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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was families.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Liberal MP for Mississauga—Brampton South (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Health October 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Canada has been very generous in our response to this terrible outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. We have donated 800 to 1,000 doses of this vaccine, and it is up to the World Health Organization to organize the logistics in dispensing these vaccines.

We are also contributing expertise on the ground when it comes to the mobile lab and the revolving scientists who are out there staffing that. We have funded $35 million to leading international partners like the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières and—

Health October 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the vaccines are actually available to go at a moment's notice. It is the World Health Organization that is coordinating the logistics for the vaccine, but we are ready to act as soon as it pulls that trigger.

As members know, we are taking this seriously. We have invested $35 million in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. We are a global leader. We are providing funds, we are providing expertise, and we are providing equipment.

Health October 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in fact, we recently hosted experts from around the world to focus on improving the lives of patients.

We have $31.5 million to create and support the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, and our investment since 2006 amounts to over $850 million for neuroscience research. We also provide the caregiver tax credit.

All Canadians are very much concerned about our aging parents.

Health October 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as of late last year, there is a national plan to tackle the growing dementia onset and related illnesses.

We are working with our international partners on this very important and emerging issue. Since 2006, research investments in dementia have increased by over 67%, and we are working with these G7 counterparts to support additional research and to find a cure by 2025.

Health October 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as I have just indicated to the House, all of the medication from these three plants will be quarantined. We will work with Apotex to identify if any of these medications are medically necessary and produce additional testing on those medications to ensure that Canadians and their health are protected.

Vanessa's law is critical, and we would urge the Senate to pass it with all due haste. Vanessa's law would give Health Canada the powers to levy hefty fines against pharmaceutical companies that put the health of Canadians at risk.

Health October 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our government will not tolerate drug safety risks. As soon as Health Canada was made aware of this information, it acted immediately to quarantine the medication. Additional safety testing took place, and all medication from all three plants will not be entering Canada. It has been fully quarantined.

Additionally, Vanessa's law is just making its way through the Senate right now. This is legislation that the opposition completely dragged its feet on all of last summer, forcing us into late night sittings. That legislation would allow Health Canada to enact hefty fines against pharmaceutical companies.

Natural Resources September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised to hear the member opposite seek to pigeonhole a colleague. I would have expected something a little more generous from her.

However, allow me to return to the debate before us and to speak specifically to energy supply.

Few countries in the world have the enormous potential that Canada holds. It is the world's fifth-largest producer of oil and gas and the fifth-largest producer of natural gas. Canada is fortunate to have abundant oil and gas resources, but to reach its full potential, it needs more than supply: it needs to diversify its markets.

We have been clear that projects will move ahead only if they are safe for Canadians and safe for our environment.

Natural Resources September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our decision is based on the conclusions of an independent science-based review panel. After carefully reviewing the independent regulator's recommendation on the northern gateway project, the government accepted the recommendation to impose 209 conditions to ensure that this project meets the highest safety standards. The panel heard from nearly 1,500 participants in 21 communities and reviewed 175,000 pages of evidence prior to making its recommendation.

This is another step in the process. It will now be up to the proponent to demonstrate to the regulator and Canadians how it will meet those over 200 conditions. It will also have to apply for regulatory permits and authorizations from federal, provincial, and municipal governments.

Finally, consultations with first nations communities are required under many of the conditions as part of the process for regulatory authorizations and permits. It also must fulfill its commitment to engage with first nations and communities along the route.

It is clear that the proponent has much work to do. As a government, we have promised Canadians that projects will only move forward if they are safe for Canadians and safe for the environment. That is the guiding principle for our plan for responsible resource development.

We have introduced a suite of measures to enhance pipeline and marine safety. Whether we are transporting energy by rail, tanker, or pipeline, our safety systems are world class. The safety record of federally regulated crude pipelines is indeed 99.999%, and our government is taking action to improve our record even further. Our overall goal is to prevent incidents from occurring at all.

In the unlikely event that an incident does occur, we must have robust and transparent emergency preparedness and response plans. We have backed this up with enhanced liability regimes to show industry that we are protecting the environment and that we are doing it very seriously.

