House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was workers.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Kildonan—St. Paul (Manitoba)

Lost her last election, in 2019, with 28% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Budget March 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise to speak to the budget. I would like to note that I will be splitting my time with the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin.

I rise as the member for Kildonan—St. Paul, a riding that is half-urban and half-rural, split by the mighty Red River that flows from the United States all the way up to our seaport at Hudson Bay and Churchill, which we have heard so much about. The people of Kildonan—St. Paul are hard-working, fair minded, and just like this budget, striving to do better. I am going to start by looking at the provisions of the budget that have impacted my own jurisdiction of Manitoba and then take some time to have an opportunity to discuss its implications federally.

Manitoba has been very fortunate to see a significant increase in transfer payments. Overall, transfer payments are up $289.6 million. Equalization gets most of that money allocation at $216.5 million. Health is also up at $56.5 million, and social services and programs will receive $16.6 million more.

The situation is that the federal government has been very generous to Manitoba; however, with a Conservative government provincially, we have not necessarily seen the rollout of those innovative and supportive measures as quickly and dynamically as we had hoped and see in other jurisdictions. One can remember from the past the legacy of the Harper Conservatives who instead of looking at investments, looked at conserving funds and innovation.

In addition to overall transfer payments we're looking at a significant investment in one of the most brilliant architectural structures in Canada, the Canadian Human Rights Museum, a global award-winning structure I hope everyone has had the opportunity to come and visit. Besides the alabaster walkways and the garden of tranquillity, which has 52 pieces of columnar basalt, the content of the Human Rights Museum is even more dynamic and beautiful, as it is time for Canadians and the world to reflect on human rights and move forward in terms of reconciliation.

Additionally, we received funding for a national microbiology lab, which we are going to be expanding with the establishment of a centre for innovation and infectious disease diagnostics. Again, it builds on the strength of the microbiology lab. It builds on our other centres within Winnipeg and we are so proud that we have a government that is supporting Manitobans and in particular, Winnipeg.

In addition, I want to note that Manitoba will benefit from the Canada workers benefit and the Canada workers benefit disability program. In fact, finally we have seen an increase to our economic development agency, an agency that we have been working with that provides seed money or a bit of extra to create jobs and stimulate innovation.

This is a budget that for the first time really recognizes the significance of our indigenous people, known to us as the Métis. The Métis are a fundamental foundation partner in Manitoba and we see in the budget $516 million for Métis over 10 years and $325 million for employment and training programs. It is high time that we had a Liberal government recognize the significance of the Métis people in Canada.

When I look at the budget in a broader sense, as a woman and a scientist in earth science, I am thrilled with it. I spent most of my professional career in exploration and development in the mineral sector. I see this as a budget that takes the steps to provide the framework for removing the most important barriers to development, with the establishment of certainty. We see this with pipelines, but we also see it for hard rock projects. It is absolutely essential that we have a rights recognition process with indigenous people across Canada, so they become partners in the projects and are integral in receiving the benefits, including resource revenue sharing from projects across Canada.

In addition to establishing a positive framework, finally, we are moving forward on the front of indigenous relationships. Most significant is the fact that our Prime Minister has indicated it is the most important relationship we have as a government. I am very proud to be part of a government that recognizes this

With respect to economic growth, we are doing fairly well. We have created 600,000 jobs. We are close to recovering from the crash in resource commodities that hit us about three years ago. We have been working hard to eliminate child poverty. We are helping small business through tax cuts, innovation, and science moving forward. We are helping low-income workers.

I specifically want to thank the government and the Minister of Finance for recognizing the importance of the mineral exploration tax credit. For explorationists working on the hope they will make a discovery, this tax credit is essential. It will keep Canadian explorationists looking for more resources that can be utilized for economic development and the benefit of indigenous peoples and all Canadians.

With respect to gender, we finally see a government that understands and is moving forward by taking positive steps. Parental sharing will make a significant difference. We need only look at the great work Quebec has already done in paving the way, with 80% of Quebec fathers using the provision, while the rest of Canadians, males or other partners, are only engaged 12% of the time.

In addition, the government has indicated it will bring in pay equity legislation. We are moving forward on this very significant flag, with essential programs that will be coming forward. Also, we are going to be boosting women's labour participation in trades and apprenticeships.

In the extractive industries, in which I am particularly interested, we can look at their sustainability reports and global reporting initiatives and statistics. Most of our companies are the best in the world. We are clearly the leaders in hard rock and the oil and gas industry. However, the reports indicate we have not seen significant advancement in gender equity.

For example, Cameco, which has the best record, has only 24% women in its workforce. Hudbay has 20% women in its workforce. Barrick has only 15% women in its workforce. Vale has only 12% women in its workforce. We need to do so much better.

On indigenous people, 25% of committed money in the budget will go to indigenous peoples. We are proud of that. It is needed. We know the significant challenges.

In regard to science, this is the largest single investment in fundamental research in Canadian history, and we can all be proud of that, versus the Conservative strategy in the previous government of muzzling scientists. That is hardly the way we see a progressive country moving forward.

