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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was status.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for London North Centre (Ontario)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 31% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Aboriginal Affairs June 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is our Conservative government that brought the action plan to address family violence and violent crimes against aboriginal women and girls as well as the family violence protection program. That member and her party, once again, voted against them. Since coming to office, we have passed more than 30 criminal justice and safety initiatives. That member and her party voted against them. Again, we passed Bill S-2. That party and the member voted against it.

While our government takes action, the opposition party does not. That side of the House never votes to support women and girls in Canada.

Aboriginal Affairs June 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we do not need another study on top of the 40 we already have. It is our government that continues to stand up for victims of violence. Since coming into office, we have toughened sentences for murder, sexual assault, and kidnapping and have imposed mandatory prison sentences.

We also passed historic legislation that gave aboriginal women on reserves the same matrimonial rights that member has, including emergency protection orders, and that member and her party voted against it.

It is our government that is taking action. It is our government that stands up for aboriginal women and girls, not that side of the House.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, consecutive sentences are an important part of the bill.

I will give an example. An RCMP car stops a car the officer suspects is operated by an impaired driver. The driver exits the vehicle and assaults the police officer. The driver is convicted of impaired driving.

Under the existing section 718.02 of the Criminal Code, it requires that a court that imposes a sentence for assault on a police officer to:

...give primary consideration to the objectives of denunciation and deterrence of the conduct that forms the basis of the offence.

Under the proposed amendments, the court would be required to order that the sentence imposed for the assault of the RCMP be served consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed for the impaired driving.

The same thing could be said for a trained police dog involved. If, for example, the perpetrator stabs a police dog, the perpetrator would be charged with injuring the police dog and the sentence would be served consecutively to the sentence for the break and enter, or whatever the scenario was.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, part of the reason we introduced the legislation is it fulfills our commitment made in the 2013 Speech From the Throne. It is to recognize the daily risks taken by police officers and their service animals in their efforts to enforce the law and protect Canadians and communities. The legislation honours Quanto, a police dog stabbed to death while helping apprehend a fleeing suspect in Edmonton. Quanto had four years of decorated service and had participated in more than 100 arrests. It also recognizes the vital role that service animals play, such as guide dogs, in helping persons with disabilities form a better quality of life and lead more independent lives, or animals used by the Canadian Armed Forces.

This keeps Canada safe. The government is committed to ensuring that people who wilfully harm these animals will face the full force of the law.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to agree that service animals are certainly very important for many people.

We do have a provision. For example, if animals do not fall under the definition of the proposed new offence they would be protected under the existing animal cruelty provisions included in section 445 of the Criminal Code. It provides that anyone who wilfully and without lawful excuse kills, maims, wounds, poisons or injures a dog, bird or animal that is not cattle and is kept for lawful purpose, is liable for up to five years' imprisonment when the offence is prosecuted by indictment. Therefore, there are other provisions for other animals as well.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am proud and honoured to add my voice in support of Bill C-35, the justice for animals in service act, also known as Quanto's law. This is yet another piece of legislation that our government has introduced with the goal of making Canadian communities safer. In this case, the focus of the legislation is on deterring persons from harming law enforcement animals or other service animals as well as from assaulting law enforcement officers.

From the outset, there has been broad support in principle in this House and across the land for this legislation. What concerns there may have been with regard to one aspect of this proposed legislation, the mandatory minimum penalty of six months' imprisonment for the killing of a law enforcement animal that was assisting a law enforcement officer in carrying out his or her duties when that offence is prosecuted by way of indictment, have, I believe, been addressed in the course of the justice committee's study on the bill.

Before I go further, I want to express my appreciation to all the witnesses who appeared before the justice committee and provided their helpful perspectives on the legislation. It is the personal experiences and expertise they share with parliamentary committees that help us to better understand the objectives of proposed legislation and to sometimes improve it through amendments.

The most common type of law enforcement animal in use today is probably a police dog. Police dogs are specifically trained to assist police and other law enforcement personnel in their work, such as searching for drugs and explosives, searching for lost people, looking for crime scene evidence, and protecting their handlers. Police dogs must remember several hand and verbal commands. The most commonly used breed is the German shepherd.

In the United States, anyone who kills a federal law enforcement animal will face fines and up to 10 years in prison. Similar statutes exist to protect police animals from malicious injury in every one of the states in the United States except South Dakota.

It is the sad truth that Quanto's law could have been named in honour of several other police dogs that have been killed in the line of duty. The Canadian Police Canine Association maintains a valour row on its website. Quanto's story is there, as are accounts of how 10 other law enforcement dogs were killed in the line of duty between 1965 and Quanto's death in 2013.

However, as the association's president admitted before the justice committee, the valour row does not present a complete picture; it includes only those animals that have been brought to the association's attention.

Bill C-35 recognizes and honours the important contribution that police dogs such as Quanto make to law enforcement. However, Bill C-35 also acknowledges the very important role that other service animals play. Through the work of the justice committee, we are more aware of the invaluable assistance that service animals provide to persons with disabilities. I am pleased that the bill would recognize the importance of other service animals. Service animals are trained to assist in performing some of the functions and tasks that persons with disabilities cannot perform for themselves. There are several different kinds of service dogs, including guide dogs, hearing dogs, mobility dogs, seizure alert/response dogs, psychiatric service dogs, and autism dogs.