We also recognize that aboriginal peoples must be full partners in everything we do, from ensuring the safety of our pipeline system to protecting our marine environment from incidents and sharing in the benefits of developing our resources.

In his report, Douglas Eyford made a number of recommendations to build a better relationship with aboriginal peoples. He said:

Canada must take decisive steps to build trust with Aboriginal Canadians, to foster their inclusion into the economy, and to advance the reconciliation of Aboriginal people...in Canadian society.

Our government agrees. We are moving forward with a suite of activities to enable aboriginal peoples to fully participate in the development and operation of our energy infrastructure projects, including our tanker and pipeline safety systems.

With the participation of first nations and our commitment to world-class pipeline safety systems, we are confident that Canada can capture the tremendous economic promise before it. We can diversify our energy markets and ensure prosperity for all Canadians for generations to come.

Health September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my well-meaning colleague is jumping the gun. There have been no cuts to maternal child health programs for Manitoba first nations.

Through budget 2010, our government announced a five-year funding cycle for this program. At this stage of the funding cycle, our government is demonstrating good stewardship in reviewing all the evidence and outcomes from these investments.

We continue to invest in programs and services that support first nations and Inuit communities, including maternal and child health programs. This year alone, our government is investing over $150 million to support healthy child development programming and services for first nations and Inuit communities. This includes $23.8 million for the maternal child health program and $12.7 million for the first nations and Inuit component of the Canada prenatal nutrition program.

These programs and services support first nations and Inuit healthy pregnancies, healthy births, and healthy child development.

Health September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House today to speak to our government's continued support for maternal and child health initiatives, including for first nations and Inuit. This year alone, our government is investing over $150 million to support healthy child development programming and services in first nations and Inuit communities.

I would also like to make one thing perfectly clear for all colleagues in the House. There have been no cuts to maternal child health programs for Manitoba first nations. Indeed, it is our Conservative government that renewed the aboriginal maternal child health program in 2010 and we are investing $23.8 million this year alone. Since 2006, our government has spent approximately $169 million under the child health program. Our overall current funding supports home visits by nurses and family visitors to almost 1,500 families in approximately 185 first nation communities.

One example of this programming is the maternal child health program, which enables home visits by nurses and family visitors for first nations women and families with young children. Through a case management approach, the needs of pregnant women and new parents are assessed. Healthy, prenatal and postnatal lifestyles are promoted and links are made to other needed community services. We are seeing significant improvements in first nation communities with this programming, such as higher proportions of first nations children being breastfed for longer than six months and increased screening for developmental milestones, prenatal risk factors and existing health conditions.

At this stage of the funding cycle, the government is well aware that all partners involved in these initiatives are anxious to receive confirmation of future funding and I would like to assure the House that the health and well-being of mothers and their children remain a priority for our government.

In addition to the maternal child health program, Health Canada invests $12.7 million per year in the Canada prenatal nutrition program for first nations and Inuit. This program focuses on pregnant women and women with infants up to 12 months of age, supporting activities related to nutrition screening, education and counselling, maternal nourishment, and breastfeeding promotion and support.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also administers the community action program for children, providing funding to community-based groups to develop and deliver prevention and early intervention programs focusing on vulnerable children from birth to six years of age and for their families.

The government also supports a number of other programs and services related to maternal and child health for first nations and Inuit, including the aboriginal head start on reserve program, which provides $49 million annually to nurture the healthy growth and development of children from birth to six years of age in first nation communities by meeting their emotional, social, health, nutritional, cultural, and psychological needs.

The brighter futures program supports the well-being of children and families through a community development approach. Activities can include mental health counselling, youth activity programming, culture camps, and school breakfast programs.

There is also the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder program, which provides approximately $40 million to support first nations and Inuit communities to educate and raise awareness about the impacts of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Activities include developing mentoring programs to stop or reduce alcohol use during pregnancy, facilitating access to earlier diagnoses, and building capacity among front-line staff.

Finally, there is the children's oral health initiative, which provides over $5 million annually to promote good oral health initiatives.

In closing, our government recognizes that improving the health of first nations and Inuit is a shared undertaking among federal, provincial and territorial governments.