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  • Her favourite word is families.

Liberal MP for Humber River—Black Creek (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2015, with 67% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply October 5th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments by my colleague on this issue, and each and every one of us in the house knows how important it is. Quite often we hear about our seniors, those who suffer with various disabilities, and especially those dealing with cancer care, who struggle to keep up with some of the high costs.

All of us are very committed to finding solutions. The government has certainly made some significant progress with the pan-Canadian group and, together with the provinces, is moving forward on answers. There is no simple way to do this. It takes a lot of negotiations with a lot of the provinces. The official opposition was not able to do it. However, on this side of the House, we certainly have made significant progress since coming into office. I wonder if the member would appreciate that and have a little more patience.

I applaud the members for raising the profile of this issue, because the only way change is going to happen is when it continues to get raised. That said, is the hon. member is having significant difficulties with this issue in her own riding with her community members? Would she like to comment on that?

Committees of the House October 5th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 15th report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in relation to Bill C-49, an act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts. The committee has studied the bill, and we had great co-operation from all members of the committee from all sides of the House. It was an example of how to deal with legislation in a proper and effective way in the House. We have decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

Canada-Italy Relations October 3rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, Italian Canadians have been a key part of Canadian society for generations and helped to build this great country of ours, often while keeping ties with Italy and contributing to the social safety nets of both countries.

Former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau recognized the special relationship between Canada and Italy by signing Canada's first international social security agreement in 1979. I am proud that our government has updated this agreement to make sure that the Italian Canadians who have contributed in both countries can continue to receive old age, disability, and survivor benefits that they have worked a lifetime to earn. The renewed Canada-Italy social security agreement, which came into force on October 1, will ensure a secure retirement for many Italian Canadians.

Leadership at York University September 19th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the leadership and service of Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri, past president of York University, who completed his term on June 30, 2017. For the last decade Dr. Shoukri has guided York University through a period of extraordinary growth and change, cementing its position as one of our pre-eminent institutions of higher education in Canada.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Dr. Rhonda Lenton, who has been appointed as York University's eighth president and vice-chancellor and began her post on July 1, 2017.

I thank Dr. Shoukri for his dedication to our community, and congratulate Dr. Lenton. I wish her all the best for her success and the success of York University.

Construction Industry June 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, late payment of contractors in the construction industry has been a significant problem for far too long. Contractors who complete their obligations deserve to be paid in a timely manner. Too many workers and small businesses in the construction industry face severe hardships while they wait for payment of their work.

Can the parliamentary secretary please inform the House of recent steps taken to ensure the prompt payment to these contractors?

Cannabis Act June 7th, 2017

Madam Speaker, this is an important piece of legislation and one that I think many of us in the House, and Canadians, have struggled with. We are clearly not winning the fight when it comes to the issue of drug abuse in Canada, which is something that I was a part of for many years. I almost feel like we are giving up. However, the reality is that we have the highest cannabis use here in Canada among our young people. Bill C-45 is, hopefully, going to help us get a handle on that.

As much as we are uncomfortable with the direction in which we are going, what alternatives are there to supporting Bill C-45?

Committees of the House June 1st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in relation to the supplementary estimates (A), 2017-18.

ALS Awareness Month May 31st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize June as ALS Awareness Month, as my previous colleague has mentioned.

Over 3,000 Canadians are currently living with ALS, and until recently, this included my dear friend and our colleague Mauril Bélanger. Many members in this chamber remember how he bravely struggled against this brutal and unforgivable disease that ultimately took his life too quickly.

In honour of Mauril, and the thousands of Canadian who fought or are still fighting this faceless demon, I introduced my own private member's motion that increases our commitment to a comprehensive strategy for ALS research funding and awareness. I thank the members in this chamber for their support. We have and we must continue making ALS a treatable and non-terminal disease.

