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  • 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

Petitions September 27th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of people in my riding of Haldimand—Norfolk who are deeply concerned with clause 14 of Bill C-51. As it stands, clause 14 will remove the only provision in the Criminal Code that directly protects the rights of individuals to freely practise their religion, whatever that religion may be.

The petitioners call on the government to remove clause 14 from the proposed legislation and to protect the religious freedom of all Canadians.

Access to Information Act September 22nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am wondering if the minister could explain something based on my colleague's previous question. He said that if a satisfactory answer is not given to a question, then the questioner has the opportunity to appeal. If an appropriate answer is not given with 30 days, at that point it can go to court. The problem is that by this time there still is no appropriate answer, and if it goes to court there is no timeline.

Is that what the minister may have been thinking of when he said it could take 30 years to get a response?

Portuguese Heritage Month September 20th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, before I begin today, I would like to share a quote with my colleagues that I came across while preparing for this speech. It is a quote from Summer Sanders:

To be a champion, I think you have to see the big picture. It's not about winning and losing; it's about every day hard work and about thriving on a challenge. It's about embracing the pain that you'll experience at the end of a race and not being afraid.

As Canadians, we are not shy when it comes to hard work and facing challenges, particularly in my beautiful riding of Haldimand--Norfolk, where we are not afraid to roll up our sleeves and get the job done.

When I think of my Portuguese friends at home, these are the traits that personify them completely.

Today, I rise to pay tribute to the Portuguese community within my beautiful riding of Haldimand--Norfolk on the south coast, north shore of Lake Erie, and I do so by sharing my thoughts on Motion No. 126.

This is the first time the motion has been debated in the House, so for my colleagues who are not aware of what the motion proposes to do, let me explain briefly.

Motion No. 126 was put forward by the member for Davenport, and calls on the government to recognize the contributions made by the Portuguese community to building Canada and their contributions to Canadian society in general.

As a way of educating and reflecting on Portuguese heritage and culture for future generations, the motion proposes that June be declared Portuguese heritage month, and that June 10 be claimed as Portugal day. Before I go into why I am standing to support the motion today, please let me first share with the House a brief history about why this month and this day are important to the Portuguese community.

Every June 10, the Portuguese celebrate their national holiday known as Dia de Portugal, or Portugal Day, as it known to the rest of the world. While many Portuguese Canadians currently celebrate Portugal Day, the motion would solidify this day as a recognized cultural day right across Canada.

This date commemorates the death of Luis de Camoes, a significant figure in the history of Portugal. Camoes is best known for his work on Os Lusiadas, the national epic poem of Portugal that celebrates the nation's successes and its rich history.

Camoes was known to be an adventurer. His many escapades include surviving a shipwreck in the region of Cochinchina, now known as Vietnam, and losing an eye while in battle in Ceuta. Legend has it that in order to save the Lusiadas, Camoes had to keep it afloat with one of his hands while he used his other arm to swim through the unforgiving waters of the region's seas. Patriotism and bravery are just a few of the qualities that Camoes had that made the nation choose to celebrate Portugal Day in his honour.

Camoes, and his perseverance through his adventures, is a direct representative of the Portuguese people in my area. Their ability to see a challenge and overcome that challenge is, quite frankly, inspirational. I cannot think of a better way to honour them then by showing our support for this day and the motion.

In order for me to explain further why the motion is important to people where I live, I need to share with the House a bit of background on my beautiful riding of Haldimand--Norfolk and the wonderful people who live there.

There is no doubt that Canada is a diverse country. Many people come from all over the world to live here, and that is something that should make us all proud.

I do not have the largest Portuguese population in my riding, especially when it is compared with ridings like those of the member for Davenport. In fact, Haldimand--Norfolk is made up largely of people from countries such as Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, and Hungary.

The Portuguese people make up just shy of 3% of the population throughout Haldimand--Norfolk according to the latest census records. That is just over 3,000 people. That may not seem like a lot, but 3,000 people is the total population of many of the smaller communities in my riding if I were to lump them all together.

While the Portuguese community in my riding does not make up the same large percentage of the population as perhaps that of the member for Davenport, and there may not be as many Portuguese in Haldimand—Norfolk now as there have been in past years, this group contributes immensely to the community. It is not just about the number of people, but the quality of those people and the action that those people choose.

