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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was know.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Newton—North Delta (B.C.)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 26% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Pubic Safety June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, this is about the safety of my community, not about partisan political gains. Standing up for Surrey means providing answers and a clear timeline.

Surrey desperately needs help now to make its streets safer. We have been waiting too long, and with each shooting, families are becoming more and more afraid.

Why can the minister not give our community the news it is waiting for? When are the new officers arriving in Surrey?

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act June 9th, 2015

I apologize, Mr. Speaker.

I want to focus a little more on the time allocation part and get a response from the minister on that.

This is the 99th time that time allocation has been moved. We are close to 100, as we are only one away, in cricket language. It is disconcerting that in a parliamentary democracy where debate should be welcomed and robust that it is being limited and cut off once again.

The bill being time allocated has been referenced many times by the minister. However, I am taken by the fact that in this country, it is my understanding that we already have laws against polygamy. Polygamy is not allowed in the Canada I have lived in over the last number of years. I also believe that there can be no such thing as honour in any killing. If some people claim it is an honour killing, I think we have laws to address that. If there is domestic violence and abuse, we have laws for that as well.

I would urge the minister to focus on fixing a very broken immigration system, which keeps families apart, instead of introducing a bill, and now limiting debate, where I would say most of the items are already covered under the current legal provisions that we have in this country.

In light of the huge investment that the Conservative government could make in addressing domestic violence, in light of the fact that the government has absolutely refused, despite the fact that first nations communities and it seems like all Canadians from coast to coast are joining the call for an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, why is the minister not addressing these issues but instead is electioneering today?

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am just reminded about what we are here to debate. We are not here to debate the bill. The minister is responding to what we are here to debate, which is yet another time allocation motion moved by the House leader. I also notice that the House leader is not here to respond to--

Main Estimates 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether to thank the member for that question, but I was really hoping that the member would ask me a question very similar to this.

We had all the scandals that existed during the Liberal government, and now we have the Senate scandals involving both Liberal and Conservative senators. To me, it is more of the same.

I think the question the Liberal member of Parliament has to answer is why his party, in 2013, voted to improve accountability in the Senate. It did not support the introduction of measures to end senators' partisan activities or to limit their travel allowances to those activities clearly and directly related to parliamentary business. For him to then stand and make that kind of grandiose speech and be self-congratulatory, while their senators, Liberal senators, are still out there doing partisan work is disingenuous at best.

Main Estimates 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague across the way for his question. He has been on a kind of gerbil's cage treadmill, because what I hear is the same preface to almost every question he asks.

Let me make it very clear to him. My kindergarten students and grade 1 students would understand that a kangaroo court is where two parties collude behind closed doors and give nobody a chance to present evidence or to present their case. Let us not go there.

Let me go on to say this. Our leader has been very clear about the process. We have a grandiose mess over there. What we need to do, and our our leader has made it very clear, is consult with Canadians and meet with the premiers of the provinces and territories. At least we are prepared to do something, not like that government and that party and just sit--

Main Estimates 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to rise and speak to the motion that is before the House.

Let me make it very clear that the motion we are debating is with respect to the government's giving $57 million to the Senate. The average hard-working Canadians, the taxpayers who keep our institutions going, must be really wondering why, in light of the media frenzy, we have a government that is saying that we should give that House $57 million more. I am opposed to that for a number of reasons.

To put it into perspective, we have a Prime Minister who absolutely believed in the abolition of the Senate and failing that, wanted to make it more accountable and all of those things. Yet, the Prime Minister has carried on the Liberal tradition of appointing senators. The Prime Minister has appointed 59 senators.

As we read reports in the media, the reports we get and the information that is before us right now, those appointments are very partisan. Not only that, once they are appointed, the senators are doing partisan party work.

My colleagues at that end of the aisle, the third party, their leader decided that the Liberal senators would no longer be members of their caucus. They can call a thorn any name they want or they can change the name, but unless they change the substance, a thorn is still a thorn. I will argue that the Senate has become a thorn in the side of Canadians.

It was interesting that when the senators met, they named themselves the Liberal senators. They still have a caucus that is very Liberal, and carries the name Liberal. My understanding is they still attend some of the partisan events. They are still running around collecting money. They have learned well from the Conservatives. They have learned well from each other.

They are going around doing all of these things. I hear from the party at the end how committed they are to reform and how we should make the Senate more accountable. When it comes to that party, however, I have always looked at their actions rather than the promises they make. They always make these grandiose promises, but once they are in government, and now in opposition, they suddenly do not reflect what they want to reflect when they are outside of the House.

With the media, the televised debates and social media, it is getting more and more difficult for members of that party to hide from the positions they take in this House.

There is a motion that was moved by my colleague, the hard-working member for Toronto—Danforth, on October 22, 2013. This will show that we are not dealing with a new problem. This has been going on and on. I am not going to expand on everything that has happened with Mr. Duffy, because all of that is out there. I just want to focus on what we needed to do.

The NDP is a pragmatic party that knows how to compromise when it has to, and then sticks to something that is good for Canadians and does not compromise on that. Our position on Bill C-51 is one example. Canadians' freedoms and privacy, and the invasion into their privacy, cannot be compromised away just because it is convenient for electoral purposes.

Let me get back to the motion that was voted on in this House on October 22. This is what the motion that was brought forward by the NDP said:

That, in the opinion of this House, urgent steps must be taken to improve accountability in the Senate, and, therefore, this House call for the introduction of immediate measures to end Senators' partisan activities, including participation in Caucus meetings, and to limit Senators' travel allowances to those activities clearly and directly related to parliamentary business.

