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  • Her favourite word is rcmp.

Liberal MP for Vancouver Quadra (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 2015, with 59% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Ethics October 18th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been calling for honest answers about the Mike Duffy affair for six months now.

All we get from the government are nonsensical responses and attacks. I have a very simple question.

According to security records from the Prime Minister's Office, Mike Duffy had a meeting in room 204 Langevin Block on February 11, 2013. Who did he meet with?

Criminal Code June 18th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Ahuntsic for her bill and for her speech on this very important issue, protection for women and very vulnerable people. I agree that prostitution is an issue that relates to violence against women and children. It is exploitation.

I have heard it said that legalization will enable prostitutes to be safer. Does the member believe that women who are now on the streets will instead be in safer brothels? Or is it more likely that they will not be any safer because of legalization?

Government Advertising June 18th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the government is advertising during the Stanley Cup playoffs for a Canada job grant program that does not exist and likely never will. That is like sending out birth announcements for a baby who not only has not been conceived, but the hoped-for partners that the individual wanted to have the baby with have already turned the individual down. At $140,000 a pop, some of the most expensive TV time available, these are very pricey birth announcements.

What is the total ad budget for this phantom job grant program, and why this abuse of the public purse?

Tourism Industry June 14th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, those promotion budgets come out of taxpayers' pockets as well and create no jobs.

The Conservative government is no longer marketing Canada in the United States. On top of that, it is damaging our core tourism product, which is our national parks and monuments. They will not disclose the extent of those cuts to people, to programs, to hours and to seasons, but we know that tourism businesses are going under, from Nanaimo to Kingston to Cape Breton Island.

Why are the Conservative MPs not sticking up for their communities? When will the government fix this mess that the Conservative MPs themselves have created?

Tourism Industry June 14th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, this is National Tourism Week, and the Conservative government is celebrating by cutting 20% out of the budget for promoting Canadian tourism abroad. Already, we have lost one in five of our international visitors to Canada and that is costing jobs in communities right across the country. However, the government can find hundreds of millions of dollars to advertise its abysmal economic performance.

Why are the Conservatives pedalling propaganda instead of promoting our very important tourism industry?

41st General Election June 13th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, it is straight out of the Karl Rove evasion playbook I see. This pattern of election spending abuses runs deep in the Conservative Party. Even the Conservative House leader in 2008 exceeded election spending limits and was actually caught and eventually penalized.

Speaking of 2008, the Conservative member for Peterborough still is not compliant for overspending during that election.

Does the Prime Minister really believe that he, his members and his parliamentary secretary are above the law?

41st General Election June 13th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I think the truth hurts over there.

From the in-and-out scandal to overspending to fraudulent expense claims, Canadians are really appalled at the continuous abuse of our election laws. We know the members for Mississauga—Brampton South, Selkirk—Interlake, and Saint Boniface are not complying with Elections Canada laws for the 2011 election.

Could the government please tell us how many more Conservative MPs are lined up and fighting Elections Canada over their campaign overspending?

41st General Election June 13th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, from the in-and-out scandal to overspending to fraudulent expense claims, Canadians are appalled at the continuous abuse of Canada's—

Taxation June 12th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, it would be great if this member would take a lesson from the Liberals because, in fact, the Liberals helped small businesses create almost 40,000 jobs in 2005, but by 2011, the statistics showed half of that. The GDP growth on average for 50 years has been 3.3%. Under this member's government, there has been an average of 1.2% economic growth. A flat economy, high youth and student unemployment rates, and on debt, it is hard to know where to begin.

Household debt is at record levels. Federal debt, which had gone down $22 billion in four years under the Liberals, has gone up $60 billion under the Conservatives by 2011. Our general government debt in Canada now ranks at 129 out of 144 countries.

This is a very mediocre performance by the Conservatives and it is partially because they do not get the importance of small business. The government's policies ignore and undermine the small business community time after time. Will the Conservatives please take a look at the Liberal record and correct their path?

Taxation June 12th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am noting that it is 12:25 a.m. It is late, but it is never too late to shine the spotlight on issues that are affecting small business in a negative way.

I am referring to a question I asked in the House regarding the increases in import tariffs that would leave Canadians paying hundreds of millions of dollars more for over 1,200 items. It would be a hidden tax on goods that will drive the customers of Canadian businesses to shop in the United States. It will be bad for consumers and bad for Canadian businesses.

The Conservatives talk a lot about their federal budget. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars advertising their economic plan. I would love to see them advertise some of these taxes that are hidden in the budget implementation bill, hidden taxes that would affect small businesses and the people who work in them.

Small business is the lifeblood of our communities, whether it is the small businesses I met with at the Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce, for example, at their AGM recently, who were networking to help each other be successful; the Young Professionals of Nanaimo, who work in the public interest to raise funds for local projects and support each other in their emerging businesses; or the clean tech businesses I met at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada's recent conference, who are investing in innovation so that Canada can have a clean technology export industry that thrives.

These businesses create half of all new jobs in Canada. They account for 40% of our GDP, employ about two-thirds of the workforce and account for 43% of the value of exports. They are very important community members. Their success is critical to Canada. However, they are being hit with increased taxes that are hidden in the budget.

Beyond these tariff increases, there is also a $2.3-billion increase in dividend taxes, to be paid over the next five years by small businesses. That is $2.3 billion they could be retaining to help with the investments they need to make. That comes on top of yet another year of hikes to the EI payroll taxes that collectively cost businesses $9 billion.

These budget items risk undermining our entrepreneurs. As well, it makes it more expensive to own and run these businesses. As a former small business owner myself, I know just how challenging it is to succeed and thrive, be innovative and grow a small business. I am not sure why the government wants to tie their hands behind their backs by increasing taxes.

It might be that this very kind of approach helps to explain the government's failure on the economy and the way they are failing Canadian families economically. It just does not seem to understand the realities of everyday Canadians and small businesses.

I have many statistics from organizations such as TD Economics, Trading Economics and so forth to confirm the assertion that unemployment is high under the current government. There are still 310,000 more people out of work today than there were in 2006. That is just one of many metrics on which the government has failed.