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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

Afghanistan September 22nd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, we know from talking to Afghan women in Canada and in Afghanistan that the counter-insurgency is making things worse for Afghan women.

Yesterday at the UN General Assembly, speaking in reference to the combat violence, Hamid Karzai said, “That is why today 200,000 of our students who went to school two years ago are no longer able to do so”.

Is it not time for the minister to admit that counter-insurgency is in fact making things worse, not better, for Afghan women?

Canada Transportation Act September 19th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, my riding of Parkdale—High Park is an urban riding, two sides of which are bounded by rail lines, both CN and CP. Where those lines cross it is called a junction, and that is where my office is located. It is a historic area that has been a hub of railway transportation.

In the junction and many other parts of my riding, because of growing deindustrialization in our community we are seeing a greater density of residential development, and we are finding more and more homes right up near railway lines. Of course we are hearing more and more complaints about noise and concerns about railway safety.

My question to the hon. member is twofold. Given the large population of Canada, more than 32 million citizens, 110,000 persons in my riding alone, how will the noise and safety complaints process work so that these five individuals will be able to hear complaints from throughout the Canadian population? How will it work so that it is not cumbersome and is not a bottleneck?

Second, with only five members, what kind of representation will there be on the panel? Will there be citizen representatives? Will there be a balance from different communities? Who does the member envisage being appointed to the committee?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 18th, 2006

With respect to the government’s financial support and incentives for post-secondary students and savings, in the most recent three years for which information is available: (a) how many students applied for the Canada Access Grant for Students from Low-Income Families and the Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities, respectively; (b) how many students were awarded the above two Canada Access Grants, respectively; (c) what was the average amount awarded to recipients of the above two Canada Access Grants, respectively; (d) what was the total amount awarded by the government for the above two Canada Access Grants, respectively; (e) how many students applied for (i) Millennium Bursaries, (ii) Millennium Access Bursaries, (iii) Millennium Excellence Entrance Awards, (iv) Millennium Excellence In-Course Awards, (v) World Petroleum Council Millennium Scholarships, respectively; (f) how many students were awarded the above five awards, respectively; (g) what was the average amount awarded to recipients of the above five awards, respectively; (h) what was the total amount awarded by the government for the above five awards, respectively; (i) how many persons received a Canada Education Savings Grant; (j) what was the average amount awarded to recipients of this grant; (k) what was the total amount awarded by the federal government for this grant; (l) how many persons received (i) an initial $500 Canada Learning Bond, and (ii) a $100 Canada Learning Bond; (m) what was the total amount awarded by the government for Canada Learning Bonds; (n) what other federal government programs exist to give direct financial support to students or families for post-secondary education that are not listed above; (o) how many individuals received assistance under these other programs; and (p) what was the total amount received by recipients of these programs?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 18th, 2006

With respect to government spending on skills training outside the formal post-secondary education system, in the three most recent years for which information is available: (a) what is the total amount, broken down by federal department, allocated to skills training programs; (b) what is the total amount transferred to the provinces and territories for skills training programs; (c) what is the total amount, broken down by program, allocated to programs to encourage private employers to provide skills training to their employees; (d) what is the total amount, broken down by program, allocated to programs to provide mid-career skills upgrading for currently employed Canadians; (e) what is the total amount, broken down by program, allocated to programs to provide skills training for Canadians to transition to a new career; and (f) what is the total amount, broken down by program, allocated to programs not listed in sections (c), (d) or (e), to provide skills training to Canadians?

Questions on the Order Paper September 18th, 2006

With respect to eligibility for Canada Access Grants and Canada Learning Bonds in 2005 or the most recent year for which information is available: (a) how many households were eligible to receive the National Child Benefit Supplement for a child between the ages of 0 and 15 years of age; (b) how many households, with one or more dependent children between the ages of 17 and 25, which filed federal income tax returns, had net incomes low enough that they would be eligible to receive the National Child Benefit Supplement for that child or those children, if that child or those children were below the age of 18; (c) how many households, with one or more dependent children between the ages of 17 and 25, which filed federal income tax returns, had net incomes below $36,000; and (d) how many total children are included in sections (a), (b), and (c)?

