House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was human.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Kildonan—St. Paul (Manitoba)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 58% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her very important input into Bill C-36. I quite enjoy the heart she shows for victims. However, I totally reject the premise of her comment that Bill S-7 would criminalize victims. It would protect women.

That young girl, after talking to her sister who she was close to, jumped off a bridge as a result of a forced marriage. Her sister told me that there had to be a bill put in place that would protect her against having to succumb to a forced marriage.

This bill would protect women. Therefore, I strongly disagree with the premise of the question that the hon. member across the way put forward a minute ago. The bill would protect the victims from terrible abuse, intimidation and a lifetime of horrendous brutal experiences.

Bill S-7 would open the door for these women, and it is high time we did this in our country.

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I heard something totally untrue in a comment that was made prior to the member's question.

One of our ministers has put together an action plan for murdered and missing women. I talked about the action plan in my speech. Members across the way have been silent about it. I had hoped that parliamentarians would talk about how they could implement that national action plan to take action to protect those women who were at risk of being murdered and missing.

I have the red shawl from the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. I got it the hard way. I got it by actually working with families whose loved ones were murdered and missing. It is a travesty when we do not put our emphasis on action right now to help those families and those women.

On the member's question, in committee there were varied points of views. At the end of the day, those views come forth. Not everybody will share the views of the members across the way. Those decisions are being made in Bill S-7 because that is what is needed to help prevent violence against those women.

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Vancouver South.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to Bill S-7, the zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices act. It is very important to take a strong stance to ensure that no woman or girl in Canada becomes a victim of any violent practice that violates basic human rights. These practices are not acceptable in Canadian society, and Bill S-7 would send this clear message to all Canadians and also to those people coming into Canada.

We had the benefit of hearing from a number of experts in the field during the citizenship and immigration committee hearings. Some criticized the bill; others were in full support. All, however, agree that combatting violence against women and girls is an important and laudable goal.

I would like to quote one of the witnesses before the committee, Ms. Salma Siddiqui from the Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations. She said, “The Government of Canada's decision to table a bill for zero tolerance of barbaric cultural practices is the right move and should be welcomed”.

Within Canada, there is no room for a culture of violence against women and girls. I believe that where there are gaps in legislation that have allowed perpetrators to abuse those very people who count on them for protection or that have prevented victims from getting help, it is our responsibility as a government to ensure that these gaps are closed. Among other things, this bill proposes to fill gaps that have been identified with regard to early and forced marriage. There are deplorable practices that principally victimize young women and are often carried out by their own parents or other family members.

I would paraphrase from another witness before committee, Ms. Lee Marsh, a victim herself of forced marriage. She testified that if she had known that what her mother was doing was against the law, she might have felt better equipped to refuse the marriage. Ms. Marsh also told the committee that this bill in isolation is not enough to combat these practices. In my own riding of Kildonan—St. Paul, a young girl who was in a forced marriage had nowhere to turn. She jumped off the Chief Peguis bridge because she was so desperate to get out of that marriage and away from that abuse. This bill would help victims who feel that way to know that they have a way out of an abusive situation.

This bill would provide solid ground to give tools to law enforcement and front-line service providers to bring perpetrators to justice and to protect victims.

In addition to the legislation, people need to be aware of Canadian laws and values. We are not ignoring the importance of raising awareness or training and resources, nor are we overlooking the importance of working together with our provincial and territorial counterparts and community partners in the field. Our government has been working diligently for years with many different stakeholders on these very issues.

Just to give a few examples, Justice Canada and Status of Women Canada have provided funding to a number of non-governmental organizations, NGOs, to conduct awareness raising and training on honour-based violence and forced marriages. Justice Canada contributed funding for the development of a high school curriculum that would teach students about human rights, including about early and forced marriages. I know of instances where young girls were taken out of school and did not graduate because the parents found someone that they wanted their daughter to marry.

Over the years, Justice Canada has organized workshops with front-line workers across the country, including child protection workers, shelter workers, community-based workers, police officers and crown prosecutors to share expertise, create networks and discuss risk assessments and appropriate services for victims of these horrendous acts.

Justice Canada and Status of Women Canada co-chair an interdepartmental working group on early and forced marriage, honour-based violence and female genital mutilation. This working group is creating a federal-provincial-territorial working group on these same issues.

