House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was support.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Liberal MP for King—Vaughan (Ontario)

Lost her last election, in 2021, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Multiculturalism in King—Vaughan September 21st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Canada's vibrant multicultural mosaic. My riding of King—Vaughan is a shining example of Canada's diversity, where people from all around the world live together in harmony and prosperity, celebrating our different cultures and traditions.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend an Eid al-Adha, the celebration of the sacrifice, which provides Muslims an opportunity to reaffirm their faith and gather together as a community.

Other celebrations held in my riding are Navratri, a festival thanking the Durga goddess, who is the personification of female strength and the dispenser of justice, and Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

I invite all members of the House to join me in wishing all Canadians Eid Mubarak, happy Navratri, and Shana Tova.

Amendments to Standing Orders June 20th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague across the way carefully to understand exactly what message he is trying to get across and what his frustration is. I am confused. The government put forward a discussion paper to start a discussion. We have heard that said several times today. I hear the laughter on the other side, but immediately following the discussion paper, almost within hours, we were hearing misinformation, misinterpretation from the other side of the House being asked in question period and being thrown at this side. There was no interest in having a true discussion.

I am going to address one of the points that the member raised. Why was the Prime Minister looking to try and have one day in QP and then be absent the rest of the week? I heard that over and over again in QP. It was completely not the intent of the government. The government's intent was to add time to have the Prime Minister answer questions.

I am hearing him again today clearly not having the right information, continuing to express this rhetoric. How did the member opposite come to that kind of a conclusion? What evidence and information was provided that said the Prime Minister was just going to stand up once a week to be available for questions?

Committees of the House June 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, entitled “Healthy Environment, Healthy Canadians, Healthy Economy: Strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999”.

I want to thank all the witnesses who came before the committee and those who sent briefs to share their expertise with us. I also want to give special thanks to the clerk and the analysts who helped us to sort through all the advice, write the report, and bring forward recommendations. We had many thoughtful discussions, engaging all members of the committee. I am glad to report that we did agree on many of the recommendations, despite not being able to develop a unanimous report.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Cannabis Act June 7th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have been sitting here listening to my colleague across the way. I know she is an engineer, and has professed many times that data should guide, facts should be what informs us and helps us make our decisions. I have been listening to her speech, and I am really quite shocked. What she is quoting is not at all the experience that I have had with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. We have seen amazing work coming forward. We have not seen a slowdown.

The member has been quoting that there have been some delays and lots of problems. I would like her to tell us where this data is coming from. It certainly is not the experience that I am having. I am confused. I would like to hear her explain where that data is coming from.

The Environment June 5th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, as chair of the environment and sustainable development committee, I am aware of the work that the government is doing to improve and protect the environment for Canadians now and for generations to come. In my riding of King—Vaughan, I am proud of the continued investment in expanding protected spaces—for example, Happy Valley Forest on the Oak Ridges moraine.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change speak to the importance of World Environment Day?

Committees of the House June 1st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in relation to Bill C-323, an act to amend the Income Tax Act, regarding the rehabilitation of historic property. The committee has studied the bill and pursuant to Standing Order 97.1(1), requests a 30-day extension to consider it.

Italian National Day May 31st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate Italian National Day, Festa della Repubblica.

After the Second World War and the fall of fascism, on June 2, 1946, Italians held a referendum to determine their desired form of government, either a republic or a monarchy.

The Italian people voted for a republic and ever since Italians around the world have celebrated Republic Day.

This year Italian Canadians have another reason to celebrate.

I am proud to say that my motion, Motion No. 64, declaring June as national Italian Heritage Month, recently passed unanimously in the House. This motion acknowledges the government's recognition of the contributions that Italian Canadians have made to our society.

Please join with me on June 2 in wishing all those of Italian descent Buona Festa della Repubblica.

Italian Heritage Month May 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is truly a privilege to rise today to again acknowledge the importance of the Italian Canadian community in Canada and to thank all those who have participated in the debate on my motion to designate June as national Italian heritage month.

I would like to especially thank all my colleagues on the Liberal Italian caucus, many of whom had a chance to tell their very important stories during this debate. I would also like to acknowledge you, the Assistant Deputy Speaker, representing Nipissing—Timiskaming, for also being part of today's proceedings. It is a very special day.