2015 World Expo September 18th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my strong support for Toronto's bid to host the 2015 World Expo.

Hosting the world fair will mean large scale infrastructure investment, cultural legacies and growth in tourism, tax revenues and jobs for Toronto. The World Expo is also a tremendous opportunity to accelerate the revitalization of the waterfront and expand transit.

Toronto city council, Mayor David Miller and the people of Toronto are overwhelmingly behind this bid. So what is missing? Canada's federal government.

As a national endeavour, only the federal government can officially bid on the fair on behalf of Toronto. November 3 is the deadline and time is running out.

I call on the Prime Minister to formally back Toronto's Expo bid. The world fair will showcase our incredible diversity as a city and as a country. With the support of the federal government, we can make a 2015 World Expo bid a reality.

Federal Accountability Act June 21st, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I was very glad to be part of the NDP's changes to Bill C-2, the accountability act, to ensure that appointments are made in a fair, open and transparent manner, that all appointments are based on merit and that patronage will now be against the law.

Of course there was the committee that interviewed Mr. Gwyn Morgan to head up the appointments commission. Mr. Morgan, the Prime Minister's choice, had called the Kyoto accord “sound-bite junk science”. He was of course against the Kyoto accord. For reasons of his extreme partisanship and also because we felt it would be unsuitable for someone who was heading up the continent's largest gas company to oversee appointments such as those to the national energy board, we found him unsuitable.

At the time, the Prime Minister said that he was going to do away with the appointments commission and he needed to have a majority government to have fairness in appointments, but really, all it took was NDP amendments to make the appointments commission work.

My question is for the hon. member who has just spoken. Will he take a different tack from the Prime Minister, who said he was going to take his bat and ball and go home, and urge his party now to deal seriously with the appointments commission and finally set up compliance with this fair and transparent process that the NDP has helped bring into place?

Federal Accountability Act June 21st, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I assume that the hon. member is not wishing to undermine the democratic process of a parliamentary committee and the democratic vote that took place to determine that the Prime Minister's proposed appointment was unsuitable for the position. I think it is quite reasonable that the committee would determine that someone so partisan who was being proposed would not be a suitable head for a commission responsible for thousands of appointments across Canada.

Will the government accept the democratic decision of the committee and now move to propose a more suitable candidate for the position of heading up this newly created appointments commission so that it has teeth and is truly accountable to Parliament?

Federal Accountability Act June 21st, 2006

Mr. Speaker, in the last election many of us were very concerned about the erosion of Canadians' faith in ethical government because of the behaviour of the previous government with its scandals and corruption that we all witnessed.

Canadians sent a loud and clear message that they wanted those of us elected to this Parliament to clean up government and restore their faith in ethics and accountability. I am very pleased and proud of a government that is bringing in these kinds of changes that Canadians have wanted to see for so long. I am very proud that it was the NDP that has made many proposed changes that have been voted on and adopted to strengthen this legislation.

I was personally involved in submitting proposals for change around the public appointments commission to ensure that rather than a vague notion of appointments made from the Prime Minister's office, in fact it would be a strong commission that would be accountable to the House of Commons and it would really get rid of patronage based appointments.

My question for the hon. member on his commentary this evening is around the issue of appointments. Will his government now move to appoint the head of the appointments commission so that we can get on with having clear and accountable appointments for all Canadians?

Federal Accountability Act June 16th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, not only will this commission have oversight and reporting duties, but future appointments made to it will only be made after the Prime Minister consults with all other parties in the House of Commons. The NDP amendment is a victory for democracy, transparency and accountability. No wonder the Liberals were split on it.

Can the minister tell us when the government will table the name of its next appointee for the appointments commissioner, so that we can get on with cleaning up politics in this country once and for all?