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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was military.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Conservative MP for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill (Ontario)

Lost her last election, in 2021, with 42% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Public Safety June 21st, 2021

Mr. Speaker, a Toronto birthday party that should have been a celebration instead ended in tragedy. A one-year-old, a five-year-old and an 11-year-old were indiscriminately shot, caught in the crossfire. This shocking and outrageous act of gun violence against the precious lives of innocent children is devastating.

Violent gun offences are on the rise, increasingly because of illegal guns. The government has done nothing for six years. When will the minister act to protect Canadians and remove illegal guns from our communities?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 18th, 2021

With regard to Elections Canada, broken down by year since January 1, 2014: (a) how many full-time permanent employees worked at Elections Canada, excluding temporary employees hired for a specific election period; (b) how many individuals on contract with Elections Canada provided full-time labour or support to Elections Canada; (c) what is the yearly total amount of the contracts in (b); (d) how many individuals employed by or providing full-time labour or support to Elections Canada were given their position through an outside employment firm or agency; (e) of the employees in (a), how many had annual salaries (i) under $29,999, (ii) between $30,000 and $49,999, (iii) between $50,000 and $69,999, (iv) between $70,000 and $89,999, (v) between $90,000 and $119,999, (vi) between $120,000 and $149,999, (vii) over $150,000; (f) of the individuals in (b), how many received an annual renumeration with an annual rate (i) under $29,999 , (ii) between $30,000 and $49,999, (iii) between $50,000 and $69,999, (iv) between $70,000 and $89,999, (v) between $90,000 and $119,999, (vi) between $120,000 and $149,999, (vii) over $150,000; (g) what was the yearly turnover rate for the employees in (a); (h) what was the yearly turnover rate for the individuals in (b); and (i) for the individuals having contracts with Elections Canada in (b), who fell ill or were required to quarantine, what, if any, specific sick leave or access to compensation has Elections Canada provided them, and on what date did this policy come into effect?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 18th, 2021

With regard to Elections Canada, broken down by province, political party and year, since January 1, 2014: (a) how many and what percentage of annual electoral district association returns were considered completed within (i) one month, (ii) two months, (iii) four months, (iv) six months, (v) nine months, (vi) 12 months, (vii) 13-18 months, (viii) 18-24 months, (ix) greater than 24 months of their initial submission to Elections Canada; (b) how many electoral district associations have been deregistered; (c) how many local (riding-level) election campaign returns for the 2015 election were completed within (i) one month, (ii) two months, (iii) four months, (iv) six months, (v) nine months, (vi) 12 months, (vii) 13-18 months, (viii) 18-24 months; (d) how many local (riding-level) election campaign returns for the 2019 election were completed within (i) one month, (ii) two months, (iii) four months, (iv) six months, (v) nine months, (vi) 12 months, (vii) 13-18 months, (viii) 18-24 months; (f) how many 2019 local election campaign returns submitted to Elections Canada have not been completed; and (g) how many of the campaigns in (f) would qualify for, but have not yet received their election rebates funds?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 18th, 2021

With regard to Elections Canada, since January 1, 2014: (a) how many (i) electoral district associations, (ii) election campaigns were sent a confirmation email from Elections Canada that their financial return had been received by Elections Canada, broken down by year; (b) how many (i) emails, (ii) phone calls were received by Elections Canada related to political financing, broken down by quarter, province and year; (c) how many and what percentage of the political financing emails and phone calls in (b) received a response, broken down by quarter, province and year; (d) what are Elections Canada’s performance metrics for email and phone call response rates, broken down by year; (e) are political financing response emails required to include the name of the individual providing the response, and, if not, why not; and (f) how many and what percentage of political financing emails did not have the name of the individual providing the response, broken down by province?

National Defence June 17th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister has consistently misrepresented the facts, refused to answer questions, failed to implement important changes to improve the military's culture and turned a blind eye to serious allegations of misconduct. The Prime Minister directed his ministers to create a “culture of integrity and accountability that allows [them] to earn and keep the trust of Canadians”. The defence minister has been derelict in his duty and has lost that trust.

