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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was ensure.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Independent MP for Vancouver Granville (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 2019, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Criminal Code December 10th, 2018

Madam Speaker, in terms of reintroducing the Criminal Code, I am incredibly proud to be part of a government that has taken action, which has not been taken for decades, as the member mentioned, to ensure that we have a modernized Criminal Code, that we remove the unconstitutional provisions, the zombie provisions, that we update the laws around sexual assault and intimate partner violence and that we look at the victim fine surcharge as well as section 159. All of these are issues raised in government bills the member opposite has spoken to.

We are moving forward with comprehensive reform of the criminal justice system, and that starts with looking, in a substantial manner, at the Criminal Code. This is what we have sought to do and what is contained in Bill C-51 and also in Bill C-75.

I look forward these two pieces of proposed legislation becoming law so that we can do what has not been done for far too long, which is modernize the Criminal Code.

Criminal Code December 10th, 2018

Madam Speaker, of course, I reject the characterization of the significant work our government is doing to move forward with many pieces of significant legislation and to look to this House and to Canadians for input, debate and discussion on how we can move forward with what our government has committed to in terms of law reform.

To characterize this as last-minute, reflects the lack of importance the member opposite places on engaging with Canadians, having robust discussion, and listening to committees and hearing their recommendations and incorporating them to improve government bills.

This is a commitment our government will continue to follow to ensure that our laws benefit from the vast experience, in this case, of criminal justice stakeholders and victims groups. We will not disregard that. We have been working in a consistent manner, from day one, to ensure that our legislation, the bills we introduce in this place, reflects the desires of Canadians. It is our responsibility to ensure that these bills move forward in the most expeditious manner possible.

Criminal Code December 10th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I would like to unequivocally state that I do not agree with the member opposite's characterization of the work we are doing.

I will say, with respect to his comments about shutting down debate and discussion, that with respect to the issue at hand, Bill C-51, this House has debated Bill C-51 for a total of 10 and a half hours, including three hours of debate on the message from the other place. The Senate debated Bill C-51 for four hours. It benefited from a total of 19.5 hours of study at committee, between the House and the Senate, which heard from 63 witnesses.

We are talking about Bill C-51. I look forward to having this become law so we can ensure that we codify the Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. J.A., that we further support sexual assault victims and that we ensure that we can move forward with charter statements that will be introduced with all government legislation once this bill becomes law.

Criminal Code December 10th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I am happy to speak to the comments and questions from my colleague across the way with respect to the then Bill C-39, which is now incorporated in the broad criminal justice reforms contained within Bill C-75.

I am very pleased that Bill C-75 has passed third reading in this place and is in the other place for debate and discussion. We look forward to its deliberations with respect to these very important and bold reforms presented in Bill C-75. I would look to all members in the House to assist in encouraging the members in the other place to proceed in an expeditious fashion so that the provisions the member opposite references will be passed as part of Bill C-75 and we can remove those provisions from the Criminal Code.

Criminal Code December 10th, 2018

Madam Speaker, my colleague across the way sat on the justice and human rights committee, which has debated many justice bills.

As for the member's characterization of parliamentary tactics, the only parliamentary tactic I employ and that our government employs is to work as co-operatively as we can with all members in the House to have informed debate about particular bills the government puts forward, seeking feedback from hon. members in this place and the other place and valuing the work done at committee.

With respect to all the justice bills that have been advanced, we have been working expeditiously to move forward with Bill C-39, Bill C-51 and Bill C-75 so that we clean up the so-called zombie provisions and the unconstitutional provisions. I would look to all hon. colleagues in this place to work with us to make sure that these pieces of legislation move forward as expeditiously as possible.

Criminal Code December 10th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I acknowledge the comments by my friend and colleague across the way. My favourite parliamentary procedure, one of the favourite duties I have in this place, is passing good laws that are informed by robust consultation.

I believe the member for Winnipeg North would agree with me that we have had substantial debate on Bill C-51. The bill benefited from the very direct engagement of the hon. members in the other place. We have taken serious account of their message back and have recognized that their proposed amendment is well intentioned. We are committed to continuing to work with the hon. senators and Canadians generally, as we seek to move forward and look at the law of consent and the incapacity to consent. This is something on which there will be ongoing discussion, dialogue and commitment by our government.

Criminal Code December 6th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I am not going to speculate as to whether or not a previous bill, Bill C-39, could have been passed by unanimous consent.

What I am confident in and very pleased with is that Bill C-75 includes the former Bill C-39 to remove these zombie laws that my friend has spoken about. It is contained within Bill C-75, which has passed third reading in this House and is on its way to the other place. I look forward to the debate and discussion in the other place on this important piece of criminal justice reform and to the speedy passage of Bill C-75 so that we can, in fact, remove the zombie provisions that are contained within the Criminal Code.

Criminal Code December 6th, 2018

Madam Speaker, this gives me an opportunity to acknowledge the parliamentary secretary's important work on advancing our justice legislation. His questions give me the opportunity to highlight broadly what our government continues to do with respect to addressing sexual assault and gender-based violence.

We have invested significant dollars in budget 2018 to combat gender-based violence, including sexual assault. We have provided $25 million over five years for legal aid for victims of workplace sexual harassment. We and the Minister of Status of Women are embarking on a national strategy to address gender-based violence and to support judicial education and training, among other initiatives, in the Department of Justice, such as the victims fund. We continue to work with my counterparts in the provinces and territories to continue to have a fulsome response to gender-based violence.

In terms of our legislative agenda on law reform, there is a direct connection between Bill C-51 and Bill C-75, which is the criminal justice reform bill that addresses efficiencies and effectiveness, all of which are intended to ensure that we are protecting and supporting victims of crime.

Criminal Code December 6th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the comments of my hon. colleague on recognizing the need to assist victims of sexual assault and to assist them in accessing the criminal justice system, being informed of their rights and being able to obtain legal advice if they have an inability to pay for that advice.

We recognize this is an issue. One of the things I am incredibly proud of is that my department and our government have invested significant dollars to support victims of sexual assault in a broad range of areas. Specifically with respect to the Department of Justice, we have what is called the victims fund. Through the victims fund, we have been able to fund projects in provinces, as I referenced in my speech, around providing four hours of free legal advice to victims of sexual assault.

I know there can and is more to be done. We are committed to ensuring we provide all victims with the respect they deserve, with the necessity to ensure that they are aware of their rights and that my office continues to work with the ombudsperson for victims rights among the other measures we are advancing on gender-based violence.

Criminal Code December 6th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I want to comment again on the efforts that were made at both committees and the improvements the House Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has made.

With respect to the comments around expanding the rape shield provisions and on defence disclosure, I appreciate the conversation that took place at committee. I assure my hon. colleague that with respect to disclosure requirements, to sustain expanding the rape shield provisions to sexual communications and creating a regime for the admissibility of private records in the hands of the accused would not impose a reverse or defence disclosure obligation.

The Crown is not entitled to receive evidence. Nor is the defence required to hand it over. They are rules of evidence which govern the admissibility of the evidence in sexual assault trials and not rules of disclosure.