House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was immigration.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Fleetwood—Port Kells (B.C.)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 29% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Families September 18th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to supporting hard-working families. Last month, we proposed a new EI special benefit for parents caring for critically ill or injured children. This would ease emotional and financial challenges and help parents focus on what is important, their own families. This new benefit is a part of our continued action to help parents balance work and family responsibilities.

Past initiatives included improvements in the registered disability savings plan to ensure the long-term financial security of children with severe disabilities; tax credits for children's fitness and arts programs; and the universal childcare benefit, which offers families more choice in childcare.

Our Conservative government is providing over $5 billion annually in support of early learning and childcare through transfers, direct spending and tax measures.

Our government recognizes that families are the foundation of our society, and we are committed to keeping families a priority.

Canadian Army Nurse June 21st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to welcome Madeline Shavalier to Ottawa. Her son bravely served Canada in Afghanistan and she herself was a Canadian army lieutenant nursing sister during the Second World War.

On November 6, 1943, while travelling from England to a post in Italy, Madeline's ship was bombed and sunk by the Germans. After stopping to aid a friend who had fainted during the evacuation, both were able to climb down into a lifeboat. Although German planes were still circling, cloud cover allowed for everyone on board to be rescued.

Madeline served with the nursing sisters earning five medals, including the Italy Star, the Defence Medal and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal.

Her service to Canada will never be forgotten, and we thank Madeline.

The Economy June 11th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged by the agreement concluded this weekend among members of the eurozone to stabilize the Spanish banking system. These small steps are the kinds of measures that Europeans must undertake to move their economies forward.

Can the Minister of Finance please comment on the situation in Europe as we head into next week's G20 summit in Mexico?

Petitions May 29th, 2012

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood--Port Kells to present a petition signed by a number of residents of my riding.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to ensure the swift passage of Bill C-233, an act to eliminate poverty in Canada and develop and implement a strategy for poverty elimination.

Television Broadcasting May 10th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are sick and tired of having to reach for the remote control every time a commercial is aired on the TV. That is why I proposed legislation last year to regulate the loudness of television commercials.

While my bill did not come to a vote due the spring election, it did spur the CRTC into action with nationwide consultations. This week, final regulations will become effective on September 1, implementing the measures contained in my bill.

No longer will Canadians be tormented by loud commercials on their TVs. Now seniors, citizens with sensitive hearing and everyone else frustrated by loud commercials can rest easy because the deadline for broadcasters to comply with the regulations is fast approaching. In a matter of months, advertisers will no longer be free to jack up the volume on commercials and we can all watch TV in peace.

Mother's Day May 8th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, we celebrate Mother's Day to acknowledge, honour and appreciate the strength, guidance and compassion of our mothers. Mothers are our most important role models, teachers and nurturers. Mothers are the foundation of the family and help make stronger families. Stronger families make stronger communities and a stronger nation.

As we pay tribute to our mothers around the world, we should take a moment to consider all the sacrifices they have made for us.

In fact, every day should be Mother's Day.

Our government recognizes the importance of supporting mothers, both at home and abroad. Canada is leading international efforts with programs through our Muskoka initiative to improve the health of mothers and children in some of the world's poorest countries. This will help save some of the 24,000 children who die needlessly every day in the developing world.

I ask all members to please join with me in wishing mothers across Canada a very happy Mother's Day.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act March 26th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, again I would tell the member that Bill C-31 proposes very important reforms for asylum seekers to make the process faster and fairer. It includes measures to address human smuggling and provides authority to make it mandatory to provide biometric data with a temporary resident visa application.

Let us be clear: we all want a compassionate immigration system. We all want to help others who generally need Canada's assistance, but we should not and cannot tolerate those who abuse our generosity.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act March 26th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the hon. member that Bill C-31 is an important step to better protect our immigration system. It is important that we close the immigration back door so that the system becomes fairer for everyone involved. That is what this proposed legislation attempts to do.

The member mentioned that Jews do not support this bill, but I think that Jews all over Canada support the legislation wholeheartedly.

What I would like to make clear is that our government appreciates the fact that our country was built by immigrants. That is why we have introduced a number of other measures to help newcomers who come to Canada and to better protect Canada's immigration system.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act March 26th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on Bill C-31, protecting Canada's immigration system act.

Our Conservative government recognizes the importance of immigration to our great country. That is evident in our actions and policies. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has welcomed the highest sustained level of immigration in Canadian history. Our government has also continued to strengthen and support our generous refugee system, which is an important expression of the compassionate and humanitarian convictions of Canadians and of our international commitments.

Canada remains one of the top countries in the world to welcome refugees. In fact, we welcome more refugees per capita than any other G20 country, because this government understands the importance of the immigration system to Canada's future. It also understands the importance of remaining vigilant about keeping that system functioning in our national interest. To do so, we must always be prepared to make improvements to the system according to changing circumstances and identified shortcomings.