I suspect that the type of service animal with which most people are familiar are Seeing Eye dogs used by individuals who are blind or have low vision. However, there are other types of service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. These animals require the same type of recognition and the same type of protection from persons who would wilfully cause them harm.

A psychiatric service animal is a dog that is individually trained for people with an emotional or psychiatric disability so severe that it substantially limits their ability to perform at least one major life task. Psychiatric service dogs would be considered service animals under Bill C-35.

Proposed subsection 445.01(1) would create a new Criminal Code offence that would be distinct from the general offence of cruelty to animals in section 445 of the Criminal Code.

In terms of how this new offence would improve the protection of law enforcement animals, military animals, and service animals over the protection offered under the existing animal cruelty provisions of the Criminal Code, I would note that the enhancement is chiefly about sentencing.

While section 445 and proposed section 445.01 share the same maximum penalties whether the crown proceeds by way of indictment or by way of summary conviction, proposed new section 718.03 of the Criminal Code would require the courts to give primary consideration to denunciation and deterrence as sentencing objectives in respect of the new offence described in subsection 445.01(1).

While courts are required to impose a sentence that is proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender, this amendment would have a significant impact on the sentence imposed by the court. It is worth noting that courts are currently required to give primary consideration to denunciation and deterrence as sentencing objectives in regard to assaults committed against peace officers or other justice system participants.

Another important aspect of Bill C-35 is its proposal regarding the sentencing of persons convicted of committing any type of assault on a law enforcement officer, whether it is a common assault, an assault causing bodily harm, an assault with a weapon or an aggravated assault. It would require that a sentence imposed on the offender convicted of having committed such offence be served consecutively to any other sentence that might be imposed on the offender, arising out of the same event or series of events.

For example, there is a report of a break and enter. As the police arrive a suspect is seen running away from the house. A police officer engages in a foot chase with the fleeing suspect. The officer quickly catches up to the suspect and tackles him. The suspect pulls a knife, stabs the officer, wounds him and endangers his life. The officer is taken to the hospital and thankfully survives. Later, the offender is convicted of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, pursuant to 270.02 of the Criminal Code. In addition to being convicted of breaking and entering into a dwelling house contrary to section 348, in such a case the proposed amendment would require the sentence imposed for the aggravated assault to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed for the break and enter.

In closing, Bill C-35 would be a fitting legacy for Quanto. It is my view that the spotlight that has been placed on the intentional killing or infliction of harm on law enforcement animals as well as service animals will not soon be forgotten. By enhancing the protection afforded to these working animals we would also be making Canada a safer place for all.

Manufacturing Industry June 10th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, last year, our government secured the largest advanced manufacturing export contract in Canadian history. The multi-billion dollar contract for GDLS Canada will create and sustain thousands of jobs in London and across Canada.

Shamefully, the NDP member for London—Fanshawe has remained silent, while her Liberal colleague from Westmount—Ville-Marie attacked our government's support of these high paying union jobs.

What is worse is that the Liberal leader was actually in London when he said that Ontario should transition away from manufacturing-based jobs.

Our Conservative government will not turn its back on the thousands of workers who depend on manufacturing to put food on the table for the their families.

While we remain focused on creating jobs, the Liberals and the NDP are pushing a high tax, high debt agenda that would threaten jobs and set working families back.

Canada Pension Plan June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has an independent mandate that is very clear, which is to invest the best interests of hard-working Canadians who have paid into it. It operates independently from government to invest funds on behalf of its 18 million Canadians who contribute and benefit from it. That helps ensure that the retirement funds Canadians rely upon remain safe and secure.

However, the Liberal leader has admitted he would use “alternative sources of capital, such as pension funds” to pay for his irresponsible spending. It gets worse. The Liberal leader also said, of his spending schemes “It is time for a new revenue source”. Canadians know what that means: another tax hike from the Liberal leader.

On behalf of Canada's hard-working seniors and future retirees, our Conservative government says, “Hands off their pensions”.

St. John Ambulance June 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, St. John Ambulance is one of the world's oldest humanitarian organizations. It was established in Canada in 1882, and now more than 100 branches serve over 300 communities across the country, training 550,000 Canadians in first aid each year.

On June 3, members from both sides of the House received a great lesson in first aid from volunteers at St. John Ambulance. Members had the opportunity to register for CPR and AED training and meet some of the 25,000 volunteers from St. John Ambulance who were on the Hill.

On behalf of all members, I would like to thank St. John Ambulance for all of the work it does to keep Canadians healthy and safe.

Noble and Wolf v. Alley June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, in April, at the London Public Library, I was honoured to commemorate the importance of the Noble and Wolf v. Alley case as an event of national historic significance. A Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque was unveiled at a special ceremony with members, the legal community of London and members of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

The Noble and Wolf v. Alley case is an example of how the Canadian courts made decisions that have contributed to building a country that values tolerance and respect. This decision was an important step in the broader struggle for human rights and against discrimination on racial and religious grounds in Canada.

Our government is proud to commemorate the Noble and Wolf v. Alley case as an event of national historic significance.

This important ruling by Canada's Supreme Court was a milestone in the battle for human rights and against discrimination on racial and religious grounds in Canada. It should be remembered as a shining example of the contribution Canadian court decisions have made to ensure our country is the strong and diverse nation that it is today.