Justice Canada has published public legal education and information materials on family violence that include information on early and forced marriage, honour-based violence and female genital mutilation.

Justice Canada and the RCMP have also created training materials for police officers on these issues as part of their domestic violence training. This training would be upgraded to reflect the changes in Bill S-7.

As I have demonstrated, there are many layers to the Government of Canada's approach to tackling these issues. The bill is but one aspect of the ongoing and collaborative efforts being taken by the government to address these disturbing issues. It is an integral and necessary part of the government's multifaceted approach to tackling these types of issues, which include prevention, denunciation, awareness training, consultation and collaboration.

At the Citizenship and Immigration committee, members had the opportunity to hear from victims of forced marriage and other so-called honour-based violence. Ms. Arooj Shahida, a victim herself and now an advocate had this to say:

—I am hopeful this bill is the beginning of a direction towards significant change in not only how we deal with those who believe they can trample the rights of others, but in how we can successfully reach out and provide hope to those who have none.

Canada has always been a leader in protecting basic human rights and freedoms. I applaud our representatives for again taking the lead on these issues. I hope the hon. members will look to making this legislation an effective, practical law that will support the women and youth who live in this reality every day of their lives.

It is clear that our government is taking the right steps to protect young women and girls, and all victims of so-called honour-based violence. I am proud that the government is sending a strong message to Canadian society and to the world that Canada will not tolerate violence against women.

Today in the House I heard many different members put their points of view across, which is fine. However, outside of these hallowed walls are real people. When one is on the ground and talking to young girls who have been forced into a marriage, generally marrying someone much older, it affects their whole family. Usually, the motivation behind the forced marriage is financial, or a friend of a friend. I have had many cases where an older man has convinced a father that he wants to marry his friend's daughter. After having said that, if they move or whatever, often the young girl is abused and forced to be a so-called wife without the diligent respect and equality that is so prevalent in many Canadian families. Why should we ever tolerate anything that has something to do with violence against women?

I encourage all members to give Bill S-7 their full support. Our country is a beautiful country with much diversity and it is a basic human right of every woman and girl to live without fear or violence, to be educated, to grow, prosper and be respected. That is called the dignity of life. That is what the true north strong and free stands for.

People will listen to these speeches in Parliament, especially going into an election. They will listen to what their representatives say about violence against women.

I highly recommend Bill S-7. It is a real tipping point in Canada to talk about this and actually take action to stop violence against these women.

Member for Kildonan—St. Paul June 10th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the 41st Parliament will soon draw to a close. The daily spin will end, the thumping of desks will cease and this room will grow silent.

It has been a pleasure to work with such highly intelligent and dedicated staff as Joel Oosterman, Marian Jaworski, and of course the most brilliant young woman, Evann Goltz.

Under the leadership of our Prime Minister, Canada has the strongest economy in the G7 and a balanced budget. Our anti-human trafficking laws have been strengthened, support for NGOs has been increased, and survivors have been given dignity and justice. However across our nation, human trafficking will continue to occur, in cities, small towns and on reserves. Men and women, boys and girls, will still be bought, sold and exploited. We must continue to seek to abolish it in our generation. We can do it. We must do it.

As I close the door on this chapter of my life, I thank God for his grace. I thank my precious family for sticking with me. I am ready for the next exciting chapter.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd Parliament June 9th, 2015

Mr. Chair, it is my pleasure tonight to give my farewell speech here in the beautiful Parliament of Canada. These past 11 years have been a very interesting time here in Canada.

I have to thank first of all my beautiful family. My son Edward actually inspired me to come to Parliament because of his work in the ICE unit, because of his heart for those who could not help themselves, the trafficking victims and the child abuse cases he worked on. As my son, he turned my heart as a mother and subsequently the nation's heart was turned, because in this place I was able to come and represent the survivors of human trafficking. I thank my son Michael, who is a brilliant young man; Janet who is a top supporter of everything that I have done; Natasha, who is absolutely creative and brilliant; Alexandra, of course, who does so much on my foundation and who is truly a wonderfully caring human being; and Jenna. Those are my six children, and there are my grandchildren.