How are we doing? When we look at global rankings, we are seventh globally in social and environmental issues; third in the number of high-quality universities; second in tolerance and inclusion; first in tolerance for religions and immigrants; second in access to advanced education; and first in low homicide rates. It seems like the Liberal government is on the right track.

Impact Assessment Act March 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I believe I re-entered from a short absence, but if I was not here for the reading, I will excuse myself from the vote.

Committees of the House March 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, entitled “Indigenous Land Rights Towards Respect and Implementation”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

We know that no relationship is more important than our relationship with indigenous peoples. This report identifies clear measures that must be taken to work toward reconciliation.

I would like to personally thank the 89 witnesses who shared their stories with the committee, both during our travels across the country and in Ottawa.

Worldwide Quilting Day March 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is Worldwide Quilting Day, and I would like to highlight a group of women who are using their skills to create spectacular pieces of work.

The Material Girls of East St. Paul, led by Fran Howard, is a quilting club that has come together to share its common love of making beautiful works of art. Founded in 1999, the women have worked on many projects, including the East St. Paul centennial quilt. The group often puts its talents on display by participating in quilting shows, three of which it has hosted.

Working together has helped these women share their ideas and technique. Most importantly, it has made quilting more enjoyable through socialization. This combination of both talent and sense of community embodies the people of Kildonan—St. Paul: making the most out of any opportunity in any season.

I encourage these women to keep up their great work. Their positive spirits are impossible not to admire.

Louis Riel February 15th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, on the third Monday of February, celebrated in some other provinces as Family Day, Manitobans choose to commemorate a hero. Within his lifetime, his actions led to the foundation of our great province.

The first Louis Riel Day was celebrated on February 18, 2008. This decision was made in the face of decades of racism and marginalization of the Métis people. It was a decision to work toward reconciliation.

Today, Louis Riel is recognized as Manitoba's founding father. However, his legacy reaches far beyond the borders of our province. His story is the story of a true leader: brave, resilient, and unwavering in the face of racism and injustice.

On this day we invite all members to consider the unsung heroes of their communities and join us in celebrating the 10th Louis Riel Day.

Pensions February 8th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, Kildonan—St. Paul is home to one of Canada's largest senior populations. While seniors benefit our communities in so many ways, they also rely on benefits like CPP, old age security, and GIS to ensure they have the security that they have worked a lifetime to earn.

Could the minister responsible for seniors advise the House on what this government is doing to ensure our seniors are receiving all the benefits to which they are entitled?

Tobacco and Vaping Products Act January 30th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of introducing legislation that would take another step in reducing citizens' dependence on smoking. Back in the late 1990s, I was honoured to have led a campaign that actually removed smoking from the legislature. Staff were not permitted to smoke. However, MLAs, because of their stressful occupations, were permitted to smoke in the legislature. It was because of the foresight and hard work of the government services minister, after I had approached the individual a couple of times, that action was taken. That kind of outrageous privilege was the norm in the late 1990s.

In two years, this government took on this issue as one of its earliest activities and in fact reviewed, deliberated, and constructed a bill. After two years, we are presenting a bill. How would this compare with the activities of the previous Conservative government?

Committees of the House December 1st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, entitled “Supplementary Estimates (B) 2017-18: Vote 1b under Canadian High Arctic Research Station and Votes 1b, 7b, 9b and 10b under Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.””

Louis Riel November 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, on November 16, I stood at the grave of a great leader. One hundred and thirty-two years ago, Manitoba leader Louis Riel was executed.

Rejecting many protests and popular appeals, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald decided to hang him. His body was transported to Saint Boniface, where his remains were taken to the cathedral's cemetery at the head of a massive procession made up of the leaders and citizens of Manitoba. His grave, as well as his Winnipeg home and the Batoche National Historic Site, remain well-visited historic sites to this day.

Louis Riel, first premier of Manitoba, a Father of Confederation, and a member of Parliament elected three times, was never allowed to take his seat in this chamber.

We look forward to continuing to work with Métis partners to build stronger relationships and better opportunities for Métis people. We are committed to walking the journey of reconciliation with them.

Marie-Anne Gaboury October 27th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I rise once more during Women's History Month to recognize Marie-Anne Gaboury, a true Canadian adventurer and role model. Immediately after her marriage in 1806, in defiance of the customs of the time, Gaboury left the comforts of Montreal, tea and tourtière, with Jean-Baptiste Lagimodière to become Canada's first female coureur des bois. Gaboury led an exceptional life, trapping, hunting, and trading in the Prairies where she learned Cree and Ojibwa. During a buffalo hunt, Marie-Anne, nine months pregnant, went into labour, giving birth to her second child. Brave and fierce, Gaboury fought and killed a bear attacking a colleague.

The history of an amazing hero is mostly forgotten, but it is the story of Winnipeg, of a European settlement. Marie-Anne Gaboury's legacy included raising a grandson, Louis Riel, who would go on to lead the people of Manitoba into Confederation.

Let us close Women's History Month by paying—