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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word is liberals.

Conservative MP for Haldimand—Norfolk (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2015, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Aerospace Industry April 7th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, when Canadians invest in their future, they expect the money will be used to do just that. They do not expect their financial planner will take the money to give him or herself a big, fat raise. This is exactly what the Liberals are doing by giving $373 million of taxpayer money to Bombardier so it can pad its pockets with bonuses.

If the Liberals will not demand accountability from Bombardier executives, how can taxpayers believe they will demand accountability for the loan?

Canada Business Corporations Act April 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Windsor West for the amendment and for being willing to listen to the arguments put forward by the witnesses as to why it should be a three-year hard deadline. It gets us past an election without letting things drag out too long. If there is some problem with the implementation of this policy, then it would be better to review it now and fix it than to wait too long and let things get out of hand by saying that we cannot touch it because it will be reviewed in a couple of years anyway.

My bigger concern was when the definition of diversity was voted down by the Liberals. To many in the corporate world, diversity in hiring means the board should be made up of someone from accounting, someone from marketing, someone with legal experience, functional diversity in the corporate background as opposed to background relating to gender, ethnicity, or religion. That is where we develop different personalities, view the world with different perspectives, and we bring different solutions to any of the given problems that are being presented.

Canada Business Corporations Act April 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I referenced my years in the corporate sector prior to the privilege of being in the House. It was very true that what gets measured gets managed. If we measure the wrong things, then the wrong things get managed. It is the same thing when it comes to talent. Talent knows no boundaries, but that being said, we must make sure that everyone who has talent gets a chance to participate, that people are not excluded from being on corporate boards or indeed in management for the wrong reasons.

One of the best ways for shareholders to know what a company's policy is, is to see what it does. When this becomes law, as long as companies understand the government's intention of the definition of diversity, they will comply or they will have to explain to their shareholders, because the shareholders will be able to ask at the annual general meeting or at any time what they are doing in that regard.

It is really important that the comply or explain model be brought in. It provides accountability without telling companies exactly how to run their businesses.

Canada Business Corporations Act April 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to see the member for Windsor West put forth this motion today regarding a timeline for a comprehensive review of the diversity aspect that will be added to the Canada Business Corporations Act after Bill C-25 is passed. As the member is aware, our party members on the industry committee put forth a similar amendment, which would call upon the government of the day to do a review of the diversity policy after three years to determine how effective it has been. Initially, the member for Windsor West had suggested a timeline of two years. Obviously, I am happy to see that he listened to the arguments made by the member for Red Deer—Mountain View, who put forth the three-year amendment, and is now agreeing with him.

I would like to talk a bit about diversity, and then I will elaborate on why this review and this specific timeline are so important.

I have mentioned in the past that our Conservative Party has never been on the sidelines when it comes to diversity firsts in Canada. In fact, it was the Conservative Party that had the first Canadian female prime minister, that elected the first female MP to the House of Commons, and the first Chinese, Muslim, black, Latino, Hindu, Pakistani, and Japanese MPs. We had the first Mennonite cabinet minister, the first female engineer MP, and even the first quadriplegic MP and later cabinet minister, my dear friend Steven Fletcher. We had the first married couple to sit in this House at the same time. We even had the first husband and wife team to sit in both Houses at the same time anywhere in the Westminster parliamentary system.

None of those MPs was nominated or elected to meet or fill some regulatory quota. They themselves chose to run for us because they knew that we, on this side of the House, believe in merit and not quotas. I think the list that I just read makes it clear that talent and skills know no boundaries, be they racial, religious, or gender. In fact, talent and skills are only enhanced when discussions around boardroom tables, and even debates in this chamber, are between people of different backgrounds and different perspectives. Because each of us has had unique experiences that have shaped our view of the world and how we respond to the challenges that we encounter, each of us brings something unique to the table, and I would like to think that we are all the richer for that.

To help see more diversity on boards, Bill C-25 suggests the comply or explain model. This was proposed by the previous Conservative government after extensive consultation in 2014 in order to modernize Canada's corporate framework. Through consultation, we have seen across the world, and even within our own borders, the positive effects that this model produces. For example, countries like the U.K. and Australia have implemented comply or explain models similar to the one that we are discussing today that focus particularly on increasing gender diversity on corporate boards, and they have seen significant results. In fact, one of the witnesses who appeared before committee said that in Australia, “women's representation shot up from 10.7% in 2010 to 22.7% in 2016”, and in the U.K., “women's representation on FTSE 100 boards has more than doubled from 12.5% in 2011 to 26.1% in 2015.” Both cases were a result of implementing this policy.

Here at home in Ontario, we have seen rises in the number of women who sit on boards as well. Just over two years ago, the Ontario Securities Commission implemented the comply or explain model, and since then the number of women on boards has steadily increased to 20%. However, looking at Canada as a whole, in larger companies women make up an average of 34% of corporate boards. Implementing the widely used comply or explain model is the first step to seeing these numbers improve.

Most successful companies know that in today's society they must diversify to prosper and to be effective. Good companies diversify their product lines, their target customers, and their geographic markets, because they do not want to put all of their eggs in one basket. When they are smart, they diversify their workforce and their corporate boards, too. I say when they are smart, because numerous studies have shown that companies that employ people with disabilities almost invariably see their workplace morale, attendance, and productivity go up. Corporate boards with higher percentages of women almost invariably have higher growth and profitability rates than those that do not.

