugged it off by saying he would leave that to the Prime Minister's granddaughter to solve. I was shocked. I do not want my granddaughter to be responsible for picking up the mess that the Conservatives are intentionally leaving behind. Stella deserves better, and Canadians deserve better. This October, they will get better by electing an NDP government.