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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was victoria.

Last in Parliament August 2012, as NDP MP for Victoria (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 51% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions April 25th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition circulated by the Dogwood Initiative in British Columbia and signed by over 57,000 people, which reflects the large number of people in B.C. who do not support the Enbridge project along our coast.

This petition notes that the pristine coastal waters of northern B.C. have been protected from bulk crude oil tankers by a moratorium on oil tanker traffic since 1972. The petitioners call on the government to convert the moratorium into a permanent ban on tanker traffic. They say that tanker traffic on the west coast poses an unacceptable environmental risk and that an oil spill would be devastating to the economy, to the fragile ecosystem of northern coastal B.C. and to the coastal communities that rely upon it for their livelihoods.

Earth Day April 25th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate and thank the organizers of three fabulous Earth Day events: Victoria's Earth Walk, the Creatively United for the Planet Festival and Oak Bay's walk and picnic. Thousands of Victorians and some first nations came together to celebrate the environment. They also shared their concern about the proposed Enbridge pipeline to the west coast that would cross 1,000 streams and rivers in first nations territory.

To them, the inherent dangers of supertankers carrying raw bitumen through B.C.'s pristine coastal waters to China is unacceptable. A spill would destroy whale and fish habitat and could cause the collapse of the wild salmon fishery. British Columbians and first nations say that it is not worth the risk and they demand to be fully consulted about this project. I commend them for standing up for us all.

Petitions April 4th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition on behalf of my constituents who call on the Government of Canada to issue an invitation for all states to gather in Canada and begin the discussions needed for a global legal ban on nuclear weapons.

The petition states, from the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, that there is no medical response to nuclear war. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has proposed a summit on nuclear disarmament. In 2010, the House unanimously passed a motion that encourages the Government of Canada to deploy a major worldwide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament. This request by my constituents would be a way of translating that into meaningful action.

Petitions March 26th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, in my second petition, the petitioners call on the government to maintain funding for the OAS and make investments in the guaranteed income supplement to lift every senior out of poverty in accordance with the New Democrats opposition day motion of February 2.

The petitioners note that the government has threatened to make changes to OAS, including increasing the age of eligibility. They say that this is an attack on the poorest seniors who rely on that money for daily living expenses.

Petitions March 26th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions on behalf of my constituents.

The first petition is with respect to a permanent video relay service in Canada. The petitioners call on the CRTC and Industry Canada to introduce a universal video relay service for the American sign language and la langue des signes québécoise in Canada and to restore the VR services cancelled in January.

The petitioners believe it is unacceptable that these communities do not have equal access to telecommunication services in their first language, a right as declared by the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

International Aboriginal Youth Internships March 7th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I had the honour to attend the send-off in Victoria of 10 aboriginal youth from across B.C. on CIDA-funded aboriginal youth partnerships to Uganda and Zambia.

After months of training with the Victoria International Development Education Association, these young people were inspiring as they spoke about what had already become a life-changing experience for them. I know they will enrich the lives of the people they work with in Africa, and not least, they will bring back to their own communities in Canada what they have learned.

One young woman told me that her successful internship application had already inspired her peers back home. I commend Lynn Thornton and VIDEA for showing us how a small amount of seed money from the Canadian government can make a big difference to so many people.

Petitions February 6th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present the second petition on behalf of about 260 of my constituents who are working very hard in support of the creation of a national suicide prevention strategy.

Over 3,500 Canadians die by suicide each year and my constituents feel that increasing stresses in our society have taken a toll on Canadians.

As the Kirby report made it clear, more attention is needed to address this painful issue, especially for those who face higher risk, like youth, isolated seniors, first nations and people in remote communities.

My constituents argue that a national suicide prevention strategy is an essential part of fulfilling our collective responsibility to prevent suicide and promote well-being among Canadians. They ask the federal government to take some leadership on this file.

Petitions February 6th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am please to present two petitions. The first one is on climate change. While this petition was created in the context of the Durban negotiations, my constituents continue to demand that the government do three things.

The first one is to set more ambitious targets to reduce CO2 emissions to ensure that temperatures stay below 2°C, increased from pre-industrial levels.

The second part of the petition is asking the government to develop a renewable energy policy for the sustainability of our economy.

The third is to demonstrate international responsibility in designing the green climate plan for climate change mitigation and adaptation in the developing world.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 30th, 2012

With regard to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the government’s role in monitoring and regulating arms exports: (a) on what date will the government table in Parliament or otherwise release a report on the export of military goods from Canada for 2010; (b) in its next report, will the government provide a level of detail similar to that provided in the Annual Report of 2002 and, in particular, will it provide information similar in nature to that contained in the 2002 report’s “Table 3: Exports of Military Goods by Destination Country and Component Category”; (c) what is the value and type of all exports of weapons systems and munitions from 2003-2010, broken down by year, for each recipient state; (d) what is the value and type of all exports of military support systems from 2003-2010, broken down by year, for each recipient state; (e) what is the value and type of all exports of military parts from 2003-2010, broken down by year, for each recipient state; (f) what is the value and type of all exports of parts not officially designated as “military parts” that were destined for a known military purpose from 2003-2010, broken down by year, for each recipient state; (g) what is the value of export permits for Export Control List (ECL) Group 2 items authorized from 2003-2010, broken down by year, for each recipient state; (h) what is the value of export permits for ECL Group 2 items denied from 2003-2010, broken down by year, for each recipient state; (i) what is the value of export permits authorized and exports made for prohibited firearms for the United States from 2003-2010, broken down by year; (j) what is the value of export permits authorized and exports made for ECL Group 1 items from 2003-2010, broken down by year, for each recipient state; (k) what is the government’s position toward the negotiation of an international Arms Trade Treaty that would establish common standards for the national authorization of conventional weapons transfers; (l) how does the government define “sporting and hunting firearms” in both domestic and international law as it would apply in the Arms Trade Treaty; (m) will Canada withdraw its proposed exemption to exclude sporting and hunting firearms for recreational use from the Arms Trade Treaty; (n) what is the relationship between the Canadian Sports Shooters Association and the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs; (o) how many meetings have been held between Steve Torino and Minister John Baird or Minister Baird’s staff; (p) how many meetings were held between DFAIT officials and the Canadian Sports Shooters Association prior to the last round of negotiations for the Arms Trade Treaty; (q) on what date did DFAIT change its position on the Arms Trade Treaty with respect to “sporting and hunting firearms”; (r) what is the government’s position on the Global Investor Statement on the Arms Trade Treaty; (s) what is the government’s official position on the Organization of American States Firearms Convention (CIFTA); and (t) will the government ratify the OAS Firearms Convention?

Petitions December 14th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have a third petition which concerns Canada Post's decision to move mail processing from Victoria and other cities on Vancouver Island to Vancouver, leading to job losses and reduced service quality on the island.

The petitioners ask that the local impact on jobs and services be studied prior to making any of those changes permanent, and that Canada Post make its long-term operational plans public.