House of Commons photo

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

The Budget February 3rd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I beg to differ. I took part in many preconsultations.

I must compliment the ministers who attended in my riding. We had the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Industry. A number of economic leaders and leaders in industry took part in the preconsultations and they were very pleased to have the opportunity to speak with our ministers and our members of Parliament, many of whom were in the room.

I am not sure why the message did not get to the hon. member or his constituents but we certainly did everything in our power to reach every constituent and every person in every riding so they could give us some advice and some input.

The Budget February 3rd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member opposite for her question. I would also like to encourage the member to take a look at our budget. It is very clear about the money that has been invested. I would refer the member to page 138, and I quote:

The government will advance Canada's knowledge advantage by:

Dedicating up to $2 billion to repair, retrofit and expand facilities at post-secondary institutions.

Providing $750 million for leading-edge research infrastructure through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Providing $50 million to the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Ontario to build a new world-class research facility.

Allocating $87 million over the next two years to maintain or upgrade key Arctic research facilities.

Providing $250 million over two years to address deferred maintenance at federal laboratories.

Providing $500 million to Canada Health Infoway to encourage the greater use of electronic health records.

Providing $225 million over three years to develop and implement a strategy on extending broadband coverage to unserved communities.

It goes on and on and on. I beg to differ with the member across the floor. We are investing in research and we will continue to bring hope to Canadians.

The Budget February 3rd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, before I begin to address the budget this afternoon, I would like to take a moment to thank the constituents in my beautiful riding of Saint Boniface for putting their faith in me to represent them as their member of Parliament. It is an honour to be their representative here in Ottawa, and it is a responsibility I take very seriously.

I would also like to thank all the wonderful volunteers who dedicated hundreds of hours to my campaign last fall to ensure that Saint Boniface had the representation from a member who is committed to listening to their needs.

Finally I want to take a moment to thank my husband, Bruce, and our five children, Jason, Tracy, Jamie-Lee, Michael and Randi Sue, for believing in me and supporting me in my quest to make positive change in our community. Seeking public office is a decision that is made with a great deal of consideration. It is a huge commitment on the part of one's family. I could not stand here today in the House of Commons without the support of my family.

Saint Boniface is a magnificent region where the people are welcoming and warm. It has a rich history and a vibrant culture. However, Saint Boniface has also been affected by the international economic crisis and it is my responsibility to protect its interests and secure our future.

These are extraordinary times, and Canada is being negatively affected by the global recession that originated in the United States. Our government's first priority is and has always been to protect Canada during this uncertain, tumultuous time.

Canada's economic action plan, budget 2009, presented proudly by the Minister of Finance, is the culmination of weeks of consultations with Canadians across the country. Our members of Parliament have worked diligently to solicit advice and input from Canadians in every walk of life, every community, every industry and every level of government. The Minister of Finance's team crossed the country and consulted widely with some of the leading economic and financial minds in Canada, not just the people on Bay Street or the car manufacturers in southern Ontario, but everyone from coast to coast to coast.

I myself met with community leaders and constituents and everyday Canadians in my riding of Saint Boniface. They are concerned about the future of our country if action is not taken immediately, yet at the same time they feel a sense of confidence in knowing that the Prime Minister and our Conservative government are the ones to see us through this uncertain time.

We know that since last fall, the global economic situation has deteriorated further and faster than anyone could have predicted. That is why our government is taking immediate action.

You are all aware that we are in the midst of a global economic crisis and that our country will not go unscathed. Canadians want the government to make investments, reduce taxes and protect the most vulnerable.

As a former police sergeant, I know that people need to feel protected and to be reassured. That is why, after undertaking unprecedented consultations of citizens across the country, our government tabled an economic action plan to stimulate the economy and protect Canadians.

In Canada's economic action plan, we are focusing on immediate stimulus to help those hit hardest by the global recession. We are supplying extra support to those who have lost their jobs. We are helping families and stimulating consumer spending. We are protecting jobs and supporting businesses, and we are also helping to ensure that there is access to financing for those businesses. We are taking immediate action to build infrastructure.

A wide and diverse array of officials, commentators and organizations across Canada are applauding the federal budget as a positive plan to address current global economic challenges while helping secure Canada's long-term growth and prosperity.

I would like to take some time to underline some of the aspects of the economic action plan that will deliver significant impacts for my riding of Saint Boniface and for Manitoba.