In Haldimand—Norfolk, challenges are abundant. In order for many people in my community to provide for their families, hard work is often a requirement. It is not easy, but if they are not afraid to get some dirt on their hands, the opportunities are also abundant. All the Portuguese people I know make hard work look easy, even when we know that it is not. In fact, they welcome it with open arms, and that does not change whether that work is working in the home, or around the yard, working for an employer, or their very generous contributions as volunteers.

Not only does the Portuguese community welcome hard work, but they also welcome other people around them. I consider myself very fortunate to have good friends in our Portuguese community. In fact, whenever I visit them, they always make me feel at home.

I have one very special good friend who is a leader within the community and he often takes me to visit with his friends and even with his family. Whenever I enter their homes, I am always greeted with love and affection, just as if I were a direct member of the family. We share stories and we share wonderful food. We laugh and sometimes we cry from laughing so hard. Then, perhaps after too many carafes of Vinho Verde or Porto, I leave feeling even more like a family member than when I arrived.

Like hard work, this comes as second nature to the Portuguese community. I am proud to call them my friends, and I am honoured to support this motion. This is a community that could not be more deserving of this kind of recognition.

For my Portuguese friends at home and those in communities right across Canada, they truly are champions and they deserve this. Obrigado.

Foreign Investment in Canada June 21st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the number one job of a government is to protect the safety and security of the people. Let us look at the facts. Norsat creates advanced technology that is used by our military to protect the security of Canadians, while Hytera Communications is a Chinese company with a bad track record. To buy Norsat is a risky decision. This deal, by definition, is a security risk.

When will the Prime Minister wake up, smell the coffee, and cancel this deal?

Foreign Investment June 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, China is not shy about its efforts to spy on Canada or our allies.

According to documents obtained from CSIS, China continuously targets our classified information and advanced technology. That did not seem to stop the Liberals from allowing China's Hytera Communications to buy Norsat, a Canadian company that creates advanced technology used by our military and our allies, which is exactly what China has been after.

When will the Liberals stop putting our national security at risk?

Foreign Investment June 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the Liberals did not do their homework when approving the sale of Norsat to Hytera Communications from China, because Hytera is currently being sued by Motorola for committing massive intellectual property theft. Protection of IP rights is crucial for successful innovation.

My question to the minister is simple. How can we believe that the Liberals are sincere about wanting to promote innovation, when they go ahead and approve the sale of Norsat to a Chinese company that has been accused of stealing intellectual property rights?

Foreign Investment June 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, under the previous government, we launched a full national security review into the sale of military grade technology to China. It warned that if approved, China could produce western military technology, significantly reducing our and our allies' military advantage. With the Norsat sale, the Liberal minister has completely ignored that warning, putting Canadians' and our allies' security at risk.

When will the minister stop buddying up with China and start standing up for Canadians and our allies?

Foreign Takeovers June 12th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, nobody would buy a car based on what it looks like from the outside. They would look under the hood or even get in and take it out for a test drive. However, when selling out to the Chinese, the Liberals are approving the Hytera deal without any due diligence. The minister may have done a preliminary security review of the acquisition, but when it comes to the safety and security of Canadians, an in-depth review is necessary.

Why will the minister not commit to another review of this deal to make sure that Canadians remain safe?

Foreign Takeovers June 12th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, from the health care sector to the tax sector, the Liberal government seems quite content to place Chinese interests ahead of the safety of Canadians, particularly when those Chinese companies have a bad track record.

Recently we learned that the Liberals approved the sale of Norsat, a high-tech firm, to Hytera Communications from China and that Hytera had been accused of large-scale international property theft.

Why are the Liberals content with selling out our Canadian businesses to companies that have so many skeletons in their closets?

Mudcat Festival June 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, a large catfish statue named “Muddy the Mudcat” will welcome visitors to Dunnville in my beautiful riding of Haldimand—Norfolk for the 43rd annual Mudcat Festival.

Named after Dunnville's popular catfish found in the waters of the Grand River, this festival draws in crowds from all over to experience its exciting parade, thrilling midways, and breathtaking fireworks. In fact, for a town of only 6,000 people, this festival attracts 10 times its population.

This year the Mudcat Festival will offer new events, such as the strong man and strong woman competitions, firefighter's street dance, the first-ever mudcat marathon, and a special tribute to our veterans.

Huge thanks go out to all of the volunteers and businesses involved in making this event possible, especially Margaret and Kimberly Clarke. Without them, this festival would not happen.