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  • Her favourite word is liberal.

Conservative MP for Haldimand—Norfolk (Ontario)

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

Statements in the House

Canada Business Corporations Act November 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the member for Sarnia—Lambton has come a long way, like me, through male-dominated industries.

I am wondering, based on what she has learned in her own experience, based on her experience at Status of Women, and based on this legislation, what advice she would give to women who aspire to sit on corporate boards and become the chair and to corporations as they recruit for their boards of directors.

Canada Business Corporations Act November 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for bringing his own personal and family experiences into his speech. I think it is important that we share that with Canadians.

Could the hon. member tell us what his views are on quotas and how they can hinder the advancement of women and the advancement of corporations that use them?

Member for Haldimand—Norfolk November 1st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, as many know, I recently underwent a double hip replacement, which has brought many challenges. However, the support I have received has been overwhelming, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been helping with my prolonged journey to recovery.

First and foremost, I want to thank my constituents for their kind words, their understanding and their patience. I want to thank my colleagues in the House of Commons for their cards, calls, emails, and for helping covering House duty. The House of Commons staff have been simply outstanding. I thank them for putting up with me and helping with my wheelie walker. As always, my family and friends have been there for me, and I thank them.

Frankly, none of this progress would have been possible so far without the help of my wonderful staff. I thank them. I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.

Canada Business Corporations Act October 26th, 2016

Madam Speaker, one of the best ways of recruiting board members is the word of mouth of those who are in the business. One of the biggest things that can happen to help promote more women to boards is for other board members to recognize the talent and promote those individuals that they know will do a good job, because, frankly, once the board members see what a good job these women are doing, they will go looking for more. I truly believe that.

Canada Business Corporations Act October 26th, 2016

Madam Speaker, it is important to recognize that numerous studies have been done over many years to try to determine what the effect is of having more women on boards and of having people with disabilities on boards, and, indeed in the workplace. In fact, just a few years ago, it was shown that having people with disabilities included in an organization, in particular on the board, increased the morale, productivity, and overall performance of the company.

The question becomes, does the company do better because of hiring those people, or is it a better company because it hires those people? The smart companies do bring on people who have a range of perspectives and talents, and they do not artificially hold anyone back. We want to make sure this happens here, not something that is introduced through artificial quotas.

Canada Business Corporations Act October 26th, 2016

Madam Speaker, in fact, when we formed government our cabinet was extremely diverse. It had more women than ever before in cabinet, and we were very proud of that.

Not only that, but all of the women who were in cabinet were paid according to their responsibilities. It was not just equal pay for equal title, but equal pay for equal work, which I believe is important. It goes back to being a meritocracy.

As a woman, I do not want to think I got the job just because of the way my jacket buttons, if the buttons are to the right or to the left. I want to know that I got that job because of my abilities. We want to make sure that boards do the same thing, which is why we do not believe in quotas. We know, too, that all the records show that as the diversity of boards increase, so does the performance of the company.

Canada Business Corporations Act October 26th, 2016

Madam Speaker, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development introduced Bill C-25, which is an act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act, the Canada Cooperatives Act, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, and the Competition Act.

The proposed amendments by the Liberals in Bill C-25 stem from a House of Commons committee-led statutory review in 2010, which in turn led to further consultation undertaken in 2014 by our previous Conservative government. Stakeholders raised many important and complex points on a number of aspects of corporate governance during those consultations.

After our previous Conservative government concluded the consultations in 2014, we made a proposal to modernize Canada's corporate governance framework in our 2015 budget. For those in the House who may not be aware, let me read an excerpt from page 140 of that 2015 economic action plan:

...the Government will propose amendments to the Canada Business Corporations Act to promote gender diversity among public companies, using the widely recognized “comply or explain” model...Amendments will also be proposed to modernize director election processes and communications... to strengthen corporate transparency through an explicit ban on bearer instruments...Amendments to related statutes governing cooperatives and not-for-profit corporations will also be introduced...

I hate to steal the minister's thunder, but Bill C-25 is the minister's second piece of legislation he has tabled since being in office now for one year. Just like his first piece of legislation, this, Bill C-25, came straight from our previous Conservative government's 2015 budget.

I am really pleased to see that all the hard work that our previous government did is continuing through the Liberals, and their need to produce at least some form of legislation, but I cannot help but wonder if this is what the Liberals meant when they talked to Canadians about real change.

