House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was million.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Nunavut (Nunavut)

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

Statements in the House

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as a person born and raised in Canada's Arctic, I know how important this legislation is to northerners. Northerners want to advance projects in their regions. We want to advance projects under our terms and conditions. If projects are to proceed, the terms and conditions will be set by northerners on the ground in the Arctic. They are the ones who have the tools to make decisions on whether projects will proceed or not.

I am in full support of this legislation because northerners will then have one more tool to make determinations on what they want for their future, what they want for their communities and under what terms and conditions projects will proceed.

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to this bill today. As the member of Parliament representing Nunavut and the Nunavummiut, and as the Minister of the Environment and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, I am especially proud to defend Bill S-6 this afternoon.

The legislation, the Yukon and Nunavut regulatory improvement act, would drive economic growth and development across the north. In the process, it would improve the quality of life for all living in Nunavut. It would also improve the quality of life for each and every one of my constituents.

Beyond what it would do to attract investment, and create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, this initiative has two symbolic roles. It is both the latest in a series of developments that would enable Nunavummiut to benefit more fully from all that the territory has to offer, and it is a precursor to the territory of Nunavut inheriting more political and economic independence than ever before.

On October 3, 2014, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, came to Nunavut, and together we announced the appointment of a chief federal negotiator, Brian Dominique, to represent Canada in negotiations toward the signing of a devolution agreement in principle.

Devolution in Nunavut will give control over land, water and resources in the territory to those best placed to make decisions about their future, the Nunavummiut. This is similar to the devolution agreement that exists in Yukon, as well as the one that our government recently signed in the Northwest Territories. The benefits of devolution are significant, and I look forward to the day when Nunavut can access these benefits, thanks to our Conservative government.

In broad terms, Bill S-6 would help Nunavut reach this goal of devolution by creating conditions within the regulatory system to allow residents of Nunavut, from Cambridge Bay to Rankin Inlet to Iqaluit, to unlock the great economic potential of their territory. Bill S-6 plays a crucial role in paving the way for devolution. It would ensure that the water management regime that would eventually be transferred from the federal government to the Government of Nunavut would encourage investment and allow the territory to fully benefit from increased resource development. Given our territory's world-class mines and massive natural resource revenues, it is clear that the economic potential of Nunavut is tremendous.

It is our duty as Parliamentarians to unlock opportunities in this region. This will be achieved by building a streamlined and predictable regulatory regime that entices investors and developers to look to the north while at the same time safeguarding our unique environment.

Along with our government's investments in roads, bridges and education, regulatory improvements will stimulate future exploration and development to the benefit of Nunavummiut and all Canadians. The Nunavut government agrees with us. My counterpart, the Nunavut minister of the environment, the Hon. Johnny Mike, has been on record saying, “the Government of Nunavut believes that this bill would make a number of improvements to the regulatory regime in Nunavut”.

I will speak more specifically to what the minister is referring.

Bill S-6 would ensure more timely and predictable water licence review processes. One of our government's objectives in the north is speeding up regulatory approvals to keep pace with the needs of business. This would allow the territories to maximize the potential of their abundant natural resources, and create conditions for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity north of 60. We were determined to improve the regulatory regimes for land and water management in all three of Canada's northern territories. We wanted to ensure modern and efficient systems for northerners, understanding the demands of a highly-competitive, global marketplace. With Bill S-6, we have the final legislative step to realize this goal and to ensure that the required work is in place for the north to flourish.

Changes to the Nunavut Waters and Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal Act would make the regulatory process stronger, more effective and more predictable. Even former Liberal Senator Graham Mitchell agrees us, who said:

It's designed specifically to enhance regulatory processes, reduce the complexity of these processes, reduce regulatory overlap and, in doing so, reduce uncertainty in the economic development process in these territories.

This would help stimulate jobs, resource development and economic prosperity throughout our great territory. Bill S-6 would provide, from beginning to end, time limits for water licence review and would give the Nunavut Water Board the ability, at its discretion, to issue water licences for the anticipated duration of the project.