I am eternally grateful to my family for supporting everything I have done since I came to Parliament Hill. Of course, I thank my husband. He has suffered cancer through a large part of my stay here over the 11 years. I thank him for believing in my work and inspiring me to carry on.

Also, I thank my EDA who supported me in everything I have done, especially John Feldsted and Kaz Malkiewicz. John Feldsted was the president of my EDA for three years and continues to do much to further the cause of the political side of what I do.

I thank all the people across the country for their prayers as I did my work to bring laws to this place to combat human trafficking. Those prayers mean a lot because first in my life is my God. He is my strength. Second is my family, and everything else comes underneath that.

There are three people who I have to recognize as well: Brian McConaghy of Ratanak, who is my brother in terms of fighting human trafficking here in Canada and worldwide; Jamie McIntosh, who started International Justice Mission; and Benjamin Perrin, who started The Future Group. It is like the group of three. These people have always been with me through the many years, even before I came to Parliament and certainly during the time that I spent here.

Most of all, I would like to thank the survivors of human trafficking. When I came here I had a vision to stop human trafficking. I had a vision to get laws through to protect the victims of human trafficking. I did put two laws through that made Canadian history, thanks to the grace of God. They are survivors like Timea Nagy, Natasha Falle, Bridget Perrier, Trisha Baptie, just to name a few. They are absolutely amazing young women.

Around this place, to my colleagues in the Conservative caucus and my colleagues across the way, there have been real friendships welded together because of the common good. I believe everyone in the House has the good of the country at heart.

There is a man who sat in our lobby for years, John Holtby. He was such an encouragement to me. He was a brilliant man who cared very deeply about the issues and about my work.

There is a young lady, Kelly Williams, who worked with me, and on me as a matter of fact, when I was chair of the health committee. She did a lot of work around the committees.

Of course, there are the security people, the restaurant people, the pages and all who make Parliament work.

When I stop to look back at why I came here, for me, I came to stop human trafficking in our country. If it was not for the survivors who use their bravery to speak out, if it was not for ministers, like the Minister of Justice, and others, I would never have been able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.

When I think about the leaders in this Parliament, I know there have been many who have been very strongly affected by the human trafficking issue here in our country and who stood up in this Parliament to protect the most vulnerable. I thank them for that.

I thank Susan Finlay, my prayer partner. She has been my prayer partner for years, and she has always been with me. In my down times and triumphant times, she was always there.

This Parliament is a place where we change the laws of the land. There are very talented decision makers in this place, and often we do not see the small things that are there. To me, especially, the small things but very important things and people are the people like my staff.

Joel Oosterman, my chief of staff, and his wife Kristy have been with me for a very long time. I love them like family. Marian Jaworski, who runs my constituency office, is just an amazing person. I have to say that those are the people who saw the vision with me and who helped me. Joel is one of the most talented writers I have ever come across. If anyone needs anything, even a kidney, ask Marian. He will find it. He is that kind of staff member. He is just an incredibly honest man who stands above many.

All these people come together for such a time as this, to stop human trafficking here in Canada. God rest her soul, my mother always said that we should leave the world a better place and I hope that, because I have been here, that has occurred.

I have to say that there are many laws we have here, such as Bill C-268, regarding mandatory minimum sentences for traffickers of children age 18 years and under. There is Bill C-310, where we reached the long arm of Canadian law into other countries when Canadian citizens or permanent residents go to traffic or exploit others. We can now bring them back to Canada.

My heart started to really look to leaving this place on December 6, 2014. On that day, we passed Bill C-36, on which I worked with the Minister of Justice. For the first time in Canadian history, the buying of sex is illegal in this country. Now, we are at a point where we can press the button and have a new start. At that point in my career, I knew I had to leave this place.

I knew I had to do something else, so I am working on my foundation, the Joy Smith Foundation. I will continue to do that, I believe, until the end of time. The foundation is going very well. I have had hundreds of lovely letters from around the country from victims who have said thanks and that the foundation has helped them to restart their lives. What could be better than that?

I have a book coming out before Christmas, called I Just Didn't Know. All of the proceeds will be going to my foundation. I really hope the book touches the hearts of Canadians and people across the country who read it, because it has real life stories in it. Brave survivors have agreed to tell their stories, put their pictures in it, and explain how traffickers are able to lure young people.

