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

Tourism June 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, June 16 to 20 is Tourism Week in Canada. This week we will take a moment to honour the hard work of entrepreneurs who help make the tourism industry successful by creating jobs and spurring economic growth. Can the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture tells us about Canada's commitment to the tourism sector?

Petitions June 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to present a petition that was presented to me by Ms. Katharina Stieffenhofer on the subject of Bill C-18.

Industry June 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our government recently announced the renewal of the computers for schools program, an initiative that has provided tremendous opportunities for Canadian youth for over 20 years. This program takes and refurbishes computers that are otherwise destined for a landfill, and provides hundreds of thousands of young people in schools, public libraries, and aboriginal communities with access to a digital world.

Could the minister please explain why our government has renewed this program, and how it fits with Canada's digital framework, DC150?

Business of Supply June 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, even if I had all day, I could not possibly speak to all the tax cuts, in detail, the government has delivered.

Yesterday, and throughout the week, the Minister of State for Finance has made it clear that we are in a leadership position in terms of reducing taxes. We are asking all other levels of government to reduce taxes on Canadian citizens as well. That is our plan, and it is going to work.

Business of Supply June 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments and questions from my hon. colleague from Winnipeg. He made a very interesting point in his questions to the previous speaker. He made the comment that the NDP government in Manitoba has not put in tax cuts for seniors.

We have taken 380,000 senior citizens in Canada off of the tax roll. In Manitoba, those senior citizens who pay no federal income tax do pay provincial income tax. That is a scandal.

As for the middle class, we have received a commendation from the Parliamentary Budget Officer. He indicated that the middle class has never been better off, and The New York Times says the same.

Business of Supply June 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, while the hon. member evoked the name of the late Jim Flaherty in this House today, he did not listen to what Jim Flaherty said. Jim Flaherty was perfectly clear when he delivered economic action plan 2014.

Number one, we are going to reduce the budget. We are going to reduce the deficit so we do not mortgage the future of our children. That was number one.

Number two, the late minister Flaherty was perfectly clear that we are going to look at all kinds of tax reductions.

Contrary to the opposition, we believe that Canadian families can do a better job of spending money on their children and investing where they believe it matters than having the NDP spend it for them.

Business of Supply June 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to clarify that it is my absolute pleasure to split my time with the Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women.

I am pleased to respond to the extremely misguided motion proposed by the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley in regard to income equality.

In his earlier comments, it seemed that he was putting women in the kitchen. I am proud to say that I am a woman. I am a member of the House of Commons. I am a chartered accountant, and I am a mother. I am proud of all of these roles. Apparently, the hon. member is not comfortable with that kind of diversity in our caucuses.

Today I would like to reassure the hon. member that our government's top priority remains focused on creating jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity for future generations, for our children. At the same time, we are ensuring that all Canadians have the opportunity to share in the benefits of a strong economy. That is progressive.

I would like to highlight what our government's economic action plan has done to reduce taxes for Canadian families like members' families and mine, since taking office in 2006.

I am not surprised that the NDP is against a tax cut to put money in the pockets of Canadians. Everyone in the House is well aware of that party's record for opposing tax relief for Canadians. This attitude is precisely why the NDP, in all of its socialist wisdom, knows how to spend money better than those who earn it. We disagree.

I would like to talk about our government's strong record of tax relief for Canadians, both low income and middle income.

Since we have formed government, Canadians have benefited from significant broad-based tax cuts. These tax reductions have given individuals and families more flexibility to make the choices that are right for them. The average Canadian family of four will pay close to $3,400 less in taxes, this year and every year to come.

These significant savings come from a variety of sources, such as a reduction in the GST rate to 5% from 7%, a tax cut that the Parliamentary Budget Officer noted is progressive and that significantly helps lower-income families. Of course, the opposition voted against this significant relief for low-income Canadians.

We also increased the amount that all Canadians can earn without paying federal tax, a measure that has helped low and middle-income Canadians across the spectrum. Again, it was opposed.

We took 380,000 Canadian seniors off the tax roll completely because they no longer have to pay federal taxes. I am sorry to say that, at least in my province, they still pay significant provincial tax.

Our government introduced the working income tax benefit to help low-income Canadians over the welfare wall. Yet again, this was opposed by the opposition.

We have also introduced the universal child care benefit, which is helping young families across the spectrum. Again, it was opposed, with the Liberals famously saying that all it would do is to allow families to buy more beer and popcorn. That is not what families do in my riding. They invest in their children and their children's future.

It boggles the mind just how ideologically opposed the opposition is to allowing Canadian families to have more money and to make the decisions that are right for them.

However, that is just the beginning.

Our Conservative government has also introduced numerous targeted tax reduction measures. For example, we have helped families by introducing the children's fitness tax credit and the children's arts tax credit.

