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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was program.

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

Won her last election, in 2011, with 54% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Foreign Affairs January 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our government has been very clear. We have made our position known, both publicly and diplomatically, through diplomatic channels. We have called, and continue to call, for clemency in this case. While Mr. Badawi is not a Canadian citizen, we still continue to call for clemency.

Foreign Affairs January 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Canada does consider the punishment of Mr. Badawi to be a violation, a very serious violation, of human dignity, and we do continue to call for clemency in this case. The promotion and protection of human rights are integral to our policy, and we promote and protect human rights.

While Mr. Badawi is not a Canadian citizen, we will continue to make our position very clear, diplomatically and publicly.

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Canada's ambassador Bruno Saccomani was one of the first to visit Dohuk and witnessed the incredible humanitarian disaster that was unfolding and the atrocities. He heard accounts of the horrors, especially things that were being done to women, Christian minorities and Yazidis.

In Iraq, emergency humanitarian aid is necessary but there is no room for negotiation with such a group as ISIL. It is incumbent upon the international community to engage so that we can protect the work that is being done. We need to have that protection to bring on the humanitarian work.

The member's nightmarish recount of the last war in Iraq is the reason why we have to be involved. There are nightmares of women and children being beheaded with barbaric acts of violence. For her to—

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, to reiterate, the military measures we are taking do not in any way preclude humanitarian action. It is essential that there is security on the ground so humanitarian assistance can be provided. We need the security on the ground so that those who are in need in this terrible circumstance in Iraq will get the assistance they need from Canada's generous contribution.

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we are doing a lot in this crisis. It is very important for us to be there assisting as we are by providing food, hygiene kits, cooking materials, and blankets. We are working with our allies. Security on the ground is essential. This is what the debate is about. It would be helpful if there were a contribution from the other side in support of what we are doing to help in the Iraq situation, which is very serious.

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, if that is relevant to the debate, I am very surprised, because today we are talking about something very serious, which is Canada's role in helping the refugees that have been—

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, first, security on the ground is essential for providing humanitarian assistance and for degrading the capabilities of ISIL. That is the key to achieving this. The military measures we are taking do not in any way preclude our humanitarian actions.

We are providing emergency shelters and medical assistance to thousands of Iraqi civilians and large-scale financial assistance to other governments in the region that are impacted by the crisis in Syria. Again, as the member recognizes, Canada is one of the largest contributors, and we continue to support with our hygiene kits, cooking materials, blankets, and tents.

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to join this discussion. That we are discussing this issue so soon after the last debate on this very subject says much about the crisis in Iraq. It speaks to the gravity of the current situation and to the reality of the struggle many Iraqis are facing.

As the so-called terrorist group ISIL continues to spread its flawed ideology across Iraq, it is that country's innocent civilians who stand in the crosshairs. They are targets, unfairly victimized by a group whose only role is to be ruthless, to destroy any and all who believe in the greater good, who want an Iraq that is safe and self-sufficient, and whose beliefs dare conflict with those of an extremist minority.

We know that ISIL is waging a campaign of terror in Iraq, preying on the vulnerable to advance its alleged cause and doing so with wanton disregard for any and all who dare stand in the way. This group is morally reprehensible. It is one that wilfully kills innocent children, murders innocent journalists just to make a point, uses rape as a weapon of war, and savagely murders someone who is there to care for innocent people caught in the middle of their twisted world view.

Today I pay tribute to the work of Alan Henning. Alan, a British aid worker, dedicated his life to helping those less fortunate. How any member of the human family would believe that Alan was a threat to their existence is beyond me. It is beyond comprehension. It further proves how sick and twisted this group has become. It is a group that must be contained to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, protect global security, and lessen the incredible burden that has been so unfairly placed upon Iraqi civilians. They are the ones living on the front line in this conflict. They are the people whose lives have been turned upside down as ISIL has captured vast stretches of territory from the Syrian border in the northwest to the outskirts of Baghdad.

I want to focus on the humanitarian aspect of this crisis and on the role Canada is playing in helping Iraq's innocent children and terrified mothers and fathers find the normalcy and safety they so desperately seek.

Armed clashes between ISIL and government forces have driven displacement, causing the humanitarian situation in Iraq to rapidly deteriorate. When such violence erupts it not only forces masses of people to flee their homes and communities but creates havoc in the entire country. Businesses stop operating. People lose their jobs. Food production and clean water services are disrupted. Normal supply routes are blocked.

Families are separated and suffer tremendous shock, especially when they lose a parent, a child, a sibling, or a friend and are left to grieve amidst the turmoil of their own circumstances, which for many has included fleeing homes, villages, and the familiarity of everyday life.

This has been the case for an estimated 1.7 million people who have been displaced throughout Iraq. In early 2014, conflict displaced an estimated 475,000 people in Anbar province. Then in June, an estimated 571,000 people were displaced from Mosul. In August, an additional 662,000 were displaced from the Sinjar area, where tens of thousands of Yazidis remained trapped for several days in dire humanitarian conditions and at temperatures of more than 40°C.

