House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was industry.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Egmont (P.E.I.)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 29% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply November 27th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, in response to my hon. colleague from Malpeque, I will point out that the government did provide $6 million to the beef plant in Albany. It also provided $12 million to potato farmers who were in desperate need of funding.

The government has transferred more money to Prince Edward Island than any other government in federal history.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply November 27th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.

I want to congratulate the members who were elected for the first time to the House and, of course, the members who were re-elected to the House on October 14.

As the first Conservative elected in Prince Edward Island since 1984 and the first in the riding of Egmont for almost 30 years, I am very pleased and proud to stand here today in the House of Commons to respond to the Speech from the Throne.

As the member of Parliament for Egmont and the regional minister for all of P.E.I., it is my responsibility to represent the interests of my constituents and all Islanders. To that end, I look forward to working with our provincial government to achieve that goal.

Like all Canadians, Islanders are concerned about the economy and how these difficult times will affect them. Our Prime Minister has shown great leadership during this global economic uncertainty and our government is committed to protecting Canada's future.

The Speech from the Throne is the government's plan for sensible leadership and strong economic management. It is our commitment to protecting Canadian families and jobs in tough economic times.

On October 30, I was chosen by the Prime Minister as the first woman to hold the office of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans as a stand-alone portfolio. I wish to thank the Prime Minister for putting his trust in my ability to execute the responsibilities of this office.

In my role as the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, one of my priorities will include a review of the Fisheries Act. I want to encourage my colleagues in Parliament, regardless of their political stripe, to recognize the importance of renewing this 140-year-old act in light of the difficult economic situation we find ourselves in and the effect it has on all Canadians and their communities. I encourage them to work collaboratively toward legislation that works for our industry to ensure that it remains economically viable and sustainable.

I want to now talk about some of the important commitments contained in the throne speech that are important to my riding. These commitments are important to the people of P.E.I. because they are facing some unique economic challenges.

First, our government remains committed to Canada's traditional industries, such as fishing and agriculture, because we believe they uphold the economic well-being of many regions and communities, such as those in P.E.I. Our government will continue to assist these industries through measures aimed at marketing Canadian products internationally while helping businesses to innovate.

In addition, our government has worked with each province and territory and has provided them with funding through the community development trust to support Canadian workers in communities affected by international economic volatility.

Our government is committed to expediting the Building Canada plan to ensure that infrastructure projects are delivered to communities as quickly as possible. We believe that modernizing infrastructure contributes to a stronger economy and a cleaner environment, with more prosperous communities.

P.E.I. has already benefited from the Building Canada plan with much needed funding for water and waste water projects around the province. The Building Canada plan will benefit P.E.I. and other provinces because it will provide them with predictable, long-term funding for infrastructure needs. The government's commitment to infrastructure funding represents the largest infrastructure commitment ever to Prince Edward Island.

During these tough times, P.E.I. farmers need to know what will be done to help farming remain viable in P.E.I. and in Canada. Our government will continue to strongly support supply managed sectors at home and in international negotiations.

The government is implementing its new growing forward programs, programs that are focused on results, reflect input from across the sector and are tailored to local needs. Most important, growing forward is a plan to build agriculture for the future and will enable provincial flexibility, which is very important, within national standards to support Canada's farmers and agriculture sector.

The government has strongly supported the fisheries on P.E.I. and across Canada. For years the industry was seeking a capital gains exemption on its licence transfers. For most, this is their retirement fund as they have no pensions. Our government has delivered to fishers on that item. We have provided more permanent funding of $20 million annually to small craft harbours and we have hired more than 165 new fisheries officers over the last three years.

Our government has supported wind energy initiatives in P.E.I., which has allowed P.E.I. to become a leader in wind energy production.

We have a thriving aerospace sector in P.E.I., with hundreds of people from my riding working in this area, and it is expanding steadily.

There have been a number of initiatives that our government has undertaken to assist workers in Canada. The community development trust, which I mentioned earlier, also supports a wide variety of initiatives aimed at job training, skills development and community transition plans that will foster economic development and create new jobs.

The targeted initiative for older workers, which is the federal-provincial employment program that provides employment activities for older workers and helps them stay in the workforce, has been very well received on Prince Edward Island.

The labour market agreement with the provinces to address the gap in labour market programming for those who do not qualify for training under the EI program was also well received. This problem was evident as I would often speak with people who felt that they were in dead-end jobs that they could not afford to leave because they did not qualify for assistance under the EI program.

I also would like to share with the House that one of the most well received programs that our government has implemented is the pension income splitting for seniors. This made a significant difference to many seniors in our province.

I also want to salute our government's commitment to our veterans. They are a big part of all of our communities and I am proud that the government has shown support to them by enhancing the veterans independence program and establishing the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman.

I would be remiss if I did not thank the voters of Egmont and the many volunteers who worked tirelessly on my campaign during the election. It was a true exercise in democracy and an example of what makes Canada such a great country. The election results came down to the very last poll. My opponent requested a recount, which was carried out shortly after election day. What makes this so great is that no one was hurt, no one was imprisoned and everybody participated not only in the recount but in the entire campaign peacefully. We must keep in mind that Canada is the greatest country on earth for those very reasons.

Canadians can be assured that our government is doing everything possible to ensure they are protected during these difficult and uncertain economic times. As the regional minister for my province, I am very proud to say that I am the voice of Prince Edward Island at the cabinet table. Our Prime Minister has provided a steady hand in a time of global economic influx. By all reports, Canada is at the top when it comes to being in a position to weather this economic downturn. I think that can be attributed to the forward-thinking of the government and our very capable leader.

Fisheries and Oceans November 25th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, budget 2008 committed a further $10 million per year to the small craft harbour program for upgrades and retrofits.