It can hardly be argued that this was a revolutionary motion. This was a very well thought out motion that was put forward to address some very specific concerns. This is the kind of motion that would pass the nod test. Quite honestly, I think this would even pass the kindergarten or grade one test. If we were to explain to the children that these are the senators, this is what we do not want them to do and this is what we want them to do, kids are smart and they would say, “That's good, isn't it”, but not my colleagues across the way.

What really shocked me after all the public grandstanding was that the third party—and I want to be very clear on this—would not support a motion that would limit senators' partisan activities. The Liberal senators were kicked out of caucus, so to speak, but that is just window dressing. The Liberals were not willing to end senators' partisan activities, so they formed a coalition with the Conservatives to vote this down, just as with Bill C-51, the Liberals formed a coalition with the Conservatives in order for that bill to pass through the House. This makes me wonder what the difference really is between the third party and the party in government. I see very little difference these days.

The New Democrats wanted to limit senators' travel allowances to those activities clearly and directly related to parliamentary business. Surely, nobody in the House would have voted against that. However, the Conservatives did and, guess what, they were supported by the third party, their new-found friends across the way, the new Liberal-Con coalition.

When I look at all of this, nobody can say that the NDP, with the long-standing position of getting rid of the Senate, has not attempted to bring about accountability. I know the government across the way is allergic to accountability, transparency and answering serious questions, but it opposed the pragmatic solutions we put forward. If that motion had carried and the government and the Liberal Party of Canada had supported it, we might not be in this grandiose—I do not know what word to use, but I will say it is a crisis that we are in right now. It is an absolute embarrassment to be in my riding and try to explain to people all that is going on.

The leader of the NDP has been very clear. He is a lawyer. He knows how constitutions are changed. He also knows agreement is required from all the parties. I have not seen Mr. Harper meet with all the premiers that often, never mind consult them. We are prepared to consult them and move forward, but in the meantime, pragmatic solutions are required to fix the grandiose mess that exists in the Senate.

MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is no surprise that hard-working Canadians who pay taxes are very concerned with what is happening in the other House. While in my riding this weekend, I heard they were strongly questioning what was going on in the Senate.

The Prime Minister said that he wanted to do away with the Senate. Could the member comment on how the Conservatives failed to deliver on a pre-election commitment that the Prime Minister often made?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 5th, 2015

With regard to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program: (a) how many applications were received for Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) in 2015 year-to-date, in total and broken down by (i) month, (ii) province; (b) how many applications for LMIA were approved in 2015 year-to-date, in total and broken down by (i) month, (ii) province; (c) how many applications for LMIA were received for high wage temporary foreign workers in 2015 year-to-date; (d) how many applications for LMIA were received for low wage temporary foreign workers in 2015 year-to-date; (e) how many applications for LMIA were approved for high wage temporary foreign workers in 2015 year-to-date; (f) how many applications for LMIA were approved for low wage temporary foreign workers in 2015 year-to-date; (g) since June 2014, how many employers, with fewer than ten employees, have been granted positive LMIA, broken down by year; (h) since June 2014, how many employers, with more than ten employees, have been granted positive LMIA, broken down by year; (i) how many tips have been received on the confidential tip phone line since its creation, broken down by month; (j) how many tips have been received through the online tip portal since its creation, broken down by month; (k) what is the process for dealing with tips once they have been received and what criteria are used to determine whether an investigation is warranted; (l) how many investigations have been conducted as a result of tips received; (m) how many investigations have been the result of multiple tips; (n) how many investigations have resulted in employers being found non-compliant; (o) how many investigations have resulted in penalties being imposed on the employer; (p) how many employers have been required to take corrective action in order to be found compliant as a result of an investigation; (q) how many employers using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program have been subject to an inspection from 2013 to 2015 inclusively, broken down by (i) month, (ii) province; (r) how many inspections were conducted because an employer requested a new Labour Market Opinion or LMIA between 2013 and 2015, broken down by month; (s) how many inspections occurred at a time when the employer was not requesting a new Labour Market Opinion or LMIA between 2013 and 2015, broken down by month; (t) how many inspections have revealed non-compliance by employers between 2013 and 2015, broken down by (i) month, (ii) issues identified, (iii) industry of the employer; (u) how many employers have had to take steps to be considered compliant between 2013 and 2015, broken down by (i) month, (ii) type of actions required, (iii) industry of the employer; (v) how many employers have received penalties for non-compliance as a result of an inspection between 2013 and 2015, broken down by (i) month, (ii) type of penalty, (iii) industry of the employer; and (w) how many inspections conducted between 2013 and 2015 have involved an on-site visit, broken down by month?

Taxation June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, while Conservatives say “yes” for votes, they then go on to block action that could save Canadians millions of dollars in fees.

Yesterday, a Conservative MP warned that over 200,000 Canadian families were at risk of missing the deadline for the universal child care benefit extension. Families who missed the deadline will have to wait another four months to receive their benefits. Talk about a bait and switch.

Can the minister now tell us exactly how many families missed the government's deadline?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 4th, 2015

With regard to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program: (a) for 2013 and 2014, what was the average length of time between the receipt of an application for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) and the issuance of a decision, broken down by province; (b) for 2014 and 2015, what was the average length of time between the receipt of an application for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and the issuance of a decision, broken down by (i) year, (ii) month, (iii) province; (c) for 2013 and 2014, what was the average length of time between the receipt of an application for an LMO for the Live-In Caregiver Program and the issuance of a decision, broken down by province; (d) for 2014 and 2015, what was the average length of time between the receipt of an application for an LMIA for the Caregiver Program and the issuance of a decision, broken down by (i) year, (ii) month, (iii) province; (e) for 2014, how many LMO were approved for the Live-In Caregiver Program, broken down by (i) month, (ii) province; and (f) for 2014 and 2015, how many LMIA were approved for the Caregiver Program, broken down by (i) month, (ii) province?