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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

Business of Supply February 9th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting that the member is concerned about partisan rhetoric occurring in the House.

It was not a foreign takeover. Our government will continue to support foreign investment. It builds jobs and stimulates the economy.

I will quote Andrew Coyne, who wrote an article recently in the National Post, because we keep hearing that it is the government's fault and that we could have done something.

He stated:

EMD is not a Canadian company and never was. Caterpillar bought it from a pair of American private equity firms in 2010; they bought it from General Motors in 2005, who bought it from its Ohio-based founders in 1930... Caterpillar didn't buy the London plant. It bought the whole company... EMD never received any subsidies from the federal government; certainly not since Caterpillar bought it. Indeed, looking through the hundreds of pages of “grants and contribution” in the Public Accounts, it may be the only company in the country that didn't.

The Harper visit... was to promote a tax break for the purchasers of locomotives, not the manufacturers. The visit occurred in 2008, two years before the Caterpillar purchase.

Business of Supply February 9th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, like most Canadians, we understand that international trade is a kitchen table issue. It is a matter of fundamental importance to the financial security of hard-working Canadians and their families. After all, trade accounts for 60% of our annual GDP. One in five Canadian jobs is generated by trade. The benefits to Canadian families are clear. When we trade, prices for goods and services go down, wages, salaries and our standard of living go up. Businesses are able to hire more workers. Foreign investment creates jobs.

In addition to lower prices, trade also benefits families by providing more choice for goods and services.

Right now we are building better trade relations between China and Canada. Our government is committed to securing and deepening access to traditional markets, such as the United States, while expanding access to markets such as the European Union, Brazil and the rest of the Americas.

Business of Supply February 9th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I will finish reading the quote that I started:

--the country’s research reputation on the global stage.

Our government has supported London's arts community by investing $30,000 in London's renowned TD Sunfest, $15,000 for London's Heritage Council Doors Open London program, and $25,000 for the London Fringe Festival.

Our government has invested in seniors and the disabled in my riding of London North Centre and all Londoners by investing $3.2 million in the centretown project. This initiative will create jobs for Londoners and offer 72 affordable housing units for low income seniors and the disabled.

Our government has supported job creation for London's youth by investing nearly $500,000 in job skills programs at Youth Opportunities Unlimited, $471,000 for a job skills program at Leeds Employment Services, and $17,220 for a job skills program at London's Pathways Skill Development & Placement Centre. All of these excellent organizations are located in my riding of London North Centre.

Londoners are hard at work in almost every aspect of everyday life of Canadians and those living abroad.

In October, Quantum5X Systems, a fantastic small business in my riding, received a federal grant of $50,000. What has it done? Recently it signed a contract with the National Basketball Association for the utilization of wireless microphone technology developed by Londoners to mic up players in the league.

I recently visited a remarkable small business in my riding, Voices.com. Voices.com is an innovative technology firm that recently developed an app that will allow toddlers to learn the alphabet in a fun and exciting way.

I also was pleased to recently visit a dynamic tech company in my riding, Big Viking Games. Founded in 2011, Big Viking Games was the result of a shared desire to create “audacious awesome-sause and epic ridiculousness on Facebook & Mobile platforms”.

Synergy Manufacturing, a small business in my riding that manufactures windows for homes and businesses, has doubled its employment numbers thanks to our government's economic action plan.

McCormick Canada, located in London, produces 100,000 pounds of honey.

Londoners working at the Labatt brewery company in my riding of London North Centre produce 1,029 bottles and cans of beer every minute.

New York City will have 2.5 billion gallons of safe, clean water thanks to London's Trojan Technologies.

Employees of London's Brose Canada ensure one in three cars are safer and more efficient.

Two thousand tonnes of CO2 will not be in the air we breathe tomorrow thanks to the 100 new jobs created for Londoners at the London plant of the German Solar Corporation, KACO new energy, Inc.

Billions of dollars are traded on the New York Stock Exchange thanks in part to the design team at London's Cyborg Trading Systems. There is a number one best selling app for that created by the designers at the Big Blue Bubble Inc.

When it came time for the opposition to take real action by supporting our government's investment in Londoners and all Canadians, it said no. What exactly did the opposition say no to? It said no to extending work sharing agreements by up to 16 weeks so that companies could avoid layoffs. Since February 2009, work sharing has protected 300,000 jobs.

