House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was terms.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for New Brunswick Southwest (New Brunswick)

Lost her last election, in 2019, with 26% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Fisheries Act June 13th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to stand in support of Bill C-68. As the representative for New Brunswick Southwest, I heard throughout the campaign and over the last four years from the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association and the Fundy North Fishermen's Association of the hurt that has happened in our coastal communities without owner-operator legislation.

Could the minister speak to what he has heard and how this will help our coastal communities be more secure and comfortable?

Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act June 11th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, as someone who has taught international trade for over 20 years, to be sitting in Washington the week before the decision came forward regarding steel and aluminum was really a “pinch me” moment. To sit in the offices of members of Congress or senators with my colleagues as a small team and say that if the tariffs were not lifted we would not be ratifying the new NAFTA was a real turning point for me on the trade committee. We were very clear, and it was accepted. We now see that the tariffs have been lifted on steel and aluminum.

I would say to all parties in this House that, even after the deal has been ratified, we have a responsibility to continue that relationship. Just like with any family, we cannot take the relationship for granted. I think we have done a tremendous job in this House with respect to educating and creating greater awareness about our relationship, and we need to continue that.

Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act June 11th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, from talking with our international trade negotiators, I can say that we have the best in the world. The deals that have been ratified, the 14 agreements that we have reviewed as a trade committee, are very solid and quality deals. Any kind of element like the ISDS mechanism is an important one to review. Certainly, when we look at big pharma, there has been no other government in history that has put forward a pharmacare plan or extended the patents for 10 years.

Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act June 11th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his work on the trade committee. It has been a long-standing relationship for three and a half years.

As Canadians we have an obligation to find the best agreement that is good for Canadians, certainly in tandem with the U.S. and Mexico. We ultimately need a deal that is best for Canadians, and I think this is the best agreement we are moving forward with. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs has said numerous times, it is not just any deal. It is the best deal. I look forward to seeing the details of this deal before the trade committee, even if that requires us to come back this summer.

Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act June 11th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, in New Brunswick, softwood lumber is a really critical issue, as it is in British Columbia. For decades, our area has been excluded from any tariffs. We also feel that the tariffs placed on New Brunswick softwood right now are unfair tariffs.

Anytime I have been to Washington, which has been numerous times, either with the trade committee or the Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group, I have raised the issue of softwood lumber. I have met with the National Association of Homebuilders in the U.S., and I have spoken with the minister about it. It is not a forgotten issue. It is not part of NAFTA, but I know that it has been part of the discussions.

Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act June 11th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Sydney—Victoria for sharing his time, for his very hard work and certainly for the flavour he adds to the Standing Committee on International Trade. The committee has truly been team Canada. Committee members have stood together and really understand the significance of trade. It is not as much a partisan issue as an issue that is real to every Canadian.

I am pleased to rise today to discuss the importance of this piece of legislation. As the member for New Brunswick Southwest, a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade, a certified international trade practitioner and a former professor of international trade, I truly understand the importance of creating trade opportunities. I have been proud to work with our government to secure trade agreements such as CIFTA, CPTPP and CETA.

Securing these trade agreements is vital to our Canadian economy. Exports and imports make up 60% of our economy. Our competitiveness depends on diversification and opening up new, emerging markets as well as on ensuring the continuation of free and fair trade with our current partners. We know that when we are able to make markets more accessible, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, we are able to grow our economy.

We have worked hard over the last three years to diligently diversify Canadian markets abroad, and the results speak for themselves: 14 new trade agreements, with 51 different countries, and a market of 1.5 billion consumers. Canadians now have preferred access to two-thirds of the global market, but our work is not done yet.

Our government has also launched the export diversification strategy, which will increase Canada's exports by 50%. The strategy will directly support Canadian businesses by investing in infrastructure to support trade, by providing Canadian businesses with more resources to reach overseas markets and by enhancing trade services for Canadian exporters.

We have also worked with Canadian companies to ensure that they are able to take full advantage of the trade agreements secured by our government. I was pleased when the Standing Committee on International Trade accepted my motion and studied supports for small to medium-sized businesses. One of the things we heard many times was how important free trade agreements and export readiness support are to small and medium-sized businesses. Without support, many, if not the majority, of small first-time exporters are not exporting in their second year.

Under the previous government, export readiness available through the Trade Commissioner Service was cut back to serve only companies already established overseas. This left small businesses unable to access foreign markets with ease and ensured that big businesses were the only ones able to profit from free trade.

Our government has reversed those cuts, ensuring that small businesses are able to benefit from free trade. We are increasing our exports and ensuring that any Canadians with global ambitions are able to access the support they need to create wealth and jobs.

Removing regulatory barriers to trade is essential for small and medium-sized businesses to be able to export. CUSMA would do exactly that, ensuring that Canadian businesses will be able to trade freely in North America.

I represent the riding of New Brunswick Southwest. We are, as my colleague from Sydney—Victoria mentioned, a border riding. In fact, we have five international border crossings. In New Brunswick Southwest, we understand the importance of ensuring free trade in North America. Our jobs and our economy depend on it. Many of my constituents cross the border multiple times a week for their jobs or groceries or to visit family and friends. Without the close co-operation as a result of free trade agreements and border alliance agreements, this would not be possible.