Public Service Labour Relations Act May 16th, 2017

Madam Speaker, the House is well aware that the Liberal Party was in third party position. I spent over two and a half years working on issues like sexual harassment and harassment in the RCMP at the request of members who were the victims through much of this. One of the recommendations in the report entitled “Shattered Dreams” and another one that I had done called for the need to unionize and for a collective agreement with the RCMP, in addition to civilian oversight, in order for members to have somewhere outside of the force to get help.

I asked several times in the last year when the legislation was going to go forward. From my perspective, there was a time issue with respect to seeing some movement in the RCMP, so the great members of the RCMP would have some additional protection.

My colleague has met with several of the women whom I have referenced and he is well aware of the personal stories of the RCMP. Would he share one or more of those stories with the House?

Italian Heritage Month May 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, listening to my colleagues, it is truly a joy and an honour to stand today and speak behalf of the 1.4 million Canadians who claim Italian ancestry. This includes more than 15,000 in my own riding, and, of course, my own family.

Before I do this, I want to take a moment to thank the member for King—Vaughan for carrying forward this motion on behalf of all of us in the House, and specifically on behalf of our Italian-Canadian parliamentary caucus, which we are very proud of.

We have heard about how the first Italian was Giovanni Caboto in 1497. We have heard, as well, about the contingents of Italians who came here after World War II, and in the 18th century. It was in this period, during our country's infancy, that saw the emergence of the first Italian-Canadian communities, and eventually the first sense of an Italian-Canadian identity within Canada's cultural mosiac. Put another way, Italians have been coming to Canada for as long as there has been a Canada to come to, helping to build and shape our country into the society that we all enjoy today.

Motion 64 would establish June as Italian heritage month, and by doing this, it recognizes that the contributions of many Italian Canadians to our society and to our culture are significant. This is evidenced by Marino Toppan and his work on the Italian Fallen Workers monument that was recently erected in Toronto, with the names of thousands of Italian Canadians who have lost their lives on construction sites, in mining accidents, and so on. Clearly, Italian Canadians were not passive witness to the country's development.

Motion 64 acknowledges and validates the hard work and the sacrifices made by all of those who left the familiarity and security of their homeland to come and build a new home here. Example of just a few very successful Italian Canadians are Frank Iacobucci, the first Italian Canadian named to the Supreme Court; Pietro Rizzuto, our first Canadian-Italian senator; Charles Caccia, our first Italian minister in the federal government; and Paul Valenti, the first alderman on North York Council, who was my mentor.

These are examples of the success of some of the great Italian Canadians we have here, and a few of those whom I know personally in the GTA. Clearly, throughout our country, there is not an area that does not have a shining star in a community who is not of Italian origin.

Last week, I had the great pleasure to attend an important fundraiser for earthquake victims in Italy, from the earthquake last year. Sergio Marchionne is another Italian Canadian who was there. He was very pleased to be there to raise money. There are also people like Joseph Montinaro of Dolcini's in my riding, or Danny Montesano of Lido Construction, who has transformed his business in an endless struggle to make Canada better.

Then there is Sam Primucci, founder of Pizza Nova; Angelo Locilento of Vin Bon Wineries; or Toni Varone, owner of Montecassino; Johnny Lombardi, CHIM Radio station, which is run now by Lenny and the rest of the family, and Marco Muzzo, Elvio Del Zotto, and Rudy Bratty, who are all examples of Italian Canadians who have helped to build this great country, both spiritually, morally, and physically, with buildings throughout our country that were put there as a result of the work they have done.

My own husband, Sam Sgro, who came to this country with empty pockets and big dreams, successfully grew a business, provided for a family, and worked each day to prove that nothing was impossible with hard work.

Italian-Canadian history and culture are part of the story of Canada. Motion 64 formalizes that. It has the endorsement of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, and its president, Dominic Campione, and is an example of the different organizations throughout Canada that have worked within the Italian community and have a tremendous amount of respect for that.

I support Motion 64. I am thrilled that our caucus is united behind it. I look forward to the vote coming up, I hope, on Wednesday. It will truly start a magnificent month of joy and love throughout the month of June.