The opposition said no to extending the targeted initiative for older workers to support training and employment programs for older workers who have invaluable knowledge and potential. This initiative has helped over 10,000 Canadians since 2007.

The opposition said no to the arts community by opposing the children's tax credit, which delivers up to $500 for parents across the country who enrol their children in arts, cultural, recreational and development activities.

The opposition said no to our government's new family caregiver tax credit, which provides $2,000 for caregivers of all types of infirm dependent relatives, including, for the first time, spouses, common-law partners and minor children.

The opposition said no to the hiring tax credit for small businesses, which provides a one year EI break for 525,000 small businesses across the country, reducing payroll costs for new jobs and encouraging hiring.

Since we introduced Canada's economic action plan to respond to the global recession, Canada has recovered more than all of the output lost during the recession. What did the opposition say to this? It said no.

Where was the NDP when thousands of unionized workers across the province of Ontario were negatively impacted by the dreadful social contract the Ontario NDP government introduced in the early nineties? Where was the NDP when the disastrous Ontario NDP government caused Ontario's economy to take a nosedive in the early nineties? That party was saying no to Ontarians with an all-time high tax reckless plan that cost our province thousands of jobs.

Do members want to hear some irony? The author of this motion, the NDP member for London—Fanshawe, was a cabinet minister in that disastrous Ontario NDP government.

When the doors closed at EMD it was a sad day for London, a sad day for Ontario and a sad day for Canada.

However, today's NDP motion is empty rhetoric. While the opposition continually says no to Canadians, our Conservative government has stood up, and will continue to stand up, for Canadians by taking real action to create and sustain jobs, strengthen our economy and provide a low tax environment. Canadians deserve real action. That is exactly what our government has done and will continue to do.

Business of Supply February 9th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. members from both sides of the House join me in expressing disappointment that operations at London's Electro-Motive Diesel have ended. My heart goes out to all those affected, especially the families and the workers.

However, my constituents, all Londoners and all Canadians deserve the facts. Our government never gave a tax break to Caterpillar. Rather, it was a capital cost allowance increase for the entire locomotive industry, an increase that all parties, including the NDP, supported at committee.

I am proud to be a Londoner and I have stood in this House on numerous occasions to point out the many achievements of organizations and businesses in my community and will continue to do so. However, I must say that I am exceptionally disappointed by the actions of the opposition, particularly the NDP member for London—Fanshawe. We on this side of the House take real action to sustain and create jobs in our community and strengthen our city's economy. Time and time again, the opposition has provided empty rhetoric aimed at tarnishing the achievements of businesses and organizations in my great city of London, Ontario.

Throughout today's debate, we have discussed investment policies and other factors that have an impact on the Canadian economy. However, I find it strange and unfortunate that the NDP has no apparent interest in the economic performance of this country and my city of London. Any discussion we might have about job creation in London and across Canada would benefit from evidence showing how federal investments have been working. Actions, not empty rhetoric, are the solution.

In August, I was pleased to participate via teleconference in a job summit hosted by the mayor of the city of London, the job summit that the NDP member for London—Fanshawe did not attend. This summit brought together political representatives from all three levels of government, businesses and other stakeholders from across the city to discuss how together we can strengthen economic growth in our city.

Recently, Statistics Canada reported that London's unemployment rate dropped almost an entire percentage point, creating 1,000 new jobs in our city during the month of January. Nationally, some 610,000 more Canadians are working today than when the recession ended, resulting in the strongest rate of employment growth by far among the G7 countries.

Since being elected to represent my constituents of London North Centre, I have been pleased to deliver nearly $20 million in federal investments to businesses and organizations in my riding. It is a shame that the member for London—Fanshawe fails to acknowledge the millions of dollars in investments our government has made in Western University located right in the heart of London North Centre.

What do these investments mean for businesses and institutions in our city? Ted Hewitt, former vice-president of research at Western University, had this to say:

By providing researchers with the tools they need to develop innovative ideas, treatments and technologies that benefit us at home, we are able to continue to enhance--

London North Centre February 8th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, here we go again. The opposition has once again painted a dark, dreary picture of my beautiful city of London, Ontario. The closure of Electro-Motive Diesel was, indeed, unfortunate and my heart goes out to all those affected. However, my constituents and all those affected deserve the facts.

As London economist, Mike Moffatt, recently pointed out, Caterpillar was not given a tax break from this government. Rather, it was a capital cost allowance increase for the entire industry, an increase that all parties, including the NDP, supported at committee.

