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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

Surrey February 28th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, Surrey, B.C. has been named the best place to invest in western Canada. A dynamic community full of opportunity, Surrey is positioned for prosperity and job growth with one of the lowest tax rates in the country and a city council determined to cut red tape.

Our government is also doing its part for Surrey with our own low-tax plan and record investment in people and infrastructure. There has been funding for the new City Centre Library, Fraser River flood protection, road and highway improvements, sewage treatment, public transit, cycling paths, hiking trails, and a new athletic park. All told, it adds up to tens of millions of dollars, more federal funding than under any previous government.

Working together with our provincial and municipal partners, we are ensuring that Surrey is one of the best cities in Canada in which to live, work and do business.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act January 31st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the member should know that about eight million low- and middle-income Canadians have no workplace pension plans. This includes nearly 2.7 million self-employed workers, one-third of whom are women. Pooled registered pension plans are geared at small businesses and entrepreneurs who have had no access to affordable pension plans. This is a good plan and he should understand that.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act January 31st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about this plan in answering the member's question. This is a good plan. We are standing up for Canadian families, businesses, employers, employees and small businesses. They will really benefit from this plan. As I have said before, this is a good plan.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act January 31st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I would like to let opposition members know there is a lot of confusion regarding this plan. I will make it very clear once again, as did the members who spoke before me on the Conservative side. This plan would help millions of Canadians save for retirement more easily by introducing pooled registered pension plans. This new, low cost and accessible option would help more Canadians meet their goals.

This is especially important for those working for smaller businesses and the self-employed. The PRPPs are a new kind of defined contribution pension plan that would be available to employers, employees and the self-employed. The PRPPs would improve the range of retirement savings options for Canadians. They would provide an accessible, straightforward and administratively low cost retirement option for employers to offer their employees, allowing individuals who currently may not participate in a pension plan, such as—

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act January 31st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on Bill C-25.

Bill C-25 proposes to establish pooled registered pension plans, extending pension coverage to the self-employed and those who work for small companies. It is geared at those small businesses and entrepreneurs, who do not have access to affordable pension plans and will help them secure financial freedom in their retirement.

Speaking with residents in my riding, especially those approaching retirement age, there is grave concern for their future. More and more I am hearing worries over whether they have enough money for their retirement.

The next generation of retirees includes a large number of workers without pensions who are left to their own devices and facing an uncertain financial future. As formal pension plans become increasingly less common, many Canadians face a savings burden that many are unable to shoulder.

For a big chunk of the population, for the self-employed, for those who work at small businesses, for professionals, for immigrants, a secure, comfortable lifestyle after working for years is now in question. At a time when our population is aging, more than six out of ten Canadians have no formal pension plan. That is more than eight million Canadians.

Statistics Canada finds the percentage of the population with some sort of pension has been dropping steadily for three decades, to 38% of Canadian workers in 2007 from 46% in 1977.

The problem is most acute at smaller businesses. There are about 5.1 million Canadians, or 48% of the private sector workforce, at small companies.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, only about 15% of small and medium-sized businesses offer some form of retirement savings plan for their employees.

A joint federal-provincial working group, established in May 2009, undertook an in-depth examination of retirement income adequacy in Canada. The working group concluded that while overall the Canadian retirement income system was performing well, some modest and middle-income households were at risk of not saving enough for retirement. From the working group's exhaustive research came a plan to pursue a framework for a new type of pension plan.

Our government aims to help millions of Canadians save for retirement more easily by introducing pooled registered pension plans. There will be an innovative new pension plan designed to address the lack of low cost, large-scale retirement savings options available to many Canadians.

Pooled registered pension plans, or PRPPs, are defined contribution pension plans that will be available to employers, employees and the self-employed.

The design features of PRPPs will remove a lot of the traditional barriers that might have kept some employers in the past from offering pension plans to their employees. The design of these plans will also be straightforward to allow for simple enrolment and management.

A third party PRPP administrator will take on most of the responsibilities that employers bear in existing pension plans, including the administrative and legal duties associated with administering a pension plan.

By pooling pension savings, PRPPs will offer Canadians greater purchasing power. Basically, Canadians will be able to buy in bulk. Achieving lower prices than would otherwise be available means they will get greater returns on their savings and more money will be left in their pockets when they retire.

PRPPs are also intended to be largely harmonized from province to province, which also lowers administrative costs. In short, PRPPs would be efficiently managed, privately administered pension arrangements that would provide greater choice to employers and individuals, thereby promoting pension coverage and retirement savings.

Reaction to Bill C-25 has been overwhelmingly positive. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce believes that pooled registered pension plans would give businesses the flexibility and tools they need to help their employees save for retirement. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation feels the legislation is a very good legislation, both for Canadians planning for retirement and for taxpayers. All the provinces are on board with the idea. British Columbia finance minister, Kevin Falcon, believes that our government has “responded to a real need out there in providing pension opportunities for small business people and those that don't have access to their own private pension plans”.

