House of Commons photo


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

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act November 22nd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in support of Bill S-2, the family homes on reserves and matrimonial interests or rights act. This legislation proposes to fill a legislative void that has harmed women, men, children and families living on reserves for far too long. Bill S-2 would provide individuals living on reserves the similar matrimonial real property rights and protections as other Canadians living off reserve. Recognizing the diversity of first nations, it would empower communities to develop their own culturally-specific matrimonial real property laws.

The proposed legislation is informed by many years of study, consultation and debate. It builds on previous attempts to enact similar legislation and was substantially altered before its introduction in Parliament to further strengthen the bill and facilitate the development of first nation laws in this area. Bill S-2 would provide an opportunity to finally put in place a legislative solution to a very real problem. Each delay in its passage results in the continued denial of protections and rights for individuals living on reserves.

I now move:

That this question be now put.

Ethics November 22nd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, sadly, this is not the first time that the Liberals have stolen money from Canadian taxpayers. We all remember the tens of millions of dollars they stole through the sponsorship scandal, which helped put their party in the far corner over there.

At his press conference today, Liberal insider Joe Fontana was asked if he had heard from former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin. Liberal insider Joe Fontana's response was, "No comment".

Canadians want to know, did Liberal insider and former Prime Minister Paul Martin advise Joe Fontana to stay on as mayor? Do the Liberal members opposite agree with us that it is time for their friends to resign?

Figure Skating November 20th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, in March 2013, all eyes will be on London, Ontario, as we welcome the world's best figure skaters at Budweiser Gardens located in my riding of London North Centre.

The World Figure Skating Championships will bring together top figure skaters from around the world to compete for the world championships and, with that, comes a boost to London's economy.

Our government is the single largest contributor to sport in this country and is proud to support and host international sporting events in Canada as they leave long-lasting economic sport and infrastructure legacies for Canadians.

Who could forget Joannie Rochette's inspirational bronze medal performance at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, or London's very own Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's gold medal winning performance, or Patrick Chan's consistent brilliance on the ice earning him two world championships?

I have no doubt that these Canadian icons will once again make us proud at the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships. I am proud of my city of London and encourage everyone to visit our city to watch this great event.

Go Canada Go.

Violence Against Women November 6th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to express my support for a women's group in my riding. Our government has made women's issues a top priority and is working hard with women across this country to end violence against women and girls.

In October, I was pleased to attend the 2012 launch of the London Abused Women's Centre's Shine the Light on Woman Abuse campaign. The goal of this campaign has been to raise awareness around the issue of woman abuse and its effect on society. Organizations, schools, neighbourhoods and places of worship across London will be asked to participate by wearing purple.

This year, the Shine the Line on Woman Abuse campaign is in honour of Ashley and Stephanie Daubs. These two beautiful girls were brutally murdered by their father. I was pleased to recently meet their mother, Debbie Ratellie, who shared her story with us.

Today, I am pleased that for the second year in a row, members from both sides of the House are joining me in wearing purple in support of the Shine the Light on Woman Abuse campaign. I would like to congratulate the London Abused Women's Centre, especially executive director, Megan Walker, for her tireless work in shining the light on woman abuse.

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act November 1st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, a couple of speakers ago, one of the members opposite mentioned that the bill would allow provincial laws to be applied on reserve. That is actually false. The legislation would not incorporate provincial and territorial laws relating to matrimonial real property on reserve. The bill only provides that either the provisional federal rules or first nations laws would apply on reserve.

On another note, I would point out that in January I was honoured and privileged to have been married for 25 years. However, rest assured, the people who know me know that I would certainly go after my assets, or 50% of my house, if anything ever happened to my marriage. It is not fair that aboriginal women do not have that choice and chance to go after their assets.

Will the member opposite not support aboriginal women so they too will have these rights?

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act November 1st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, both parties are indicating that they do not think Status of Women Canada should end up with this bill and that Aboriginal Affairs should. I have a report in my hand from 2006, which I would like to share. It is a report from the Standing Committee on Status of Women, which states:

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), your committee reviewed matrimonial real property rights on reserves. Your committee heard evidence on this matter, the result of which is contained in this report.

This was one of the recommendations:

Whereas immediate solutions, not further study, are required to move this issue forward;

The member opposite indicated that aboriginal rights are not the same as everyone else's rights and that aboriginal women have rights too. We know that. That is what Bill S-2 is about. We are trying to give aboriginal women the same rights we have. I would like to ask the member opposite, will she give aboriginal women rights?

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act November 1st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the bill clearly states that it does not affect the title to reserve lands or change the collective status of reserve lands and it does not allow non-members to make claims of ownership to reserve lands. The provisional federal rules will not lead to non-Indians or non-members acquiring permanent interest in reserve land because exclusive occupation orders and emergency protection orders are temporary.

Input obtained during the national consultation process indicated that an appropriate balance was needed between the individual rights of on reserve residents and the collective interests of first nations in their reserve lands. The legislation achieves the objective of filling the legislative gap on reserves for first nation members and non-members, while respecting the principle and non-alienation of reserve lands.

The provisional federal rules also include provisions to ensure that first nation councils can make representations to the courts, for instance, to highlight the collective nature of the land. This does not apply, however, in the case of emergency protection and confidentiality orders.

I find it insulting that the Liberal member, who voted against establishing the Canada Human Rights Act on reserves, refuses to give women on reserves the same rights she has.

Why will she not help aboriginal women?

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act November 1st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, this bill is based on a careful balance between individual rights, specifically the need for spouses and common-law partners on reserve to have access to rights and protections similar to those existing off reserve, and the collective interests of first nation members in the reserve lands.

The bill clearly states that it is not intended to affect the title to the lands or change the status of the collective reserve lands. It also includes provisions to ensure that first nation councils may make court representations.

Under the bill, notice of applications for orders, except emergency protection and confidentiality orders, must be sent to the first nation council so that they can make representations to the court on the cultural, social and legal aspects of collective rights regarding the land. The bill states that first nations must have an opportunity to provide evidence on their collective rights and lands during court hearings. In response to the testimony of witnesses, government amendments were made to extend this opportunity, for example, to court hearings to change or revoke an emergency protection order.

Why does the member opposite not want to support women on reserves and help them get the emergency protection they deserve?

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act November 1st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to be able to ask the Minister for Status of Women a question that would help vulnerable women on reserves, not only in the London area but all across Canada. I have heard from women in my riding and they have told me that the bill is needed now more than ever. I am proud of the many women's groups in my city of London that work tirelessly to promote and strengthen women's rights. This bill would accomplish both.

Can the Minister for Status of Women please explain to the House why it is so important that we move ahead with Bill S-2?

Status of Women October 26th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I would bring to the hon. member's attention another recent report by TrustLaw ranking Canada as the best G20 country in the world in which to be a woman.

What the member opposite fails to recognize is that Canada's overall score in the World Economic Forum report has gone up since our government took office. I call on the member opposite to join us in celebrating our successes and working hard to promote women's equality in Canada and around the world.