House of Commons photo

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was regard.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as NDP MP for London—Fanshawe (Ontario)

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

Statements in the House

Canada Post Corporation November 1st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, forced overtime at Canada Post means increased hours and longer delivery routes that take a toll on worker health and safety, and families suffer.

Because of the corporation's inflexibility, CUPW is pushing back against unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. Effective today, the union has declared a national ban on overtime. Workers understand that self-care benefits them, their families, the corporation and its customers.

Why does Canada Post not get it? When will the government secure a fair contract that values workers?

Canada Post Corporation October 31st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the New Democrats raised the issue of Canada Post denying CUPW members short-term disability during the ongoing labour dispute. Today we hear that Canada Post is also going after maternity leave top-up. It is ironic, because it is thanks to CUPW that we have maternity leave top-up at all.

Not only is this means-spirited, it skirts federal law. The minister indicated that she would not interfere with collective bargaining. That is fine, but will she stand by while her Crown corporation violates federal law?

Petitions October 29th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, my second petition is in support of protecting the Thames River system. Petitioners are concerned because the Conservative government stripped environmental regulations covered in the Navigable Waters Protection Act, leaving hundreds of rivers vulnerable, including the Thames.

The Liberal government has failed to keep its promise to reinstate environmental protections gutted from the original act. Therefore, petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to support my bill, Bill C-355, which would commit the government to prioritize the protection of the Thames River by amending the Navigation Protection Act.

Petitions October 29th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today. The first is in support of postal banking. Nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders, because their crippling lending rates affect poor, marginalized, rural and indigenous communities most.

We have 3,800 Canada Post outlets already in existence in rural and remote areas, where there are few or, very often, no banks. Canada Post already has the infrastructure to make a rapid transition to include postal banking. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to enaction Motion No. 166 to create a committee to study and propose a plan for postal banking under the Canada Post Corporation.

Foreign Affairs October 25th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, freedom, equality, justice and peace are Canadian values. We have a deal with the Saudis that enables them to wage war, silence dissidents and harm innocent civilians, a deal signed by the Conservatives and upheld by the Liberals. Canadians do not want to be complicit with Saudi Arabia's war crimes.

The government has a responsibility to fundamental human rights and an absolute obligation to stand up for Canadian workers. What is the Liberal plan for protecting workers and their families in light of this mess?

Petitions October 24th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from Londoners in support of postal banking. As we know, nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders. These predators are crippling poor, marginalized, rural and indigenous communities with lending rates that are, quite simply, outrageous.

There are 3,800 postal outlets in Canada where there are few or no banks, and Canada Post has the infrastructure to make a rapid transition to include postal banking. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to enact my motion, Motion No. 166, to create a committee to study and propose a plan for postal banking under the Canada Post Corporation.

Petitions October 22nd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, my second petition is to protect the Thames River system. As we will recall, the Conservative government stripped environmental regulations covered by the Navigable Waters Protection Act. It left hundreds of rivers vulnerable, including the Thames River in London.

The Liberal government promised but failed to reinstate the environmental protections that were gutted from the original act. Therefore, the petitioners are calling upon the Government of Canada to support my bill, Bill C-355, which would commit the government to prioritize the protection of the Thames by amending the Navigation Protection Act.

Petitions October 22nd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present.

The first is in support of postal banking, because nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders due to the crippling lending rates that affect the poor, marginalized, rural and indigenous communities. There are 3,800 Canada Post outlets in existence where there are few or no banking systems and Canada Post already has the infrastructure to make a rapid transition to postal banking.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to enact my motion, Motion No. 166, to create a committee to study and propose a plan for postal banking under the Canada Post Corporation.

Canada Post October 22nd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, postal banking does provide services to Canadians in areas the big banks have abandoned, such as indigenous and rural communities. It is accessible as an alternative to payday lenders who prey on low-income earners.

Motion No. 166, to be voted on this week, calls for a committee to study and propose the best model of postal banking under Canada Post and provide accessible banking services to all Canadians.

Will the Liberals support our communities by giving them access to postal banking and vote yes to Motion No. 166 this Wednesday?

Postal Banking System October 22nd, 2018

Madam Speaker, there is no better time to make investments in Canada Post that would ensure healthy profits for the corporation than now and into the future. Postal banking under Canada Post would provide profits and a secure source of revenue to enable the government to actually keep its campaign promise to restore home delivery to those who lost it under the previous Conservative government. A promise kept—imagine that; what a switch.

Corporate banks have abandoned rural and urban Canada, leaving too many without access to a bank or credit union. Fewer than 10% of indigenous communities have a bank or credit union branch. Thousands of bank branches have been closed in the last 20 years, and nearly 400 since 2012, with more every day.

Without access to services, people in rural communities must travel hours to access their own money or rely on private business owners to provide cheque-cashing services at their discretion and at a high premium. In urban areas, payday lenders prey on people of low income who cannot afford the service fees charged by big banks. Access to our own money is not a privilege; it is a right, a right that no Canadian should be denied.

Postal banking works. We know this from the experience of countries whose economies are similar to Canada's. In the U.K., New Zealand, France, Italy, and even Switzerland, postal banking is part of the community, and it is profitable.

Over the past few months, I have received overwhelming support for Motion No. 166, support from municipalities and individuals across the country, in urban and rural communities alike. I have received thousands of postcards in support of reinstating postal banking in Canada from constituents represented by 136 members of this House. I am certain that every MP in this House has received postcards from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers in support of Motion No.166. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the National Pensioners Federation support postal banking, because it is good policy.

However, we have heard reservations from members who fear that credit unions and banks will experience unfair competition. They seem to overlook the fact that banks and even credit unions are already gone from rural and low-income communities.

I have even heard reservations from Liberal and Conservative members who object to the word “banking” in the proposal. However, consider this. Switzerland has a postal bank. If the banking mecca of the world does not object to the name “bank”, why should we?

Motion No. 166 provides flexibility for the committee to propose a name. Perhaps it could be something like “Canada Post financial services” or “Canada Post savings and loan”.

I urge members of this House to avoid getting caught up in semantics and the misinformation we have heard today and to examine the true merits of providing financial services to those who have been abandoned by banks. People in indigenous, rural, and urban communities deserve affordable services. Access to personal finances is an undeniable right, a right that should be protected in a functioning democracy by providing it as a public service.

Finally, we have heard from some Liberal Party members who claim to support the idea of postal banking but cannot support the motion, because it is somehow technically flawed and therefore not worthy of support. I have yet to hear what exactly that flaw is, except perhaps that postal banking is a progressive idea that did not originate with the government.

In the past three years, this Parliament has heard NDP proposals to enshrine housing as a human right, implement a poverty strategy and close loopholes in conflicts of interest. There is no real problem with these NDP ideas except that they did not come from the Liberal benches. Canadians should expect to see these same NDP proposals as part of the 2019 Liberal platform.

Sadly, Canadians cannot wait until 2019 and beyond. We are still waiting for the 2015 broken Liberal promises to be honoured. We cannot wait any more.

Finally, I would like to remind members of this House of the Prime Minister's October 2017 letter to the Minister of Public Procurement, which stated:

We made a commitment to grow our economy, strengthen the middle class, and help those working hard to join it. We committed to provide more direct help to those who need it by giving less to those who do not. We committed to public investment to spur economic growth, job creation, and broad-based prosperity....

I expect Canadians to hold us accountable for delivering these commitments...to improve economic opportunity and security for Canadians.

Once again—