Bill C-31 would do exactly that. When there is a system in place as generous as Canada, it is particularly important to guard against the abuse of that system and that generosity. Indeed, for too many years our refugee system has been abused by too many people making bogus claims. Our system has become overwhelmed by a significant backlog of cases. More recently, we have grown more and more concerned about a notable upsurge of refugee claims originating in countries that we would not normally expect to produce refugees. This is adding to our backlog.

Allow me to specify exactly what I mean by that.

It comes a surprise to many Canadians to learn that Canada receives more asylum claims from countries in Europe than others in Africa or Asia. Last year alone, almost one quarter of all refugee claims made in Canada were made by EU nationals. Let us think about that. EU countries have strong human rights and democratic systems similar to our own, yet they produced almost 25% of all the refugee claims to this country in 2011. That is up from 14% in the previous year.

These bogus claimants come with a large price tag for Canadian taxpayers. In recent years, virtually all EU claims were withdrawn, abandoned or rejected. The unfounded claims from the 5,800 EU nationals who sought asylum last year cost Canadian taxpayers $170 million. Under the current system, it takes an average of 4.5 years from an initial claim to remove a failed refugee claimant from the country. Some cases have even taken more than 10 years. The result is an overburdened system and a waste of taxpayer money. For too long, we have spent precious time and taxpayer money on people who are not in need of protection at the expense of legitimate asylum seekers.

The protecting Canada's immigration system act would help speed up the refugee claims process in a number of ways, such as changing the designated country of origin policy to enable the government to respond more quickly to increases in refugee claims from countries that generally did not produce refugees, such as most of those in the European Union. Claimants from those countries would be processed in about 45 days, compared to more than 1,000 days under the current system. Claimants from designated countries of origin would also have their claims heard sooner and would not have access to the new refugee appeal division.

Moreover, it would also further streamline the process by limiting access to appeals for other countries, such as by claimants with manifestly unfounded claims or claims with no credible basis at all. It would enable more timely removals from Canada of failed refugee claimants.

Taken together, these measures send a clear message to those who seek to abuse Canada's generous refugee system. It tells them that if they do not need our protection, they will be sent home quickly. They would not be able to remain in Canada by using endless appeals to delay their removal. At the same time, if they need refugee status, these measures would help them get protection even faster. Every eligible asylum claimant would continue to get a fair hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Once these needed changes are implemented, Canada's refugee determination system would remain one of the most generous in the world.

The protecting Canada's immigration system act would also deal with the despicable crime of human smuggling. Human smugglers are criminals who operate around the world, charging large amounts of money to facilitate illegal migration. Each year, countless people die while taking these dangerous journeys. Bill C-31 would help crack down on these smugglers in a number of ways. It would enable the Minister of Public Safety to designate the arrival of a group of individuals into Canada as an irregular arrival. It would establish mandatory detention of those individuals to determine their identity, admissibility and whether they have been involved in illegal activities. It is important to mention here that once a person's refugee claim has been approved, that person would be released from detention.

It would also make it easier to prosecute human smugglers and would impost mandatory minimum prison sentences on those convicted of human smuggling. It would hold shipowners and operators to account when their ships are used for human smuggling.

It would enhance our ability to revoke the refugee status of people who are no longer in need of Canada's protection and of those who have gained that status through misrepresentation. It would reduce the attraction of coming to Canada by way of illegal human smuggling, by limiting the ability of those who do to take advantage of our generous immigration system and social services.

One notable improvement in Bill C-31 from Bill C-4 is that mandatory detention would exclude designated foreign nationals who are under the age of 16.

Our government continues to be absolutely clear that human smuggling is a despicable crime and any attempts to abuse Canada's generosity for financial gain will not be tolerated. With this bill, we will crack down on those who endanger human lives and threaten the integrity of our borders.

The protecting Canada's immigration system act also includes a framework for the collection of biometric information, photographs and fingerprints, in the temporary visa program and will establish parameters for how this information can be used and disclosed by the RCMP in order to enforce Canadian law. The use of biometrics would bring Canada in line with other countries that already use biometrics in their immigration programs, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, the European Union, New Zealand, the United States and Japan, among others.

To maintain the support of Canadians for our generous immigration and refugee system, we must demonstrate that Canada has a fair, well-managed system that does not tolerate queue jumping. Bill C-31 will ensure that genuine refugees in need of protection will receive it sooner, while those who are abusing Canada's generosity will be removed more quickly.

I am proud to support this important piece of legislation and hope that all of my colleagues will work together to ensure the timely passage of this bill.

Petitions March 1st, 2012

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to present a petition signed by the members of my riding.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to ensure the swift passage of Bill C-233 and to take steps to eliminate poverty in Canada.