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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was seniors.

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

Crisis in the Philippines November 20th, 2013

Mr. Chair, the Minister of National Defence was in earlier this evening and he answered that question exactly as the member would like to have heard it. That is that this will be above, and the cost would not be included as part of the package that is our relief to the Philippines.

Crisis in the Philippines November 20th, 2013

Mr. Chair, yes, we have had a team of Canadian officials in Canada and on the ground. We have increased the resources. We have doubled the number of our officials who are on the ground. When I spoke today to our deputy minister, I believe he told me there were eight, but I am not sure if that has increased or if that is of yesterday.

The situation has been fluid as far as the number of people with whom we are actively trying to connect. We have 12 Canadians as of today with whom we are still trying to connect and who we believe have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Our team in Ottawa and on the ground in this area is there. It is continuing to provide assistance to Canadians who need it. For members' interest as well, we are advised that commercial U.S. and American military flights are currently available, and should they wish to leave an area affected by the typhoon or depart the Philippines, those modes of transportation are available.

We do have consular officials at the airport in Tacloban and in our embassy and at the airport in Manila. They are contacting missing Canadians by any available means, and we are encouraging people to try to find, contact and reassure their loved ones so we can have some help from the persons who might still be trying to get in touch with us.

Crisis in the Philippines November 20th, 2013

Mr. Chair, I would like to begin by expressing my deepest sympathies to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

I rise today to talk about the Government of Canada's swift actions in support of Canadian citizens affected by this devastating typhoon. I do so in my role as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, responsible for consular. Canada's consular response to the typhoon is but one element of the whole-of-government response to this humanitarian disaster. I will focus today on consular aspects.

The Department of Foreign Affairs began quickly and effectively reaching out to Canadians before the storm even hit the Philippines. Assisting Canadians in the region before and after this disaster has been a priority of our consular officials at the Embassy of Canada in Manila and in Ottawa.

The typhoon made landfall in the Philippines on November 8, 2013. On Wednesday, November 6, the embassy in Manila sent its first message to registered Canadians warning of the storm. Our department's travel advice was updated on the same day and posted online at, and two more messages were sent on November 8.

The first advised that the embassy would be temporarily closed due to the storm. The second advised that the typhoon had made landfall and reminded Canadians to monitor local news and weather sites. It also urged Canadians to call family in Canada to let them know they were okay, and on the same day the embassy's Facebook page and Twitter feeds were used to update Canadians.

The day the storm struck, and every day since, the consular staff at the embassy has been reaching out to Canadians to confirm their location and their well-being, and to ask if they need consular assistance. On a daily basis, they continue to try to reach Canadians whose whereabouts have yet to be confirmed, by every means available.

Mr. Chair, I think I forgot to say that I will be sharing my time with the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.

I will continue to talk about what our department is doing. Our officials are calling and sending emails and texts and using social media. The same communication mechanisms have been used to provide information on transportation options and other advice.

The destruction of communications infrastructure has complicated these efforts. Communications are improving. The embassy's consular outreach efforts are now more successful.

We have bolstered our capacity at our emergency watch and operation centre here in Ottawa. The emergency watch and operation centre continues to take calls and emails from Canadians involved in the situation in the Philippines. This watch is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We have also mobilized our standing rapid deployment team. This is to increase staff on the ground in the Philippines, and they are helping to reach out to affected Canadians and provide assistance.

The embassy has deployed a consular immigration team to Tacloban, where we maintain a daily presence. We maintain a daily presence to identify Canadian citizens and to assist Canadian citizens in departing the area.

The team, supported by local Philippine National Police, is now actively reaching out into the vicinity of Tacloban City, checking last known locations for Canadian citizens in the area. A consular team was also placed alongside the DART in Roxas City to assist Canadians in that area. Of our missing Canadians in the area, all were accounted for and visited. That team has now moved on to locate and help Canadians in need in other areas.

The embassy has reached out to allies to ensure effective information sharing and coordinate our efforts. Canadian consular officials are providing similar services to all our allies. I am proud of our government's response to this crisis.

I would like to assure members that the emergency and consular assistance will continue to be provided to those Canadian citizens in need in the Philippines. I want to congratulate those who have worked so hard on the ground to help Canadians who are in need.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 23rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, one of the areas that helped everyone, including young people, was our cutting of taxes, personal taxes, consumption, business and excise, and much more. It particularly helped young people when we cut the GST from 7% to 5%.

What interested me was the comment the member made on mining. I believe one of his colleagues has introduced a bill that directly targets our mining in Canada. Canadian mining companies and the sector are very concerned. I wonder if that member will support or speak against that particular bill because mining is very important to Canada, as he suggests, and he is worried about investment. However, the mining companies are very worried about that bill. After we have finished this debate, I believe that particular bill will be debated. I wonder what he would suggest for that bill.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 23rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to know if the member would like to tell the member for Winnipeg North just how the budget had been balanced by the Liberals, which he was applauding.

How did that really occur? If I remember correctly, the Liberals balanced the budget on the backs of Canadians. Maybe the member would like to tell the story.

Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act June 13th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member talk about what this bill would do, but I believe that she missed the primary target of this new offence, and that is organized crime and the organized crime groups that are involved in the large volume trafficking of contraband tobacco. In her speech this evening, I did not hear her address the real issue and the real primary target of the legislation, and that is organized crime.

Would she please speak to that?

Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act June 13th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, here are some statistics. Since 2008, the RCMP has laid approximately 5,000 charges under the Excise Act, 2001. The RCMP disrupted approximately 66 organized crime groups involved in contraband tobacco. Approximately 3.5 million cartons and unmarked bags of cigarettes were seized nationally by the RCMP, along with numerous vehicles, vessels and properties.

Since 2009, RCMP seizures of contraband tobacco have decreased by 41%, from 975,000 cartons and unmarked bags of cigarettes to 580,000 cartons and unmarked bags in 2011.

The member talked about the province. Has he spoken to the province about some of these statistics and how they impact Ontario, his province?

Main Estimates 2013-14 June 5th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, yesterday our leader did say, after being questioned by that member's leader, that he left the Senate vacancies unfilled. In that period when he was trying to get those filled by elected people, the Liberal Party and other parties got together and tried to fill those Senate vacancies with their own people.

The member speaking tonight, talking about what he does know about the Constitution and how important the Senate is, could probably validate how hypocritical the NDP members have been on this issue, because they did want to fill the Senate. He would know. He was here at the time when his own leader was trying to cut a deal with the Bloc Québécois and the NDP to fill those vacancies with their own. At that time they certainly had no qualms about the Senate. In fact, they already had all their positions filled.

Fighting Foreign Corruption Act June 3rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, while the member is on a roll talking about how good our budget plan is for 2013, perhaps he would like to expand on what we are doing for small business, for example, the hiring tax credit or the accelerated capital cost?

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 June 3rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the member was talking about disabled persons and those we want to give opportunities to. Last year, we maintained the program, and we would maintain $40 million per year starting in 2015-16. That is an opportunity fund for persons with disabilities. The program would be reformed to meet more demand-driven training solutions. There is additional funding of $7 million per year proposed for social services and the humanities. It proposes to provide a time-limited investment to support the creation of a Canadian employers disability forum.

I would like to know if the member realizes that although the area of autism has disparities across the country, it is under the purview of the provincial governments. It is their responsibility to decide what their priorities are. Alberta decided that autism was a higher priority.

As a federal government, we are targeting an overall national program, and that is to give opportunities to the disabled community. I would like to hear the member dispute that we are helping the disabled.