We will receive our share of $4.5 billion over two years for infrastructure projects such as road, water and sewer system upgrades across the province. Our action to build infrastructure will accelerate payments up to $75 million over two years for additional infrastructure projects.

We are taking action to reduce taxes and freeze EI rates by providing the people and businesses of Manitoba with tax relief of $699.1 million over the next five years and providing billions to keep EI rates low for 2009-10.

Our action with income tax relief will provide Manitobans with $340.2 million through the form of increases in the basic personal amount and the upper limits of the two lowest personal income tax brackets, and $55.4 million through raising the income thresholds at which the national child benefit supplement and the base benefit of the Canada child tax benefit are phased out. This is providing up to $436 for a family with two children.

We will also provide $71.9 million through a $1,000 increase in the age credit amount, effective in 2009, which will help eligible low- and middle-income seniors by providing up to $150 of additional federal income tax relief each year.

There is $31.4 million in support for first-time homebuyers through the $5,000 first-time homebuyers' tax credit to assist first-time homebuyers with the costs associated with the purchase of a home.

We are taking action to stimulate housing construction by providing billions to stimulate construction for companies such as the Ladko Company in my riding and to enhance energy efficiency.

My constituents are already excited about the new home renovation tax credit that will provide up to $1,350 per homeowner and will benefit Manitoba homeowners by up to $150 million over two years.

My constituents in Saint Boniface and Manitoba will also benefit from initiatives including a share of $2 billion to support deferred maintenance and repair projects at post-secondary institutions such as the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface.

Art and culture have always been important to the various communities in Manitoba. I am proud to say that the economic plan put forward by the Conservative government meets these needs by proposing investments of more than $246 million in arts and culture programs and the tourist industry in Canada.

We will continue to receive growing federal transfer payments in 2009-10 that will total $3.6 billion, an increase of $88 million from last year and a $782 million increase over what the former Liberal government provided. Manitoba will see growing health and social transfers to help the province pay for vital health care at hospitals such as the St. Boniface General Hospital and for the educational and social services families depend on.

Canada's economic action plan responds to these uncertain times by providing significant stimulus to the economy to help protect and create jobs, to support families by cutting taxes and to prepare our country for success in the years ahead with meaningful investments.

To conclude, the economic action plan put forward by our government addresses the challenges that await us.

It provides short-term measures to stimulate the economy and ensure long-term benefits. This is vital to the community of Saint Boniface and also to the rest of Canada. We have managed to find a balance by putting money directly back into the pockets of citizens and making investments.

I am confident that, with this plan, Canadians, especially in my riding of Saint Boniface, will be able to get through these difficult economic times.

We have listened to Canadians. We have provided a plan. We are working to restore confidence. Our action is immediate, and we are bringing hope for a bright future to Canadians from coast to coast.

Festival du Voyageur 2009 February 3rd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today to pay tribute to the Festival du Voyageur which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

This world-class festival takes place annually in my riding of Saint Boniface, which is also home to one of the largest French speaking communities in western Canada.

Manitobans and people from across the country will come to celebrate the heritage of both the French and Métis cultures through food, song and dance. The festival, which includes exhibits, entertainment, sled dog races and world-class snow sculptures, focuses around the fur trade era and will take place from February 13 to 22.

The Festival du Voyageur is a huge success thanks to the hard work and dedication of hundreds of volunteers and to the thousands of people who attend each year.

I am very proud to say that the festival is even more special to me this year because I am now the member for the riding. It is an honour and a privilege to represent the people of Saint Boniface.

Come join us at Festival du Voyageur 2009.

Status of Women January 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure why the member thinks my answer sheets match hers.

The original 1976 mandate of Status of Women Canada remains unchanged, and I quote, “to coordinate policy with respect to the status of women and administer related programs”. The mandate of the women's program was revised to include equality of women and participation in democratic life. The mandate of the women's program is to advance the equality of women across Canada. It is a mandate that this government takes very seriously.

Status of Women January 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, this government has consistently demonstrated its commitment to advancing the equality of women.

Our government increased the budget of the women's program by 42%. This is the highest level of funding ever. No other government has shown this kind of support for Canadian women in the history of our country.

This government has done more than make announcements. Unlike previous governments, we are taking action.

