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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was million.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for St. John's South—Mount Pearl (Newfoundland & Labrador)

Lost her last election, in 2011, with 29% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Government Spending October 27th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, this is the biggest borrowing, biggest spending government in Canadian history. It put the country in a deficit even before the recession. In its first three years, the government increased spending by over $32 billion, an 18% increase.

Here are its priorities: an additional $2.2 billion on outside consultants since coming to office; and in the last year alone, an additional $13 million for PMO communications.

When will this borrow-and-spend government get its reckless spending under control?

National Defence October 26th, 2010

Does that sound familiar, Mr. Speaker?

The parallels between the Chinook process and the stealth fighters are uncanny. In both cases, the Conservatives have not accounted for full life cycle costs. In both cases, they did not identify the operational requirements before announcing the purchase. They did not take the procurement to tender. The maintenance contracts will not be signed until after we have lost all bargaining power.

Here is the $16 billion question. Why will the Conservatives not start an open and transparent fighter jet acquisition immediately?

National Defence October 26th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, today the Auditor General has revealed that the Conservatives caused an avalanche of problems, delays and cost overruns in acquiring 15 Chinook helicopters.

They essentially sole-sourced the deal without telling Public Works why. They identified the operational requirements only after announcing the procurement. They provided a cost estimate to Treasury Board that they knew was too low. As a result, the Auditor General is warning of a billion dollar operating budget crunch at DND.

The Conservatives broke every rule in the book. Why?

Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner October 25th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, we know that whistleblowers brought forward 170 cases of wrongdoing, and all of them have been brushed aside. The process is not working and, as a result, public servants remain unprotected.

“When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it's rapidly losing its moral authority to govern”. Who said that? It was the current Prime Minister.

When will the Prime Minister start living up to his own words?

Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner October 25th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have failed when it comes to protecting whistleblowers.

Here are the facts. The integrity commissioner has abruptly retired. Almost the entire staff of the office has quit in the last three years. The Public Service Tribunal is not functioning. One hundred and seventy people were brave enough to come forward to disclose wrongdoing, yet all were brushed aside. Thirty-nine months, some $20 million and still there is no progress.

When will the Conservative government get serious about accountability? When can whistleblowers expect protection with a new commissioner?

Seniors October 20th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I have spoken with many seniors who face the difficult choice of having food to eat or the medication they need, and seniors who spend their days in the mall keeping warm because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Last week I learned of a 93-year-old being evicted from her apartment that she has lived in for decades so the landlord could raise the rent. I spoke with a senior recently who received an increase in his old age security, the first since 2008, and it was just $1.55 a month.

The seniors resource centre in my riding cannot fund its operations. It cut the grocery bus, Friday friendship and other programs.

Today may be World Statistics Day, but here in Canada, the Conservatives have decided to eliminate the long form census, which means less information about our struggling seniors and the services they need.

The government has to act now to help seniors. They built our country. Now the country needs to be there for them.

Office of the Prime Minister October 7th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, this is not about Nigel Wright; this is about the Prime Minister's judgment. We are raising legitimate concerns regarding potential conflicts of interest as a result of Mr. Wright's business relationships.

Even Brian Mulroney's former chief of staff said how common the conflicts of interest would be and expressed skepticism that the rules would be able to deal with such a complex situation.

What is the plan to ensure there are no conflicts of interest, and when will the Conservatives share it with Canadians? Even the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is asking them to do so.

Office of the Prime Minister October 7th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, incoming chief of staff Nigel Wright currently sits on the boards of two aerospace companies, and we know that in 18 to 24 months, he will be returning to business.

The conflict of interest code dictates that he would not be able to participate in any aerospace meetings, because of a business involvement.

Here is a conflict. The Prime Minister is meeting with two aerospace companies today. How will the Conservatives work around this glaring conflict of interest? Will they have the chief of staff sit in the hallway?

Prime Minister's Office October 5th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner said she would love to have the details released. I do not know why they will not.

Onex is the second largest employer in Canada, second only to the federal government itself. It is involved in energy, defence, manufacturing, aerospace, computer equipment, financial services, even medical diagnostics.

How could a chief of staff to the Prime Minister possibly avoid having dealings with a Canadian company as wide-ranging as Onex? How can he be the top adviser to the Prime Minister when the rules say he should not be at three-quarters of the meetings?

Prime Minister's Office October 5th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the post-employment code for public office holders is supposed to prevent corporations from benefiting from their links to government by imposing a one-year cooling-off period before they can work with a company that had dealings with government.

Are we to believe that Mr. Wright, the Prime Minister's temporary chief of staff, on loan from Onex, will have no dealings with any file related to that company, the largest private sector employer in the country?

If the government is so sure there is nothing of concern and nothing to hide, why does it not release the full details?