Since 2008, our Conservative government has invested over $257 million in the City of London. Since being elected last May, I have been pleased to deliver nearly $20 million for organizations across the riding of London North Centre.

Our government is taking real action to create and sustain jobs, strengthen our local economy and work with those affected by EMD. I am proud of my city.

Business of Supply February 2nd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I support my colleague from Simcoe—Grey.

Events around the world make it clear that our government needs to make responsible decisions to ensure that social programs remain sustainable. That is what our government is doing.

We will make the changes necessary to ensure sustainability for the next generation, while not affecting current recipients. These changes will not affect today's retirees or Canadians who are close to retirement. The facts are undeniable: If changes are not made to the old age security program, it will become unsustainable.

I would like to ask my colleague what will happen to the program if our government does not do anything? Why is it important that we continue to look after our future seniors?

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act January 31st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, pooling pension savings will offer Canadians greater purchasing power because Canadians can buy in bulk. A third party PRPP administrator would take on most of the responsibility that employers currently take on with their pension plans. This would allow for simple enrolment and management. It would be helping small business owners and employees.

I, myself, was a small business owner and I know that we were always looking for a plan like this. This is a great plan and I hope everyone supports it.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act January 31st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the PRPP is designed for employees and employers of small businesses. Employers do not want the legal or administrative burden of offering a pension plan. We are helping small businesses with a red tape reduction plan and this would be easy to administer.

I have a couple of quotes from other people who also think it is a great plan.

In November, Ontario Liberal finance minister, Dwight Duncan, said that the McGuinty government supports, in principle, the federal Conservatives' PRPP proposal.

Stewart Kennedy, president of the Ontario Medical Association, said:

Ontario’s doctors and the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) commend the federal government for introducing legislation that will enable self-employed individuals to establish a pension plan.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said:

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce believes PRPPs--with simple and straightforward rules and processes--will give many businesses the flexibility and tools they need to help their employees save for retirement.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act January 31st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, we are helping millions of Canadians save for retirement more easily by introducing the pooled registered pension plan. This new, low cost and accessible option would help more Canadians meet their retirement goals. This is especially important for those working for small businesses and the self-employed.

PRPPs would improve the range of retirement savings options for Canadians by providing a new accessible, straightforward and administratively low cost retirement option for employers to offer their employees. It would allow individuals who currently may not participate in a pension plan, such as the self-employed and employees of companies that do not offer a pension plan, to make use of this new type of pension plan. It would enable more people to benefit from the lower investment management costs that result from membership in a large pooled pension. It would allow accumulated benefits to move with the person from job to job. This new pension plan would help all future seniors.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act January 31st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to speak about our government's plan to address the gaps in our nation's retirement income system.

Our Conservative government is squarely focused on what matters to Canadians: jobs and economic growth. As opposed to the opposition's empty rhetoric and high tax plans that would result in massive job losses in my city and across our country, our government has been taking real action to create and sustain jobs and strengthen London's economy.

In budget 2011, our government provided a new hiring credit for small businesses, as well as a one-time $1,000 credit against their increased EI premiums paid in 2011 over those paid in 2010, an investment that will directly benefit Londoners.

What did the members opposite do? They turned their backs on small businesses and their employees and voted no to this and other investments that directly benefit my constituents.

Last week, I was pleased to be joined in my riding by the hon. member for Beauce who, of course, is the Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism). We visited innovative small businesses in London, such as Voices.com, Big Viking Games and EK3. We also sat down with small business owners and London's mayor to discuss issues that are important to small businesses in our city.

We heard them loud and clear. Eight days ago, our Conservative government announced an investment of $5 million in training programs for the manufacturing sector in southwestern Ontario. This investment will directly benefit Londoners. The next day, I was pleased to announce over $1.2 million in research grants for Western University to help drive job creation in our city. As a side note, I would like to offer congratulations to Western University on its new branding. Again, that is an investment that will directly benefit Londoners.

There is more. The following day, along my colleague, the member for London West, I was pleased to announce over $497,000 in funding for job skills training programs at Youth Opportunities Unlimited in my riding, an investment that will directly benefit London's youth.

That is over $6 million of federal investments in London in just one week.

