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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was certainly.

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

Sealing Industry May 3rd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, members on this side of the House have stood in solidarity with Canadian sealers while opposition members have consistently sided with Hollywood activists who would not know a seal if it bit them.

What is the government's reaction to the Liberal senator's recent admonishment of the cultural significance and economic importance of this traditional hunt?

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act April 23rd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I know that Bill C-31 would help our government put a stop to those who seek to abuse our generosity. It would help to get immigrants here faster. We would welcome them and be glad to have them work in our system.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act April 23rd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, on February 16, our government introduced Bill C-31, which would restore integrity to our asylum system by making Canada's refugee process faster and fairer, thus resulting in faster protection for legitimate refugees and faster removal for bogus claimants.

Canada's immigration system is known for being the most generous and fair in the world, but we are also vulnerable to abuse. Bill C-31 would work to keep it fairer for everyone.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act April 23rd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I want to reiterate the fact that our government is committed to strengthening the integrity of Canada's immigration system and will make our refugee system faster and fairer. Canadians have given us a strong mandate to protect Canada's immigration system. We are acting on this mandate.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act April 23rd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to rise in the House today to speak in support of Bill C-31, protecting Canada's immigration system act. It is so important for us to help ensure the integrity of our immigration system, and the bill would do exactly that.

Immigrants come to Canada seeking a new life and new opportunities for their families and themselves. Our immigration system is the most fair and generous in the world. However, Canadians have no tolerance for those who abuse our generosity and take advantage of our great country. Indeed, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to protect Canada's immigration system. We are acting on that mandate through this bill.

Bill C-31 introduces many reforms that would help deter individuals and organizations that would seek to engage in illegal and dangerous human smuggling operations. It would also provide faster protection to genuine refugees, as well as faster removal for bogus claimants. With its introduction of biometrics, it would also bring Canada in line with other countries that already use biometrics in their immigration programs, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, the European Union, New Zealand, Japan and the United States, among others.

Although the bill presents many positive changes to our immigration system, the opposition NDP and Liberals continue to propagate myths regarding it. That is why I will try to explain to them today, as many of my colleagues have attempted to do in the past, exactly how these myths are incorrect.

First, the opposition states that the minister will be able to single-handedly pick and choose safe countries. This is categorically false. What the opposition does not understand is that there are laws and regulations that surround such decisions. The factors that would lead to a country's designation would be clearly outlined. It would be based on the decisions taken by the asylum claimants themselves, for example, through the decision to abandon or withdraw their claims, as well as through the independent Immigration and Refugee Board, but not single-handedly by the minister. In fact, it is clear that the criteria proposed to consider a country for designation will actually be more transparent and accountable than under the Balanced Refugee Reform Act.

Another common misconception put forth by members opposite is that Bill C-31 would prevent political prisoners, such as Alexandre Soljenitsyne, from making asylum claims in Canada. It is quite clear, when one reads the bill, that this claim is absolutely false. Political prisoners are not and will not be excluded from making refugee claims.

As is the case now, the only refugee claimants who are unable to access a refugee hearing are those who have been convicted of a serious crime, suspected of being involved in terrorism, have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity or have been involved in organized crime under Canadian law. This does not include political prisoners who have not been charged or convicted of a crime punishable under Canadian law. In fact, what the opposition fails to understand is that serious criminals who have been convicted of crimes punishable under Canadian law have always been barred from making a refugee claim in Canada, and Bill C-31 does not change that.

However, under the current system, serious criminality is based on the arbitrary measure of the length of a jail term rather than the severity of the crime committed. Under this legislation, serious criminality would instead be based on the severity of the crime, as defined under the Canadian Criminal Code.

