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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Saint Boniface (Manitoba)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 50% of the vote.

Statements in the House

CBC/Radio-Canada December 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we expect the CBC to fulfill its mandate to provide quality programming to those communities under the Official Languages Act and the Broadcasting Act, using the $1.1 billion it receives from taxpayers every year.

Let us not forget that the CRTC has the power to ensure that CBC/Radio-Canada fulfills its mandate under the law.

Canadian Heritage December 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, we are very proud of our recent announcement for the Museum of Science and Technology to modernize, upgrade and repair this treasured institution.

However, once again, as I said, our Conservative government has made significant investments in our Canadian national museums. Every time we do that though, the NDP decides to vote against things like our investments in the Canadian Museum of History, which is in Gatineau, close to where the member who just asked the question is from.

If they really care, they will vote for these investments, not against them.

Canadian Heritage December 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I was absolutely pleased to announce, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the MP for Ottawa—Orléans, that our government has proudly invested in the museum of science and technology to modernize, upgrade, and repair this treasured institution. Our Conservative government has in fact made significant investments into our Canadian national museums since 2006.

To be honest, I do not know how to take that question, because if the New Democrats actually cared about our national museums, they would not have voted against the vital investments to, for example, the Canadian Museum of History. We will take no lessons from them. We will be proud of our investment.

La Francophonie December 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this was a great weekend for Canada as one of our own was chosen to head up the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. We are delighted that a woman was elected to lead this organization for the first time.

The Quebec premier noted that our Prime Minister campaigned hard to help Ms. Jean's bid for the position.

We wish Michaëlle Jean much success, and we look forward to working with her to promote the French language and Canada's cultural diversity to the entire world.

Library and Archives Canada November 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we would like to thank the Auditor General for his report.

Library and Archives Canada will definitely be accepting the recommendations made. All the issues raised date back to the tenure of the former librarian and archivist of Canada.

He was replaced by Dr. Guy Berthiaume, who has a plan to eliminate the backlog by December 2015. We expect him to move forward with his work.

CBC/Radio-Canada November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I will tell my constituents, the young constituents in particular, that I learned how to speak French listening to Radio-Canada. I will encourage them to continue to do so.

I will also tell them that we continue to provide CBC/Radio-Canada with over $1 billion every year so it can deliver quality programming that Canadians want to listen to and watch.

In the meantime, I will encourage that member to continue to encourage those young people to learn both English and French, and to respect the national broadcaster and the work it does.

CBC/Radio-Canada November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as Hubert Lacroix clearly stated, there are challenges “of the new media world that are facing all...broadcasters.”

CBC/Radio-Canada is attracting fewer viewers. That is the problem. It still receives $1 million a year from taxpayers. It is up to the corporation to come up with programming to attract viewers. The problem is lower advertising revenues and fewer viewers.

I urge it to continue to work to attract more viewers.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I must share with the House that before becoming a police officer, I worked in a jail. I worked at the Stony Mountain Institution and tutored the Native Brotherhood so that they could gain some experiences they could use outside of the jail facility.

While I was there, I realized that many of these offenders did not have the internal fortitude to get the help they needed on the outside. There is a stigma and sometimes there is vigilantism, so many of these offenders do get the treatment and some of the help they need while they are on the inside.

Mandatory minimum sentences protect children from further offences. Many of these offenders admitted to me that they would be reoffending were it not for the fact they were incarcerated. That is all the proof I need. To know that one more child is protected from this kind of atrocity is enough.

The parliamentary secretary has cited a number of reports and so on that back up the evidence that the member is asking for, but I wanted to add to the discussion in sharing some of my personal experience, having participated in a jail prior to being a police officer.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, once again, I will address the question the MP has put to me with regard to the apology. I have done verbatim statements for a long time, and I am disappointed. The member did come to me and say “I realized what I said and I am sorry”. At that point, I thought that she might apologize publicly. Now to have her change her story, I am a little surprised.

Nevertheless, what is important is that the member is going to support this bill. What is important is that the NDP sees the victims of crime in this bill, those who have been offended against in a way that is, frankly, one of the most despicable crimes that exists. I am thrilled that they will be supporting us in that. I am thrilled to hear that they will be supporting us with the victims bill of rights.

With regard to any funds that are being provided by the government, I have already indicated, as have others, that we will be in discussions with provinces and territories for parameters and so on. That will come, but I am pleased to hear that the NDP will live up to its commitment to vote in favour.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely pleased to be here to speak to Bill C-26.

I want to take a moment before I begin to say that I know that many of us in the House are passionate about these very difficult subjects. As I was asking a question earlier of the member for La Pointe-de-l'Île, there were some unkind things said by her about whether I deserve to be in government.

I have almost 19 years of police work behind me. I intend to go back to police work. I spent four and a half years in the child abuse unit. I assisted with more autopsies of children than I ever want to remember. I have seen horrific injuries that these children, those who lived, will live with for the rest of their lives. I have worked on every single one of the crime and justice bills put forward by our Conservative government, and I am proud to say that these are measures that will continue to protect Canadians.

I believe that my voters are the ones who decide whether I belong here in government, just as her voters decide. At the point where this young MP realized that what she said was inappropriate, she did come over to me and apologize. I believe it is a measure of character, when people say something publicly they want to retract, that they actually do so. I challenged her to do so publicly so that my voters understand that what she said was not very kind and that she did not mean it, at which point she refused to do so.