These changes would make the licensing process more predictable for proponents, allowing companies to engage in better long-term planning. It would also reduce the duplication and uncertainty of unnecessary reviews. Not only would this provision streamline the regulatory process, but it would do so without undermining environmental protection.

Minister Mike indicated that he is especially pleased that increased fines would be a deterrent to unlicensed water use and applauded the introduction of administrative monetary penalties, as they would provide additional tools to ensure compliance with water licences. He added that the Government of Nunavut believed life-of-project water licences were better tailored to water use and that the timelines for board review would bring certainty and predictability to both Nunavummiut and industry.

Representatives of the Nunavut Water Board told the standing Senate committee that they were generally supportive of the legislation. For example, Thomas Kabloona, Chair of the Nunavut Water Board said, “A number of the specific issues raised by the board through its participation were considered and have been to some extent reflected in Bill S-6, so we are supportive of the amendments in general”.

Moreover, the bill would increase fines for proponents who violated the conditions of water licences and would introduce administrative monetary penalties, another measure designed to hold industry accountable to regulatory standards.

In throwing his support behind Bill S-6, Minister Mike from the Nunavut government said, “This bill will give the board and regulators important new powers that will ensure that water use in Nunavut is sustainable and environmentally safe”.

This is an example of how our government is protecting Nunavut's environmental heritage without resorting to a costly carbon tax, like the Liberals and NDP would introduce. This tax hike would make life across the north more expensive, increase the cost of everything in the north, increase the cost of food in our communities, and would result in job loss for Nunavut residents.

The success of these efforts is evident in support for Bill S-6 in the north.

Minister Mike, who have I quoted before, said that Bill S-6 would provide more flexibility and enforcement powers to regulators, more predictable timelines for assessments, and would integrate with other environmental processes in the North.

Bill S-6 is supported by Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, too. Its president, Cathy Towtongie, stated in her correspondence to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development that the organization was comfortable with the changes proposed in the bill.

The wide support that this initiative is receiving in Nunavut does not surprise me. Bill S-6 is an economic and environmental building block for my territory, and is indicative of a broader truth: that no government in Canadian history has done more for northerners than this one.

I urge all parties to join me in supporting and encouraging economic and social development in my riding of Nunavut by ensuring the swift passage of this important bill.

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 5th, 2015

Thank you for the reminder, Mr. Speaker.

Could the member from the Liberal Party explain whether or not Liberals see this regulatory improvement act as a further step in the implementation of our Nunavut Land Claims Agreement?

Second, our government has worked, as I said, to settle the land claims agreement, to move forward in the devolution agreement for Nunavut and put the necessary legislation in place so that Nunavummiut can move forward in making decisions on projects in Nunavut, such as whether they will proceed and under what terms and conditions. We have worked very hard.

In our view, this legislation is very supportive to the devolution agreement that we are now negotiating with the Nunavut government. Nunavummiut want the tools to make decisions for their own future, and I personally see Bill S-6 as another means for empowering northerners to make those decisions.

Do the Liberals not agree that Nunavummiut should have the tools to make decisions on projects of importance to them? Do the Liberals not recognize that this bill is in support of implementing the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement that Inuit, for over 30 years, fought so hard to get with the Government of Canada?

We are doing our part in settling the land claims agreement, which the Liberals failed to implement. We are moving on devolution. We are restoring the cuts that the Liberal government made to the territorial governments. This is another piece of legislation that would empower northerners to make decisions for their projects and set the terms and conditions for them.

Do the Liberals not support that?

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the member on Bill S-6, the Yukon and Nunavut regulatory improvement act.

As the member well knows, Nunavut was created on April 1, 1999. For many years Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated was frustrated with the lack of implementation of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement under the Liberal government. The result of that was a lawsuit against the federal government for the lack of implementation of the land claims agreement in Nunavut.

Recently our government has worked very hard under the leadership of Minister Valcourt to settle that land claim agreement so that the Nunavummiut can move forward—

The Environment June 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our government has announced a fair and ambitious target for Canada, and it is in line with international industrialized countries. We plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below the 2005 levels by 2030, and will continue to take actions.