When the United States imposed illegal tariffs on our steel and aluminum, people in my riding were concerned about an escalating trade war. This is something they had never experienced. St. Stephen, a border town where my office is located, is closely connected to Calais, Maine, and its residents were particularly worried about these tariffs. These two towns share more than just a border. They also share fire services, and residents cross that border daily. Both mayors were concerned about the tariffs that were put in place, but I am happy to say that our government has reached a deal to end those illegal tariffs.

There was great uncertainty in my riding during the NAFTA renegotiations. Workers and their families were concerned for their jobs, their businesses and their clients.

In my province of New Brunswick, 90% of our foreign exports go to the United States. Ensuring that New Brunswickers maintained access to that market was critical, and we have delivered. CUSMA would ensure that New Brunswick would be able to trade freely for decades to come.

Canada is now the only G7 country to have free trade agreements with every other G7 country. Canada's unprecedented access to the global market has allowed us to act as a springboard between trading partners.

By securing both CETA and CUSMA, Canada would now be able to facilitate trade between Europe and the United States. This would be an excellent opportunity for Canadian companies to expand to broader markets and become part of the global supply chain. In fact, where my riding is located, on the coast of Maine, is actually a springboard between the United States and Europe.

Modernizing NAFTA has been a welcome opportunity for Canada. We were able to gain protections for Canadian workers, create opportunities for Canadian business and protect the environment and labour.

While many across the aisle called for us to back down, we held firm. Our government fought for a new NAFTA and got a deal that was good for Canadians. We did everything in our power to protect jobs, create more opportunities for Canadian workers and their families and ensure the growth of our economy. It has paid off.

By modernizing NAFTA, our government was able to deal with new challenges that were not present when the deal was originally signed. Issues like e-commerce and intellectual property rights in the digital age would now been addressed.

In CUSMA, we were able to obtain labour guarantees in Mexico that would ensure the fairer treatment of workers. CUSMA would see labour standards and working conditions in all three countries improve and would protect those who are vulnerable from being denied work based on gender, pregnancy or sexual orientation.

CUSMA would also ensure that workers' rights were protected. It includes commitments from all three countries to protect the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, including specific legislative actions that would be taken by Mexico to recognize the right to collective bargaining.

We did not stop at labour rights. We also ensured that CUSMA included a robust chapter on the environment to ensure that it would be protected. CUSMA includes commitments to enforce environmental protection laws and to address marine pollution. We included obligations for all three countries to combat illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging and illegal unreported and unregulated fishing.

CUSMA would also promote sustainable forestry and fisheries management, including a commitment to prohibit subsidies that negatively affect fish stocks.

Our government also secured innovative fisheries commitments to prevent the use of explosives and poisons and a binding commitment to prohibit the practice of shark finning, a first for Canada.

These are important issues in my riding. My constituents care deeply about the well-being of the environment, and many of our industries rely on it. I am proud to see that our government has fought for strong environmental protections.

I was proud to be part of the team that secured a new and better deal for the future, a deal that would protect middle-class jobs, allow small businesses to grow and protect labour and the environment.

Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act June 11th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague, whom I share time with on the Standing Committee on International Trade, for his speech today. Over the last 15 years, we have not seen a significant growth of companies that have been trading internationally. Over the 10 years of the former Harper government, it was roughly 12% to 15%. We saw an increase in trade, but we are not seeing an increase in trade with the small to medium-sized exporters. In fact, I represent a riding in Atlantic Canada where 54% of businesses have one to four employees.

What did my colleague's government do to help the small to medium-sized exporters get involved in trade and to benefit to the extent that some of the larger exporters are?

James Stewart May 17th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember a great man from my riding, James Stewart, also known as “Granddad Jim”. Jim was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and trained in Canada as a Royal Air Force pilot. Jim was a catafighter. Catafighters flew one-way missions since there was nowhere for them to land.

For his brave actions during the war, Jim was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the 1939-1945 Star, the Atlantic Star and Bar, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal and the imperial war medal. Jim never saw himself as a hero because he was one of the lucky ones who came home.

Following the war, Jim emigrated to St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Jim was a pillar of all our communities. He would volunteer to read to elementary school children and deliver for Meals on Wheels. For his many contributions to our country, Jim was awarded the Order of New Brunswick and the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award.

Granddad Jim was a kind man who gave the best of himself to others. He will be well remembered. My deepest appreciation to Jim's family for sharing him with all of us.

The Environment May 16th, 2019

Madam Speaker, I represent New Brunswick Southwest. The whole province of New Brunswick recently experienced devastating flooding. We looked across the country at the same time this was happening, and we saw more troops deployed in Canada, fighting climate change, than abroad.

Does the hon. member have a comment on that, and does she agree that the greatest national security threat to Canada is climate change?

The Environment May 16th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, as the member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest and also the chair of the New Brunswick caucus, I have reached out several times to the Higgs provincial government to meet over climate change.

I wonder if my hon. colleague in the opposition has had an opportunity to reach out to B.C. Premier John Horgan to ask if he has approached or needs help with the B.C. Utilities Commission to look at regulating gas prices in British Columbia?