The size and pace of displacement has overwhelmed local communities, including in Dohuk Governorate, which is hosting more than 400,000 internally displaced persons.

Following recent clashes between Kurdish Peshmerga and ISIL forces, there have also been reports of people being displaced for a second time from the Kurdish region of Iraq to the southern areas of the country.

On August 12, the United Nations declared the situation a level 3 emergency, the highest level for a humanitarian crisis, underlining the gravity of the situation. As a result, the humanitarian response in accessible areas is being rapidly scaled up and humanitarian leadership is being bolstered.

Approximately 43% of the internally displaced Iraqis are living in vulnerable locations, including schools, churches, mosques, and unfurnished buildings. There is a concern that over 850,000 children are beginning to fall behind with their education, because the schools being used as shelters have been unable to reopen as scheduled for the beginning of the school year in September.

Canada is actively working with partners to address children's needs and to see what more can be done. We are currently working through experienced partners, such as Save the Children and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. These partners are helping to provide child-friendly environments for displaced children and are giving them the psychosocial support they need.

We believe that when adults fight, children's education should not suffer and that even in the face of conflict, a child's continued academic growth must be secured. Education can provide essential aid to Iraq right now. It gives children and youth a sense of normalcy, stability, and structure. When schools are open, they provide places for children to free their minds of the anxiety of war and to instead focus on the pursuit of knowledge and the betterment of skills.

For most Canadians, the situation in Iraq is simply unimaginable. Few of us could ever contemplate having to leave our homes and leave most of our possessions behind. The thought alone is enough to spur our desire to help, because while we may not be able to relate to the chaos of war, we understand at a basic human level that nobody should have to live that way. That is why Canadians will say that the actions we have undertaken in response to the crisis are a direct reflection of their own values. They understand that a country like ours cannot possibly stand idle while millions of Iraqi civilians are suffering.

Since the beginning of 2014, Canada has allocated nearly $29 million in humanitarian assistance to Iraq. Of this, $19 million has been in response to the recent civil unrest, and almost $10 million has been in response to the needs of the Syrian refugees in Iraq. This makes Canada one of the largest donors in response to this crisis.

With these funds, lives have already been saved. Food and clean water are being provided to displaced people in need. Camps are being constructed through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide the displaced with shelter. Measures are being taken to protect them from violence. Importantly, more health services and medical supplies are being made available to respond to the urgent needs of the displaced populations.

The Canadian Red Cross also brought in relief supplies from Canada's warehouse in the International Humanitarian City in Dubai. These supplies, distributed by Save the Children and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, are saving lives. Kitchen sets are helping hungry families feed themselves. Tents are providing shelter and a place for the weary to get some rest. Hygiene kits and mosquito nets are preventing the spread of diseases.

Through all of these actions on the humanitarian front, Canada is showing that it stands by the people of Iraq. We will continue to look for more ways to respond to the needs of all Iraqis, but the world must unite to constrain the ISIL threat and to ultimately defeat it.

I would like to close by saying that it is important for the House to support our humanitarian work and our work to contain and eradicate the ISIL threat.

Business of Supply September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I was not here when the question was asked, but I was here for the vote.

Situation in Iraq September 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this evening I want to contribute to the debate with why I think it is important to act very quickly.

We note that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terror group has been carrying out murderous rampages across Iraq, seizing territory systematically and killing children, women, and men as well as displacing more than one million Iraqis. This has been very disturbing.

Only a few months ago, in February 2014, I was in Iraq to open up a trade office in Erbil. It was Canada's first trade mission to Iraq in 25 years. I was there opening the trade office to show that Canada had a strong commitment to support Iraq's democratic development.

On this unprecedented visit, I visited the cities of Basra, Baghdad, and Erbil. We expanded our presence by supporting Iraqis in their efforts to build a brighter future. Again, that was only this past February, which is why I believe this debate is important, but our actions must happen quickly.

I want to continue to talk about how promising it was. Canada was there to help Iraq build infrastructure, develop natural resources, and create wealth for its citizens. Canada felt that creating economic opportunity was how Iraq would regain both political and social stability.

In Baghdad I was at the first conference for Canada-Iraq commercial relations, and in Erbil I spoke at the first conference on Canada-Kurdistan commercial relations. These conferences brought together business leaders from Canadian companies and local Iraqi business representatives who wanted to conduct business in Canada with Canadians.

The trade mission, which was organized by the Canada-Arab Business Council, was primarily composed of companies in the oil, gas, and infrastructure sectors. During the trade mission, I met with the prime minister at the time, Nouri al-Maliki; the vice president; the minister of foreign affairs; Basra's governor; and the president of Iraq-Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani. It was there that I could confirm that Canada was resolved to support Iraq's efforts in reconstruction and in combatting terrorism, and confirm our commitment to support the Iraqi people in their ongoing efforts to build democracy and pluralistic federalism.

With that, I will wrap up.