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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word is regard.

NDP MP for London—Fanshawe (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2015, with 38% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions February 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the next petition is in regard to my bill, Bill C-355, on the protection of the Thames River. As you know, Mr. Speaker, currently we are debating a bill that is supposed to protect navigable waters but does not. Protection for rivers like the Thames is nowhere to be seen in the current Liberal legislation. These petitioners are asking that the government abandon that and support my bill to make sure that rivers like the Thames are indeed protected.

Petitions February 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today. The first is in regard to seniors poverty and the real and determined need in this country for a policy to protect seniors so they do not slip below the poverty line. The petitioners ask that there be a committee set up to ensure that the provinces, territories, and the federal government come together to ensure that seniors have access to high-quality health care and that their income security is guaranteed.

Reproductive Health February 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I was disappointed yesterday with a budget that failed to promise action, with just studies on pharmacare. The NDP has long called for a national pharmacare strategy and I have been calling for much-needed coverage of prescription contraceptives. I was pleased that at our NDP convention, delegates voted for a policy of action that the NDP recommend the immediate creation of a health subsidy to the provinces for free access to menstrual products and contraception for all citizens.

Sadly, the Liberals have missed an opportunity here. Next week, Canada will recognize International Women's Day, and instead of paying lip service to policies like pay equity and pharmacare, would it not be great to see real action? Let us start with access to free prescription contraceptives and menstrual products, remove barriers, and improve reproductive health options for all Canadians. The time to do this is now. All we need is political will.

Business of Supply February 15th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the former minister for his clarity in regard to the truth about what is being spent.

Perhaps the member could comment on the fact that the Prime Minister went to a constituency and told veterans that there just was not enough money available for them. However, there is lots of money for a skating rink which cost $7 million. There is lots of money for tax havens so that the wealthy do not have to pay their fair share. CEO stock options still are costing this country millions of dollars in revenue. However, there is no money for veterans.

Can the hon. member square that circle for me?

Business of Supply February 15th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, who is now the critic for a very important issue.

Those veterans outside are not gathered there because they are happy. They are not gathered there because they are being treated fairly. They are gathered there, because the government has failed. The government says, “Let us not make it partisan.” It seems to me that a promise was made during an election to increase the amount that veterans were to receive, and to restore those pensions. It seems to me that was pretty partisan.

The Liberals try to baffle us here with numbers. They do not tell us people are receiving less and less. When are the Liberals going to live up to their promises, and look after our veterans?

Survivor Pension Benefits Act February 13th, 2018

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-397, an act to amend certain acts in relation to survivor pension benefits.

Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to introduce a bill to amend several acts that discriminate against seniors.

The federal government currently denies surviving spouse pensions to the military, members of Parliament, judges, employees of crown corporations, public servants, and employees of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police if the retiree entered into a spousal relationship after age 60. The so-called “gold-digger” legislation is archaic and unfair, especially given that these men and women have devoted their lives to Canadian public service in different capacities. This bill would eliminate legislation that denies surviving spouses a pension.

The legislation disproportionately affects women. The burden of caregiving often falls on spouses and most often on women. It is disgraceful that after caring for their partners, when their ailing partners die, some caregivers are denied a pension. In the case of the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act, legislation was enacted at the turn of the 20th century to prevent deathbed marriages or gold-digging, when women were accused of marrying veterans in order to get their pensions. The policy has not changed in 100 years and continues to have repercussions on families today.

The amendment I wish to make concerns income equality, health issues, and women's issues. With the current legislation, the families of veterans, judges, members of Parliament, public servants, employees of crown corporations and the RCMP are at risk of living in poverty. I wish to change all of that with this amendment.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canada Post February 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, last week at a town hall in Winnipeg, the Prime Minister was asked to respond to the serious climate of bullying, harassment, and intimidation of workers at Canada Post. The reality is that for months the current government has ignored petitions, letters, and horror stories regarding the toxic work environment and has done very little to specifically address this situation.

Can the Prime Minister tell us exactly what action he will take to end this systemic abuse of postal workers?

National Defence January 31st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is not just the RCMP that is failing to address complaints about sexual assault in its ranks. It has been 10 long months since the Canadian Armed Forces promised to review a large number of sexual assault complaints they had previously dismissed as unfounded. These women were brave enough to come forward, and the Liberals are using the protection of their privacy as an excuse to do nothing.

Will the government commit today to stop stalling, show women the respect they deserve, and immediately take action?

Pat Chefurka January 31st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would like today to pay tribute to our sister, Pat Chefurka, a proud New Democrat, a trail-blazing feminist, and a relentless advocate for social justice. Pat died January 21.

Born in Manitoba in 1924, Pat received a bachelor of science degree from Brandon College and became the first woman to receive a master's degree in physics from Montana State College. She accepted a position teaching physics at the University of Western Ontario in 1963 and resigned in 1974 due to pay inequity, a problem then as now.

Pat became actively involved with the CCF in the 1940s and was a good friend of Tommy Douglas. Among her many accomplishments, she was the first woman president of the Ontario NDP and was a recipient of the Agnes Macphail Award.

In addition to her many worthy pursuits, Pat managed to be a mentor to countless women over the course of her life. I will miss her steely determination, her unflagging optimism, and her dedication to fighting the good fight.

Rest in power, Pat. We will take it from here.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 29th, 2018

With regard to claims for pensions for disabilities under the Pension Act processed by the Department of Veterans Affairs since January 1, 1997, broken down by year: (a) how many people have received pensions for disabilities; and (b) how much money has been spent in total on pensions for disabilities?