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

Copyright Modernization Act May 15th, 2012

Madam Speaker, I am saddened that the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands thinks we should adopt an American standard here.

I am proud that we have adopted, through consultations with Canadian businesses, a Canadian standard. To me, a Canadian standard is our gold standard.

Copyright Modernization Act May 15th, 2012

Madam Speaker, this government listens not just to big business; it listens to all business. Small businesses create a significant number of jobs, an incredible number of jobs, in this economy. We listen to big business, small business and the people down the street. In fact, I am proud to be a part of a government that engaged in extensive budget consultations during this year, and I learned a great deal from the people in my community.

We listened to more than 9,000 submissions. There were 150 witnesses. The committee has worked hard on this and, as I said to the member's honourable colleague, this is a 15-year process of consultation. It is important that we provide the tools to the businesses and creators who are making things happen for the 21st century economy.

Copyright Modernization Act May 15th, 2012

Madam Speaker, we have different points of view. I quoted the exact numbers, but there were more than 9,000 consultations with the Canadian public, the business community and the artistic community. That is a lot of consultation. This is the longest consultation process in the history of Canada. It has been 15 years, and it is time we entered the 21st century.

This is in the interests of all the artists and creators who work in my community. A couple down the street from me owns a production company, just a little one, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It creates jobs and brings wealth to my community. It is very important that we make it possible for that couple to earn a living and create jobs in our economy. We are in the 21st century.

Copyright Modernization Act May 15th, 2012

Madam Speaker, I am grateful to have the opportunity to take part in today's debate on Bill C-11, the copyright modernization act.

In the 2011 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada committed to reintroduce and seek swift passage of legislation to modernize Canada's copyright law in a way that balances the needs of creators and users. This bill fulfills that promise.

This is the third time that we have tried to introduce this copyright legislation. Thanks to this government, we are finally going to update our act so it is consistent with international standards.

It is the culmination of one of the most extensive consultations that any bill has undergone, with more than 9,000 Canadian citizens and organizations having provided their thoughts regarding what a balanced copyright bill should look like.

It is from that listening exercise that our government arrived at the balance that we have today. It is a balance that not everyone is 100% content with, but everyone can agree that they have had some specific measure that was called for.

Canadians can also agree that what we have in this bill, especially with the amendments arrived at during committee stage, is in the right ballpark of what a balanced copyright act should look like.

This legislation will strengthen our competitiveness within the global digital economy and will protect and create jobs, promote innovation and draw new investments to Canada.

It is a hard-won balance, the result of principled compromise and one that the government is proud of.

Opposition parties have talked about this balance in several separate ways, almost disjointedly. On one hand they pit artists against consumers, and then they turn around and favour consumers over artists, all the while ignoring the need to ensure compromise.

Instead of advocating new costs for consumers, like an iPod tax, the opposition should finally side with us and support the modernization of Canada's Copyright Act.

Over here we realize that this compromise is necessary, because consumers and artists are in fact two sides of the very same coin. They are the same equation. If artists do not trust the rules that protect their rights and govern Canada's digital economy, they will be reluctant to produce their content here.

The government and members of Parliament have heard that time and time again in the consultations we have held. We have also heard that if consumers are unable to enjoy and use the content in legal ways that make sense to them, there will not be a market for the artists' work. That is why we have created a bill that strikes the right balance between the needs of consumers and users, while at the same time making strong exemptions for educational purposes or fair dealing.

The bill is an important stepping stone to the establishment of a strong framework in which Canada's digital economy can thrive. We know that the economy is changing significantly. What we do now with smart phones, tablets and computers has taken our economy in a new direction, where artists and rights holders are using the digital economy not only to bring new art to market but also to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for Canadians.

Those benefits are reflected in the raft of groups that are supportive of this legislation. To name only a few, they include the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, the Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright, the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, the Canadian Intellectual Property Council and the Canadian Institute for the Blind.

I could go on, but I think the point is clear: the bill has wide-ranging support from those who see it as a key platform in the growth of the digital economy and the creation of knowledge economy employment.

I have listened with interest to today's debate, which is eerily reminiscent of the budget debate. In the budget, for example, we on the government side are putting forward a plan for how to sustain Canada's economic health in a time of global economic uncertainty.

Yes, unfortunately, the global economy is still fragile.

Here we have the opposition dreaming up new ways to stop our economic growth right in its tracks. We are providing for new, reasonable and economically viable ways to help grow our economy, whether it is an investment in our knowledge economy, sensible changes to the Investment Canada Act, or opening up our telecom sector to increased foreign investment, yet the opposition says “no” to those investments and “no” to changes that will create jobs and investment right here at home.

The new copyright regime will encourage new ideas and will protect the rights of Canadians whose research and development work and artistic creativity make our economy vibrant.

