House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was income.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Beaches—East York (Ontario)

Lost her last election, in 2011, with 31% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, my second petition pertains to support for Bill C-545, An Act to Eliminate Poverty in Canada.

As the petitioners say, poverty affects over 10% of Canadians and disproportionately affects aboriginal peoples, recent immigrants, people with disabilities and children. Poverty leads to poor health, such that people living in poverty suffer more health problems and have lower life expectancy than those not living in poverty.

The implementation of poverty reduction plans in several Canadian provinces and other countries has shown that poverty can be reduced. Bill C-545 would require the federal government to develop and implement a strategy for poverty elimination in consultation with the provincial, territorial, municipal and aboriginal governments and civil society organizations.

Petitions March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today. The first one is on behalf of my constituents of Beaches—East York and approximately 3,000 Canadians from across the country.

The petition calls on the Government of Canada to immediately revise Health Canada's Safety Code 6 to take into account the serious health effects of microwave radiation related to cellphone tower construction. The petition draws attention to the issue of the growing number of cellphone towers being constructed in my community and various communities across Canada.

My constituents have been very vocal leaders in bringing attention to this issue. I would like to thank all petitioners who have taken up this cause.

International Women's Day March 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, today, the world celebrates the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.

Today, more women than ever before are getting an education, whether a university degree or learning a skilled trade. I recently toured an operating engineers training centre where one-third of those in the course were women learning to operate cranes and other heavy machinery. A single mom with two kids was doing her part to learn a skilled trade that is in high demand and would provide her with a well-paying job. However, without child care she will be unable to take that job. She is not looking for a handout; she is looking for her government to invest in her future.

Women are achieving great success in the workforce and excelling in leadership positions. However, there is still much more we can do to help women succeed. Families need early learning and child care spaces to help them get back to work but the Conservative government cancelled the program.

We do not want handouts. We want equality.

Political Financing March 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are facing electoral fraud charges from the 2006 election. Almost $20,000 in taxpayer dollars were laundered through the riding of Vaughan. The funds that helped elect the Minister of State for Seniors was dirty money. They even doctored invoices.

As a former police officer, the minister swore an oath to uphold the law. Does he now believe he is above the law, or will he get the dirty money from this scheme out of his riding?

Privilege February 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I just need to say something.

When a document goes to a minister's office, first of all, we must recognize that the Minister of International Cooperation is not CIDA incarnate. She is the Minister of International Cooperation. CIDA has a president and vice-presidents. The president is CIDA; the system is CIDA.

Having been there I know that in cases like this, the president does not sign the document, unless the president and the vice-president of CIDA and the people recommending the program have thoroughly checked it out, have thoroughly debated or discussed it with the minister's office and have then decided that it is to be approved or that it is being supported or not.

In this case, it was obvious that the president signed the document, as did the other official from CIDA. Therefore, the document was signed.

Now if the minister did not agree, the normal procedure would be to send the document back and to continue negotiations and to have some discussion. The minister does not sign a document and then stick in the “not”. That is never done.

I think what happened in this case is quite obvious: the officials signed the document, the minister signed the document as it had been approved, and then after the fact was told to put in the “not” by the PMO, or someone at the PMO put it in.

I can say this: the document was doctored. It was not done the other way.

International Co-operation February 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable.

In Kenya, Canadian teachers have trained 3,600 teachers who in turn are now teaching 350,000 kids. The local programs also educate both teachers and students about HIV and AIDS in Kenya.

Teachers in Sierra Leone have said that without our good Canadian teachers the country will fail to meet its development goals.

These volunteer teachers help save lives, empower women and reduce poverty.

Once more, how can the Conservatives find $2 million for PMO press clippings, but find nothing for dedicated teachers abroad?

International Co-operation February 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Teachers' Federation Project Overseas is now in its 50th year. It has sent nearly 2,000 teachers to over 50 countries to train teachers, develop curriculums and teach children.

Canada has made a commitment to help these countries meet their millennium development goals, but the Conservative government is abandoning its responsibility to these children.

How can the Conservatives spend $2 million on a fake lake, while they cut $2 million to help kids learn in developing countries?

Questions Passed as Orders for Return January 31st, 2011

With regard to the telecommunications industry and the proliferation of new cellular telephone towers: (a) how many new cell phone towers have been constructed in the City of Toronto in each year from January 1, 2006 to November 18, 2010; (b) has Health Canada studied the short-term and long-term health implications of these towers and the electronic and magnetic fields (EMF) they emit and, if so, what were the results of these studies; (c) what does the government set as the standard for safe levels of public exposure to EMF; (d) how do the standards set in (c) compare to standards set in the European Union, the United States of America, China, Japan and Australia; (e) have there been any documented cases of health problems or birth defects as a result of exposure to EMF from cell phone towers; (f) what criteria are used to establish placement of these cell phone towers, including environmental, health, safety impacts, as well as proximity to schools, hospitals, day care facilities and seniors residences; (g) what is the proximity of each cell phone tower in the City of Toronto to the nearest school and what is the name of each school; (h) what are the average Canadian’s exposure levels to EMF on a daily basis at home; (i) what is the exposure level emitted by cell phone towers; and (j) is the government regularly testing EMF from these cell phone towers and, if so, how often?

Citizenship and Immigration January 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, no answer but slander. That is fine.

The bulk of immigrants come to Ontario and others move to Ontario shortly after arriving. Under the current agreement, the current government owes Ontario $207 million and, of the $53 million cuts, $43 million are in Ontario.

This decision is short-sighted and irresponsible.

How can the Conservatives find $6 billion for unaffordable corporate tax cuts but cannot find the money we need for essential settlement services, specifically in Ontario?

Citizenship and Immigration January 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, just days before Christmas, front-line immigrant service agencies across Canada were blindsided when the Conservatives slashed their funding without reasons.

The South Asian Women's Centre in Toronto, which provided vital assistance to 14,000 newcomers last year, will have to close its doors and leave thousands of people without services. These agencies help new Canadians integrate into society and contribute to our economy.

Will the minister reverse these harmful cuts before it is too late?