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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

Committees of the House November 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to put some comments on the record that I feel are very important. The member for Edmonton—Leduc did a great panorama and detailed synopsis of the reasons why it is very prudent in this day and age, right now in November 2004, to ensure that these recommendations are pushed through and action is taken.

I want to go over one aspect that has not been touched on at great length. As members know, duty remissions, which underpin Canada's apparel industry, are set to expire December 31, 2004. As a result of this, employment decisions have to be made. The apparel industry is the 10th largest manufacturing sector in Canada and because of this point, we can see quite readily how this is going to impact on families all across our nation.

More than 93,000 employees, working in approximately 4,000 establishments, are employed and are counting on this employment to bring bread to the table. The apparel industry accounts for 2% of Canada's total manufacturing GDP and 4% of manufacturing investment, as well as 4.4% of total manufacturing employment. So this is a very critical issue.

The president of the Canada Apparel Federation told the committee that this industry draws on a large range of skills, including technology employment suitable for some entrance to the Canadian labour force. In urban areas, where the industry is concentrated, entry level jobs enable these apparel companies to play an important role in socializing new entrants into the Canadian workforce. These entry level workers develop their language, their work skills, and confidence that allows them to move into more skilled jobs here in Canada.

This infringes on what I believe to be a very important statement that we make to the immigrants of our country. I just signed 58 letters in Kildonan—St. Paul for new immigrants to my riding who are very thrilled to be in the country. I must say that none of them are in the exotic dancing industry. Having said that, these are people who are employed in the garment industry. These are people who are looking forward to advancement in Canada and the kinds of decisions that are made in the halls of the House reflect on the everyday lives of new immigrants to Canada.

We have to look at what is happening right now. We are coming close to the Christmas season. If we look at the statistical studies across Canada during Christmas time, even though it is a joyful time for many people, it is not so joyful for those people who are looking at losing their jobs because of the slowness of the government on this issue. It is not so joyful to those families who are wondering if they can afford to have Christmas dinner.

With all due respect, the Prime Minister has been away on a world tour and we hear on a daily basis how he drops into one country on one day, climbs on the jet and drops into another country on another day, and makes wonderful photo ops and wonderful press releases, all having to do with what he feels his treasured words do to these countries. I would like to bring forward that it is more prudent in this day and age for the Prime Minister to be here in Canada at this time when we have critical legislation and decisions that have to be made that impact on Canadians and on immigrants coming to our country in a major way.

We on this side of the House stay in touch with Canadians. We care about what happens to them. I am very much in support of this motion. As we look at this more closely, I would implore members opposite to ensure that they address this issue in a very speedy manner so that families, who are waiting to hear what is going to be happening to their jobs and how it is going to impact on their families, will be able to rest assured that they will have employment.

Committees of the House November 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, could the member elaborate a little more fully on the impact this might have on the workers in the garment industry, if this is not passed quickly and if action is not taken quickly?

Justice November 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the Ontario Provincial Police along with Canadian and American border officials spent a year tracking Canadian produced marijuana. They determined that because of lax Canadian drug sentences, marijuana is being produced here in copious amounts and being traded across the border for cocaine which is flooding Canadian streets.

In the wake of this new evidence, does the government still intend to further ease restrictions on marijuana with the understanding that cocaine will come with it?

Justice November 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, a recent study revealed that almost 30% of 15 to 17 year olds and 47% of 18 to 19 year olds have used marijuana in the past year. It is easier to get marijuana on to schoolyards than it is to get cigarettes and alcohol. Yet the government is putting forth legislation that will decriminalize marijuana.

Does the government really believe this is the right direction for the youth of our country?

Museum for Human Rights November 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the federal government committed $30 million to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg during the last election. Consequently, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg also committed $20 million each to enable this museum to be built.

The current federal government then promised more than it could handle to garner votes for its members so they could get elected. This promise was believed and expectations ran high.

Now the Asper Foundation chairwoman, Gail Asper, says the museum's future is under threat from the federal government's refusal to cough up $100 million to help build it, along with another $120 million for the facility's first decade of operation.

This is just another example of the irresponsible and unethical operation of this federal government, a government that will say anything to get elected, anything that will enable it to get front page headlines.

Today we know the election promises were there just to garner votes.