I am offended by the fact that a young girl who has come to this place to help her constituents would attack other members when we are talking about a bill that we are all passionate about. I want to mention that, because I want to give her the opportunity to show her sincerity in apologizing.

Now I want to talk about the bill, which will, in fact, get the support of many members in the House, including members of the NDP, the Liberals, and some of our independent members. For that, I want to thank them sincerely, because it is probably one of the most important bills we will see passed through the House in my time here.

One of the highest priorities of our government has been made clear since we were elected in 2006, and that was to tackle crime. We all know that law-abiding Canadians expect and rightfully deserve to live in a country where they feel safe in their homes and in their communities. Canadians want to know that their children are protected from sexual offenders, whether online or in the streets of their communities and neighbourhoods.

While law-abiding Canadians believe in the importance of rehabilitation for offenders, as do I, they also believe that the punishment should fit the crime. Our government agrees. This is what has guided our strong actions since 2006.

Since that time, our government has put forward a number of important measures to protect the vulnerable and to hold offenders accountable. We have toughened sentencing and bail for things like serious gun crimes. We have strengthened the sentencing and monitoring of dangerous, high-risk offenders. We have ensured that murders connected to organized crime are treated automatically as first-degree murders. We have imposed mandatory jail time for drive-by or reckless shootings. We have also established longer periods of parole ineligibility for multiple murders. We have abolished the faint-hope clause that allowed early parole for murderers. We ended the practice of giving two-for-one credit for time served in pretrial custody. We ended the practice of granting early parole to white collar criminals and other non-violent offenders. We also removed pardon eligibility for child sex offenders.

We have also worked hard to prevent crime and to support victims. For example, we established the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime to provide information on victims' rights and services for victims, to receive complaints, and to raise awareness of victims' concerns among policy-makers and in the justice system. We established the youth gang prevention fund, which provides support for successful community programs to help at-risk youth avoid involvement in gangs and criminal activity.

Our government has introduced legislation to address online criminal behaviour, including cyberbullying. While this legislation is aimed at protecting all Canadians, it is predominantly our youth who fall prey to this type of online crime.

These are just a few examples of what our government has accomplished for the good of all law-abiding Canadians. However, we know that more can be done, especially to protect our most vulnerable, our children. The bill before us today is aimed specifically at doing just that.

Before I expand on the proposed legislation, I will give a bit of background on the national sex offender registry. In 2004, the Sex Offender Information Registration Act came into force, allowing for the creation of a database containing information, such as the physical description, name, address, and place of employment of convicted sex offenders across Canada. The national sex offender registry data base is administered by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and used by police across Canada to help prevent and investigate crimes of a sexual nature. Indeed, I remember very well using it in my time as a police officer. The registry is a shared initiative with the provinces and territories and is accessible to police forces across the country. Inclusion in the registry is based on conviction for a range of sex offences and not determined by an offender's risk level.

In 2010, our government introduced significant legislative reforms to strengthen the national sex offender registry and the DNA data bank to better protect our children and communities from sexual offenders. These reforms included amendments to the Sex Offender Information Registration Act, the Criminal Code, the International Transfer of Offenders Act, and the National Defence Act.

With these amendments, there was automatic inclusion into and mandatory DNA sampling of convicted sex offenders in the national sex offender registry, and an expansion of the registry to include its use for the prevention of sexual crimes, and not just their investigation. In this regard, police were permitted to access the data base for consulting, disclosing, and matching information, and for verifying compliance, and we also included vehicle plate numbers. Registration of sex offenders convicted abroad was included, and parallel amendments to ensure that the reforms apply to those convicted of sex offences through the military justice system were also added.

Those amendments, which came into force the following year, had widespread support from victims' families, the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, and the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime.

As of October 2013, there were approximately 36,000 sex offenders in the registry. Sadly, 24,000 of those individuals had a conviction for a child sex offence. That is why I am pleased to speak to legislative amendments that are aimed at protecting our most vulnerable from society's most heinous.

As I think about Bill C-26, I think about many of the investigations I took part in. If only I had had the strength of the amended sex offender registry when I was in the child abuse unit, some of those crimes might have been prevented. I am so thrilled and so proud to be part of a government that saw wisdom in allowing police officers to use that sex offender registry in a preventative way.

I want to share with members some of the cases I worked on which the proposed act would help with.

One case I worked on had 28 victims, all between the ages of 12 and 17. They were mainly boys who were forced into prostitution and sexually abused for years. Those boys, even though they had to go through the court system and to testify, never felt the justice that they should have been afforded, because the offenders who were found guilty were sentenced to such short time that the kids felt they had been betrayed.

Allowing us now to take every child into consideration, to make sure that every child matters by ensuring that the sentences for offences are appropriate and consecutive, would provide victims with the confidence that my NDP members have mentioned is lacking. I know this would assure our victims that there is hope and that the work they are doing in the criminal justice system to prevent others from being offended against will be improved, and that it will be respected and appreciated.

I speak on behalf of the many police officers across the country who will appreciate these changes. I even speak on behalf of offenders, who cannot bring themselves to get the help they need outside of an institution where they would be able to get the programs necessary to prevent further offences. I speak on behalf of the mothers whose children have been offended against. I speak on behalf of my own children who watched as their mother was heavily affected by many of these cases.

I hope that all members here will live up to their commitments and vote in favour, unanimously, to pass this very important legislation.