House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was clause.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Parkdale—High Park (Ontario)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of the House June 18th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations between the parties, and in the spirit of collegiality that is blossoming in this House, I hope you will find unanimous consent for the following motion: that the House note that July 6, 2015, will mark the 80th birthday of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama; recall the Dalai Lama's status as a Nobel Prize laureate and as one of only five honorary Canadian citizens; recognize the Dalai Lama's religious and personal leadership of the Tibetan people and Tibetan Buddhists worldwide; and acknowledge the Dalai Lama's championing of human rights and respect for all living creatures, his desire for Tibetans to live freely and peacefully and with autonomy within the People's Republic of China, and his advocacy of a middle-way approach to conflict resolution based on non-violence, compromise, and dialogue.

Petitions June 17th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, too many Canadian cyclists are injured and killed. Petitioners are calling on this House to work with communities across Canada to promote and create cycling infrastructure.

Petitions June 17th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, there is a housing crisis for so many people in my city of Toronto. Petitioners are calling on this House to develop a national housing strategy to ensure safe, accessible, and affordable housing for all Canadians.

Petitions June 17th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to present petitions on behalf of my constituents on three different topics.

The first one is against Bill C-51, the dangerous, vague, and likely ineffective proposed law by the Conservatives. The petitioners want to stop this attack on our civil liberties.

Petitions June 15th, 2015

Last, Mr. Speaker, I submit a petition on behalf of many petitioners who call for a national strategy on aging. These petitioners are seeking to ensure that the health care system is fully funded, that their out-of-pocket expenses are reduced, and that there is affordable and appropriate housing for seniors. Finally, they want to make sure they have adequate income security in their senior years.

Petitions June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the second petition involves an issue that is very important in my community and many communities across Canada, which is rail safety. I have a petition signed by many Canadians calling for volatile substances to be processed to reduce their volatility at source. They are calling for stronger tank car production so that the cars themselves are safer, more government oversight to the safety management system with greater funding from the government, and full liability on behalf of shippers for any accidents that occur.

Petitions June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand here today to present three petitions on behalf of the constituents I represent in Parkdale—High Park.

The first petition is calling on the Government of Canada to stop the cuts to Canada Post. People want to maintain their postal service. A great many constituents signed that petition.

Labour June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the jobs of hundreds of airport workers at Pearson and in Montreal are in peril. Some are being asked to take a 30% pay cut and others will lose their jobs. This is just the latest in a pattern of contract flipping at Pearson, which has meant lost jobs, reduced pay and cuts to benefits.

Given that the deadline for layoffs is looming, which is at the end of this month, will the minister now take concrete action to protect these jobs and wages while the Industrial Relations Board investigates these serious complaints?

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for sharing some interesting personal anecdotes.

I want to ask him to speak a little more about the mandatory minimum sentence included in the legislation. He did speak about it a bit.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said; “...too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.” He was talking about mandatory minimums.

Then Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform, has said:

The biggest problem from the perspective of the taxpayer, however, is that mandatory minimum sentencing policies have proven prohibitively expensive.…The benefits, if any, of mandatory minimum sentences do not justify this burden to taxpayers.

The Americans, who have a longer history of mandatory minimum sentences, have found that this criminalizes, for a longer period of time, a whole section of the population. Ultimately the benefits are not obvious. In fact, it is probably not a deterrent, which is what our justice department also said. It is not fiscally prudent to deal with what in many cases are social issues, and I am not saying in this case, that are deal with by the criminal justice system.

My question to the member opposite is, given the experience of the U.S., which is now turning away from mandatory minimum sentences, how can he justify that in this bill?

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, that is a very interesting question. I challenge the member. For example, my bill, Bill C-232, is about toughening up our laws on animal cruelty for companion animals.

I ask the member if he is in favour of animal cruelty. Does he think that people who torture dogs and cats should be able to walk scot-free? Does he believe that people who torture service animals should be able to walk scot-free without any penalty? If he does, I think that is an affront to the sensibilities of most Canadians. I do not agree with that.

I think we need to take a law from 1896 into the 21st century. The bill we are debating today certainly takes one step. The point I have been trying to make today is that perhaps we need to look at our overall animal cruelty laws to make sure that we are treating all companion animals fairly and not subjecting them to cruelty and abuse. That just makes good sense. I do not know why the member would stand on the side of people who would want to torture dogs and cats.