Supply November 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, Bishop Fred Henry is not an organization. He is a bishop, a person who cares about his parishioners. He did not send out political pamphlets in favour of one party or the other party. What he did was attempt to spiritually lead his parishioners.

What is at risk is the rights of pastors, bishops, rabbis, spiritual leaders to be able to make a strong voice in terms of what they believe.

The fact is that Bishop Henry did not talk about a political party. He talked about a Roman Catholic. He talked about a person who was about to lead the country and he had a concern because this good bishop did not agree with the direction in which the country was going.

This is not about charities. The Catholic Church and, indeed, Bishop Henry, I am sure, has done much to help the current government out in terms of good charity works that happen from his particular diocese.

The issue is about freedom of rights, freedom of religion. The issue is about what we as Canadians hold dear.

Supply November 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, our charter of rights guarantees every Canadian citizen freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

This year the Prime Minister, through his tax collectors, actually threatened to remove tax free status for Roman Catholic and evangelical organizations because Calgary Bishop Fred Henry sent a letter to his congregation that the Prime Minister did not agree with.

On June 6, 2004, Bishop Fred Henry sent a letter to all his parishes in the diocese of Calgary for inclusion in the Sunday church bulletins. Bishop Fred Henry wanted to support his beliefs and the work in his church, and give spiritual direction to his congregation. That is what any pastor, bishop, rabbi or any other clergyman has the legal right and spiritual responsibility to do under the charter of rights.

Only this time there was something different. Someone in the federal government got wind of what was going on and Revenue Canada was sent to visit the good bishop, not for spiritual counselling but for intimidation purposes to ensure that the good bishop got on the side of government policy.

Is it not surprising that the good bishop was the recipient of this kind of strong-arm tactics? Is there not supposed to be a separation of church and state in this country? Do we not have the right to worship where we want? Do we not have the right to express our opinions freely? Do we not have the right to believe in whatever we choose to believe and to express those beliefs publicly?

It is true that charitable organizations have a legal responsibility to maintain political neutrality. However, our government also has a responsibility to uphold the rights of its citizens. Bishop Henry simply expressed his views as the spiritual leader of his community about the comments of a man who sought election to be our Prime Minister, a man he differed with and the direction in which this man intended to take our country.

Is it any coincidence that just today the member for Mississauga—Erindale was dismissed after having publicly criticized the Prime Minister? This member should have been dismissed long ago for her inflammatory and damaging remarks about our neighbours to the south, which no doubt cost Canadians dearly. It was not until she chose to criticize the Prime Minister that she was removed from caucus.

The Prime Minister must make a choice. Would he like to be Prime Minister or merely the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada? Every citizen has the right and responsibility as a Canadian citizen to question the Prime Minister.

Bishop Fred Henry did not pick a political party. He stood up and spoke out on an issue according to his religion and his beliefs. He did not attack the Liberal Party. He questioned the man who sought to be Prime Minister.

Today, as member of Parliament for Kildonan—St. Paul in Winnipeg, Manitoba, I am asking the Minister of National Revenue to explain to all members and all Canadians, why was the charitable organization tax free status threatened by this government because a single bishop questioned the direction his government was taking him?

Criminal Code November 1st, 2004

Madam Speaker, I look forward to putting a few remarks on the record concerning Bill C-13, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the DNA Identification Act and the National Defence Act.

With all due respect, a lot of good things are happening with the bill. We now have the technology and science to identify criminals and to protect wrongfully charged people. We have the capacity now in the technology and science to put the record straight.

However, I want to talk about something that has not been mentioned a great deal in the debate this afternoon. We have a modus operandi out there in the justice field that talks about the rights of criminals. With all due respect, I believe everyone has the right to be heard, everyone has a right of free speech and all the rest of it. There is a problem when victims do not have the rights that they need.

In Bill C-13 we have to be very cognizant of the rights of the victim of horrendous crimes. I have seen many young women and, as a former teacher, I have counselled many young women who have been assaulted and who are afraid to come forward. They thought that no matter what they said, their perpetrator would not come to justice.

As the mother of a police officer, I have seen and felt the despondency in the police force when they knew something had happened, they knew that a crime had been committed and yet the criminal was let off the hook.

We have the best of both worlds here. Within these halls, we have the wisdom to bring forth a bill that has some teeth. We can bring forth a bill that will not only protect the victim and ensure that people who are wrongfully charged are free, but also get the people who over and over again commit the same crimes.

