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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word is room.

Liberal MP for Humber River—Black Creek (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2021, with 61% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Freedom of Religion February 6th, 2023

Madam Speaker, it is deeply disturbing to hear about the growing persecutions of the Ahmadi Muslim community around the world.

In recent weeks, the media burst with the news about the unlawful raids, detentions and killings of Ahmadi Muslims in Burkina Faso and Pakistan. The safety of the community in Afghanistan, Algeria and Sri Lanka is also deeply concerning. No individual should be persecuted for one's right to freedom of religion. Everyone, alone or in a community, publicly or privately, has a universal right to practice and manifest his or her religion.

Here in Canada, we are proudly enjoying the ability to freely practise our faith. Ahmadi Muslims in Canada take this freedom and give back generously by consistently helping those in need and raising funds for local hospitals and other charities. By standing here today with my colleagues, I hope to bring the world’s attention to the serious human rights violations against the Ahmadiyya Muslim community around the globe.

Leadership and Community Service Award December 2nd, 2022

Madam Speaker, it is a great pleasure for me to stand in the House today and pay special recognition to my long-time friend and supporter, Sam Primucci. While many Canadians know and love Sam for his successful business skills in the food industry and his Pizza Nova chain, I know him for his warm and giving spirit to others. For this reason he was granted a leadership and community service award at the recent Pentola d'Oro gala in Toronto, hosted by the Italian Chamber of Commerce.

I want to offer Sam and his wife Gemma my sincerest congratulations and thank him for his excellent work, not only in Humber River—Black Creek, but in all of Canada.

Federal Framework on Autism Spectrum Disorder Act December 1st, 2022

Madam Speaker, I extend sincere congratulations to my colleague. This has been an issue the two of us, and others, have talked about so many, many times. It gives me great pleasure to stand here and congratulate you and ask you about timelines, because I do believe our government is quite supportive. Could you elaborate a bit on your expectations on the timelines you are looking for to move forward with this framework?

Canada-Taiwan Relations December 1st, 2022

Mr. Speaker, last month, my fellow MPs and I successfully visited Taiwan as a Canada-Taiwan parliamentary friendship group delegation. The focus of this trip was, as it always has been for the friendship group travels, trade opportunities and cultural exchange.

Taiwan is an important stakeholder and a valuable partner for Canada and the international community. I was delighted to learn that there are more than 30 Canadian companies operating in Taiwan and about 60,000 Canadians residing there.

Our friendship group delegation was impressed with the offshore wind project by Northland Power. It is a major Canadian investor that is contributing a great deal to Taiwan’s 2050 net-zero emissions strategy.

In 2021, Taiwan was Canada’s 11th-largest trading partner, and there are opportunities now to advance this partnership even more. There is a lot of potential in the green economy, agricultural markets, the semiconductor industry, education, science and beyond.

Canada and Taiwan have a long and rich history of cultural exchanges, and I hope our friendship will grow even stronger with the world recovering from the pandemic.

Comittees of the House November 23rd, 2022

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 107(3), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Liaison Committee, entitled “Committee Activities and Expenditures: April 1, 2022 - August 31, 2022”. This report highlights the work and accomplishments of each committee of the House, as well as detailing the budgets that fund the activities approved by committee members.

Human Rights in Iran November 22nd, 2022

Mr. Speaker, as nationwide uprisings of the Iranian people have entered into the third month, I want to once again express my solidarity with the people of Iran. This uprising, which began on September 16 after the barbaric murder in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, has spread to nearly 240 cities in Iran and globally.

These ongoing rallies across Iran and around the world demonstrate the tremendous courage and the thirst for freedom.

Last Sunday in Toronto, there were hundreds of thousands of people who attended a rally in support of the Iranian people, yet the despicableness of the regime in Iran has shown no limits. Thousands of people have been arrested and hundreds of people have been killed, including many young children.

Standing up against the 43 years of repression is a historic moment for Iran, and we, as part of the international community, shall do everything we can to help Iranians to continue the momentum of their fight for fundamental human rights and freedoms.

Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022 November 17th, 2022

Mr. Speaker, one of the things I neglected to mention is with regard to the Canada workers benefit, which I think is really important for all Canadians but especially for the residents of Humber River. I wanted to make sure to mention it.

The Canada workers benefit will provide up to $1,428 for a single worker or up to $2,461 for a family this spring through the existing tax return payment. That is a significant assistance to give people, to move forward as we go forward.

I am not answering my colleague's question because it is important for me to tell Canadians and people in Humber River about the extra money they are going to get.

Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022 November 17th, 2022

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the work the government has done since we came in in 2015. Seniors have been every bit as important as everyone else that we are trying to deal with.

We have increased funds to them through the OAS and the GIS. There has been a 10% increase in the pension, which was not an easy thing to accomplish.

We continue even in this economic statement. There is an additional $234 for seniors.

We are trying to help a variety of people through a variety of different programs. It is part of the role of the government to see where those opportunities are and where we can make sure we are lifting people up, so that they can get through, no matter what their age is.

Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022 November 17th, 2022

Mr. Speaker, let me tell members, my constituents are getting that money back every single day.

The carbon tax is refundable. Everybody is getting it back. Most importantly, we need that carbon tax because we need to start paying more attention to climate change.

We look at what happened this summer in the Maritimes. From coast to coast to coast there was a tremendous amount of damage. It will be years and years before it is ever corrected.

All of this is talking about climate change and the changes we need to make for our children's and grandchildren's future.

Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022 November 17th, 2022

Mr. Speaker, I am really pleased this morning to stand and reference various areas in the fall economic statement. It was a very good statement that gave us an opportunity to see a focus on some of the areas that the government and all members of the House, I am sure, are concerned about and supportive of, especially for the residents of Humber River—Black Creek. The help for the cost of living, for dental care, for rent and for numerous other issues has been received very well by the residents of Humber River—Black Creek.

When the government released the 2022 fall economic statement, it talked about making life more affordable, which is something we hear a lot about and something we know is very important, and how we continue to grow an economy that works for absolutely everyone. The statement outlines a plan for continued support to help all Canadians with the cost of living and to build a Canada where no one is left behind. We are committed to continuing to help families cope with the increasing costs that we hear about every day and that we see every day when we go to the grocery store and to checkout counters.

Part of this is about making housing more affordable, which is another issue. Even in this morning's news, the top story was talking about housing affordability, and I believe the fall statement tries to address some of that. It also tries to strengthen and build a thriving net-zero economy with opportunities and jobs of the future. Amid global economic uncertainty and a reckless trickle-down economics approach pushed by some here in the House that benefits the wealthy, we are staying focused on making life more affordable for everyone and building an economy that will work for everyone.

We are investing in Canadians, including by eliminating interest on student loans and apprentice loans. I have been here long enough to have met many times with student unions from all universities across the country. They continually talk to us about how difficult it is to get student loans and how the interest continues to climb. Finally taking some action on that is extremely helpful and is very appreciated by that particular part of the community. Apprentice loans are another issue, and giving people time to get a job and additional time before they have to start repaying loans is important. With interest rates rising, eliminating the interest on those loans would be very much appreciated.

We are also talking in the economic statement about helping people buy their first home. I can say how important that is. We all know that. We all have grandkids or kids who are looking to buy their first home, and the fact that now they will have a $40,000 tax-free first home savings plan will really be a boost for the housing industry. It will be very helpful for many young people who are trying to buy their first home. It will also continue to attract investment in our clean economy and help create good, solid jobs.

Everyone should have a safe and affordable place to call home, and this is one of the reasons that with the 2022 fall economic statement, our government would deliver $500 in additional support to low-income renters. I have many renters in my riding, as others have, and the struggle to keep up with the increased cost of rental accommodation is very difficult. Some people will say that $500 once is not enough, but $500 is helpful as they move forward to try to deal with inflation, which hopefully is coming to an end, here in Canada at least.

The $500 is additional support under the Canada housing benefit specifically for low-income renters. This federal benefit would be available to all Canadians with an adjusted net income below $35,000 for families, so we are talking about families that are truly struggling to make ends meet, or below $20,000 for single Canadians who pay at least 30% of their income toward rent. In Humber River—Black Creek, I know lots of families that are struggling in that situation.

We are also creating a new refundable multi-generational home renovation tax credit to provide up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary suite, which will help families who take care of an aging grandparent at home or help parents afford to support a child with a disability moving back home, starting in January 2023. That is another step forward, when we talk about affordability and the lack of housing in so many different parts of our urban and rural centres. To be able to do some renovation of one's home that would allow one to have a second suite that would either provide rental income or enable an aging parent to age at home, is much appreciated.

The fall economic statement is also big news for students, as I mentioned earlier. It proposes to permanently eliminate interest on Canada student loans and Canada apprenticeship loans, including those currently being repaid, beginning on April 1, 2023. This would save the average borrower $400 per year. Recent graduates could also wait until they make $40,000 a year to start repaying their federal loans. These things seem like common-sense issues. If we are trying to encourage Canadians and our young people to take additional courses, whether it is apprenticeship or advancing their education, so that they can earn a better income and contribute better to moving Canada along, then we all want to see that they are not penalized at the end of the day, so helping them in a variety of different ways is quite helpful.

Our government is also doubling the GST tax credit to put hundreds of dollars in the pockets of those who need it the most. Starting November 4, 2022, so it is already moving forward, single Canadians without children will receive up to an extra $234, and couples with two children will receive up to an extra $467. Again, some people might say that is not enough, and ask why we bother. When we are stretching from one dollar to the next dollar to the next dollar, $234 is a lot of money, as is $467, to help feed the family and put the food on the table. Seniors, whom we talk about a lot and care immensely about, will also receive on average an extra $225.

We are also delivering much-needed relief for parents who cannot afford dental care for their kids under 12. That is an issue we have talked about for many years that I never imagined we would actually deliver, so I am glad we have started a program that truly is going to help our young children, because there are many of them who do not have any kind of coverage, so they do not see a dentist until something starts to hurt and they are forced to.

A third of Canadians do not have dental insurance, and in 2018 more than one in five Canadians reported avoiding dental care because of the cost, because it is very expensive. Our job is to help parents who struggle financially, by investing in their children's health care. Canada's dental benefit will provide parents or guardians with direct upfront tax-free payments of up to $1,300 over the next two years to cover dental expenses for their children under 12 years old.

Canada needs to also build the technology, the infrastructure and businesses to help reduce our carbon reliance, but this will not occur without rapidly increasing, and then sustaining, private investment in activities in sectors that will strengthen Canada's position as a leading low-carbon economy. That is why the 2022 fall economic statement launched the Canada growth fund, which will help bring billions of dollars in new private investment required to reduce our emissions, to grow the Canadian economy and to create well-paying jobs.

This fall economic statement also has support for hard-working Canadians, and that is in the new quarterly Canada workers benefit. We are moving this to an advance payment, because people who work really hard for really low pay cannot wait until the fiscal year is over to get a top-up. They need it while they are working, and they deserve it. We should be rewarding them for doing those hard jobs and encouraging them to continue.

I am very pleased to have had the opportunity this morning to speak to the fall economic statement, and I look forward to hearing comments from my colleagues in the House.