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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

Petitions May 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to present to the House hundreds of signatures against physician-assisted suicide. It is noted that in the state of Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, patients desiring treatment under the government's health plan have been offered assisted suicide instead. People across our country are very concerned about assisted suicide and the path it may lead down for very vulnerable populations.

Public Safety May 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, of all the crimes in the Criminal Code, child porn is one of the worst of the worst. The idea that criminals are exchanging materials that exploit our most vulnerable in our society is a deeply troubling one. Canadians want to know that the individuals who partake in this kind of trade will face justice and have to answer for their actions.

We have heard today of an important operation aimed at countering child porn. Could the Minister of Public Safety update the House regarding the details?

National Action Plan to Address Violence Against Women April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am so thankful for this opportunity, because I have such good news for the member across the way.

Over and over again, I have heard her say that we have need for an action plan to address family violence and violent crimes against aboriginal women and girls. It just so happens that in my hand is an action plan to address family violence and violent crimes against aboriginal women and girls. It is an excellent action plan. It addresses a lot of the issues that were brought forward not only in her speech, but in speeches in Parliament throughout the duration of this discussion.

When we talk about an action plan to address family violence, there are many factors to it. I want to go over a few aspects of it, because it is here.

All the members opposite have to do is simply support the people who are trying to implement the action plan. In the plan, there is a five-year action plan to address family violence and violent crimes against aboriginal women and girls, and it is under three pillars.

The first is preventing violence by supporting community level solutions. That talks about housing, schools, counselling for victims and supporting aboriginal victims with appropriate services. It talks about the increased shelters that we have across the country for victims of violence. Protecting aboriginal women and girls by investing in shelters and continuing to improve Canada's law enforcement and justice systems is integral to this action plan for which the member opposite has called. All she has to do is read it.

The action plan is the Government of Canada's response to the recommendations of the Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women. We keep hearing about how we should have a national inquiry. I, too, have visited many reserves and aboriginal communities across the country. I took with me a lot of the reports that had been already been done. Forty reports have been done, examining the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women. There has been study after study done. We know what the problem is. Through this action plan, we have taken action to improve the situation and the violence against women, particularly aboriginal women.

On top of this, which is so important, is the Victims Bill of Rights Act. Often, when an aboriginal woman, or any woman, has become a victim, she goes into a courtroom and she does not get information. She does not get protection. She is not able to participate against her perpetrator or even have a right to restitution. Under our government, this has all changed. Now women have the right to information about the criminal justice system and the available services and programs. They have a right to protection. They have a right to have their security and privacy considered at all stages of the criminal justice process and to have reasonable measures to protect them from intimidation and retaliation.

I have been in courtrooms, watching victims give testimony as their perpetrators were intimidating them with a cold stare, by shaking their head, or with all of this innuendo in front of them. The victims have a right to protection against this kind of thing. They have the right to participation. They have a right to convey their views about decisions to be made by criminal justice professionals and have them considered at various stages of the criminal justice process. They have a right to that. They are the victims, and our government has brought that in.

These women have a right to restitution. They have a right to have the court consider making a restitution order for offences where it is easy to calculate the financial side of it. The financial side of it is only a very small part. It is what happens to them, the post-traumatic stress disorder, the fear and all those things.

Our government has addressed all these things in this action plan.

The is Canada's action plan. Members across the House can embrace it. They can do something about it. They can find out about the victims' fund and protecting aboriginal girls, about supporting shelters on reserve and the DNA-based missing persons index. There are so many things in this action plan that cover virtually all the questions, queries and demands I heard this evening.

On February 20, the government announced a 10-year $100 million investment to prevent, detect and combat family violence and child abuse as part of the Government of Canada's commitment to stand up for victims. It is not only people in the House, but it is people like Sheldon Kennedy, who created the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre. Victims are brought in to his advocacy centre, which is right beside the children's hospital. The police are also housed in that unit, as are the social workers and the support systems for those children.

It does not matter whether they are aboriginal children, Polish children or French children, any child who is abused, as well as victims of human trafficking, can be a part of that service. It is one of the best centres I have ever seen, I would dare say, the best in the world.

Under our government, the investment would support victims of violence through a multifaceted approach to better equip health professionals with the information and training they need to support victims of domestic violence.

Today, in my office, I had a victim tell me about her experience going to a hospital and how terrible it was because the health professionals were not equipped with information and training, which they now will be under our government. The health and well-being of victims of violence as will enhanced access to mental health counselling for victims of violence is included in this plan.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is one issue that we see more and more with victims of violence. Under our government, under this very special action plan to combat violence against women, access to mental health counselling for victims of violence is there. It is very important.

There is also the support and enhancement for organizations and partnerships that provide integrated services to victims of violence.

