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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was work.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Independent MP for Markham—Stouffville (Ontario)

Lost her last election, in 2019, with 21% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Indigenous Affairs November 24th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I hope my colleague has recognized that we are on a journey of reconciliation.

Our renewed relationship with indigenous peoples is based on a recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. It is in that context that we are doing work to establish a new fiscal relationship with indigenous peoples. We are consulting in terms of how we can develop better systems of mutual accountability. I would be happy to hear any recommendations to that end.

Indigenous Affairs November 2nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital for his question and for his leadership of the indigenous caucus.

I believe that all members of this House are disturbed by the disproportionate rates of indigenous children in the child welfare system, over 50% by the most recent census. We have some of the highest rates of indigenous child apprehension in the world. That is one of the reasons I have called an emergency meeting, along with indigenous leaders. First nations, Inuit, and Métis leaders have asked for provinces and territories to come together with child welfare experts and advocates. We will find solutions, and we will work together to promote prevention and—

Indigenous Affairs November 2nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, we have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to bringing equity for children in this country. As it relates to child and family services and the gaps that exist there, we recognize that we are facing a national crisis in terms of the way indigenous children are overrepresented in the child welfare system.

As of this week, I have called for an emergency meeting of all appropriate partners. The provinces, territories, indigenous leaders, first nations, Inuit, and Métis will get together and we will solve this crisis together.

Indigenous Affairs October 30th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for raising this very important issue. We know that housing is an absolutely essential criteria for people to have to be able to enjoy a good quality of life. That is why in budget 2016 we committed $550 million over two year, which has gone to support indigenous housing, first nations housing on reserve. I am pleased to report to the House that today 8,800 units have already been either built or are in the process of being built and renovated. This is good news. There is much more to do.

Indigenous Affairs October 26th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member opposite of the lengths to which we have gone to make sure that Jordan's principle is fully implemented. This makes sure that all children will get access to the care they need.

Up until our government took power, we did not have resources for this. We now have hundreds of millions of dollars of resources. Close to 19,000 cases have been requested. We are working to make sure all children will get access to the care they need, and making sure it is done right.

Indigenous Affairs October 26th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I hope that the member opposite, as well as all members in this House, recognize the very severe circumstances that indigenous children are facing, with more than 50% of the children in care in this country being indigenous children. We have to all work together to address this very serious problem. That requires indigenous leaders, it requires the federal government, it requires the provinces, territories, and child and family services agencies to be involved. We have got to get this right, and everyone needs to be involved.

Indigenous Affairs October 24th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by correcting the record. In fact I am working very closely with Dr. Cindy Blackstock. I meet with her on a regular basis, including yesterday, and my staff meets with her regularly as well.

We are determined to bring justice to indigenous children in this country. We know that there are absolutely unacceptable gaps that exist in child and family services and that children are being apprehended at rates that are the highest in the world.

We will work with Dr. Cindy Blackstock and first nations, Métis, and Inuit leaders to bring justice for indigenous children.

Indigenous Affairs October 24th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the documents the member opposite is referring to are based on Jordan's principle, which was passed in the House in 2007. Tragically, there were zero cases approved under the previous government. As soon as our government came into power, we got the resources, hundreds of millions of dollars, to fully implement Jordan's principle.

I am pleased to report to the House that now 20,000 cases have been approved. Children are getting access to the care they need, and we will continue to do this work.

Indigenous Affairs October 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, I was very pleased yesterday to join in an announcement that we would be establishing a task force for the elimination of tuberculosis in Inuit Nunangat. That will be the mandate of this important task force.

It is simply intolerable and tragic that the rate of tuberculosis in Canada's Inuit is 270 times the rate that it is in the Canadian-born non-indigenous population. That is why we are going to take bold action. We will be working with partners among Canada's Inuit leaders, provinces and territories, and we will work together to eliminate tuberculosis in Inuit Nunangat.

Indigenous Affairs October 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased, as the Minister of Indigenous Services, to address this issue and to speak in agreement with my colleague about the absolute necessity of making sure that we attain equity for children. Every child in this country should be able to grow up knowing that they can live with their family, live in a house that is adequate, and have access to good quality education and health care.

We are working with our partners to make sure that we bring equity and justice so that every Canadian child will know that they will grow up having real and fair opportunities to thrive.