In the budget implementation act we have proposed practical changes to create a reasonable timeline for environmental reviews, while creating stronger environmental laws. We know that in the next 10 years more than 500 new projects representing over $500 billion in new investments will be proposed for Canada. The potential for job growth is enormous.

Since 2006 our government has been looking to streamline the review process for major opportunities such as this. More needs to be done and more can be done, yet the opposition says “no” to jobs and “no” to economic strength. Federal and provincial revenues that would flow from that measure will not accrue to Canadians because of these decisions.

I understand that part of that is the role of an opposition. I appreciate that, but the opposition's parliamentary games are not reasonable. For example, the member for Burnaby—New Westminster took up over 13 hours of debate and 70 speaking spots simply reading from Twitter posts in the House of Commons. I guess none of his colleagues had anything substantive to add to that debate. When I look at those kinds of tactics, I am not surprised about the opposition's stance on this legislation.

The same kinds of games were played during second reading of Bill C-11. The opposition spoke for more than 19 hours, often repeating the very same words, and all the while, for every day it delayed, another day went by without a modern, flexible copyright regime to help spur on our digital economy.

The bill is the outcome of one of the broadest consultations of its kind in Canadian history. In addition, the government acknowledges the many testimonies and briefs from stakeholders and parliamentarians about the bill tabled in the last session of Parliament and thanks everyone who contributed. This process made it possible to send a very clear message: Canada urgently needs to modernize the Copyright Act.

When it comes down to it, that is what this legislation is about: how rights holders and consumers interact with the digital economy, the economy of the 21st century.

What we need is a bill for the 21st century.

We know, after listening to witnesses at the committee stage of both Bill C-11 and Bill C-32, that this bill would create jobs and support the growth of Canadian business in the digital and online environment. It would promote creativity and innovation.

Maternal and Child Health May 15th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member for Newton—North Delta claimed that “recent cuts to CIDA's budget threaten Canada's commitment to maternal and child health in the world's poorest nations.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Thanks to this government, in Mozambique, 141,000 women and children are receiving lifesaving HIV treatment. In Haiti, new maternal clinics are providing a full range of neonatal services.

Canadian taxpayers are giving tangible help to women and children in developing countries. I am wondering if the hon. member thinks that such action is endangering the health of mothers and newborns.

Our record is clear. It shows that Canada is the world leader in the effort to reduce maternal and infant mortality. It is a record of which Canadians can be proud.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act May 10th, 2012

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague. I take pride in her comments about the improvement in my French. That is important to me.

As I mentioned, Canada's economic growth has been tremendous.

We truly are the envy of the world.

We have been recognized by the International Monetary Fund, and publications such as Forbes magazine, Fortune magazine and The Wall Street Journal have published articles on our economy.

I will learn how to say this en français very soon, but we are the envy of the world.

We have created more than 700,000 jobs since 2009, which is incredible in this fragile global economy. Some of our counterparts in Europe are grappling with economies that are still too fragile. I am pleased with our approach to job creation and economic growth, but most of all, I am pleased with our current prosperity and the outlook for generations to come.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act May 10th, 2012

Madam Speaker, I do not know if the member is aware, but all employees of the House are employees of the federal government and are working for Canadian citizens. We have taken a pay cut for three years. Members of Parliament have taken a pay cut.

Therefore, in answer to her question, I am very proud to do so because we are all doing our part.

We have a plan for economic growth, which is very important. The first part of our plan will create jobs, which is key. The second part of our plan will address economic growth and, as I mentioned in my speech, that is very important for long-term prosperity.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act May 10th, 2012

Madam Speaker, I am very proud to have the opportunity today to rise on behalf of the citizens of Winnipeg South Centre and to speak to my colleagues about the government's economic action plan 2012.

As a chartered accountant, I am proud to be part of a government that represents sound fiscal planning, job creation and economic growth. As a mother, I am grateful for the government's direction on long-term prosperity. We have to take care of future generations. We need to be responsible and make sure that our children do not start their lives with their futures mortgaged. It matters that we are good stewards. It matters to our children's futures and well-being. It matters to our country's future and well-being.

I would like to speak of our government's support in economic action plan 2012 for research and development and commercialization because it also matters for the future.

The Minister of Finance regularly consults private-sector economists to find out what they think about the future of Canada's economy. The economic forecasts in our 2012 economic action plan are based on a survey carried out in early March of this year and take into account the viewpoints of 14 independent private-sector economists. The average of these independent private-sector economic forecasts has been used as the basis for financial planning since 1994, which gives our economic forecasts an independent dimension. This practice is endorsed by international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund.

In addition, since the 2012 economic action plan was tabled last month, Canada's leading economists have applauded its prudent outlook and Canada's solid economic performance.

For example, on March 29, economist Patricia Croft said of the budget's “ initiatives in the job front and addressing the demographic challenge.... In both regards I’d have to give the budget probably an ‘A’.... In a global context, I think Canada is in a fabulous position”.