Will the Prime Minister act and fire the defence minister?

National Defence June 17th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, Canada's military is in crisis on the defence minister's watch. There have been hours of jarring testimony detailing accounts of abuse of power, rape, sexual harassment and discrimination. Numerous generals are under investigation, others complicit through their actions or their silence. However, the defence minister will not accept any responsibility. He will not do the honourable thing, admit he has failed in his duties and resign.

Will the Prime Minister act and fire his defence minister?

Business of Supply June 17th, 2021

Madam Speaker, that is not a question that can be answered in 10 seconds or less.

I thank my hon. colleague for his incredible work and his appreciative tone for those who have served.

What do we need to do? We need leadership that fulfills the roles and responsibilities of the Code of Service Discipline and fulfills the honour and integrity of the office they hold. That is not limited to those in uniform. It also applies to the defence minister, the Prime Minister and cabinet. Until individual—

Business of Supply June 17th, 2021

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague has done incredible work. It is an honour and a privilege to stand beside her as we fight for something that truly matters and is at the foundation of our country.

There is no question that as we, in our Canadian democracy, have a government and a cabinet, the Prime Minister has an incredible role. The fact that a minister has been allowed to be derelict in his duties, while his fellow members of cabinet and the Prime Minister have stood idly by, is another failing of the government. It is not petty partisan politics. They are entrusted with governing and representing the values of Canadians. When they fail to do so, we have to be open and committed to vigorously holding them accountable.

It is not only the defence minister who is accountable. It is the Prime Minister and cabinet as well.

Business of Supply June 17th, 2021

Madam Speaker, that is a very disheartening question from my hon. colleague. If the Minister of National Defence, on his watch, is not accountable for the conduct and behaviour of all the men and women in uniform, then who is?

There can be no change if those who have failed are not held accountable. Regardless of what has occurred over the last 100 years, what is important is whether the minister can make a change in the military if he has lost the trust and confidence of the men and women in uniform and Canadians to fulfill that role.

Business of Supply June 17th, 2021

Madam Speaker, Canada's military is in crisis on the defence minister's watch. An institution that has been revered for over a hundred years, Canada's military has liberated occupied nations, fought for democracy, freedom and peace, and brought honour and respect to our country and Canadian citizens. Now it is facing some of the darkest days in its history.

Canada's military is entrusted with protecting and preserving Canadian values, but it must also embody them. However, serious abuse of power, sexual misconduct and discrimination at the highest levels in Canada's military continue unchecked, and the defence minister and the Prime Minister have failed to act. That is why today's opposition day motion calls on the House of Commons to censure the Minister of Defence, and why it is so important.

Members of the government will cry that today's motion amounts to nothing more than petty partisan politics. That, in itself, is evidence that the current government understands neither its sworn obligation, nor the dire situation that Canada's military is in.

Members of Parliament are elected to govern, and governing is much more than merely passing laws. Governing, at its most fundamental, is about ensuring that those entrusted with leading the country embody the values of honesty and integrity that Canadians expect, and are held to account when they have broken that most sacred trust.

In his direction to ministers in 2015, the Prime Minister charged them with “[c]reating the culture of integrity and accountability that allows [them] to earn and keep the trust of Canadians”. The Prime Minister went on to say, “Whether a Minister has discharged responsibilities appropriately is a matter of political judgment by Parliament.” Therefore, any attempt to characterize today's opposition day motion as partisan or petty politics must be vehemently rejected. It is the role of Parliament to judge a minister, and not one we take lightly. Today, this House of Commons is fulfilling that most difficult and serious responsibility.

The defence minister has not acted with integrity and accountability. Instead, he has consistently misrepresented the facts, refused to answer direct questions, failed to implement important changes to improve the military's culture and turned a blind eye to serious allegations.

In 2018, allegations of serious misconduct were made against the former chief of the defence staff, General Vance. For three years, the defence minister knew, and key officials in the Prime Minister's Office, the Privy Council and the minister's office knew, and they all did nothing. No one else would have known, if two parliamentary committees, the defence committee and the status of women committee, had not decided to study this serious military misconduct.

