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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was billion.

Last in Parliament September 2017, as Conservative MP for South Surrey—White Rock (B.C.)

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

Statements in the House

Business of Supply February 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to be crystal clear. Absolutely in no way whatsoever have I deliberately intended not to put in equal work for equal value. I think it is broad in nature; it is everything that we should be doing and should be continuing to do.

Business of Supply February 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that absolutely it is a human right. It is a human right for pay equity for any gender, any person who enters the workforce. I would suggest that this is a very important issue and that the entirety should be sent to the status of women committee, and those issues addressed through that process; and moved forward, implementing the measures that need to be implemented and enforcing what is already there.

Business of Supply February 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to be clear. It is not that we do not support the motion. However, there are two points that we requested be amended because it is not factual information and there is work that is being undertaken. Those are the only two points that we have any issue with whatsoever.

Business of Supply February 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to speak to the motion put forward by my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith. I want to be perfectly clear that the only acceptable position by any member in the House is equal pay for equal work, and every person, regardless of race, religion, or gender needs to know that when they enter the workforce they will receive equal compensation.

We, as the Conservative Party, have always supported that position. In fact, it was the Conservative government that introduced the Employment Equity Act in 1984. It was also the Conservative government that appointed the very first woman to cabinet. We also appointed the very first woman to the Senate and the very first female as Clerk of the Privy Council, whom I understand, unfortunately, has recently been removed.

I know that many of my female colleagues rose in the House last week and spoke on the 100th anniversary of Manitoba women being allowed the right to vote, and we will continue to celebrate that passion, that determination, and that inspiration. There are many women, including me, who have struggled in the workforce and had to work harder for less pay. It is incumbent upon all of us to right those wrongs. I would suggest that most of the women who sit in the House have gone through similar trials and tribulations throughout their career and can speak to those issues at great length.

We have come a very long way in spite of those wrongs. I am proud to say that during my time as the mayor of Surrey, we enjoyed a council that had a majority of women for many years. Being the first female mayor elected in that city, I had the good fortune to work with many women CEOs, business owners, public sector workers, or private sector employees. We have had those discussions around pay equity.

I believe that working with, supporting, and helping to empower the next generation of young women is something that we should all embrace. Several of my colleagues and I who are speaking on this issue today are very passionate about this topic. Indeed, I would suggest that we are all very passionate about this topic. We firmly support the basic principles of equality and equal pay for equal work.

I want to speak to my colleague's proposed amendment that was not accepted and just go through the points in the motion. Point (a) of the motion reads:

recognize that the government must take action to close the unacceptable gap in pay between men and women which contributes to income inequality and discriminates against women;

I absolutely agree that everything should be done to ensure that any gap in pay between men and women is rectified immediately. We heard from other members that in many different areas there is inequity. I would say that whether it is in the private or public sector, equal pay for equal work is essential for everyone.

Point (b) of the motion states that we should recognize pay equity as a right. Absolutely, it is a human right for all people. This point only reinforces my previous comments, and again, my colleagues and I fully agree with equal pay for equal work.

Point (c) is where we run into some difficulty. We heard from my colleague who put the amendment forward that this statement is factually incorrect. I do support my colleague, the member for Sarnia—Lambton, that we remove that point from the body of the motion. It is very unfortunate that the amendment was not supported, because its language is not factual and not supportable.

In fact, in 2009, the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act came into place. Again, this act reflects the issues that we are discussing here today. The act states that:

3 (1) An employer shall, in respect of its non-unionized employees, take measures to provide them with equitable compensation in accordance with this Act. In the case of unionized employees, the employer and the bargaining agent shall take measures to provide those employees with equitable compensation in accordance with this Act.

Those measures are in place. The act goes on to state:

4 (1) An equitable compensation assessment under this Act assesses, without gender bias, the value of work performed by employees in a job group or a job class and identifies, by taking into account the prescribed factors, whether an equitable compensation matter exists.

Therefore, those elements are in the act.

However, point (d) of the opposition motion states:

(d) appoint a special committee with the mandate to conduct hearings on the matter of pay equity and to propose a plan to adopt a proactive federal pay equity regime, both legislative and otherwise, and...

It then goes on to define the structure of that committee.

Again, as previously stated, the status of women committee has done extraordinary work. I know that it will continue to do extraordinary work, because this is an issue that crosses party lines, and it is a place where these issues can be addressed. They should be dealt with within the existing framework and the existing structure. If they cannot be addressed in that committee, and there are significant labour issues, then it should be referred to the Public Service Labour Relations Board.

We heard from the President of the Treasury Board that the government is undergoing a new direction and a new process. I am very curious to understand what that would look like. Again, as he stated, this is would not be partisan. It would include all of the comments that we have made here today.

I would stress again that this is an issue that affects all of us. I think of my two daughters who are just entering the workforce, and I think of my fellow women sitting in this chamber today. I think of all the women in the next generation who are relying on us to ensure that they are treated fairly, equitably, and with respect. I think of those brave women in Manitoba who struggled and took those important first steps 100 years ago to help us to get to where we are today. Therefore, we must address all of these issues and ensure equal pay for equal work.

I would like to thank the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith for bringing this motion forward. I would suggest that it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that there is equality and equity among employers, in both the private and the public sector.

Business of Supply February 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I agree with many of the comments that have been made by my colleagues across the floor.

The motion only relates to the public service in terms of pay equity and not women more broadly. I would like to ask the member why it is not more broad in context and why it is only focusing on the public sector.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply January 26th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to hear my colleague talk about infrastructure, green infrastructure and social infrastructure. I am very proud this government did set up the green infrastructure fund that funded and promoted biofuel, organic waste treatment, production of biogas, geothermal, and a reduction in greenhouse gases. I look forward to the additional $20 billion that will go into that fund.

I also want to talk a little about the social infrastructure and the influx of the 25,000 refugees.

In the city Surrey, where I was a former mayor, 95 languages are spoken and we have the largest influx of government-assisted refugees in the province. We are expecting about 900 refugees during this next influx, with 60% under the age of 18. We currently have an overburdened school district. We need up to 425 long-term housing units for the refugees as well as school expansion. Also, there is the potential of a welcome centre closing and the laying-off of settlement workers.

How are the Liberals going to accommodate the refugee influx and will that fall under the social infrastructure program?

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply January 26th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am just wondering when the plan for the green infrastructure, the social infrastructure, and the infrastructure plan will be rolled out. Given that there is $20 million for each of those elements over a 10-year period, which comes out to about $2 billion per year, I am wondering how many additional jobs that would create and how that would spur on the economy.

Business of Supply December 10th, 2015

Madam Speaker, it strikes me as a bit odd as well when I hear the Liberal government talk about the vulnerability of young women and girls and about protecting them when over 8,000 young women and girls have been murdered. I am astounded that the Liberal government would not take a stronger position. In fact, I am ashamed.

Business of Supply December 10th, 2015

Madam Speaker, I will answer the member's question in a two-fold way. I totally agree that the financial flow and the weapons need to be addressed as part of the multifaceted approach.

However, I would also say that we look at bombing weapons caches, training facilities, critical infrastructures, and command centres. That is the focus in making sure that we are crippling them in their country of origin where they cannot expand.

Business of Supply December 10th, 2015

Madam Speaker, the terminology that has been used is very familiar to those in the general public. We can define it any way we want, but the fact is it is killing hundreds of thousands of people who are fleeing from their country. It is murdering and raping young girls and children. That is what we have to pay attention to.