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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 September 21st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, in the four weeks since I have taken on the role as Minister of Indigenous Service, one of the things I have heard so loudly and clearly is the absolute need to address the welfare of indigenous children in our country. I will continue the work that Minister Bennett has done and that I started in my role as Minister of Health. We will make sure—

Indigenous Affairs September 21st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, we are determined to address the very serious socio-economic gaps that exist and to make sure we deal with issues like access to clean drinking water.

We are very pleased that the Prime Minister spoke with such determination about that today. We have already lifted more than two dozen long-term drinking advisories by doubling the ability to respond to these issues. I will work with the new department of indigenous services and we will end long-term drinking water advisories in the country.

Ethics September 20th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear all the details of the question, but I would be happy to speak to the member afterwards.

I was not involved in the discussions related to the tax changes. I did have a medical professional corporation, and it was closed down. I made that decision on the day I was elected when I knew that I would not be practising for some time to come.

Indigenous Affairs September 20th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House as Canada's very first Minister of Indigenous Services.

I heartily agree with the member opposite that for too long indigenous peoples in this country have lived in substandard conditions. That is why our government has made such significant investments and already 6,500 homes have been built or are under construction. We will continue to work with our partners in first nations, Inuit, and Métis people of this country to make sure all people have a good quality of life.

Health June 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I will be very happy at some point to sit down with the member opposite and clarify to him that in fact the federal initiative on HIV/AIDS is expanding in the order of over $30 million. I have been speaking with the Public Health Agency of Canada. We are making sure that good community organizations are getting expansion to their programs and continue those good programs. We are also expanding programs like the know your status program in Saskatchewan, which has demonstrably decreased its rates of new infections. We will work with those agencies to make sure we protect Canadians.

Health June 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to answer this question.

Responding to the needs of people affected by HIV and preventing new HIV infections is something that is very important to us. We did, in fact, put new investments in the budget. There will be an additional $35 million in the Canadian federal initiative of HIV and hepatitis C prevention. That is in addition to the money that we are putting through the first nations and Inuit health branch to also prevent new infections and treat those already affected by HIV.

We will work through the Public Health Agency of Canada to address the needs of Canadians affected by HIV.

Health June 13th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the House before, obviously we are all concerned with the tragedies that took place with the result of thalidomide. It is important that people are compensated accordingly. It is important that people are treated fairly.

I thank the health committee for its work on this matter. We are reviewing its report, and I look forward to responding to it in due time.

Cannabis Act June 1st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I must return gratitude to the member for his tremendous work on this file. He has been going across this country to talk to people about this issue, and we are indebted to him for his work.

This a conversation that I have had with him in the past about the approach, particularly for young adults. They are such an important group when we are thinking about the work of this bill. I would remind him again about something like tobacco. There is no young person in this country who should consume tobacco. Yesterday was World No Tobacco Day. We know that it will kill one in two regular users of tobacco, but there is no one proposing that we criminalize the use of tobacco by young adults.

We know that a public health approach means to maximize education and minimize harm. As the member indicated, adults are mature people who are able to take risks into consideration. We know that as they become educated on who may or may not be more at risk for use of cannabis, in fact they will make informed decisions, and they will be able to make those decisions in a way that will reduce and minimize the harms associated with these substances.

Cannabis Act June 1st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question and for her support of public education as part of a public health approach to substance use. In fact, we have lots of good evidence from other substances of how important public health education is. We look at something like tobacco use. There used to be extremely high rates of tobacco use, and they are now much lower because of public education.

As she acknowledged, we have put $9.6 million in the budget to advance public education. We have already begun our campaigns of public education, and those will continue to advance. We will continue to resource this over time and continue to make sure we do so. I have to acknowledge as well that the federal government is not the only partner in the business of public education. Of course, we are working with our provincial and territorial colleagues. We are working with ministers of education at other levels of government as well and with municipalities. This will require all levels of government, and in fact all levels of society, to work together.

I can assure the member that we will work in concert with the Public Health Agency of Canada and other federal partners to enhance education.

Cannabis Act June 1st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his concern with respect to the criminalization of young people. As I mentioned in my speech, and as we have heard in the House before, that is one of our concerns as well. However, it is important that we take a proper approach, a thorough and thoughtful approach. Decriminalization would not in fact address our policy objectives here, which are to keep cannabis out of the hands of kids and to keep the profits out of the hands of criminals. We are proceeding in a thoughtful manner in doing this, along the advice of the task force, and are making sure there would be a regime that would strictly regulate access.

In terms of his question about pardons, it would be premature to discuss that. I encourage him to continue to support the bill, to make sure we proceed in an orderly manner, and to know that the law is the law, unless the law changes.