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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was certainly.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Sarnia—Lambton (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 53% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Retirement Congratulations February 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to a special person in my life, my husband Bill. Bill has retired after 40 years of service with the Wyoming Volunteer Fire Department, as a firefighter, deputy chief, and chief.

As has always been the case until recently, Bill was appointed because of his experience, training, knowledge, and leadership. The safety and well-being of all firefighters was his first priority. Under his leadership, the department evolved into one of the best trained, best equipped, and safest departments. Bill worked continuously and tirelessly to improve conditions for firefighters. He was also a strong proponent of critical stress training. Bill was extremely proud of each of the firefighters as they progressed through the various levels of training.

For a wife and mother of a firefighter, there is no greater comfort than knowing that one's loved one, often in a serious, life threatening situation, is in the presence of colleagues who are well trained and well equipped to keep the brigade as safe as possible.

From Will, Tina, Josh, and me, I thank Bill for all he has done. Congratulations on retiring. We are all very proud.

Petitions February 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from constituents who are requesting the creation of a legislated ombudsman mechanism for responsible mining.

Supporting Non-Partisan Agents of Parliament Act February 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to give my support to Bill C-520, An Act supporting non-partisan agents of Parliament. I would like to thank my colleague, the member for York Centre, for introducing this private member's bill.

The purpose of this bill is to help ensure that conflicts of interest do not compromise the trust Canadians have in their parliamentary institutions or prevent these institutions from functioning as they were meant to. In other words, the bill is meant to ensure a non-partisan public service.

A non-partisan public service is one in which appointments are based on merit and are free of influential political influence. It is one in which public servants perform their duties, and are seen to perform their duties, in a politically impartial manner.

To this end, Bill C-520 is designed to prevent conflicts of interest that may arise or are perceived to arise between partisan activities and the official duties and responsibilities of an agent of Parliament or any person who works for an agent of Parliament.

Specifically, the bill would require every person who applies for a position in the office of an agent of Parliament to make a declaration with respect to past engagement in politically partisan positions. This declaration would state whether, in the 10 years before applying for that position, the person had occupied certain specified politically partisan positions.

In the case of persons who work in the office of an agent of Parliament and the agents themselves, a declaration would state whether they intend to occupy a politically partisan position while continuing to occupy the position of agent of Parliament or to work in the office of such an agent. The declarations would be posted on the website of the office of the relevant agent of Parliament.

In addition, the bill would require an agent of Parliament and the persons who work in his or her office to provide a written undertaking that they will conduct themselves in a non-partisan manner in fulfilling the official duties and responsibilities of their positions. What is more, the bill would provide for the examination of alleged partisan conduct.

Non-partisanship is certainly expected of all public servants, but agents of Parliament play a particularly vital role in government oversight. Agents of Parliament, such as the Auditor General, the Commissioner of Official Languages, and the Information Commissioner are a unique group of independent, statutory officers who serve to scrutinize the activity of government. They report directly to Parliament rather than to the government or an individual minister, and as such, they exist to serve Parliament in relation to Parliament's oversight role. Agents normally produce a report to Parliament to account for their own activities, and their institutional heads are typically appointed through special resolutions of the House of Commons and the Senate.

Given the close relationship between agents of Parliament and their employees with parliamentarians, it is critical that in carrying out their duties, they are independent of political affiliation. Bill C-520 seeks to ensure that independence. Indeed, the political impartiality of the public service is one of the foundation stones of our system of democracy. It is a time-honoured tradition that has served us well for some 100 years.

Today, almost a century later, Canadians expect a lot of their public service. They expect the government to pursue policies and programs that take into account and are responsive to public priorities. They expect the government to operate in an open, transparent, and accountable manner.

Through legislation, we strengthened the powers of the Auditor General, toughened the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, reformed political party financing, dramatically tightened lobbying rules, and beefed up auditing and accountability within government departments. As a result, Canada now has one of the most accountable and transparent systems of governance in the entire world, and this is something Canadians are rightly proud of.

As part of this regime, the values and ethics code and the provisions in the Public Service Employment Act protect the impartiality of the public service and agents of Parliament.

However, accountability and transparency in public institutions are things we can never take for granted.

That is why Bill C-520 is so important. It would add transparency to the existing regime. It would not only continue to toughen rules and uphold our culture of accountability, but it would also highlight our government's ongoing commitment to ensure that these values continue into the future.

In addition, Bill C-520 would be consistent with our commitment in budget 2013 to review and update public services processes and systems to ensure that the public service continues to serve Canadians well.

It would be consistent with the government's focus on transparency and accountability in the management of public assets, and it would also reflect the value of public service impartiality.