December 3rd, 2008

Madam Speaker, our government is investing in the future of our country, in a future that will give Canadians more choice, enhance our economic prosperity, strengthen our identity and improve our quality of life.

Here are some examples of our support for culture. Our investment in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics will provide an outstanding showcase for our artistic community by giving millions of spectators around the world the chance to appreciate our talented artists.

As the world is invited to share in Canada's cultural riches, so too will every community in every corner in this country. As the torch relays pass through scores of Canadian communities, our government is supporting Canadians to deliver cultural and community celebrations so that every Canadian can experience the breadth of what this country has to offer culturally.

Again, I look to the visionary words of the Speech from the Throne: “Building a more dynamic economy will require new ideas and new investment”. That is what we are doing”.

December 3rd, 2008

Madam Speaker, I would also like to congratulate you on your appointment.

I would like to set the record straight regarding our government's support of arts and culture in Canada. As we have said many times in this House, and as the opposition member knows very well, our government supports arts and culture. We have increased spending in this area by 8% since January 2006. I would like to illustrate this by highlighting a number of accomplishments that have allowed us to reach an unprecedented level of funding to support our artists.

I would also like to take this opportunity to talk about the challenges facing the global cultural industry today.

Our government is all about managing hard-earned tax dollars in a responsible way and being accountable to Canadians. We are making the same choices that Canadians are making every day regarding the spending of their money.

I am proud of the way our government manages tax dollars. There are no exceptions to finding value for money. We did and we will continue to make sure Canadians get good value for their money. This is about responsible spending and it is about investing in the future. We are giving Canadians the tools they need to innovate, create, and compete at home and abroad. As stated in our government's last Speech from the Throne, we need to skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.

As we look towards the future, our government also recognizes that culture, creativity and innovation are all essential to the economic vitality of our country. That is why our government is investing in arts and culture as no other government has done in the history of Canada.

We have made significant investments across the Canadian heritage portfolio, which now total over $3 billion annually. This support is essential to the development of our economy, our communities, our culture and our identity. Our government allocated $30 million a year to support local artists and heritage activities. We are investing in festivals and events that celebrate and propel the cultural vibrancy of communities in every province across this country.

We are committed to managing tax dollars in a manner that ensures every dollar spent delivers results for Canadians. That is why we have increased funding to the Canada Council for the Arts by 17%. That is $181 million this year alone for artists working for artists.

We also know that our cultural landscape is changing. Major technological, economic, social and international changes are transforming the ways in which Canadians engage in their culture. Canadians are not only consumers. They are also creators of our culture and identity, and they are accessing and sharing our culture online. As a government we need to make sure we are fostering innovation and providing support that allows Canadians to flourish, at home and abroad, in this changing environment. We led the world in bringing into force the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity, a convention which now has been ratified by 93 member states. Our government is also committed to ensuring that we are effective in the way we serve communities and organizations.

We are making it easier for communities and businesses to access government programs and services. We eliminated the capital gains tax on donations of publicly listed securities to charities and private foundations, which has been an important measure that supports cultural organizations. Canada's culture and heritage policies and programs are seizing new and exciting opportunities to meet--

The Political Situation December 3rd, 2008

Mr. Speaker, this coalition is having disastrous consequences for Canada. The coalition is dividing Canadians as we stand on the brink of an economic crisis. We do not need a constitutional crisis on top of everything else. When Jacques Parizeau is happy, I start to worry. It is not surprising that the Liberals are again adding fuel to the sovereigntist fire, but it is completely absurd that the NDP is in on this strategy.

Why is the opposition trying to divide the country when our government corrected the fiscal imbalance and recognized the Quebec nation, thereby showing Quebeckers that they are an integral part of Canada? Once again, francophones in Canada will find themselves isolated, and once again, they can thank the Liberals.

Opposition Coalition Proposal December 1st, 2008

Mr. Speaker, some very troubling revelations have come to light about the socialist-separatist alliance. The NDP and the Bloc Québécois hatched this plan long ago to push Canada's democratically elected government from office.

The leader of the NDP claims it is the key player and it seems very happy to take credit for tearing Canada apart. The NDP and the Bloc's subversion of democracy to bring a socialist-separatist alliance to power will stick to the leader of the NDP until his dying days.

Canadians must not let them do this to our country. We must remain united, the true north strong and free.