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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

Business of Supply May 14th, 2009

I would like to open this session of committee of the whole by making a short statement on this evening's proceedings.

Tonight's debate is being held under Standing Order 81(4), which provides for each of two sets of estimates selected by the Leader of the Opposition to be considered in committee of the whole for up to four hours. The debate is also held under the motion adopted by unanimous consent yesterday.

Tonight's debate is a general one on all the votes under Agriculture and Agri-Food. Each member will be allocated 15 minutes. The first round will begin with the official opposition, followed by the government, the Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party. After that, we will follow the usual proportional rotation.

As provided in the motion adopted yesterday, parties may use each 15 minute slot for speeches or questions and answers by one or more of their members. In the case of speeches, members of the party to which the period is allotted may speak one after the other. The Chair would appreciate it if the first member speaking in each slot would indicate how the time will be used, particularly if it is to be shared.

When the time is to be used for questions and answers, the Chair will expect that the minister's response will reflect approximately the time taken by the question, since this time will be counted in the time originally allotted to the party.

Though members may speak more than once, the Chair will generally try to ensure that all members wishing to speak are heard before inviting members to speak again, while respecting the proportional party rotations for speakers. Members need not be in their own seats to be recognized.

I would remind all hon. members that, according to yesterday's motion, during this evening's debate no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent shall be entertained.

As your Chair, I shall be guided by the rules of the committee of the whole and by the motion adopted yesterday. However, in the interest of a full exchange, I am prepared to exercise discretion and flexibility in the application of these rules.

It is important that the traditions of the House in relation to decorum be respected and that members make their remarks and pose their questions in a judicious fashion. The Chair will expect all hon. members to focus on the subject matter of the debate, the main estimates of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

I also wish to indicate that in committee of the whole, ministers and members should be referred to by their title or riding name and all remarks should be addressed through the Chair. I ask for everyone's co-operation in upholding all established standards of decorum, parliamentary language and behaviour.

At the conclusion of tonight's debate, the committee will rise, the estimates under Agriculture and Agri-Food will be deemed reported and the House will adjourn immediately until tomorrow.

We may now begin tonight's session.

The House in committee of the whole pursuant to Standing Order 81(4)(a), the first appointed day, consideration in committee of the whole of all votes under Agriculture and Agri-Food in the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010.

Electronic Commerce Protection Act May 7th, 2009

Before resuming debate, it is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Don Valley East, Employment Insurance; the hon. member for Mississauga East—Cooksville, The Economy.

Income Tax Act April 28th, 2009

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-371, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (low-cost residential rental property).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill that would significantly boost the stock of affordable housing in Canada while also providing a much needed stimulus for our slumping economy.

I have worked closely with the Victoria Real Estate Board that has done an exquisite job documenting the range of locked in real estate assets in the greater Victoria area. These are long held properties whose owners are reluctant to sell and reinvest because they would pay a large amount of capital gains tax.

My bill would roll over or defer gains tax for these property owners if they reinvest their proceeds in affordable rental housing.

When targeted smartly, I believe that tax incentives can be an effective tool to achieve common good and this bill represents a creative use of tax incentives to address a social crisis that has endured for far too long in Canada.

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

Pest Control Products Act April 23rd, 2009

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-368, An Act to amend the Pest Control Products Act (prohibition of the use of chemical pesticides for non-essential purposes).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased this morning to introduce legislation that would establish a federal moratorium on the use of cosmetic pesticides as of Earth Day 2010.

The moratorium would apply to the non-essential use of chemical pesticides in homes, gardens or hospitals, within 100 metres of waterways and on recreational facilities, such as parks and schoolyards where kids play, and on golf courses. It would be in place for all chemical pesticides until medical evidence of the given product's safety has been presented to Parliament and approved by a parliamentary committee.

When it comes to the health of Canadians and our children, the onus of proof should not be on the public to prove the products are dangerous but on producers to prove they are safe.

The bill was inspired by the extraordinary work of Victoria's Pesticide-Free CRD movement that advocates the reduction of pesticide use. I encourage it to keep up its efforts as we move in that direction.

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

Petitions March 25th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of hundreds of my constituents who are concerned that our laws with regard to the treatment of animals, and particularly their transportation, have not evolved with Canadian society's values.

They ask that the government amend the animal transportation regulations under Canada's Health of Animals Act to be consistent with the findings of the EU scientific community on animal transportation, reduce the transport time and, in particular, enforce the regulations.

Water March 24th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, today I congratulate Bill Goers, recipient of the fourth annual World Water Day award. Bill was recognized at Victoria's Toast to Tapwater event for bringing back to life Fernwood's Spring Ridge community well, one of the first public springs to be protected in B.C. in the 1800s.

Through this toast to public water, Bill and the Greater Victoria Water Watch Coalition want government to understand that public water is critical to our collective future.

They ask that the federal government show leadership on the global stage and recognize water as a human right, that Ottawa address the lack of clean water in first nations communities, wanton waste of water in tar sands development, unsustainable escalation of the bottled water industry, and the alarming pressure for privatization of our dwindling fresh water resources.

Petitions March 6th, 2009

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am also pleased to present, on behalf of the Grandmothers for Africa, a petition from residents right across the country, including my own riding of Victoria.

The grandmothers are asking that, in this global economic downturn, Canadians do not forget the world's poorest and most vulnerable. They are asking the government to immediately set a timetable for our 40 year promise to contribute 0.7% of our GDP.

They are also asking Canada to make legislative changes so that there is a sustainable flow of generic drugs to Africa.

Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act February 26th, 2009

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-328, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to introduce the rights of indigenous peoples act.

The bill seeks to ensure that federal laws in Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This was signed by 144 member countries in September 2007.

The UN declaration was the culmination of two decades of negotiations with indigenous peoples globally and it established a universal framework of standards for human rights, collective rights, self-determination and mechanisms for the resolution of disputes.

In summary, the bill seeks to ensure that Canada's aboriginal peoples, some of the poorest and most marginalized, will enjoy respect, protection and the same access of opportunity as all other Canadians.

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

Employment Insurance February 9th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the government's utter disregard for the employment insurance problems of the jobless is scandalous. Unemployed workers in my riding and across Canada are facing unacceptable delays in getting the EI benefits they need to support their families.

The Burnaby case processing office is deluged with 7,500 new EI applications per week, with no end in sight, as Statistics Canada announced 35,000 new job losses in B.C. in January alone.

First, the government must act to fix the backlog and immediately hire more staff and offer more resources at employment insurance offices. Second, the Conservatives must address the structural problems of EI that are ignored in the budget and ease eligibility rules that leave 62% of Canadians who have paid into it out in the cold.

Price of Consumer Goods June 12th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary still has not explained why Canadians are getting ripped off for everything from Timbits to Toyotas. The fact is that the dollar is at par, prices are still going up in Canada, and our American neighbours get better deals than we do.

I live in a border region. Can the minister explain to the people of Victoria why the government is doing nothing to protect them from getting gouged on prices?