House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was vessels.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Liberal MP for Kanata—Carleton (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2019, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Member for Kanata—Carleton June 22nd, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I stand here today to thank the people of Kanata—Carleton and all Canadians. They have inspired me with their tenacity, their generosity, their compassion and their care. We are seeing it even today, with the number of Canadians who are stepping up to get vaccinated so they can look after each other.

My mother's favourite saying was, “It's not happiness that makes you grateful, it's gratefulness that makes you happy”, and we have so very much for which to be grateful.

It is quite an honour to stand here and to thank people for their commitment to a better Canada. If we acknowledge our shortcomings, if we know that we can do better, if we are willing to work hard and if we are willing to let love, kindness and care guide the way, we cannot get it wrong.

I thank them all, and I appreciate everything they have done to make this an even better country. We will just keep going.

Business of Supply June 17th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. minister why he thinks that systemic cultural change is so important for the Canadian Armed Forces.

Interparliamentary Delegations June 8th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the 19th Annual Parliamentary Transatlantic Forum in Washington, D.C., United States of America, from December 9 to 11, 2019.

Business of Supply June 1st, 2021

Madam Speaker, I do not have the answer to your last question, but you're right that there are always risks. It would be easier if we could just do everything by ourselves and we did not have to work with anybody else, but that is not how the world works right now. We have to take the risks into account when we are designing collaboration.

However, you are right. It is not always easy and it needs to be done very carefully.

Business of Supply June 1st, 2021

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague's question is a good one, and there is no easy answer. After spending 31 years in the military and having held secret and top secret security clearances, I know how important it is to safeguard national security and how to do the work that needs to be done and still protect national security and the classified information out there. That is the concern, along with trying to find a balance.

That is what we have tried to do with the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. It is about having a place to take that kind of classified information to people who have the security clearance to deal with it. That is the balance we need to find.

That is a very good question.

Business of Supply June 1st, 2021

Madam Speaker, I have heard that before. However, in January 2020, I was at a high-technology round table meeting and we were briefed then that GPHIN was up and operating and had identified a cluster of activity of concern in Wuhan, China. That was in January 2020. To my knowledge and based on what I was briefed, and this was not particularly a health issue but was about technology as a whole, at that time they were briefing that GPHIN had identified something in China in late 2019.

Business of Supply June 1st, 2021

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Surrey Centre.

I am grateful for the opportunity to rise in the House to speak to the motion before us today.

The Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory is known around the world for its scientific excellence and contributions to global health. The Public Health Agency of Canada engages in important research collaborations to advance science in order to improve public health here at home and abroad.

As we have learned over the last 16 months, pathogens that have the ability to transmit broadly can quickly reshape society on a global scale. Working closely as an international community is an essential part of the global public health ecosystem trying to keep us all safe.

A simple example of multinational collaboration can be found at the outset of this current pandemic. Chinese researchers openly published the SARS-CoV-2 sequence on January 11, 2020. This allowed National Microbiology Laboratory scientists to generate a functional, first-generation assay, which is a type of analysis or test for things like potency, in just five days. This was well ahead of the first SARS-CoV-2 case arriving in Canada.

While this did not stop SARS-CoV-2 from having a devastating impact on our society both domestically and globally, it would have been impossible to identify the first Canadian cases without this assay. This means that initial transmission chains would have gone unnoticed, and the devastation of that first wave would have been magnified. This multilateral co-operation helped partners around the world to develop tests to identify the virus much earlier than if each country had to identify the sequence independently.

Collaborating with laboratories outside of Canada is critical to advancing public health research and science aimed at improving public health on a global scale, including research into infectious diseases. As an institution with global partnerships, the National Microbiology Laboratory looks to open science and collaboration as a central tenet of its work while recognizing the need to balance open collaboration with a need for agreements that dictate the terms of each collaboration when appropriate.

Collaborations can include working together on a common research agenda, such as the World Health Organization R&D Blueprint. It could be about sharing pathogens through the Global Health Security Action Group Laboratory Network and others, collaborating on developing medical countermeasures and sharing critical surveillance data.

