House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was ensure.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Brampton—Springdale (Ontario)

Lost her last election, in 2011, with 28% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 25th, 2011

With regard to the Foreign Credentials Referral Office in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, since January 2008: (a) what are the monthly statistics, by labour market code, of individuals seeking information from any program or service provided by phone, in person or overseas; (b) for each labour market code, what is the breakdown of the programs, services, processes, support or agreements currently in place to assist individuals from those occupations and, if programs or services are not currently available for those labour market codes, the date the department intends to institute programs or services for those occupations; (c) for each labour market code, what is the status of negotiations with provinces, countries and professional organizations for resolving issues relating to foreign credentials; and (d) for each labour market code, what are the monthly statistics of the number of foreign credential problems of individuals successfully resolved by the programs and services of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 25th, 2011

With regard to programs and services of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration since 2008: (a) what is the budget of each program or service including (i) each expenditure, including contracts under $10,000, (ii) the value of the expenditure, (iii) the goods or services consumed, (iv) the department under which the expenditure is accounted for, (v) whether or not the contract was tendered through an open bidding process if the goods or services were purchased from an outside source, (vi) the name of the outside source, (vii) the contract's reference number, (viii) dates of contracts, (ix) descriptions of the services provided, (x) delivery dates, (xi) original contracts' values, (xii) final contracts' values if different from the original contract's value, (xiii) how much remains unspent for each program and service; (b) what is the breakdown of costs for each meeting, townhall, roundtable and conference related to programs or services provided by the Foreign Credentials Referral Office including, but not limited to, (i) travel, (ii) accommodations, (iii) food, (iv) refreshments, (v) drafting of reports, (vi) drafting of speeches, (vii) drafting of press releases, (viii) drafting of talking points, (ix) drafting of media communications; and (c) what is the total amount spent by the Foreign Credentials Referral Office on advertising since 2008 and identify, in alphabetical order by supplier, (i) how much was spent per print advertisement, (ii) how much was spent per radio advertisement, (iii) how much was spent per Internet advertisement, (iv) how much was spent per television advertisement?

Health March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of my constituents of Brampton—Springdale, who are demanding action on the issue of health care. Families are frustrated at having to wait for hours and hours at the Brampton Civic Hospital located in my riding. Seniors are suffering because they have to wait for months to see specialists and receive the medical care they require.

The average wait time at the hospital is 17.5 hours. The doctors and nurses are working tirelessly, but the fact is demand is growing. Bramptonians deserve better. They deserve a government that will actually invest in more doctors and nurses and work with the Brampton community to have a second hospital to ensure that the growing demand is met.

We need a government that is going to put health care at the top of the agenda, because that is what Canadians and all Bramptonians deserve. Brampton families and seniors demand a government that will invest in more doctors and nurses and reduce wait times in health care.

International Co-operation March 11th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate the government will not let the minister speak for herself. There continues to be more evasion.

Does the government not understand how serious this actually is? Does it not understand that the government is on the verge of having the first minister in Canadian history to be found in contempt of Parliament? Why did the minister think she was entitled to ask someone to doctor a document already signed by public servants?

Again, who at the PMO put the minister up to it and why does she continue to mislead Parliament? We need the names. Start stepping up to the plate and showing some accountability.

International Co-operation March 11th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation is hard to believe when she told the House on Wednesday that she respected your ruling and would provide all the clarity needed truthfully. Yesterday she was evasive again and refused to answer the questions.

Therefore, let us try again for the 91st time. Who specifically added the word “not” to the KAIROS funding document and who at the PMO ordered this change? Why will the minister not step up to the plate, show some accountability and start naming the names?

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act March 9th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of many of my constituents of Brampton—Springdale, which is home to one of the largest immigrant communities here in Canada. I know the member has done a significant amount of work as well on the issue of immigration. I wanted to get her thoughts on an issue that I am hearing as I go door to door, and meet constituents at different events.

Their concerns are in regard to the increased wait times we have seen for Canadians who have sponsored either a mother, father, or another individual from their family. They have frequently spoken of their frustration. When they originally sponsored their family members they were wait three to four years, and since the Conservative government was elected, they have actually seen an increase in those waiting times to six or seven years.