It is my very great honour to have served and to continue to serve my country in this great place, the Parliament of Canada. It is rare to have the privilege of doing that and it is rare to have met all of the people in my caucus who I call friends and who are astoundingly strong leaders and decision-makers in this country.

I thank God for the opportunity that I had here, and I look forward to rekindling and keeping those friendships along the way as I go on to my other career.

Incorporation by Reference in Regulations Act June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, incorporation by reference is done now, every day, and it is done in a meaningful way. All the legislation would do is define it and put it in such a framework that there are guidelines that can be met and that there is the ability to use incorporation by reference in a meaningful way.

Many incorporations have already used incorporation by reference, as we heard earlier from my colleague, such shipping and marine, energy, hazardous products, even motor vehicle safety, as are proceeds of crime and money laundering. All these things are used daily in the different disciplines of both trade and everyday life in the workings of our country and dealing with other countries.

In terms of the incorporation by reference, this streamlines what needs to be done in a meaningful way so we can get things done more accurately. That is what we need. This business of inconsistencies in regulations is something I heard on the ground through business and other corporations. This would streamline that and cause the inconsistencies to be fewer.

Incorporation by Reference in Regulations Act June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure my colleague and the House that we are a bilingual country. French and English are our official languages, and I have no fear at all that this will be compromised in any way, shape or form under the legislation.

It is very important in this day and age to keep up to speed with what is really happening in the world. The legislation would minimize duplication and inconsistencies, and promote the efficiency and competitiveness that is needed in our current business environment. Also, very clearly, it would reduce the trade barriers that exist now.

It is an answer to a very important question about how to keep up to ensure the regulations are consistent so we can use the regulations in a very meaningful way on a daily basis.

Incorporation by Reference in Regulations Act June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to speak to this House about Bill S-2, the incorporation by reference in regulations act.

Bill S-2 has been studied by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and has been reported, without amendment, back to this House. Before that, the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs reported, also without amendment, to this House for consideration.

This bill deals with the regulatory drafting technique. Essentially, the bill is about when federal regulators can or cannot use the technique of incorporation by reference. The technique of incorporation by reference is currently used in a wide range of federal regulations. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a regulated area in which incorporation by reference is not used to some degree.

Bill S-2 is about securing the government's access to a drafting technique that has already become essential to the way government regulates. It is also about leading the way internationally in the modernization of regulations. More particularly, Bill S-2 responds to concerns expressed by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations about when incorporation by reference can be used. This bill would create the legal clarification needed so that regulators and the committee could leave the uncertainty behind.

Incorporation by reference has already become an essential tool that is widely relied upon to achieve the objectives of the government. Both committees have heard that it is also an effective way to achieve many of the current goals of the “Cabinet Directive on Regulatory Management”, cabinet's instructions on how to ensure effective and responsive regulations. For example, regulations that use this technique are effective in facilitating intergovernmental co-operation and harmonization, a key objective of the Regulatory Cooperation Council established by the Prime Minister and President Obama. By incorporating the legislation of other jurisdictions with which harmonization is desired, or by incorporating standards developed internationally, regulations can minimize duplication, an important objective of the Red Tape Reduction Commission. The result of Bill S-2 would be that regulators would have the option of using this drafting technique in regulations aimed at achieving these objectives.

Incorporation by reference is also an important tool for the government to help Canada comply with its international obligations. Referencing material that is internationally accepted, rather than attempting to reproduce the same rules in the regulations, also reduces technical differences that place barriers to trade and is in fact something Canada is required to do under the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

Incorporation by reference is also an effective way to take advantage of the expertise of standards writing bodies in Canada. Canada has a national standards system that is recognized all over the world. Incorporation of standards, whether developed in Canada or internationally, allows the best science and the most accepted approach in areas that affect people on a day-to-day basis to be used in regulations. Indeed, reliance on this expertise is essential to ensuring access to technical knowledge across the country and across the world.

Testimony by witnesses from the Standards Council of Canada before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs made it clear how Canada already relies extensively on international and national standards. Ensuring that regulators continue to have the ability to use ambulatory incorporation by reference, meaning the ability to incorporate by reference a document as it is amended from time to time, rather than just its fixed or static version, in their regulations means that Canadians can be assured that they are protected by the most up-to-date technology.