The National Microbiology Laboratory shares samples with other public health laboratories in a safe, responsible and transparent fashion to advance public health research. Sharing samples and information is carried out routinely within the scientific community as part of fostering a robust, global health agenda and to enable scientific advancements regarding high-consequence pathogens with potentially significant societal consequences.

The maximum containment laboratory has a long-standing, international reputation for security in the sharing of materials for the purpose of advancing scientific knowledge. Given the National Microbiology Laboratory's standing as a World Health Organization collaborating partner for viral hemorrhagic fever viruses, as well as its knowledge on regulations and standards for these types of transfers, the laboratory in Winnipeg is often asked to share its material.

It is the laboratory's objective to foster global co-operation rather than enable a monopoly of research on any given disease. In addition, the National Microbiology Laboratory's policies ensure that samples are only sent to reputable labs that meet the appropriate federal laboratory requirements. All transfers follow strict protocols and have the proper security protocols in place.

Furthermore, for close to 20 years, the National Microbiology Laboratory has been offering mobile diagnostic laboratory support. Working alongside the World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières, the laboratory has supported missions to contain high-consequence pathogen outbreaks. Timely diagnostic capabilities located close to the outbreak zone have proven to be the most efficient way to mitigate further outbreak spread.

The National Microbiology Laboratory has demonstrated that international collaborations can lead to fruitful discoveries. Through the knowledge learned in part during deployments in the support of outbreak control, the laboratory was able to advance the development of an Ebola vaccine, which played an instrumental role in stemming the recent Ebola outbreaks in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Through discoveries such as this vaccine, Canada takes a leadership role as a global citizen using our knowledge to support the world well beyond our borders.

The National Microbiology Laboratory is also involved in providing training to international laboratory professionals, and has previously trained scientists from many countries, including the United Kingdom, when it was developing its own level 4 program. The lab routinely engages the international community, through established scientific networks such as the global health security action group laboratory network, the alliance of North American public health laboratory networks, the Caribbean Public Health Laboratory Network and the Biosafety Level 4 Zoonotic Laboratory Network. Engaging with the international community through networks like these, the National Microbiology Laboratory is always seeking to find opportunities to enhance its connections to support its programs, all of which are ultimately in service of improving the health of Canadians.

With the current international focus on SARS-CoV-2, the National Microbiology Laboratory has been leveraging these fora to understand how other countries are meeting the laboratory and research challenges of this virus. As we have seen with the variants that have emerged around the world, the threat of COVID-19 to the health of Canadians continues to evolve. Working with the international community to increase our understanding of these emerging unknown variants has been critical to help Canada stay on top of the science related to SARS-CoV-2.

The National Microbiology Laboratory has also been collaborating with partners to securely share information and best practices on testing and sequencing and on how other countries have used available information to improve forecasting and modelling tools. These international resources and partnerships have been critical in the Public Health Agency of Canada's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I would like to finish by reaffirming that the pandemic has clearly demonstrated that no country can single-handedly fend off highly infectious diseases. Canada must continue to collaborate internationally as a means not just to protect ourselves from the disease, but also to help protect citizens around the world. That can be done while respecting security requirements, including national security, and the protection of classified and sensitive information. The ability to continue this work must be safeguarded, and we have the mechanisms in place to do just that.

National Defence May 3rd, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the hon. member that I respect all the work being done by all colleagues in all committees. Really, this should be about improving the lives of the women and men in the Canadian Forces. It should be about supporting the survivors and those impacted by this abominable behaviour, and it should be about preventing further abuse. The committee will continue its work in coming up with recommendations for the government, and the committee will meet on Friday at its regular time.

National Defence May 3rd, 2021

Yes, please, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to assure my colleague that the defence committee will be meeting at its normal time this coming Friday at one o'clock.

National Defence May 3rd, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I respect the work of all my colleagues on all committees, and I take my responsibilities as chair of the national defence committee very seriously. I have worked hard to serve the members of the committee in an unbiased way. This should be about improving the lives of the women and men of CAF. It should be about respecting and supporting survivors and those impacted by this abominable behaviour. It should be about preventing more abuse and trauma. The committee is developing recommendations for the government to this end, and the committee will be meeting later this week.