We have introduced the registered disability savings plan to help individuals with severe disabilities and their families save for their children's long-term financial security.

We have enhanced support to caregivers of infirm, dependent family members by introducing the family caregiver tax credit.

We have provided annual targeted tax relief for seniors and pensioners by increasing the age credit and the pension income credit amounts.

We have provided further support to students, especially to their families, because a lot of families help their children to get through university. We have now exempted scholarship income from taxation. That was a big change. We have introduced a textbook tax credit, and we are making registered education savings plans more responsive to changing needs.

We have introduced pension income splitting for seniors, which has had a huge and helpful impact on so many seniors, and we have introduced the public transit tax credit, to encourage public transit use and again put more money in the pockets of the people who use it.

We have introduced the tax-free savings account, the most significant change to taxation since the introduction of RRSPs, in 1957. In total, our government will have provided almost $160 billion in tax relief for Canadian families and individuals over the last six-year period.

Let me point out to the opposition that Canadians, at all income levels, are benefiting from tax relief introduced by our government, with low-income and middle-income Canadians receiving proportionately greater relief than higher-income Canadians. In fact, the federal tax burden is the lowest that it has been for all Canadians in 50 years. More than one million low-income Canadians have been completely removed from the tax rolls as a result of the tax relief provided by our government. That leads to real income equality.

Canadian families, in all major income groups, have seen increases of about 10% or more in their real after-tax, after-transfer income, since we, the Conservative Party of Canada, have formed government. Canadian families in the lowest income group have seen a 14% increase in real income.

Moreover, Canadian families in all major income groups had higher income, after taxes, transfers, and inflation, in 2011, than they had prior to the recession. That is great news for Canadians.

The share of Canadians living in low-income families has also fallen to its lowest level in three decades. Canadian children from poor families have a higher probability of moving up the income scale than similar children in such countries as the United States, the United Kingdom, France, or Sweden. This confirms that our low-tax plan for job creation, economic growth, and long-term prosperity is in fact working.

Going forward, the government will keep taxes low and will examine ways to provide further tax relief for Canadians, while returning to balanced budgets.

Of course, the leader of the NDP claims that the average Canadian family earns 7% less than they did 35 years ago. This figure is wrong and is based on median market income of Canadians before tax, before transfer income. This is not new math; this is bad math. We have to take all of the factors into account when we do any kind of calculation.

This figure does not adjust for the fact that the average number of people in Canadian families has actually declined over the last three decades, and overlooks the impact of taxes and transfers. Controlling for the changing composition of Canadian families and accounting for the impact of taxes and transfers, the income of middle-income families has increased by 31%, since 1976.

Our government has shown that we are providing the support that hard-working Canadian families need. Our recent budgets have built upon our record of supporting families and communities while establishing a path for returning to balanced budgets.

Economic action plan 2014 supports families by keeping taxes low; better recognizing the costs of adopting a child; helping to lower the prices of consumer goods; better protecting financial consumers, including seniors; and promoting low-cost and secure pension options.

Our approach is working. I am very optimistic about our prospects as a nation, and I am very optimistic about the opportunities that will be available because of economic action plan 2014, for our children, for the future, for our seniors, and for Canadian families, who now have more money in their pockets.

Conservatives believe that Canadian families know how to spend their money. They do not need the NDP to spend it for them.

Finance June 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my constituents know the importance of living within their means, and they expect the government to do the same. That is why our Conservative government is working hard to balance the budget by controlling government spending and by ensuring that each and every tax dollar is spent efficiently and effectively, and only when necessary. Unlike the Liberal leader, we know that budgets just do not balance themselves.

Would the Minister of State for Finance please explain why it is crucial that all levels of government follow our lead and take responsible action to balance their budgets?

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, a short response?

This is unfortunate, because there are a lot of things in our budget.

I would like to thank the hon. member for his comments and particularly for his kind remarks. We are kindred spirits. I believe that we want to invest in a future so we will enable people to assist Canada in creating wealth and being the country of the 21st century.

That is my hope for my children. That is my hope for all children coming up.

The member's comments are so important. It is not about a handout; it is about a hand up. We are helping the next generation so it can prosper long into the future through jobs and economic growth.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question, as the mother of two children. I will confirm that there is no higher calling than helping the next generation.

I happen to have a son who is in university. He knows that he is investing in his future. He does not expect it to be handed to him on a silver platter with a spoon to match. He expects to work hard every summer. He expects to work and volunteer in the community during the winter. He also expects to have a bit of a debt load when he comes out of university.

He also expects that there will not be magic to balance the budget. He expects that he will be working hard to pay his debt load down as he becomes employable and gets good jobs. It is important for us to impart on our children that they are needed as a part of solving the problems of the future.