House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was women.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Miramichi (New Brunswick)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canadian Armed Forces Day June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was Canadian Armed Forces Day, an opportunity to say thanks to the men and women in uniform who stand on guard for Canada, the true north, strong and free.

We are all blessed to call Canada home. Our military keeps us safe, serving us at home and abroad in times of both peace and conflict, ready for duty at a moment's notice. On behalf of my constituency of Miramichi and all colleagues here today, I wish to extend our sincere appreciation to the soldiers, sailors, and aviators who keep Canada safe.

Ferry Services to Prince Edward Island June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak on this essential ferry service. First and foremost, I have to emphasize that this private member's motion fails to recognize what this government has accomplished to support this ferry service.

The member for Cardigan is seeking a commitment from this government to ensure long-term, sustainable and adequate funding for the Wood Islands-Caribou ferry service. However, this government's track record irrefutably demonstrates a commitment to these objectives, a commitment sustained over a long period of time. Even more so, I do not hesitate to point out that our record is very clear, and that residents of Atlantic Canada have been well served by our continued support for the eastern Canada ferry services.

Our track record warrants being repeated so that no doubt is left in the minds of Canadians regarding our government's commitment to the ferry services operating in Atlantic Canada.

Since 2006, our government invested significantly in eastern Canada ferry services. From a total of approximately $250 million, over $100 million was allocated to the Wood Islands-Caribou service. The remainder of this total went to two other regional ferry services, namely the Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia and les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec to Souris, P.E.I. ferry services. I am sure we can agree that $250 million is a significant sum.

Moreover, our government invested $44.6 million to purchase a replacement vessel for the aging MV Princess of Acadia, the recently named MV Fundy Rose. We expect the MV Fundy Rose will be in service in 2015, after completion of some refitting and outfitting work. While the MV Princess of Acadia has provided the service for 44 years, it should be noted that the MV Fundy Rose vessel will offer improvements with respect to comfort and amenities, and has a more positive environmental impact.

As another example of our government's support, in 2013, this government invested almost $13 million to replace the main engines on the MV Holiday Island, an investment that has allowed for a more efficient service while reducing the risk of unanticipated mechanical breakdowns. This funding also went toward improvements to shore-based infrastructure on both sides of the Northumberland Strait.

We have heard the opposition demand that a longer-term deal for at least five years be put in place, which maintains or exceeds the current service that is provided.

I ask members to recall that, coinciding with our July 2014 funding announcement, our government stated its commitment to examining options for a long-term approach for the delivery of eastern Canada ferry services, including the Wood Islands-Caribou service. This work is currently under way and will provide the next steps in ensuring the sustainability of these ferry services.

Ferry operators and the provincial governments are being engaged, and we believe that our collective efforts will lead to a ferry service that best serves local communities and demonstrates this government's great sense of responsibility to Canadian taxpayers. This is the government's focus, and this is an important one if we are to achieve a sustainable ferry service.

A common theme heard from the other speakers was the importance of the Wood Islands-Caribou service to the tourism sector of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. In 2008, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency estimated that the ferry service provided annual benefits of $20.7 million to Prince Edward Island and $12.4 million to Nova Scotia. A significant number of tourists use the Wood Islands-Caribou service as a point of entry to Prince Edward Island, especially during the peak season of July to August tourist season. In July and August, visiting tourists using the ferry as the point of entry to the island represent 19% of total tourist visits.

This is a considerable amount of traffic using this ferry service, and we want to ensure that the local economy continues to be able to leverage tourism to facilitate prosperity in the long term. These are important components to foster sustainable and prosperous communities.

While it is clear the Wood Islands-Caribou ferry service plays an important role in supporting tourism in Prince Edward Island, it also creates an important linkage to Cape Breton Island. The existence of the ferry allows tourists to easily move from Prince Edward Island to eastern Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton. The ferry service has a long history of support from local communities. Over the last half century, there have been times when it appeared that the ferry service might no longer receive support. However, the ferry service continued uninterrupted.

