House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Winnipeg South Centre (Manitoba)

Lost her last election, in 2021, with 28% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation October 23rd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the NDP recently suggested that the Minister of Finance wanted to privatize the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Can the minister set the record straight regarding the NDP's comments?

Carbon Tax October 16th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, my constituents in Winnipeg South Centre are worried about the NDP's plan to impose a carbon tax that would kill jobs and increase the price of gas and nearly everything else. More specifically, they are worried that the NDP is refusing to admit that it plans on imposing such a tax.

Here are the facts. Page 12 of the NDP's election platform states that “[The NDP] will put a price on carbon through a cap-and-trade system”. Page 3 of a policy document from the leader of the NDP states that the NDP wants to “use revenue generated by a cap and trade system”.

My constituents have every reason to be concerned. Fortunately, they elected our government, which will stay focused on jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for future generations.

Foreign Affairs September 26th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the NDP supports a carbon tax that would kill jobs and increase the price of almost everything, but our Conservative government is focused on economic growth, job creation and long-term prosperity.

Can the minister tell the House about changes to our diplomatic ties in the Asia-Pacific region?

Endowment Incentive Program September 26th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, it was my pleasure to hear the extraordinarily talented musicians of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at its opening concert last Friday. I was delighted to hear the executive director commend the federal government for its endowment incentive program, which encourages private sector donors to leverage funding from the federal government for the orchestra's endowment fund.

I was also pleased to hear that the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra is making such good use of this generous program, which is a component of the Canada cultural investment fund. This useful program not only encourages private donations to endowment funds for arts groups but allows those organizations to better maintain their long-term financial stability.

As chair of the all party arts caucus, I want to ensure that all arts organizations all across Canada are aware and take full advantage of this excellent program opportunity.

Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum June 11th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express the Canadian government's solidarity with the people of Israel and the Jewish community around the world after this morning's reports of vandalism at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

The Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum is dedicated to the commemoration of the six million Jews murdered during World War II.

The mission of Yad Vashem is in line with our government's belief in the importance of Holocaust education and dedication to speaking out against anti-Semitism. Holocaust education helps ensure such atrocities never reoccur.

An important expression of Canada's dedication to Holocaust education is our involvement with the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, which we will proudly chair in 2013.

Canada is committed to teaching future generations about the Holocaust, about the poisonous effects of anti-Semitic and xenophobic hatred and about the prevention of all acts of genocide.

Events in Winnipeg South Centre June 7th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share highlights from my riding this past weekend.

Friday night I was at Grant Park High School's outstanding production of Les Misérables.

Saturday morning, I wished almost 1,500 ALS walk participants well and then enjoyed meting constituents at the Academy Road carnival. One of the highlights was the concert by the jazz bands of École River Heights and École Kelvin high schools.

Saturday night, I was pleased to meet past and present students of St. Ignatius School for their 100th anniversary celebration.

On Sunday I attended the Coptic Heritage Festival, which was a wonderful celebration of community. That night, I celebrated with the Jewish community's GrowForward group.

Late Sunday night, I represented the Minister of Veterans Affairs at the moving candlelight remembrance service for the Diamond Jubilee.

I am privileged to serve a constituency that is so active and so engaged.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act June 7th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from the opposition, but I must clarify some facts so that he better understands our bill.

Our bill will help all Canadians. In fact, it will give Canadians the opportunity to save for their retirement. How? People who are not currently part of a pension plan, such as self-employed workers and business owners without a retirement plan, will be able to use the new PRPPs. When we save money, we set that money aside for retirement.

The hon. member addressed another part of our strategy to help all Canadians.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act June 7th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to explain a few more details to my colleague opposite.

First, the reality right now is that more than 60% of Canadians do not have pension coverage. That is a very serious reality. Given that, with this legislation we are enabling Canadians to help themselves, to take charge.

We have just created 750,000 new jobs, but if the average experience in the Canadian workplace applies to those jobs, some of them may not have entitlements. We have created those jobs, and now we are creating an opportunity for those people to save for their future, enabling them to accept that responsibility and to be helped with lower-cost opportunities for that saving.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act June 7th, 2012

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time today with the hon. member for Crowfoot.

I am honoured today to add my voice in support of the work our government continues to do for Canadians regarding pensions and retirement income security.

Promoting the retirement income security of Canadians is an important goal of the Government of Canada, and we will continue to ensure that our policies, programs and services meet the evolving needs of Canadians.

In the wake of economic shocks from beyond our borders, Canadians are concerned about the long-term viability of their pension plans. We are listening to their views on how we can leverage Canada's financial sector advantage to strengthen the security of pension plan benefits and ensure the framework is balanced and appropriate. We are working toward a permanent long-term solution to protect the pensions of Canadians.