Pooled registered pension plans are the latest in a series of important steps our government has taken to strengthen Canada's retirement income system. This system is already seen around the world by experts like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as a model that succeeds in reducing poverty among seniors and in providing high levels of income replacement to seniors.

We recognize, however, that we can always do more. That is why we have already made a number of targeted improvements to the system. Bill C-25 is just one more step our government has taken to assist Canadians as they age and enter their retirement years.

Since first coming to office, we have offered more than $2.3 billion in annual targeted tax relief specifically for our seniors. We have also provided over $2 billion in annual tax relief for seniors and pensioners. We have completely removed 85,000 seniors from the tax roles. We have raised the GIS exemption from $500 to $3,500. We have introduced pension income splitting. We have introduced an automatic renewal of the GIS, meaning that our seniors no longer have to reapply each year. We have made significant investments in affordable housing for low-income seniors. We have raised the age credit amount twice. We have doubled the pension income credit. We have provided a top-up benefit to the guaranteed income supplement that will provide up to $600 extra per year for single seniors and up to $840 per year for senior couples. We have introduced the tax-free savings account. We have modernized and streamlined the application process for the Canada pension plan and old age security, making it easier for seniors to apply and receive their benefits. We have allocated $220 million over five years to the targeted initiative for older workers, which has thus far assisted over 10,000 unemployed older workers.

In addition, we have appointed a Minister of State for Seniors, someone who can bring the concerns of older Canadians to the cabinet table and stand up on their behalf. We also created the National Seniors Council to provide advice to the federal government on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors.

Our government is supporting older Canadians and we are committed to ensuring that they have the opportunity to enjoy their retirement in comfort with an improved quality of life.

Bill C-25 is important legislation that deserves the support of all members in the House. We would be helping millions of Canadians save for retirement and more easily meet their retirement goals.

Christmas December 14th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, Christmas is approaching and again the forces of political correctness continue with the relentless attack on the traditional traditions: judges remove Christmas trees from the court houses; school concerts are postponed to take away the Christmas theme; the lyrics of Christmas carols are changed; the distribution of candy canes is banned; and all the references to God, Christ and the Lord are removed.

Traditions are the foundation of society, culture and the faith. If we eliminate or water them down, we erode the glue that holds us together.

To embrace a diverse, secular, multicultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic society, there is no need to preclude the celebration of Christmas. Rather than diluting the traditions, they should be celebrated, whether they are Vaisakhi, Diwali, Chinese New Year, Eid, Hanukkah or Christmas.

We must proudly put the spirit of Christmas back in Christmas.

I wish everyone a merry Christmas.

Justice November 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, recently there have been several troubling cases of dangerous individuals being released into our communities.

When it comes to keeping the most serious violent offenders off our streets, Canadians can count on this government. We introduced and passed the Tackling Violent Crime Act which strengthened provisions against repeat violent and sexual offenders.

With the introduction of the safe streets and communities bill, our government is taking further steps to ensure that the most serious violent offenders are kept off our streets. This important legislation would give the Parole Board of Canada new powers to keep Canada's most dangerous offenders behind bars where they belong.

The NDP, on the other hand, have tabled amendments that would mean lighter sentences for those who import hard drugs. It is time for the opposition to put an end to its delaying tactics and support our efforts.

International Trade November 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, our government is squarely focused on what matters to Canadians: jobs and economic growth. I remind the NDP that in these challenging times there is simply no better job creator than free and open trade. That is why we are negotiating a free trade agreement with India that could help our economy grow by $6 billion a year and increase our two-way trade by almost 50%.

Could the parliamentary secretary tell the House what our government is doing to further advance the job creating pro-trade plan?

Government of Canada October 27th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, our government has introduced legislation to end the long gun registry, bringing to a close a decade -ong irritant for law-abiding farmers and hunters. We are closing the door on a $2 billion boondoggle and fulfilling our campaign promise.

Our government is following through on its commitments: cutting the GST from 7% to 5%; supporting choice in child care; fixing the broken immigration system; passing laws to make our streets and homes safer; rebuilding our armed forces; re-establishing Canada's place on the world stage; introducing a low-tax plan for jobs and growth; and guiding Canada through the worst global recession since the 1930s.

Our government is fulfilling our commitments, delivering results and getting things done for Canadians.

International Co-operation October 20th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, this summer the world faced the worst humanitarian crisis 60 years. In East Africa, 30 million people are impacted by conflict, drought and famine. The government has been responding to help meet the needs of the victims and refugees.

The Minister of International Co-operation travelled to the region and witnessed the tragic effects of this crisis. Could the minister please update the House on the government's response to this crisis?