We recently announced three sectors that we will continue to regulate: reduce the methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, regulate the production of chemical nitrogen fertilizers and regulate emissions from natural-gas-fired electricity.

This is in addition to the actions that we took in the traditional coal-fired electricity sector and in the transportation sector.

The Environment June 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, in Canada we have seen a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since we started recording and we will continue to take actions.

Canada was the first country in the world to ban traditional coal-fired electricity, which is one of the largest contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. We will continue to take actions. We just recently announced that we are going to move forward to reduce emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, and we will continue to take a balanced and responsible approach. We announced further actions in three sectors within Canada: reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, reductions of chemical nitrogen fertilizers and regulating emissions from the natural gas sector.

The Environment June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, may I remind that member and that party that their Kyoto agreement was written on the back of a napkin.

The plan that Canada has put forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, a reduction of 225 megatonnes, is a fair and ambitious target for Canada and in line with international industrialized countries. We will continue to take action. We have announced three new sectors that we are going to regulate methane: the oil and gas sector, the fertilizer sector and the energy sector. We will do that without introducing a job-killing carbon tax.

Questions on the Order Paper June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), through its sector-by-sector regulatory approach, the Government of Canada is working to ensure that it achieves results for Canadians and the environment. This approach will result in real emission reductions, while maintaining Canada’s economic competitiveness and supporting job creation opportunities for Canadians.

With respect to the oil and gas sector, as announced on May 15, 2015, Canada intends to bring forward regulations aligned with recently proposed actions in the U.S. to reduce the potent greenhouse gas methane from the oil and gas sector. Actions in this area lead to significant reductions in emissions while ensuring Canadian companies remain competitive.

With regard to (b), as the regulations are still being developed, it would be premature to comment further.

With regard to (c), the Government of Canada is focused on an approach for GHG regulations that will reduce emissions while continuing to create jobs and that will encourage the growth of the Canadian economy. Because of the integration of the Canadian and American energy sectors, action in this area would be aligned with the proposed actions in the United States to ensure Canadian companies remain competitive within the North American marketplace.

With regard to (d), Environment Canada has engaged other governments and met with representatives of oil and gas industry associations, and oil and gas and related industry companies. Environment Canada will continue to engage with stakeholders and work co-operatively with provinces and territories to reduce GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector.

With regard to (e), since October 2011, representatives from Environment Canada have met with or had teleconference calls with industry stakeholders approximately 80 times to discuss aspects of the development of GHG regulations for the oil and gas sector.

With regard to (f), Environment Canada has no database that records project-specific staff time costs. Based on readily available information, Environment Canada’s estimated total cumulative costs to date of developing the oil and gas regulation policy is approximately $638,000. This does not include salary costs for the full-time EC staff.

With regard to (g), the answer is yes, the Government of Canada announced its intended nationally determined contributions, INDCs, on May 15, 2015.

With regard to (h), Canada submitted its contribution well in advance of COP 21 as agreed to in the negotiations. The first quarter of 2015 was not a deadline.

The Environment June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as I announced last month, our government has announced a fair and ambitious target for Canada that is in line with other international countries. We plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, a reduction of 225 megatonnes.

We have also announced regulations in the transportation sector and banned traditional coal-fired electricity in Canada. Now we are moving on three new areas to reduce methane from the oil and gas sector, reduce the production of chemicals and nitrogen fertilizers, and regulate the emissions of natural gas-fired electricity generation. We are doing all—

Northern Development May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Prince George—Peace River for that great question.

Unlike previous governments that made cuts on the backs of the territories, our government is providing record-high transfer payments to the territories in health care, education, and social programs. We are investing in northern infrastructure, housing, tourism, and the economy, and we are also supporting meteorological and navigational warning services and enhancing safety of marine transportation in the Arctic. We are also securing a new market access for Canadian seal products.

The Liberals and the New Democrats would eliminate the child care benefit program and raise the cost of living in the north with a carbon tax.