Our party is not here today to tell private companies how to run their businesses, but we do need to make sure that people of diverse backgrounds, genders, and ethnicity are considered at the table for the reasons I just mentioned. I think the comply or explain model provides the right balance to do this, but a review is a crucial part of determining the right balance. That is what we are discussing here today, the need for a comprehensive review of the diversity disclosure section.

Like many pieces of legislation created and presented in the House, it is important to look back on what was implemented to see if results have actually been achieved. In fact, most pieces of legislation do have a built-in review process. As we used to say when I was in the corporate world, “what gets measured gets managed”.

During committee, it was unanimously agreed upon by the members and by the witnesses who appeared that a review of the diversity and the comply or explain model should be done, but the opinion on timing was varied. While only a few people, and I stress only a few people, suggested five years, most agreed that five years would be too long to analyze the effects of this policy and said a two-year or three-year window would be more appropriate.

Members on this side of the House listened to those suggestions. In fact, the member for Red Deer—Mountain View put forth an amendment in committee with the hopes of seeing a three-year review take place. Unfortunately, the Liberals must have been experiencing a bit of selective hearing at that time. While the Liberals originally amended the bill to include a five-year review of the Canada Business Corporations Act, most witnesses expressed concern that this was in fact too long.

Our party believes that three years is an optimal time frame for review. First, it is important to provide enough time to see results. Witnesses stated that good, solid results would be seen within this time frame. While we need to make sure that we can actually get enough data to see the effects, we also need to make sure that a review is done in a timely manner. If changes need to be made, it is better to do them sooner rather than later.

One other thing we need to consider is we need to be mindful of the scheduled 2019 election. The member for Windsor West originally suggested that the review be done in two years, but that review process has the potential to conflict with an election that is scheduled for two years from now. This means the review could be interrupted or even swept under the rug until an election is over.

For those reasons, we believe that a three-year period would get us past an election so that a new Parliament could take a look at it.

Unfortunately, the amendment was shot down by the Liberals. As the member for Windsor West has suggested, this review process will occur before October 19, 2020, which brings us to about three and a half years from now.

I am happy to see that he took our suggestions and that he listened to the points that were made, especially by so many witnesses. It is for these reasons that I will be supporting the motion, and I encourage my colleagues to do the same.

Privilege April 6th, 2017

Madam Speaker, my colleague from Winnipeg said that he did not understand why the parliamentary secretary does not appear to be in favour of supporting this motion. I wonder if the member could speculate on the reasons the parliamentary secretary and indeed members of the Liberal government are saying that this is a very important issue, which we all agree it is, but the Liberals are not prepared to put some action behind those words.

Questions Passed as Orders for Return March 20th, 2017

With regard to all the fuel consumed by the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence for each fiscal year from 2014 to present, and all organizations that are included in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence’s mandate: what is the total (i) amount of gasoline consumed, (ii) amount of money spent on gasoline consumption, (iii) amount of diesel fuel consumed, (iv) amount of money spent on diesel fuel consumption, (v) amount of jet fuel consumed, (vi) amount of money spent on jet fuel consumption, (vii) amount of natural gas consumed, (viii) amount of money spent on natural gas consumption, (ix) amount of propane consumed, (x) amount of money spent on propane consumption, (xi) amount of high-heat coal consumed, (xii) amount of money spent on high-heat coal consumption, (xiii) amount of low-heat coal consumed, (xiv) amount of money spent on low-heat coal consumption?

Taxation March 10th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I will take that as a yes.

Now the Liberals claimed that they would spend $8 billion on infrastructure, but yesterday, the parliamentary budget officer said that they are short a whopping $2.5 billion in that promised spending. Given that the Minister of Finance enjoys increasing taxes and spending Canadians' hard-earned money, I ask the finance minister, what taxes will he be raising or introducing to vacuum even more money from Canadians to pay for this shortfall?

Aerospace Industry March 10th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, Swedish authorities have just arrested a Bombardier employee who has been accused of aggravated bribery. Before handing over taxpayer dollars to Bombardier, I hope that the Liberal government did its homework and checked out all of Bombardier's operations as $375 million is a lot of money and this money does not belong to the Liberals, it belongs to Canadians.

My question is simple: Did the Canadian government have any knowledge of this Swedish investigation when it was giving Bombardier the money, yes or no?

Taxation March 8th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the Liberals promised to run a modest deficit of only $10 billion. That was one promise they broke immediately. They also promised that they would not eliminate income splitting for seniors. We all know that the Liberals alway break the promises they make to Canadians.

Will the Minister of Finance tell us today that he will not eliminate income splitting for seniors?

Taxation March 8th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, under the previous Conservative government, we introduced a low-tax plan for seniors that removed almost 400,000 of them from the tax rolls. As part of this plan, we increased the age amount tax credit by $2,000 for low- and fixed-income seniors.

The Minister of Finance has indicated that everything is on the table to bring in more revenue for the government to waste. Will the Minister of Finance commit to not slash the age amount tax credit, and instead protect our seniors?