If adopted, Bill C-25 would result in changes to the corporate governance regime for reporting issuers incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act. The CBCA is the incorporating statute for nearly 270,000 corporations. Although most of these are small or medium-sized and privately held, a large number of Canada's largest reporting issuers are also governed by CBCA.

The proposed amendments cover several key corporate governance matters, including majority voting, individual voting, annual elections, notice and access, diversity related disclosure, and shareholder proposal filing deadlines.

I am pleased to see that the Liberals moved forward with the comply or explain model that we recommended. It has been proven that more diverse boards lead to better overall decision-making, better corporate performance, better organizations, and, indeed, better economies.

Our Conservative Party has never been on the sidelines when it comes to diversity firsts in Canada. In fact, it was the Conservative Party who had the first female prime minister; who elected the first female MP to the House of Commons; the first Chinese, Muslim, Black, Latino, Hindu, Pakistani, Japanese, and physically disabled MPs; and that list goes on. That is a record of which to be proud.

Our Conservative Party believes in merit not quotas. I am pleased we are not going to be missing out on talent, nor will we be losing out on that talent because of artificial quotas.

Since the Ontario Securities Commission implemented the comply or explain model just two years ago, the number of women on boards there has steadily increased to 20%.

However, looking at Canada as a whole, in larger companies women make up an average of 34% of boards. Implementing the widely used comply or explain model is the first step to seeing those numbers increase too. If enacted, that change would affect about 600 of the approximately 1,500 companies on the TSX.

When it comes to modernizing corporate governance and reducing red tape, our previous government made massive strides. We believe in fostering an environment in which businesses can grow and contribute to Canada's long-term prosperity. In fact, we recognize that businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and generating economic growth, and that strong business strategies are central to a company's success in creating and sustaining a competitive edge.

The changes proposed to the Competition Act, as we are discussing today, will do just that. They would reduce business uncertainty, create a competitive marketplace, and prevent anti-competitive practices. The amendments would also reduce the administrative burden on businesses.

Our previous Conservative government set a precedent, the first of its kind in any country in fact, when we introduced the one-for-one rule, which brought a new level of discipline to how government fosters a more predictable environment for business through the reduction of red tape.

We took a number of steps to reduce red tape facing businesses. Indeed, since 2012, the red tape reduction action plan has proven to be a successful, system-wide control on the growth of regulatory red tape. Our previous government saved Canadian businesses over $22 million in the administrative burden, as well as some 290,000 hours in time spent dealing with the unnecessary regulatory burden.

Further enhancing the changes that we made while in government, Bill C-25 was to be our next step in maximizing corporate governance.

More accountability and transparency are key for any organization in government, and a high performance board is one that is accountable. The right to vote is important for shareholders and for fundamental democracy.

I am pleased to see that shareholder democracy and participation will better align with securities rules and that corporations would be required under the CBCA to hold annual elections, elect directors individually, and use a majority voting standard. This proposal will bring an end to the debate over those circumstances in which an under-supported director may remain on the board.

The proposed amendments in Bill C-25 would further implement many policies and practices that are already addressed under TSX rules and security laws. Modernizing the acts addressed in Bill C-25 is a welcome improvement to the federal corporate statute and a reflection of the need to enhance companies' corporate governance practices.

If the minister wants to continue putting forward legislation that comes straight from Conservative budgets, well, those would be welcome too.

Canada Business Corporations Act October 26th, 2016

Madam Speaker, before I begin, I ask for unanimous consent to share my time with the member for Mégantic—L'Érable.

Standing Orders and Procedure October 6th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the member for Yukon has a long way to travel. It can be very difficult travelling even for those of us who have a short distance to go.

However, I am a bit confused, because throughout his speech the member suggested having a shorter work weeks in Ottawa and taking Fridays off, and he suggested rising earlier, all so he could spend more time in his riding.

When I first came to the House in 2004, I was under the impression that we were here to represent our constituents in Ottawa, not to represent Ottawa to our constituents. How does the member feel about that?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns May 30th, 2016

With regard to employment in the public service as of October 19, 2015: (a) what was the total number of full-time employees; (b) what was the total number of part-time employees; (c) what was the total number of casual employees; (d) what was the total number of contract employees; (e) how many employees were on leave; (f) how many employees worked in the National Capital Region; and (g) how many employees worked outside the National Capital Region?