Incorporation by reference allows for the expertise of the Canadian national standards system and the international standards system to form a meaningful part of the regulatory toolbox.

Another important aspect of Bill S-2 is that it allows for the incorporation by reference of rates and indices, such as the consumer price index or the Bank of Canada rate, important elements in many regulations.

For these reasons and more, ambulatory incorporation by reference is an important instrument available to regulators when they are designing their regulatory initiatives.

However, Bill S-2 also strikes an important balance in respect of what may be incorporated by reference by limiting the type of document that can be incorporated when it is produced by the regulation maker. Also, only the versions of such a document as it exists on a particular day can be incorporated when the document is produced by the regulation maker only. This is an important safeguard against circumvention of the regulatory process.

Although there was some testimony at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights that suggested that the bill should go further to allow all types of documents to be incorporated by reference, including documents produced by the regulation maker, we believe that Bill S-2 strikes the right balance, and where more is needed, Parliament can and has authorized incorporation by reference of that material as well.

Parliament's ability to control the delegation of regulation-making powers continues, as does the oversight of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations. We expect that the standing joint committee will continue its work in respect of the scrutiny of regulations that use incorporation by reference. The standing joint committee will indeed play an important role in ensuring that the use of this technique continues to be exercised in the way Parliament has authorized.

One of the most important aspects of the bill relates to accessibility. Bill S-2 will not only provide a solid legal basis for the use of this regulatory drafting technique but will also expressly impose in legislation an obligation on all regulators to ensure that the documents they incorporate are accessible. While this has always been something the common law required, this bill clearly enshrines this obligation in legislation.

There is no doubt that accessibility should be part of the bill. It is essential that documents that are incorporated by reference are accessible by those who are required to comply with them. This is an important and significant step forward in this legislation.

The general approach to accessibility found in Bill S-2 will provide flexibility to regulatory bodies to take whatever steps might be necessary to make sure that the diverse types of material from various sources are in fact accessible.

In general, material that is incorporated by reference is already accessible. As a result, in some cases, no further action on the part of the regulation-making authority will be necessary. For example, provincial legislation is already generally accessible. Federal regulations that incorporate provincial legislation will undoubtedly allow the regulator to meet the requirement to ensure that the material is accessible.

Sometimes, accessing the document through the standards organization itself will be appropriate. It will be clear that the proposed legislation will ensure that the regulated community will have access to the incorporated material with a reasonable effort on their part.

It is also important to note that standards organizations, such as the Canadian Standards Association, understand the need to provide access to incorporated standards. By recognizing the changing landscape of the Internet, the bill creates a meaningful obligation on the part of regulators to ensure accessibility while still allowing for innovation, flexibility, and creativity.

Bill S-2 is intended to solidify the government's access to a regulatory drafting technique that is essential to modern and responsive regulation. It also recognizes the corresponding obligations that regulators must meet when using this tool. The bill strikes an important balance, and it reflects the reality of modern regulation while ensuring that appropriate protections are enshrined in law. No person can suffer a penalty or sanction if the relevant material is not accessible by them.

This proposal is consistent with the position that the government has long taken on the question of when regulations can and cannot use the technique of incorporation by reference. It will provide express legislative authority for the use of this technique in the future and will confirm the validity of existing regulations incorporating documents in a manner that is consistent with that authority.

We have many years of successful experience with the use of ambulatory and static incorporation by reference in legislation at the federal level and this knowledge will be useful in providing guidance to the future.

The enactment of this legislation is the logical and necessary next step to securing access in a responsible manner to incorporation by reference in regulations.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 8th, 2015

With regard to government funding in the riding of Kildonan—St. Paul, for each fiscal year since 2007-2008 inclusive: (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions, and loans to any organization, body, or group, broken down by (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency providing the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution, or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose; and (b) for each grant, contribution and loan identified in (a), was a press release issued to announce it and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline of the press release?

Petitions May 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting petitions today from parents all across Ontario. The petitioners request that Parliament require Internet service providers to provide a mandatory opt-in Internet pornography filter as a tool parents can use to protect their children from Internet pornography.

As members know, there have been many human-trafficking cases around the Windsor area, and the majority of these petitions come from the Windsor area.