Our Conservative government has continued to build a strong foundation for retired Canadians. Since 2006, our Conservative government has twice increased the age credit amount, by $1,000 in both 2006 and 2009; doubled the maximum amount of income eligible for the pension income credit to $2,000; introduced pension income splitting; and increased the age limit for maturing pensions and registered retirement savings plans to 71, from 69 years of age.

Low income seniors in my riding of London North Centre are directly benefiting from budget 2011, which contained a new guaranteed income supplement top-up benefit for the most vulnerable seniors. Seniors with little or no income other than old age security and the GIS will receive additional annual benefits of up to $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples.

Today, we are discussing an initiative that would build a strong foundation for tomorrow's retired Canadians who do not have access to a workplace pension plan. Currently, many Canadians can only access a workplace pension plan if their employers offer one. Many employers do not want the legal or administrative burden of offering a pension plan. As a result, over 60% of Canadians do not have a workplace pension.

Bill C-25, the pooled registered pension plans act, would afford these Canadians the opportunity to make use of a new low-cost pension plan. PRPPs would be an innovative new pension plan, designed to address the lack of low-cost, large-scale retirement savings options for many Canadians.

Canada's aging population and the global financial crisis highlighted the issue of retirement income security. In this context, a joint federal-provincial working group was established in May 2009 to undertake an in-depth examination of retirement income adequacy in Canada. The working group concluded that, overall, the Canadian retirement income system was performing well and providing Canadians with an adequate standard of living upon retirement. However, some Canadian households, especially modest and middle income households, are at risk of not saving enough for retirement.

Ministers tasked senior officials to work collaboratively to analyze the wide range of ideas put forward to effectively address the issues identified in the research report.

Some Canadians may be failing to take advantage of the savings opportunities offered to them through individual structures, like RRSPs. For example, on average, each Canadian has over $18,000 in unused RRSP room.

The design features of the PRPP would remove a lot of traditional barriers that might have kept some employers in the past from offering pensions to their employees. The design of these plans would also be straightforward to allow for simple enrolment and management. A third party PRPP administrator would take on most of the responsibilities that employers bear in existing pension plans, including the administrative and legal duties associated with administering a plan.

By pooling savings, PRPPs would offer Canadians greater purchasing power. Basically, Canadians would be able to buy in bulk. Achieving lower prices than would otherwise be available means they would get greater returns on their savings and more money would be left in their pockets when they retire.

PRPPs are also intended to be largely harmonized from province to province, which will also lower administrative costs. PRPPs would facilitate low costs through their scale and design. These plans would result in large pooled funds that would enable plan members to benefit from the lower investment management costs associated with such funds.

Earlier today I saw the NDP member for London—Fanshawe stand in the House and speak against yet another federal government investment that would directly benefit Londoners. Instead of supporting her own constituents, the member opposite spoke in favour of a massive and reckless NDP pension taxation plan that would only hurt our city's businesses and result in massive job losses across the board. Perhaps if she spoke to London small business owners, as opposed to offering empty rhetoric, she would realize the direct benefits this bill would provide their city.

I am pleased to say that, unlike the NDP member for London—Fanshaw, I consulted with small businesses in my riding and across the city to obtain their feedback on this important bill. Just what did they have to say?

James McInnnes, CEO of Cyborg Trading Systems, a remarkable small business located in my riding of London North Centre, said: “By pooling resources with other small businesses across Canada, this initiative will help Canadian small businesses support their employees with securing a solid retirement plan.”

Paul Johnson, CEO of Quantum5X Systems, another innovative London small business, added: “The PRPP will offer another way to attract and reward employees. With time and critical mass, the PRPP funds under management should be significant and management expense ratios should be relatively low. These should become attractive options for retirement planning for many people who don't currently have access to a pension plan.”

Peter White, President of the London Economic Development Corporation, said: “The LEDC sees the advent of the PRPP as being an excellent step to ensure that businesses and employees without the benefit of a pension plan could utilize an excellent resource such as the PRPP. With the majority of businesses and employees in London not having a defined pension program, the PRPP would be a great tool to provide a cost effective plan for employees to ensure they are able to provide additional income for their retirement. The ability to use the PRPP plan would provide a well managed, secure program that would encourage employees to save more for their retirement. This PRPP is a great tool for companies.”

Bill C-25 is an investment in small businesses and their employees, an investment in tomorrow's seniors, an investment in job creation, and an investment in economic growth. Most importantly, Bill C-25 is yet another federal investment that would directly benefit Londoners.