Our government fully supports the bill's intent to augment the existing regime in ensuring that agents of Parliament and their employees do not engage in political activities that conflict with, or are seen to conflict with, their official duties and conduct.

We believe it would be in line with the values that have served this country well in the past, and would position the public service to serve Canadians well in the future.

We will support the bill and call upon parliamentarians to join with us to ensure that Canadians have the government they need to succeed in a competitive world.

Petitions December 4th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to present six separate petitions from constituents in Sarnia—Lambton. All of the petitions are calling for the creation of a legislated ombudsman mechanism for responsible mining.

Health October 31st, 2013

Mr. Speaker, one in nine women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, making breast cancer the most common type of cancer for women.

While there are many preventive measures women can take to reduce risk, it can be challenging to locate information on prevention.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health please inform the House what our government is doing to support the fight against this terrible disease and reduce the number of women who are affected?

Support for Small Businesses October 24th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate Small Business Week, small business owners remain the backbone of our national economy, as the government keeps taxes down while ensuring job growth and a future full of opportunity for our children.

We know that these are hard measures to provide for in the midst of global economic uncertainty, but we also know the best way for a small business to hire more employees is to see its business grow, and the best way to grow a business is through increased trading opportunities.

Job growth and economic growth go hand in hand, thus the Canada-Europe trade agreement announced last week is a major win for Canadian small businesses.

I note that in 2010, small business accounted for over 50% of all Canadian exports to the EU. In Sarnia—Lambton, we have small business operators who will now be able to expand their trade into the EU due to the removal of tariffs, simplified border procedures and guaranteed temporary entry without a work permit. These measures will ensure further economic growth for Canadian small businesses, especially in Sarnia—Lambton.

Wing of the Year Award June 6th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, at the recent Ontario group general meeting in Peterborough for air force associations, 403 Wing Sarnia was honoured as the winner of the Wing of the Year award. Also, three members of 403 Wing, Pauline Reaney, Mark Seuibutis and Frieda Stewart, were given the award of merit for their community efforts on behalf of 403 Wing.

403 Wing is very active in my community. The group made headlines for the decision to restore the famous Golden Hawk Sabre jet that has historically been located in Sarnia's Germain Park. The restored jet is a reflection of the pride in Canada's aviation history, as well as a reminder of the commitment that current members of 403 Wing have to their community and country.

403 Wing has a large membership and also a ladies' auxiliary, the 403 Wingettes. Its members also work closely with air cadets from the community. Considering its members' efforts, I applaud 403 Wing for its success and congratulate the group for being named Wing of the Year in recognition of its continued excellence.

Canada-U.S. Relations April 23rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the United States may soon be looking at imposing a border fee on Canadians looking to enter that country. This ill-conceived cash grab would be an unwelcome barrier to legitimate trade and travel. It would hurt both countries' economies and kill jobs on both sides of the border. Given the fragile state of our global economy, we need to be looking at ways to expand trade, not slow it down.

Could the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism please update the House on the government's position on this proposed border fee?

Canadian Cowgirls April 22nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, today, I commend a group of Canadian women who not only stand tall for their country but stand tall in the saddle, as well. I am speaking about the Canadian Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team, a group of talented women from southwestern Ontario who are famous across North America for their impressive costumes, precision-riding abilities and daring and unique routines.

On a variety of horses, like the Appaloosa, quarter horse and Paint, the Canadian Cowgirls have performed in front of royalty, such as His Royal Highness, Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and even in front of Canadians like Don Cherry, not to mention thousands of other cheering fans. The group has performed live shows for the Canadian Forces and also in Canada Day shows. The women recently became the only Canadian riders who have ever been invited to the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California.

I wish to commend Beth Lucan and the rest of her team for their ongoing excellence and wish them continued success.

Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Repulse February 25th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, one month ago today I had the honour of attending the change of command ceremony for the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Repulse. The ceremony represented the transfer of command from commanding officer Lieutenant Commander David Anderson to the new CO and first female CO of Repulse, Lieutenant Carol Weston.

During Lieutenant Commander Anderson's six years in command, he oversaw many triumphs in the face of adversity for Sarnia's sea cadet corps. From negotiating serious tax issues to overcoming the near closure of the cadet sail centre, David Anderson gave countless hours of dedicated service to address extreme challenges.

His leadership was a major factor in Repulse procuring the Libro ship simulator, making it the only corps in Canada with a DNV-qualified full bridge simulator. Other accomplishments are too numerous to list.

I thank Lieutenant Commander Anderson for his dedicated service and wish him well in future endeavours. I also wish his successor the best as she guides the Repulse for many more years of success.