On April 1 of this same year, our government began implementation of its action plan to address family violence. The action plan takes immediate and concrete action to prevent violence, not only to be a reactionary piece of it or a problem-solving piece of it, and to support victims and protect aboriginal women and girls through new and ongoing commitments, totalling approximately $200 million over five years.

When I hear about a lack of funding, our government has taken giant steps toward stopping human trafficking and violence against women and children. There is new funding of $25 million over five years beginning April 1 this year. That is really strong. There is ongoing funding of $158.7 million over five years, beginning in 2015, for shelters and family violence prevention activities. That is very important. It is something that has not been here. It is written out and implemented so clearly.

We talk about the economic security of women. An allocation of $5 million has been included for dedicated resources through the Status of Women Canada to improve the economic security of aboriginal women and promote their participation in leadership and decision-making.

This is a phenomenal action plan. No longer do members have to call for a national action plan, we have an action plan. It is right here with all the components that can be used, embraced and supported by all members of the House.

National Action Plan to Address Violence Against Women April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I heard over and over again talk about the root causes of inequality. During committee review of Bill C-36, we heard many compelling testimonies from a broad cross-section of people impacted by prostitution and human trafficking, and none more so than aboriginal women and children. There is a clear link between murdered and missing aboriginal women and prostitution and human trafficking.

During its testimony, the Native Women's Association of Canada was clear that it wanted Canada to target the buyers of sexual services, the men who buy sex from vulnerable aboriginal women and youth. In fact, NWAC stated that it wanted the bill to pass to tackle the demand and said that criminalizing pimps and buyers would be a huge step.

When we talk about the root causes of inequality, tackling the demand for prostitution and human trafficking is part of the steps we need to take to end the travesty of murdered and missing women. Why did the members, at every step of the bill, vote against it?

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade March 31st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to draw to the attention of the House that March 25 was the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has noted that “This year's Day of Remembrance pays particular tribute to the many women who suffered and died during the slave trade”.

While remembering the past female victims of the slave trade, we must continue to fight for the women and girls who are enslaved today in prostitution right here in our nation.

Earlier this month, Toronto police rescued a 14-year old girl being prostituted from a hotel room. A few days before this, the Halton Regional Police arrested a man in Mississauga for trafficking a female minor. In February, police rescued individuals from sex slavery in Edmonton, Toronto, Hamilton, Burlington and Ajax. All of the victims were women and many underage.

Today, our fight against slavery and against violence against women and girls must remain vigilant. We must end modern day slavery.

Status of Women March 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week the House debated and voted at second reading on Bill S-7, the zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices act. While our Conservative government is taking a strong stance against harmful barbaric practices, the opposition members fail to stand up and take action.

Could the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration please explain to this House how important this piece of legislation is to protect women and girls in Canada?

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act March 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, that is a very good comment. This government put forth a national action plan against human trafficking for exactly that, for training for police officers. The laws in Canada are very new on human trafficking and some of them are newer on child exploitation and sexual offences. When the member mentions the money that goes into that, our government put lots of money in to try to meet the needs that are out there because the need is greater than what has been addressed today. We need trained police officers.

I also want to point out that public safety did put in $2.5 million to combat child sexual exploitation. Those dollars were used for programming, for awareness and for all those kinds of things as well. It is not only that $10 million, but there are other dollars that have gone in to help on the other side of it too.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act March 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it would take a former police officer to ask a question like that. I thank my colleague.

Having said that, the member talks about the difficulties of policing and being in ICE units. How do police officers sit for hours watching a TV that shows the rapes, and hearing the children's cries? They know that they have to go and find out where those children are, because many of the predators film what they do. How do they go into an establishment and pick up a child when they have finally found her, and take her out after she has been sexually abused for a very long time? When they take the hand of that child, that hand is the same as the hand of their children. I know when I rescued a 14-year-old, her hand reminded me of my youngest daughter's hand when I took it.

Those police officers connect personally with what happens. I know, years afterward, they still hear the cries, the dreams still come. I know my own son talked about it, that when he went to sleep he could hear the cries of the children and he could not get the door down, and that was a recurring dream. That happens to a lot of ICE officers. The policing of this kind of thing is very challenging.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act March 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, members across the way laugh about this, and I think that is kind of a sad commentary because the protection of our children is of paramount importance.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act March 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have to ask how the members across the way square the fact that they voted against increased penalties for sexual offences against children when Bill C-10 was here in this Parliament.

Our government has been, as the first in many governments, focused on the victims, focused on the families first. There is a limited amount of resources. We have other programs that do address these other issues as well. However, when we talk about what is important, how in the world can anybody vote against protecting children?

It is a deterrent when people have increased penalties. It is a deterrent when the communities are looking at how they can keep their communities safe. We have people in schools and churches all across this nation who are gathering and talking about how they can have neighbourhood watch and how they can ensure that they know more about where sexual predators are.