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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was children.

Last in Parliament March 2014, as NDP MP for Trinity—Spadina (Ontario)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 27% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions January 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition calling for a national dementia strategy. The petitioners want to draw the attention of the Minister of Health to the fact that the federal government needs a strategy on dementia because of the many Canadians afflicted by Alzheimer's disease or other dementia-related diseases.

The petitioners want discussions on the strategy to be initiated with provincial and territorial ministers within 30 days after the act comes into force.They want to see an annual report based on an assessment of Canada's progress and to see a round table established to receive advice from Canadians on this strategy.

First Nations Elections Act December 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, as we speak, there is a large group of first nations people coming to Parliament Hill. They may even have arrived. They are asking Parliament to seriously focus on the needs of children. We know that aboriginals can expect to live, on average, a decade less than other Canadians. In terms of infant mortality, we know that aboriginal children die at three times the rate of non-aboriginal kids and are more likely to be born with severe birth defects and conditions, such as fetal alcohol syndrome. The rate of suicide is six times higher. First nations young people are in desperate need of hope and better education, and that is what the people out on Parliament Hill are demanding.

Perhaps the member could talk about how this bill does not deal with the fundamental questions of respect, self-government and providing hope for the future of first nations people.

First Nations Elections Act December 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, more than one-third of first nations people have in government jargon a “core housing need”, meaning their homes do not meet the most basic standards of acceptability. Only 4% of natives have a university education, one-quarter the rate of the rest of society. One-third of aboriginal people do not graduate from high school, three times the rate of non-aboriginals. With regard to infrastructure, overcrowded houses, lack of running water and inadequate sewage are the norm in many native communities.

As the bill is now, it would give the power for the minister to intervene and declare that self-government and the people who are elected by their own community are somehow not good enough. Would the bill actually deal with any of those fundamental issues facing people in first nations?

Petitions December 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the third petition is calling on the Government of Canada to provide long-term predictable and non-partisan funding for public transit now, as they note that the GTA economy is suffering because of traffic gridlock. It is costing $6 billion a year in lost productivity.

The petitioners note that we still do not have a national transit strategy.

Petitions December 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I also have a petition from many Torontonians in support of my children's health and nutrition initiative, which would provide a daily nutritious meal of locally grown food to all school-aged children in Canada under the age of 18.

The petitioners note that this will combat childhood obesity, teach children about eating, and also support the local economy and a sustainable environment.

Petitions December 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition in memory of Kempton Howard and other murdered young men, calling for better youth employment programs and a stop to the smuggling of guns into Toronto.

Rail Transportation December 9th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, CBC has discovered that CN has failed to report hundreds of derailments. They blame vague government rules.

The public has a right to know the truth about all derailments. Has CN faced any sanctions, any punishment for hiding the truth about derailments, or are the vague rules to blame?

What will the minister do to make sure Canadians are better protected and know the truth about all derailments?

Committees of the House December 3rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. During question period the parliamentary secretary for transport said that the NDP and I voted against the Safer Railways Act, which is completely wrong. He should withdraw that.

Rail Transportation December 3rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, runaway trains are dangerous. Some go at high speed. Others travel a long distance, and yet some others carry dangerous cargo.

Only one out of three incidents were made public, and few were investigated. We know that 47 lives were lost because of runaway trains.

What is the minister doing to stop them? Where are the regulations and the penalties that stop these runaway trains?

Aviation Security December 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the Lac-Mégantic tragedy happened when companies were allowed to cut their staff and regulate themselves. Under the Conservatives, the same thing is happening in the airline industry: fewer flight attendants to serve and protect the passengers. Canadians do not want a Lac-Mégantic tragedy in the sky. How can the Conservatives justify fewer flight attendants to lead people to safety in the event of an accident?

Could the minister report to the House the result of the test to give Sunwing the approval to cut flight attendants?