More alarming was some of the information that came to light a few weeks ago. It was discovered that with some of the changes the Conservative government wanted to propose to immigration, not only would we be seeing a reduction in the number of immigrants, but also an increase in waiting times to almost 13 years potentially for people who have sponsored their families. We know that many, even if they came here in an economic class, came with the understanding that based on our previous immigration policy under a Liberal government, they actually had the opportunity to be reunited.

Another frustration we have seen over and over again is in regard to the refusal of visitor visas, especially in embassies like New Delhi and Chandigarh.

I wanted to get the member's thoughts on some of these challenges.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I want to take the opportunity to commend my colleague, who is in a riding adjacent to mine, on some of the work he has done in regard to ensuring that there is a tough on crime stance that is effective and efficient.

When talking to some of the officers in my constituency of Brampton—Springdale and some of the organizations, they feel that the bill does not address the initiative that was intended. A variety of different ideas and suggestions have been put forward.

In my particular riding there is a huge initiative by many of the organizations and many of the officers to ensure that we actually have local solutions. We have heard a lot of rhetoric from the government on justice and addressing crime but when it comes to actual results they are very minimal.

There is a great deal of frustration and anxiety that these particular issues are not being addressed. In my community we have an initiative we have co-founded called the Brampton-Springdale Youth Advisory Council where we have young people engaged to design and develop some local solutions on some of the challenges they face.

Perhaps the member could elaborate on some of those amendments and ideas on how we can get the community engaged to ensure we have effective results instead of just pieces of legislation being thrown at parliamentarians and no real results for community members.

Committees of the House March 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, a number of constituents have approached me with a great deal of concern. Some constituents are facing the fact that their sponsorship of family reunification has gone from three to four years under the previous Liberal government to almost six to seven years. With the new changes announced, it is expected to reach almost 13 years of wait times.

The African Community Services of Peel, the Canadian Hate Prevention Network, the Social Planning Council of Peel and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel are all agencies that have been subjected to the funding cuts by the Conservative government. Thousands of Bramptonians and constituents have been left without the necessary services to ensure that new Canadians can integrate, can get the skills they need to ensure their success and can obtain resources not only for themselves but their families to ensure their success and prosperity as families. With the $53 million of cuts that have been faced by these organizations, there has been a great impact because they will no longer be able to provide those services.

Brampton is also home to the largest number of immigrants throughout Canada. As the minister knows. Brampton has the We Welcome the World Centre, which operates within the Peel District School Board, to help parents and small children integrate into the school system. In its first year alone, We Welcome the World Centre helped over 1,800 families in its first year but it has itself lost half of its operating budget, which will leave not only the agencies that I have mentioned but many of the new Canadians accessing these agencies out in the cold.

When the minister says that a newcomer should be treated with equity, how will these Brampton families be treated with equity when they have faced and been subjected to these cuts of over $53 million and the impact it will have on many Canadians who are facing long wait times for family reunification?

We Welcome the World Centres February 16th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, thousands of residents in my riding of Brampton—Springdale will be left to suffer due to the decision by the Conservative government to cut $53 million in essential funding for programs and services to help new immigrants, this despite the fact that Brampton is home to some of the largest numbers of immigrants in Canada. The Conservative government has cut $53 million in funding for language, counselling, training and mentorship programs to integrate new Canadians.

One organization in particular that has been impacted is the We Welcome the World Centres which operates in schools in conjunction with the Peel District School Board. This centre has helped over 4,400 families in its first 18 months of opening. Despite it helping new Canadians, it has lost almost half of its operating budget.

On behalf of all Bramptonians and my constituents in Brampton—Springdale, we urge the Conservative government to reverse these cuts because Brampton families want to have families as a priority, not prisons, planes and photo ops.

Questions on the Order Paper January 31st, 2011

With respect to meetings requested with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration since January 2008: (a) what are the names of the organizations, lobbyists and individuals who made such requests; and (b) which meetings were attended by the Minister, including the date, time, and locations, and if the Minister did not attend the meeting, which government representatives, ministerial or department staff attended the meeting on the Minister's behalf?