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Crucial Fact

  • 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

Interparliamentary Delegations April 13th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, three reports of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group.

The first concerns the annual summer meeting of the Western Governors' Association, held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, U.S.A., from June 12 to June 14, 2016.

The second concerns the annual summer meeting of the National Governors Association, held in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.A., July 14 to July 17, 2016.

The third concerns the annual national conference of the Council of State Governments, held in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.A., from December 8 to December 11, 2016.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis March 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, let me begin by thanking so very much my colleagues in the House. After the last couple of days of political rancour that has been going on, it is so lightening to listen to us all come together on something that affected Mauril Bélanger, one of our dear members, and many others who are not being spoken about today in the House. It is a nice, peaceful feeling in this room that we can come together and show Canadians that it is not all about politics all of the time; it is about doing the right thing. I thank all of my colleagues for that.

I like to believe that Mauril is sitting in the Speaker's chair, as he so much enjoyed his opportunity to be Speaker. It was not very long ago. The whole House truly respected Mauril for what he was, for what he did, and for his 20 years of contributions in the House. We watched him struggle with ALS. He was my partner, and when he sat beside me, he struggled every day. He made it for question period for very many days. It was such a struggle for him, but he was determined not to give in to this disease. He explored opportunities, such as what else was happening in Montreal, and went to different doctors trying to find a solution or a cure. Unfortunately, the disease went through him so very quickly.

I visited Catherine and Mauril a couple of weeks before Mauril passed away. My colleague spoke earlier about the immense cost involved in ALS. I have to say that I had been to their home many times before, but I found that they had completely converted their home, with a bed, a respirator, and such. It was like a small hospital, instead of a home.

He was able to be pushed outside in a wheelchair because it was a bright, sunny day. We sat outside in his back yard, where he had very recently built a barbecue and patio area for himself and Catherine. He invited many of his colleagues there, and we had such good times. There was great wine. He very good at barbecuing and all of that.

We sat in that very same place. He was unable to answer anything that I or Catherine said to him at that time, but we had a conversation through his eyes, because that was all he had left with which he could communicate. I left him that day knowing that there was not going to be another opportunity to see him again sitting in a wheelchair in his back yard. It was difficult. The least I can do and the least we can do is to recognize ALS for what it is.

Richard Wackid was another member of the Liberal family, who was a wonderful man. He died very quickly. He was someone else who was admired by so many people. There was also William Corbett. I do not have all of the names, but a lot of them were part of Parliament, in the sense of either serving as a member of Parliament, as Mauril did, or serving us. After 18 years of being here, when I had the opportunity to present a bill or motion, I wanted to do it on behalf of Mauril and the ALS Society.

Let me thank everybody here for their kindness and support. I look forward, on May 6, to joining in the walkathons and many other events to raise money. That is what it is about: it is about money for research. Whether we are talking about ALS, autism, or so many other things, we all need to pitch in and do everything we possibly can to eradicate these terrible diseases.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis March 23rd, 2017

Yes I do, Mr. Speaker.

The Budget March 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I first want to acknowledge my hon. colleague and her approach to the issue of the budget. She uses it as an approach on many other things. As always, the member looks for what is good, recognizes the positives, and then says where she would like to see some additional improvements.

I would like to suggest that certainly the issue of housing is an important issue in the member's area, as it is throughout Canada. There is a real need for serious renovations in social housing, but more importantly for seniors housing. I would like to hear more comments from the hon. member.

The Budget March 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, my colleague covered off all of the issues that matter to many Canadians when it comes to building a strong nation. The foundation of a nation always goes back to families and children and what kind of support we provide for them.

Over and above all of my colleague's great comments about the things we are doing, the housing issue is a critical one, because if people do not have a roof over their heads, it makes life very difficult. Many families in the Toronto area are truly struggling with this very issue.

I would like to hear more comment on the housing strategy and the commitment of dollars for housing. What are those dollars meant to be for, specifically?

Petitions March 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition. The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to allocate 0.7% of Canada's gross national income to official development assistance by 2020.

Committees of the House March 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, entitled “A Study of the Navigation Protection Act”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Organized Labour March 8th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, organized labour has served and continues to serve a crucial role in our society.

From labour's earliest days fighting for safe working conditions, reasonable hours, and decent pay to more recent campaigns for improved pensions, job preservation, and community betterment, unions give much to many.

It is in this context that I rise to honour Joseph Mancinelli, the international VP and regional manager for central and eastern Canada for the Laborers' International Union of North America.

With Joseph's leadership, LiUNA has become one of the largest building trade unions, with some 150,000 Canadian members. These are families who contribute to Canada by working each day to build something we can all be proud of.

I salute Joseph, his team, and organized labour across the country. Together we are building better futures for the middle class and those who are working hard to join it.

Committees of the House February 21st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in relation to its study of unmanned aerial vehicles regulations. Unmanned aerial vehicles are more commonly known as drones.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report as soon as possible.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis February 21st, 2017

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his commitment to issues like this, which I know he cares very much about.

There has been more progress made in the last five years than in the last 100 years; this has come as a result of exactly what we have done in the House, raising awareness, things like the ice bucket challenge, personal support and donations made in our ridings to ALS societies, and the continued focus on finding a cure. I am confident that, as we continue to work together on this, we will move forward.

This is an important issue that has affected some of us specifically. Mauril was my seat mate and colleague for many years. The disease attacked him, as my colleague said previously, with a devastating timeline. We saw him deteriorate in the House to an enormous degree, very quickly, and I doubt that any of us will ever forget that. I hope all of us will keep that in mind as we move forward.