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

Petitions April 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present a petition to the House of Commons today requesting respect for the right of small-scale family farmers to preserve, exchange and use seeds.

I have hundreds of signatures from constituents in Winnipeg South Centre who are concerned that we adopt international aid policies that support small family farmers, especially women, and recognize their vital role in the fight against hunger and poverty.

Taxation April 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families know that our Conservative government is the only one that trusts moms and dads to make the best decisions for their families. That is why we introduced the family tax cuts, which will save the average Canadian family nearly $1,200.

Yesterday the PBO looked at this package and released a report on its benefits. Could the Minister of State for Social Development please tell us what the PBO report showed about our plan and the opposition's stance on supporting families?

Safe and Accountable Rail Act March 31st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as a former public servant, I have so much respect for all of the public servants employed by the federal government and other levels of government.

My perspective differs dramatically from that of my colleague across the way because I believe that, with the right tools, our public servants will be able to make very effective use of the bill we have introduced.

Our bill fills a legislative gap, and I hope that the Liberal Party member will be able to place more trust in our public servants.

Safe and Accountable Rail Act March 31st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for this question.

As everyone knows, transportation safety in general, and the safety of railway transportation in particular, is one of our government's priorities.

As I mentioned, it is always about co-operation. We must strike a balance between the needs of commercial enterprises and the safety needs of Canadians. That is what our bill does and the reason why I hope that my colleague opposite will support it.

Safe and Accountable Rail Act March 31st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak today to the Safe and Accountable Rail Act, or the Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and the Railway Safety Act.

I would like to draw the attention of the House to the changes we are proposing to provide greater oversight of federally regulated railway companies.

We are indeed proposing to further strengthen oversight of federally regulated rail companies. The safe and accountable rail act is progressive and forward-looking. The amendments to the Railway Safety Act would mean better safety for Canadians and Canadian communities, strengthened safety management systems, enhanced sharing of information and a safer rail industry in a stronger national economy.

All of these are priorities of the government, and I believe should be priorities of each and every member of this House of Commons. There is nothing more important than the safety and prosperity of Canadians. That is why my private member's bill is the complementary Bill C-627, which was inspired by my constituents of Winnipeg South Centre.

The Railway Safety Act provides the Minister of Transport with the authority to oversee the safety of federally regulated railways. Transport Canada's role is to monitor for threats to safe railway operations, as well as compliance to the Railway Safety Act and its rules, regulations and engineering standards through audits and inspections.

The amendments to the Railway Safety Act would further strengthen oversight and address issues raised by the Lac-Mégantic derailment, and the Transportation Safety Board's recommendations, as well as the recommendations in the Auditor General of Canada's fall 2013 report.

By proposing these amendments, the federal government is reiterating its commitment to a safe and secure national railway system, and to the safety of communities right across this country. The government is focusing on four key areas that will have the most direct and positive impact: meeting the needs of communities; ensuring the people or companies responsible are accountable; strengthening safety management systems; and increasing authorities for our railway safety inspectors.

Collaboration between railways and communities is crucial to ensure the safety of Canadian citizens across our vast country. The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing confidence in railway safety, greater sharing of information and co-operation between railway companies and communities.

This is precisely why we are proposing new regulation-making powers, requiring companies to share information with municipalities. This would help address community railway safety concerns, and I know these changes, along with my private member's Bill C-627, would be extremely well received in my home riding of Winnipeg South Centre.

Too often it is the provinces and municipalities, also known as the taxpayers, that are left to pick up the pieces and pay the bills after a railway incident, especially one that requires the assistance of first responders for issues such as fire.

The Safe and Accountable Rail Act also proposes changes to allow a province or municipality that incurs costs in responding to a fire that would appear to be the result of a railway company’s railway operations to apply to the Canada Transportation Agency to have those costs reimbursed. These changes would give the Canada Transportation Agency the power to determine whether the fire was indeed the result of the railway operations of the railway company in question, and, if so, the Agency would have the authority to order the railway company to reimburse the province or municipality, thereby avoiding downloading the costs on to municipal taxpayers.

Under the auspices of the Railway Safety Act, Transport Canada is responsible for oversight, which includes monitoring for threats to rail safety operations, as well as compliance with the Railway Safety Act and its rules, regulations and engineering standards through audits and inspections. The proposed amendments in this bill include broadening authorities to allow inspectors to issue notices in the event of a threat to safety to any person or entity that has responsibility in relation to that threat, including companies, road authorities and municipalities.