Our government understands that marine transportation is a significant part of Canada's history. Our government understands how ferry services allow for greater economic development and the building of stronger and more integrated communities. Our government understands also the benefits that ferry services provide. As we have said before and continue to say, support for the Wood Islands-Caribou ferry service will continue under this government. Support for a sustainable economy that meets the diverse transportation needs of the island's businesses will continue, and support for our local communities and economic development will continue as well.

However, our government will not support Motion No. 591. Rather, we will continue to support our ferry services and examine options for a long-term approach for the delivery of eastern Canada ferry services.

Digital Privacy Act June 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I assure the member opposite, and all members of the House, that our government is getting the job done, and that is why we are moving on.

Digital Privacy Act June 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I assure the House, and the member opposite must know as well, that this bill has to go through the two Houses regardless. Therefore, that is the path we chose. It will be well worth it to get it moving on, and well received by all Canadians because it is a very important change.

Digital Privacy Act June 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I assure the member opposite that our government takes the privacy of Canadians very seriously. That is why we introduced the digital privacy act, which contains important new protections for Canadians. Based on the testimony heard at the industry, science and technology committee, our government believes that we have struck the right balance in this bill.

We take the privacy of Canadians seriously, and so do Canadians right across our great country. I want to share a quote from a well-known Canadian, the current Privacy Commissioner. He stated:

I am greatly encouraged by the government's show of commitment to update the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and I generally welcome the amendments proposed in this bill.

Digital Privacy Act June 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to Bill S-4, the digital privacy act. The bill would make significant improvements to Canada's private sector privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or PIPEDA.

One aspect of the digital privacy act that has not received a lot of attention is how the bill would help reduce red tape for businesses. Reducing red tape for Canadian businesses saves money and helps encourage greater investment in our economy. I would like to focus my comments today on these important changes.

We must always bear in mind that strong privacy legislation is not just good for everyday Canadians; it is also good for businesses. In our rapidly evolving digital economy, personal information is becoming increasingly valuable, creating tremendous new opportunities for businesses to innovate and develop new products and services.

Canadians will not provide their private information to businesses if they do not trust that it will be protected. At the same time, if the rules are too cumbersome and complex for businesses to manage and show no clear benefit to consumer privacy, then companies will struggle to implement them. It is for these reasons that the digital privacy act proposes a number of common sense changes to help businesses protect privacy in a way that does not hinder their ability to conduct business.

All of these changes make sense. They were all identified by the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics when it conducted the first statutory review of PIPEDA back in 2006. Businesses have been waiting a long time for these changes, and it is important that we move now to implement them. I would like to briefly touch on each of these important changes.

The first changes are in relation to business transactions. Currently, if a company wants to examine personal information as part of its due diligence—for example, if a business is thinking of buying a magazine and would like to look at the list of current subscribers—it first needs to obtain the consent of each individual subscriber. This requirement not only presents a tremendous burden for the company but is also often impractical, given the confidential nature of most prospective business transactions.

Bill S-4 fixes this problem by creating an exception to the requirement for consent that would allow businesses to share information in this context. This must be done in such a way that the privacy interests of those involved are protected.

Under the digital privacy act, information could only be shared for the purpose of assessing the feasibility of the transaction. If the transaction did not proceed, the information would have to be destroyed or returned. If the transaction did proceed, then the individuals would have to be informed.

This amendment would implement a recommendation made by the standing committee during the first statutory review and is modelled after a similar exception that is currently in place in Alberta and British Columbia under their private sector privacy laws.

In addition, the amendment has widespread support among stakeholders. Ms. Éloise Gratton, a lawyer with the Borden Ladner Gervais law firm, appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. She said:

I offer my support to two important provisions in the bill: mandatory breach notification and business transaction exception.

The next important amendment I would like to highlight is the change to how business contact information is dealt with under PIPEDA. Currently, certain types of business contact information are not defined as personal information. Specifically, a person's business title, address, and telephone number are not considered personal information and are therefore not regulated.