I talk specifically about in the province of Manitoba. Recently in the Winnipeg Free Press , the president of the Winnipeg police association talked about the morale of the police force. Now, being the mother of a police officer, I have privy to many conversations that go on at my kitchen table and in the police association. As the former critic for justice in the province of Manitoba, I was privy to many conversations with police officers who were feeling a lot of stress. Their stress came from the fact that their hands were tied when criminals reoffended and got off the hook.

Here we have a DNA bank that if properly utilized could bring these perpetrators to justice in a very common sense, realistic way. Yet it would ensure that the victims of those crimes could be reassured that coming forward, speaking out and testifying would be something they could do without feeling they were at their wits end because they did not know what would happen at the end.

I also want to read something from the Winnipeg Sun that came to my attention. This is from the Winnipeg police association president, Loren Schinkel. He said:

I think that the morale and the stressors are at a peak, certainly when it comes to what's happening right now.

[The police officers are] certainly stretched very thin. Everybody's managing because you pull together. You just hope the violence stops and that everybody can catch their breath.

We have a relatively new crime out there. It was not really widely advertised or widely talked about, and it has to do with child pornography on the Internet. We have relatively new awareness of this crime. It is a heinous crime forced on innocent victims.

The child pornography Internet situation has to be stopped. Our child protection registry is a step forward, but it is still not strong enough. We need to ensure that we do not have inadequate laws and bills. We have to ensure that we have bills that are strong and that have the real teeth to get the job done.

It is widely understood by the front line police officers that we need to have a retroactive DNA data bank. We need to have one that allows for DNA sampling at the time of being charged of the crime so the courts can move forward in a very fast, swift way, especially for the families and the victims themselves.

When we talk about rights, we have to talk about victims' rights. We have to talk about the rights of families like ours who go to work every day, who want to educate their children and who want to live in a safe and free community. This is an extremely important bill, but it is too soft. There are too many loopholes.

I have a lot of problems when people who have been charged can appeal to the courts so they do not have to give a DNA sample. If people are innocent, my question would be, why would they worry about giving a DNA sample? A DNA sample should be something they give gladly.

The DNA identification, if used to its full potential, is the single most important development in fighting crime since the introduction of fingerprints. When the introduction of fingerprinting came about, there was a whole revolution on the side of justice for the victims of crime.

Police and provincial attorneys have argued that the legislation, as enacted, Bill C-3 introduced in 1998, denied law enforcement the full use of this technology. When we are at a point where we have the technology and science to identify criminals and to bring them to justice, it behooves us as government officials in our great nation to ensure that this happens. One thing we are obligated to do is ensure that our communities are safe and to use, as I said earlier, the wisdom and the knowledge for the benefit of citizens across our great nation.

Bill C-3 did not allow for the taking of DNA samples at the time of charge, as are fingerprints. It did not permit samples to be taken retroactively from incarcerated criminals other than designated dangerous offenders, multiple sex offenders and multiple murders. One murder is one murder too many. One sex offence is one sex offence too many.

We have to support our front line police officers. We have to support the citizens who live in our communities. We have to support our victims of crime. We have to ensure that Bill C-13 has amendments that make it representative of a bill that will be effective and that brings justice to criminals who perpetrate the crimes on innocent victims.

Health October 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, many Manitobans want the government to take the initiative in providing preventive health care measures.

Recently I met with Mark McDonald and Ethel Hook, representatives of the Alliance for the Prevention of Chronic Disease. They presented an initiative outlining a five year pilot project which is built on a low cost, effective, community led approach that can be a model for preventive health care across the country.

The initiative will facilitate and support activities promoting physical activity, healthy nutrition and weight, and freedom from tobacco at the community level. A well-developed evaluation mechanism will demonstrate the effect of these activities, both for the individuals and communities involved in them.

Manitobans can no longer disregard the importance of primary prevention. Health care systems can no longer remain fixated on acute care.

I call on the members of the House to actively take steps to implement community based preventive health care, effective and broad based--

Charitable Organizations October 22nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, Canadians feel strongly in the freedom of expression, the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion.

Prior to the June election, Revenue Canada attempted to quiet charitable organizations opposed to same sex marriage. It called in representatives from the Catholic church and the Evangelical fellowship, to remind them of the dangers of speaking against the Liberal government.

Could the minister tell us, whatever happened to the separation of church and state?