In our efforts to achieve greater retirement security for Canadians, our government is building on the inroads we have already made to strengthen the framework for federally regulated private pension plans. In 2009, we consulted Canadians from coast to coast to coast on these earlier initiatives and subsequently introduced a number of significant changes based on the advice of individual Canadians.

Why were pooled registered pension plans, or PRPPs, created? Canada's aging population and the global economic crisis brought the issue of retirement security to our attention. It is a very important issue. In this context, a joint federal-provincial working group was established in May 2009 to undertake an in-depth examination of retirement income in Canada.

The working group found that, overall, the Canadian retirement income system was performing well and providing Canadians with an adequate standard of living for retirement. However, some Canadian households, especially middle-income households, were living with the risk of not saving enough for retirement. The ministers worked together to analyze the wide range of ideas put forward in order to address the issues raised by the research report.

This exhaustive research led the Minister of Finance and the provincial ministers to agree on a framework for pooled registered pension plans in December 2010.

Since taking office in 2006, our government has also introduced several improvements to the tax rules for registered pension plans and registered retirement savings plans. If I have a moment I will get back to those important initiatives as well, but the pooled registered pension plans really are the crux of this bill.

Pooled registered pension plans, or PRPPs, will mark a significant step forward in advancing our retirement income agenda and will be a vital improvement to Canada's retirement income system.

What is a pooled registered pension plan? PRPPs are a new kind of defined contribution pension plan that will be available to employers, employees and the self-employed. PRPPs will improve the range of retirement savings options for Canadians. In fact, they will give all Canadians an opportunity to save for their retirement by providing an accessible, straightforward and administratively low cost retirement option for employers to offer their employees.

They will allow individuals who currently do not participate in a pension plan—over 60% of the population—such as the self-employed and employees of companies that do not offer a pension plan, to make use of this new kind of plan.

More people will benefit from the lower investment management costs that result from the economies of scale of membership in large pooled pension plans, while allowing employees to transfer their accumulated benefits from one system to another and ensuring that funds are invested in the best interests of the plan members.

Some Canadians may also be failing to take full advantage of the discretionary savings opportunities offered to them through individual structures like RRSPs. In fact, the average Canadian has about $18,000 in unused room in their RRSP, unused for possible contributions. Research indicates that a portion of Canadians are not saving enough, and as I said, more than 60% of Canadians do not have a pension plan. We are trying to provide them with a means to save for their future.

PRPPs will address this gap in the retirement income system by providing a new, accessible, large-scale and low-cost defined contribution pension option to employers, to employees and to the self-employed.

We will allow individuals who currently may not participate in an employer-sponsored pension plan the same opportunity to save for the future. This is very, very important.

What are the advantages of pooled registered pension plans? PRPPs are innovative retirement savings plans that will address the lack of large-scale, low-cost retirement options for many Canadians. Some Canadians cannot take advantage of savings opportunities provided by individual structures, such as RRSPs.

For example, the average Canadian has about $18,000 in unused contribution room. Many Canadians have access to a pension plan only if their employer offers one. Many employers refuse to take on the legal and administrative burden related to a pension plan. PRPPs will eliminate most of the usual barriers that may have discouraged some employers from offering a pension plan to their employees in the past.

Since these plans will involve large pooled funds, plan members will benefit from the lower investment management costs associated with the scale of these funds. Essentially, they will be buying in bulk.

The design of these plans will be straightforward. They will remove barriers that might have been in the way of people who want to save for their future and for the future of their families.

We all understand that Canadians want their governments to work in partnership with them to provide and deliver results, and the bill today does exactly that.

Canada's seniors have worked hard to build a better country for future generations, and today's workers should be given every chance to follow in their footsteps.

Our record shows that our government is committed to the financial well-being of Canadian seniors, as well as those Canadians who are currently still working to realize their retirement dreams.

Penn Torah May 30th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, May 27, I was honoured to attend the dedication of the Penn Torah at Temple Shalom in my riding of Winnipeg South Centre. Temple Shalom is the only reform synagogue in Winnipeg and it is celebrating its 25th year in its current building in my riding.

The Penn Torah is the first Torah scroll ever written in Winnipeg and the first ever written by a female Canadian soferet or scribe. Irma Penn dedicated the last two years to this painstaking endeavour, ensuring that every letter is accurate and readable, that there is equal weight to the black lettering on the white parchment, black fire on white fire. The soferet must have a keen eye, strong intellect, incredible focus, great discipline and tremendous patience, and she did.

Today, we congratulate Irma Penn and Temple Shalom for this new creation, the Penn Torah, which symbolizes a renewal of dedication to Judaism and to our community.