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

Human Rights June 2nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to condemn the attacks in Lahore, Pakistan last week against the Ahmadi Muslims in that country. The attacks, which occurred during Friday prayers, show the absolute cruelty and extremism of the Taliban attackers. Members of the Ahmadi Muslim faith have endured more than 30 years of persecution in Pakistan.

In 1973, Ahmadi Muslims were declared non-Muslims in Pakistan and since 1984, the law prohibits them from identifying themselves as Muslims. Ahmadi Muslims have been confronted by angry crowds and have been attacked many times in the past, but they had never been subjected to such coordinated, malicious attacks as those of last Friday.

I stand with the Ahmadiyya Muslims in my community and all around the world in condemning this brutal, cruel attack and share their concerns for the safety and well-being of their fellow worshippers. This type of intolerance and extremism has no place in our society and I encourage all--

Ethics May 7th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, four weeks ago today, the Prime Minister hastily convened a news conference to inform Canadians that he had fired his Status of Women minister, kicked her out of caucus and called in the RCMP and the Ethics Commissioner, but Canadians still do not know why.

We have learned a lot since then but we still do not know the nature of the allegations deemed to serious that a sitting Prime Minister needed to call in the RCMP on a sitting cabinet minister for the first time since the days of Brian Mulroney.

We know it was not enough that the minister violated airport security and abused airport personnel. It was not enough that her staff impersonated the public in a letter writing campaign, and it was not enough that her husband conducted business in her office. During all that, the Prime Minister repeatedly said that she was doing a great job.

Then, presto, overnight he called in the RCMP.

What did she do that warranted the drastic move of being kicked out of caucus and now refusing her candidacy, essentially banishing her?

Workplace Safety April 28th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, today we mark the National Day of Mourning for those killed or injured in the workplace.

Can anyone imagine waking up in the morning, getting ready for work and asking oneself, “Is today the day I die at work?” This is the slogan for the Canadian Labour Congress' National Day of Mourning.

In 2008, over 1,000 people were killed in their workplace or from an occupational disease. Thousands more were injured to such an extent that they had to miss work. Most, if not all, of these accidents are preventable.

The government has a positive role to play in ensuring that our workplaces are safe and to enforce the law when employers are found in violation.

Today we remember those who have lost their lives or have been injured in the workplace. These people are ordinary Canadians who went to work, provided for their families and worked to make Canada a better place in which to live, work and play. This could be anyone, members of our family or neighbours.

All of us must do what we can to make our workplace even safer. I encourage all members of this House to work together in order to prevent any more of these tragic losses of life and injuries in the workplace.

Points of Order April 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, during question period on April 16, the member for Fleetwood—Port Kells totally misinformed the House. She stated that I, during the human resources committee, confirmed that the Liberal Party did not give any choice to parents for child care. That statement is totally unacceptable. I never said any such thing. Now I am correcting the record on what was said about me, with due respect.

During that committee, I was talking about a woman who could not get child care or another job because she had no child care and she ended up on welfare, which was no choice at all, and that $100 a month gave nobody any choice whatsoever. In fact, the minister responded to a question by saying that she was providing choice with $100. That does not even provide babysitting for one day.

The hon. member should apologize for totally misinforming the House about what I said at committee.

National Liberal Women's Commission April 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, today the National Liberal Women's Commission is in Ottawa for a day on the Hill, meeting with Liberal MPs and senators. The Liberal Party believes it is absolutely critical to involve more women in the political process and encourage more women to run for elected office.

Its visit to Ottawa is timely as this past Saturday Canadians celebrated the 25th anniversary of the enactment of section 15 of the charter, which states:

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

It was the women of Canada who fought to have their rights enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It was not until the women of our country marched on Ottawa and demanded their inclusion that this section 15 became a reality. Since then, organizations like the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund have led the way in the fight for equality, though we have much more to do.

I welcome our Liberal Women's Commission to Ottawa and encourage it to be the next—

Questions on the Order paper April 16th, 2010

With regard to the Employment Insurance (EI) program: (a) how many individuals applied for EI between September 1, 2008 and November 5, 2009; (b) what percentage of those were women, and what percentage of those women were denied EI; (c) what percentage of (a) were part-time workers and what percentage were full-time workers; (d) what percentage of (a) were the result of (i) job loss, (ii) parental leave, (iii) compassionate leave, (iv) maternity leave; and (e) how many individuals in (b) will receive extended benefits under the legislative changes proposed in Bill C-50 from the second session of the 40th Parliament, An Act to Amend the Employment Insurance Act, of the 2nd Session of the 40th Parliament?

Girl Guides April 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, April 10, I had the pleasure of attending a celebration of 100 years of guiding with the East York Girl Guides in my riding of Beaches—East York. The event was held on the 100th day of 2010, marking the great achievements and history of the Girl Guides over the past 100 years.

Hundreds of thousands of girls and young women have learned new skills, improved leadership abilities and developed long-lasting friendships with their fellow guiders. Through the Girl Guides, they have been able to tackle new challenges and learn more about the world around them and helping others.

The Girl Guides fund raise annually by selling Girl Guide cookies to support their activities. This year the guides in my community put together a cookbook with more than 300 recipes. Funds raised from this cookbook will go toward paying for a 100th anniversary adventure in the summer of 2010 for 22 Girl Guides and 7 guiders. The trip will start off in London, England where guiding began nearly 100 years ago, and then visit six Scandinavian countries. These young guides will go out in this new adventure, meet new friends and fellow guides along the way.

I want to congratulate all Girl Guides celebrating 100 years of guiding this year.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 15th, 2010

With regard to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program: (a) how many applications were approved for each year from 2005 to 2009; (b) how many violations were made in each of the years in (a) by (i) employers, (ii) workers; (c) what penalties were imposed for those violations; (d) what actions has the government taken to allow organized unions to employ a temporary foreign worker if the employer for which they came to Canada to work was found in violation or fired the worker; (e) what mechanism is in place for the government to protect the workers' rights once they have arrived in Canada; and (f) will employers that have been found in violation in the past be included on the black-list the government proposed on October 9, 2009?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 15th, 2010

With regard to the Labour Mobility Chapter of the Agreement on Internal Trade: (a) what actions has the government taken to ease the mobility of workers across provinces; (b) which occupations are specified in the Agreement for mobility of workers; (c) are the changes that came into effect April 1, 2009 permanent or temporary; (d) how many occupations will still require additional testing in order to move between provinces, and what are those occupations; (e) who was consulted regarding the changes that came into effect on April 1, 2009; and (f) has any province been found in violation of this Agreement between January 1, 2009 and November 5, 2009 and, if so, have any fines or penalties been imposed?

April 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I do not even know how to answer that, because it is so offensive. It is offensive and insulting to the families of this country, to people, to women and all families.

No one ever said that families with women who stay home to look after their children is a bad thing. It is a great thing, but not every family has the option to do that. Fifty per cent of our labour force is female now, and they are in the labour force whether we like it or not. The fact of the matter is, they need to have quality, affordable early education and child care for their children.,

It is also about the development of the child, by the way, which is something the Conservatives do not understand. Nobody is talking about institutionalizing children. I will not even try to answer all of the idiotic, I am sorry to say, comments the member has made in the House, with all due respect.

The fact of the matter is that it is about choice. When families cannot go to work because there are no child care spaces for their children, they have no choice.