Furthermore, in the event of an immediate threat, an inspector may issue a notice and order to any person or entity, again including companies but now also including road authorities and municipalities, and order them to take specific corrective actions to remove the immediate threat. These broadened authorities complement a broader new authority for the Minister of Transport.

Currently, the Railway Safety Act allows the minister to order only railways to take corrective action in cases of immediate threats to safety. The amendments propose adding an additional power to allow the minister to order a railway company, road authority or municipality to take corrective action following specific procedures or to stop any activity in the interest of rail safety operations.

These amendments are about oversight and advancing railway safety oversight and enforcement, together with furthering safety management system implementation by clarifying and broadening the authority and responsibilities of the minister and railway safety inspectors.

What is more, this act would fully align and complement my own private member's bill, Bill C-627, an act to amend the Railway Safety Act, which aims to provide greater protection to persons and property from risks inherent to railway operations. I introduced that bill on September 23, 2014, and I understand it is in committee as we speak. Furthermore, both bills align with the objectives of the Railway Safety Act to further strengthen railway safety in Canada.

The safe and accountable rail act and Bill C-627 are both about safety, they are both about protecting people, they are both about protecting communities.

It is hard to argue with these changes. The railway is an integral part of Canada's current infrastructure and will continue to be in the future. The railway has to be sound, reliable and safe.

This government believes these amendments to the Railway Safety Act are essential. They would modernize the Railway Safety Act to reflect the requirements of a growing and increasingly complex rail industry. I believe the important safety amendments contained in the bill are ones that we can all agree on, both quickly and unanimously.

This bill is a step forward. It is a step forward for Canadians and a step forward for rail safety. With the agreement of each and every member of the House, we can take these steps together toward a safer, more reliable and economically viable freight and passenger railway system for all Canadians.

Taxation March 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, now that we are balancing our budget, we are helping all families balance theirs. On that side of the House, the Liberal leader says that he will raise taxes on every family. The only ones who benefit from the NDP plan are big bureaucracies.

Could the Minister of Employment and Social Development please tell us what our government is doing to help all Canadian families?

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada March 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader is being criticized for comparing current debates to the turning away of Jewish refugees in the 1930s and 1940s. Let me share what the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs had to say:

We view this comparison as inaccurate and inappropriate, and we will communicate that sentiment to [the Liberal leader's] office...we note that the Government of Canada has appropriately and consistently distinguished between marginal, extreme, terrorist elements of the Muslim community and the broader Muslim community. This distinction is reflected by the more than 300,000 Muslim immigrants who have been welcomed to Canada since 2006, and no less by remarks offered by Defence Minister...supporting the Muslim community as recently as last Saturday

The Liberal leader must apologize for his comments.

International Development February 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, improving the health of mothers, newborns, and children around the world is Canada's top international development priority. Thanks to the leadership of our Prime Minister and our government's partnerships with many organizations, progress is being made. In over 125 countries, maternal death rates have declined sharply in the past five years.

Could the parliamentary secretary please update the House on Canada's important work on this file?

Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health February 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, my riding of Winnipeg South Centre has a number of world leaders in the field of maternal, newborn, and child health. Dr. Allan Ronald has led the way for many with his groundbreaking work and research in Africa, and that has now made a difference for many who follow.

I am very grateful that Dr. Ronald, Dr. Meghan Azad, Dr. Allan Becker, Dr. James Blanchard, and Dr. Terry Klassen have been recognized by the Prime Minister as he hosts Bill Gates today. Their groundbreaking work, which is being done on many continents, has already attracted the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Through the leadership of our Prime Minister, and in partnership with important organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, the Mennonite Central Committee, Red River College, and the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, millions of women and children are receiving the help they need to give their children the best possible start in life.

Taxation February 18th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, mothers and fathers should be able to make the important decisions that affect their own children.

That is why our new family tax cut and enhanced universal child care benefit will give 100% of families with children an average of more than $1,100 dollars per year to spend on their priorities, with the majority of benefits flowing to low and middle income families.

Our government trusts that parents know what is best for their children, but both the Liberals and the NDP are against putting money back into the pockets of hard-working families. In fact, the Liberals would reverse our tax cuts and want to impose more taxes on middle class Canadian families.

On this side of the House, we will not hike taxes like the Liberals propose. Rather, we are proud to ensure that mom and dad have the final say in where their money is going for their family.