What Canadians have learned through the testimony at those committees and in the media has simply shaken us to our core: hours and hours of jarring testimony detailing accounts of abusive power, misogyny, rape, sexual harassment and discrimination.

We heard testimony of investigations that were never carried out or were covered up, evidence that was lost or tampered with, and serious crimes that were pleaded down to an administrative slap on the wrist, purged from the records and simply forgotten. We heard from victims who were threatened into silence and themselves blamed for what had happened to them. They told us how their careers were destroyed and they were drummed out of the military. Perhaps most tragically, we heard from victims who believe they will never be able to get justice for what happened to them.

To quote retired Colonel Bernie Boland, “The entire institutional weight, influence, power, intellect and knowledge is directed against [victims] rather than what it's purportedly supposed to be.... Equal justice for all is not being applied here at all.”

All of this, in Canada's military? How could this possibly happen in a country like Canada, where justice, accountability and the rule of law are our foundation?

The former chief of the defence staff, General Vance, the highest military officer; then his replacement, Admiral McDonald; Vice-Admiral Edmundson; General Fortin; General Rouleau; and Vice-Admiral Baines are all either under police investigation or have had to step aside for questionable conduct. Even more general and flag officers are complicit, through their actions or their silence.

The failure of Canada's military starts at the top of the chain of command, and the top is the defence minister. Under the National Defence Act, the defence minister is responsible for the management and direction of the Canadian Forces, and it is his duty to hold those at the most senior levels to the highest standards. A military has great power. It is the one group of people in Canadian society entrusted with the ability to bear arms and to commit acts of violence on behalf of the country. In a democracy, citizens need to know that the military is held in check by our elected officials.

The minister had a responsibility to take swift and immediate action regarding the allegations against Vance, but for three years he did nothing. While he may not have conducted the investigation himself, it was up to him to ensure that one was done. As elected officials, our loyalty is to country first, before party and before individuals; we are here to act in the best interest of the country.

That is what we also ask of our military, and Lieutenant-Commander Trotter risked his personal well-being to do what is right. He said, “as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces I swore an oath to Queen and country to fulfill my duties, and there's the old adage of service before self. There may be blowback. There may be career implications”. He further stated, “My personal conviction as an officer of the Canadian Armed Forces is that I will put the service and my service members above my own needs and safety.”

Canadians rely on ministers to do the same, to put this country and Parliament before themselves and to accept responsibility when they fail to do so. However, after months of questions in the House and numerous appearances at committee, not once has the defence minister accepted any responsibility. Not once has he said he should have done something differently and, most important, not once has he committed to holding accountable those who have failed in their duty. Lasting change will only come when those who have failed are held accountable.

Governing does not mean to delegate and disappear. It means ensuring that government departments and public servants deliver the services Canadians need, to the standards they expect and in a manner that brings honour and pride to Canada as a nation. When it comes to the conduct at the highest level of the Canadian Armed Forces, the defence minister and the Prime Minister say it is not up to them.

If the defence minister and the Prime Minister are not responsible, then who is? The defence minister has clearly shown that he will not accept responsibility. He will not act honourably, admit he has failed in his duties and resign, and the Prime Minister will not hold him accountable and fire him. Rather than standing up for women, the Prime Minister has reinforced an entrenched and toxic military culture. His inaction has emboldened the old boys' club and denied women the opportunity to be believed.

Women in the military have earned the right to serve equally with respect. All men and women in uniform have sworn to give their lives for their country. In return, their elected officials must vigorously ensure they are protected by Canadian values.

Service to country is who I am at my core. My father was a major-general who served in the military. I followed him, like many others, in uniform and was honoured to wear the Canadian flag on my sleeve.

The defence minister has lost the trust and confidence of the military and Canadians. The crisis in Canada's military will not end until the defence minister is censured. I implore all of my colleagues in the House to support this motion and censure the defence minister.