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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

Former Leader of the B.C. New Democratic Party December 8th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, today I want to salute Carole James' major contribution to the province of British Columbia and to our shared community of Victoria.

She has dedicated her life to solidarity, social justice and the protection of children and families. From her winning fight for an independent children's commissioner to her ongoing work with first nations, from her school board leadership to her leadership of the B.C. NDP, Carole has embodied the spirit of public service.

She has also faced the toughest challenges with dignity and courage.

She has inspired me, through these qualities she has brought to public life. I look forward to continuing to serve our constituents together in the years ahead.

I thank Carole for her exemplary commitment to community.

Charitable Contributions December 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, Victoria has some remarkable museums and public galleries, such as the Victoria Art Gallery and the Maritime and Royal BC Museums.

Keystones in communities nationwide, such institutions employ about 25,000 people, receive 60 million visits a year and contribute $650 million in wages, but only 9% of their operational funds come from private donations. The NDP's proposed tax credit for charitable gifts would encourage more Canadians to invest in our heritage.

Another innovative solution is being proposed by the Canadian Museums Association. It is asking Ottawa to match private donations dollar for dollar up to $25 million a year.

I urge the government to back our Bill C-600 and partner with the Canadian Museums Association to give Canadian culture and the arts a more stable financial foundation.

Veterans Affairs October 28th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, Corporal Stuart Langridge served Canada proudly at home and abroad until he died from injuries he sustained while serving.

In 2008, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he took his own life after being refused the help he desperately needed.

Military officials not only failed Stuart; they continue to fail his parents, Sheila and Shaun Fynes, whose grief has been compounded by bureaucratic ineptitude. The Fynes asked me to speak out because they do not want anyone else to suffer the way their family has.

I am joining them today in asking the Minister of National Defence to intervene and provide the answers they have asked for. Through Motion No. 592, I am asking the government to review its practices in light of Stuart's case to guarantee that soldiers with PTSD and their families get the support they deserve.

Petitions October 18th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from residents of Victoria who support a growing campaign for Bill C-368, a ban calling on a federal moratorium on non-essential cosmetic pesticides.

The petitioners express concern that the autonomy of municipal and provincial governments is being eroded by the gradual transfer of authority by the federal government to corporate interests, in this case the chemical industry. They worry about the way that American chemical giants are using NAFTA's chapter 11 to challenge such pesticide bans across the country.

The petitioners want to be heard.

Petitions October 18th, 2010

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

The first petition, with almost 150 signatures, is from constituents who want to prohibit the import and export of horses for slaughter and human consumption as well as horse meat products for human consumption. The petitioners believe that Bill C-544 would do just that.

Since horses are not generally raised as food producing animals, the petitioners believe they are likely to contain prohibited drugs that ought to be kept far from our food supply. They also believe it runs counter to our culture to use companion animals such as horses in this way.

Thanksgiving October 7th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, this Thanksgiving I want to express my gratitude for the diverse, creative and caring community I represent: churches such as St. John the Divine working to alleviate homelessness; the talented students at the Canadian College of Performing Arts; the University of Victoria's NEPTUNE Canada and its pioneering research under the ocean; as well as the Dogwood Initiative fighting tanker traffic.

This being harvest time, I want to offer special recognition to Victoria's strong local food movement: dedicated organic farmers, chefs and co-ops, local food advocates such as Lee Fuge, and groups such as LifeCycles and CR-FAIR. Sadly, Canadian agriculture policy as it stands is biased against small producers.

In addition to giving thanks, let us adopt a new policy for food security, sovereignty and sustainability, and let us back Bill C-579 to make every Friday before Thanksgiving a national local food day.

National Housing Act June 17th, 2010

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-549, An Act to amend the National Housing Act (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's retained earnings).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill that would harness CMHC's $2 billion annual surplus to the goal of sheltering Canadians, a goal from which CMHC has strayed over the years.

This bill would amend section 21 of the National Housing Act, requiring CMHC's unappropriated retained earnings to be transferred to provinces to provide housing for low income households. It would pose no financial risk to CMHC, which maintains twice the level of capital reserves recommended by OSFI, but it would guide it in fulfilling its mandate to help Canadians in need access affordable, sound and suitable housing.

Finally, it would help all of us attain the right to housing that the Government of Canada pledged to uphold when it ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights more than three decades ago.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Petitions June 16th, 2010

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I am presenting yet another petition to ban cosmetic pesticides.

The residents of Victoria call for an immediate moratorium on cosmetic pesticides until they are proven safe, and until long-term health and environmental consequences are known.

We are witnessing the collapse of the bee population. We are witnessing increasing allergic reactions in our population. These petitioners recognize that while pesticides may continue to play a role in insect infestation, the cosmetic use of pesticides does not warrant the risk that we are taking.

Victoria has beautiful gardens without pesticides and the petitioners are calling on the government to enact Bill C-368 for an immediate federal moratorium.

Petitions June 16th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions. The first one is signed by 1,600 petitioners throughout Vancouver Island who demand that Canada Post maintain mail processing services on Vancouver Island.

They say that the proposed move will negatively impact Vancouver Island communities and cause job losses. They ask that the negative economic impacts be considered on the communities before a decision is made in consultation with local communities.

They demand that the government release its operational plans to Parliament and to the Canadian public with respect to Canada Post.

Petitions June 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is yet another one on behalf of my constituents. It is a call to rescind the so-called HST, the harmonized sales tax.

The petitioners oppose this tax because they feel it is a tax that has been passed on from big business to consumers. It is tough on small businesses and other key B.C. industries such as tourism. It comes at a time when too many Canadian families are struggling to pay their bills.

Therefore, the petitioners call on the Government of Canada to work with the province to rescind this tax.