Avery Shenfeld, Chief Economist, CIBC World Markets, said in the Toronto Star on March 30 that the budget “makes sense in a world economy that is still not what we would like it to be… Relative to what anybody else is doing, we still come out with flying colours”.

I mentioned that I am a chartered accountant. I would like to speak to comments made by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants regarding the government's budget. The CICA is a professional body representing CAs in business, government and public practice. It even represents a member of Parliament. In its budget brief 2012, it said that the budget “positions Canada well for the future while providing prudent fiscal management”. These are the fiscal managers of Canada. It continued, “Budget measures being introduced are designed to serve the short-term while maintaining a vision that embraces the long-term.”

Given those glowing remarks, I am going to share with the House today some of the initiatives being taken by our government to support innovation and create a reputation for Canada as a world leader in cutting-edge research, development and commercialization.

The global economy is changing. Competition for the brightest minds is intensifying. The pace of technological change is creating new opportunities while making older business practices obsolete.

Canada’s long-term economic competitiveness in this emerging knowledge economy demands globally competitive businesses that innovate and create high-quality jobs.

As the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages just said, we have created over 700,000 jobs since the global crisis in 2009 and 90% of those are full-time positions.

Since 2006, the government has provided nearly $8 billion in new funding for initiatives to support science, technology and the growth of innovative firms. Despite strong policy fundamentals to support innovation in Canada, Canadian businesses do not take full advantage.

Canada continues to lag behind peer countries in terms of overall innovation performance, including private sector investment in research and development and the commercialization of research into products and processes that create high-value jobs and economic growth.

Following a comprehensive review of federal support for research and development by an expert panel led by Thomas Jenkins, the government is committed to a new approach to supporting innovation in Canada by pursuing active business-led initiatives that focus resources on better meeting private sector needs.

In economic action plan 2012, our government announced $1.1 billion over five years to directly support research and development and $500 million for venture capital.

These investments and actions keep our economy strong, create high-quality jobs and ensure that Canada is a premier destination for the world's brightest minds.

Economic action plan 2012 implements important measures that will make it possible to meet the challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the global economy, while maintaining sustainable social programs and sound public finances for future generations.

I engaged in significant pre-budget consultations within my community and I continue to consult widely to best serve my constituents. I recently had the honour of speaking with Mr. Kevin Dancey, the national president of the CICA. We discussed the budget. Of course, Mr. Dancey is very interested in serving his community of chartered accountants, and there were three areas that Mr. Dancey singled out and praised.

First, the new tax incentives for innovation, which I have already referenced.

Second, the significant reduction of red tape being undertaken by the government to assist small businesses in particular to create jobs and assist with continued economic growth.

Economic growth is truly necessary.

Finally, critical to Canada's accounting professions and to many other professions in Canada are the measures being taken by the government's commitment to support improvements to foreign credential recognition.

Economic action plan 2012 was developed with current and future Canadians in mind. It creates new opportunities for the brightest Canadians to create jobs through innovation and fosters long-term financial growth. Its prime focus is on job creation. The economic action plan focuses on economic growth and long-term prosperity. I am very happy to say that it recognizes the importance of support to science, technology and commercialization.

As the global economy changes, I am proud to see Canada remain proactive in preparation for a future of economic prosperity that will benefit our children.

To that end, I am so proud to be associated with a government that not only cares about the right now but cares enough about our future generations to make things possible. We do not just care about giving pensions to pensioners now; we care about making sure that our children and their children will also have those privileges.

I am proud to be associated with a government that is focused on creating jobs for Canadians and on ensuring we have une croissance économique extraordinaire et, franchement, le meilleur du monde and is focused on long-term prosperity.

Burma May 2nd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, Aung San Suu Kyi fought tirelessly for over two decades in the name of freedom, peace, democracy and human rights for the people of Burma.

Even now, as a member of Parliament, she is working to make Burma a better country. In these times of change, the people, their elected representatives and their government must support democratic co-operation.

I know that our government and all Canadians are ready to support the Burmese people who are working to build a peaceful, democratic society.

Red Road Lodge April 30th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, today I recognize a constituent who makes a difference, not only where he lives but also in the inner city of Winnipeg.

Richard Walls is an individual who saw possibility when others only saw an old hotel building. He created Red Road Lodge, a 40-room transitional housing facility providing support services for at-risk individuals. Through the medium of art, the lodge is able to assist those who have no other way to express themselves and the artwork of these individuals is impressive.

I was honoured to announce for the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development two important projects in Winnipeg: the North End Women's Centre and Red Road Lodge, which are receiving $128,000 in funding. By working together, we are helping these community projects and partnerships to improve and create services and facilities for homeless and at-risk individuals.

Once again, I commend the great work being done by my constituent, Richard Walls, and Red Road Lodge.