It was nice to hear all the speeches in support of the motion. This broad support speaks to the importance of the Italian Canadian community all across Canada. We have heard speeches that have mentioned the early explorers from Italy who helped to discover Canada, and then heard about those who came to do battle here, first with the French and then the British, and stayed. We have heard about the craftsmen, the artists, the musicians, and the teachers who came in the 19th century, then the builders who helped to build our railways and our cities, and the farmers in the Niagara Peninsula and the Okanagan Valley who helped create the orchards, the vineyards and the vegetable farms.

We have also heard that it was not easy for many Italians who came to start a new life here, especially after 1935 when Italian Canadians were designated enemy aliens because Italy allied with Germany during the Second World War. Men lost their jobs. Shops were vandalized. Civil liberties were suspended and hundreds were interned at Camp Petawawa in northern Ontario. Many suffered. However, after the Second World War with the Canadian economy booming, Canada began again to be receptive to Italians.

Italians brought with them a rich cultural heritage, a dedication to family, and a strong work ethic that helped many to succeed. In cities where they settled, they tended to create ethnic neighbourhoods, little Italys, where the distinctive shops, restaurants, churches, and clubs were a magnet for other Canadians wanting to get a taste of Italy.

Italian Canadians have contributed greatly over the past century to growing this country. They have become community leaders, successful business entrepreneurs, and well-known artists. We have heard many of them mentioned today in the debate. I can think of many successful well-known Italian Canadians, including some from my own community. The mayor of Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua, came to Canada as a young boy with his family from Sulmona, Italy, with very little. He became an MP at the age of 28, and served until becoming mayor of Vaughan in 2010.

For Italians, their families, religion, and close connection to their cultural history are at the core of their identity and a source of strength and pride. I live in a riding with the second highest percentage of Italians, and I am very proud of their hard work and their contributions. They have helped Vaughan grow into the very desirable community it is today.

Italian Canadians have the highest rate of home ownership, reflecting the importance of family and home as its centre. They are also exceptionally generous when it comes to those in need, building seniors facilities, donating to hospitals, and supporting many causes, helping not just Italian Canadians, but all Canadians.

We have many active Italian senior groups that work hard to keep seniors engaged and supported, and many of our community organizations have those same seniors on their boards and as volunteers.

The Italian Canadian press and media have also been strong promoters of social cohesion, and have brought their Italian constituency and the wider society together through the decades. Today we have the Corriere Canadese and several other Italian community newspapers. We have OMNI TV and the national cable system Telelatino Network that promote Italian culture and news. Italian and Chinese are the most widespread non-official languages in Canadian television and radio broadcasting.

I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring forward the motion and I am honoured to have the support of the Liberal Italian caucus, many of whom are here today. I want to thank all those who have spoken during the debate and for all the support received from both sides of the House. I also want to acknowledge the strong support from the National Congress of Italian-Canadians, the National Federation of Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association, the Order Sons of Italy of Canada, and the Canadian Ethnocultural Council.

I look forward to June when we will celebrate across this great country the contributions and accomplishments of Italian Canadians. On June 2, Italian Canadians will celebrate Festa della Repubblica, Republic Day, which is the Italian national day. On June 6, the Canada-Italy Interparliamentary Group will have its second Italian Day on the Hill, which will be a wonderful celebration of Italian culture and heritage right here on Parliament Hill.

Again, I thank all those who have supported me in bringing forward the motion. Grazie.

Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative May 12th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations' sustainable development goals aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

These goals cannot be achieved without protecting life on land and life below the seas. Canada is committed to meeting these goals, and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative is a valued partner in that effort.

The co-operative is Canada's national wildlife health program, ensuring we meet our international obligations in conservation, agricultural trade, and public health.

In February 2017, federal, provincial, and territorial ministers agreed that a national approach to wildlife health is needed.

The co-operative provides us with expertise and experience in wildlife health so that Canada is ready to tackle challenges like climate change, emerging diseases, and pollution. The co-operative helps us to be better prepared and focused on preventing problems before they arise.

This year marks—

Holocaust Commemoration May 8th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the National Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony being held today in Ottawa by the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem.

We remember and show respect for the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust. The sheer magnitude of that number is difficult to grasp.

Primo Levi, an Italian survivor of Auschwitz, warned us about the painful inability of language to express the horrors done, with whole generations wiped out.

Last month, while attending the Yom Hashoah remembrance ceremony in Toronto organized by the Adath Israel Congregation, I heard emotional stories from the survivors.

We must listen to the survivors. Their testimonies are a warning about what happens when divisiveness and hate are allowed to flourish. To them I say le'olam, lo od, never again, not in Canada, not anywhere.