As was pointed out during the first statutory review of PIPEDA, this would present an obvious problem: only a few bits and pieces of information are considered to be business contact information under PIPEDA. A person's work email address or fax number or their LinkedIn account or a business Twitter handle are all considered personal information.

The digital privacy act would correct this problem by creating a technology-neutral definition of “business contact information”. It would do this by being inclusive of all types of communication points of contact, such as social media applications like Twitter and LinkedIn. With this change, a sales manager would now be allowed to share an employee's work email address with a client without having to get permission first. This would create a better balance between protecting privacy and allowing information to flow in a digital economy. At the same time, the act would continue to protect business contact information if it is used outside of a business context.

Another important amendment in the digital privacy act would be the clarification around the rules for when someone's personal information is included in their work product. An example would be when a garage mechanic signs off on a vehicle's inspection or a work estimate. The fact that the mechanic signs off on the estimate would mean that it now contains his personal information.

Currently, under PIPEDA, a business must obtain an individual's consent to use or share any work product he or she creates if it contains the individual's personal information. Again, this seems like a rather silly and unnecessary bit of red tape. Bill S-4 would fix this problem by ensuring that businesses can use their employees' work without getting the employees' consent.

Finally, the digital privacy act would ensure that insurance companies can use witness statements when assessing or processing any insurance claim. Witness statements provided to the police or other investigating authorities may contain personal information. For example, if I were to witness someone running a red light that results in a car accident, my statement to the police would include personal information. Currently, under PIPEDA, an insurance company processing any claims for the accident would need to get the consent of anyone named in my witness statement in order to use it. Such a requirement would create the potential for someone who breaks the law to use privacy as a shield to avoid responsibility for his or her actions.

The digital privacy act would fix this problem with an amendment that would enable an organization to obtain a witness statement without having to obtain the consent of an individual whose personal information is contained within it. However, this experience would only apply when the information is necessary to assess, process or settle an insurance claim.

In addition to strengthening privacy protection in Canada through measures like mandatory data breach reporting and stronger enforcement powers for the Privacy Commissioner, which had been discussed extensively in this place, the digital privacy act would also make a number of important changes that would cut red tape for Canadian businesses.

I hope hon. members will join with me in supporting a balanced and carefully considered bill that would dramatically improve Canada's privacy law.

Public Safety June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Allan Legere, known as the monster of Miramichi, is a heinous criminal. He murdered a shopkeeper in Black River Bridge and then escaped from prison and committed four more murders. He is the worst of the worst.

My constituents recently found out that he will have a parole hearing this October and could be released into the community.

Could the Minister of Public Safety tell the House what our government will do to keep dangerous criminals like the monster of Miramichi behind bars?

Justice June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Monster of Miramichi is a heinous criminal. He is a convicted murderer who then escaped from prison and committed four more murders. We are committed to taking all actions within our power to ensure that he remains behind bars where he belongs. Under the leadership of our Conservative government, we have taken strong action to restore victims to their rightful place at the heart of the criminal justice system, and to ensure that the worst of the worst stay in prison for life. We will always put the rights of victims before the wishes of criminals.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act May 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his question. I too, when I first came here, was a member of the fisheries committee. It certainly was a great learning experience.

I know that our fishers are in favour of the bill and realize the benefit to our economy. They are glad that our government is taking action.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act May 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for his question, and I am happy to learn that he too will be supporting our bill. It will certainly have a great effect on our economy.

We will be leaving much work in the hands of our officers, and it certainly is a lot of work for them. We value the excellent and dedicated work they all do.

As we all know, Canada is taking a leading role, and I am so happy to be part of a government that sees the importance of sustainable fisheries for coastal communities. I am proud to be part of this great government that not only sees the need but is standing up and taking action. Not only does our government see the need to combat illegal fishery activities, it is taking action. I am very happy that the opposition is going to support us.