The opposition additionally claims that Bill C-31 would include the mandatory detention of everyone who arrives as part of a human smuggling event for a minimum of one year. This claim is entirely false. If the opposition members were to read the bill more thoroughly, they would find that Bill C-31 includes an exemption from automatic detention for minors under the age of 16. Furthermore, adults aged 16 and over would be released from detention as soon as they received a positive opinion on their refugee claim from the IRB. In cases of human smuggling, it would be overwhelmingly irresponsible to simply release those involved in a criminal human smuggling operation before officials were able to confirm their identities and establish whether or not they posed a risk to the safety of Canadians. Those whose identities cannot be established and who have been determined to be threats to the safety and security of Canadians or those suspected of being architects of criminal activity could be held longer under this bill. This is a provision that is entirely fair and should be entirely supported. This government has always been very serious about maintaining the security and safety of all Canadians.

The final misconception that I would like to address today pertains to biometrics. Several of my colleagues have spoken out in favour of biometrics in the past and for good reason. They would help expedite identity verification and decision making by officials and would result in shorter wait times. Biometrics would also help prevent the forgery or theft of an applicant's identity to gain access into Canada. However, some members of the opposition choose to say that the government would not adequately protect the privacy of those who provide biometric data. This is simply not true. There are privacy laws in this country and the government plans to follow them. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been continuously working with the Privacy Commissioner on the implementation of biometrics. Personal information of applicants would be used, retained, shared and disposed of in accordance with Canada's privacy laws. Biometric data would be immediately disposed of when an individual received his or her citizenship. Furthermore, biometric data would not be required of Canadian citizens.

These are but a few misconceptions and myths put forward by the NDP and Liberal opposition. What is not a myth, though, is that the opposition parties are working against a bill that would restore integrity to our asylum system, making Canada's refugee determination faster and fairer in order to quickly provide refuge to legitimate refugees and remove bogus claimants. The NDP and Liberal opposition is working against a bill that would make the asylum system less prone to abuse. The NDP and Liberal opposition is working against a bill that would save the taxpayers millions of dollars every year, would help restore public trust in the immigration system and would ensure that Canada's generosity is only extended to those who genuinely need it.

The government was given a strong mandate to improve Canada's immigration system. In response it has presented Bill C-31, a bill that would help stop those who seek to abuse our generosity.

Status of Women December 6th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, today women and men from Canada will be gathering to commemorate the tragic events that took the lives of 14 young women in 1989. Equally as tragic, many women and girls continue to suffer violence today.

Could the Minister for Status of Women provide comment on this important issue?

International Co-operation November 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, our government has placed unprecedented focus on the health of mothers, newborns and children.

A major partner of the government in improving the lives of some of the world's most vulnerable people has been the World Health Organization.

At the request of the WHO, our Prime Minister agreed to co-chair the UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women and Children's Health, which recently released a series of recommendations.

Could the Minister of International Cooperation please update the House on progress being made?

Fisheries and Oceans November 3rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, just yesterday there were reports calling for the government to compromise on Canadian rights by backing down from our legitimate WTO challenge that seeks trade fairness for fishermen.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway advise the House whether the Conservative Party really is the only party in the House willing to stand up for our international trade rights and the rights of fishermen to choose their own livelihood?

Search and Rescue October 26th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House today to recognize the brave and courageous service of a young constable from my local Miramichi Police Force named Andrew Vickers.

On October 19, a woman threw herself into the Miramichi River in an attempt to take her own life. Constable Vickers braved strong currents and frigid water temperatures to save a life, while at the same time risking his own. Constable Vickers was supported through the rescue by Sergeant Les Saunders and Corporal Charlie Barter, who both provided encouragement and assistance. Following the rescue, the Miramichi Fire Department dispatched a boat to have the woman transported to the nearest ambulance. Thankfully, these efforts were successful and a life was saved.

This event shines a light on the vital importance of our essential services to communities across this country. It reminds us that suicide and mental health are serious problems that affect individual lives everywhere.

We on the Miramichi are happy to see Andrew following in the footsteps of his dad, a proud father, our very own Sergeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers.

Women in Canadian Military Forces October 19th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, October is Women's History Month in Canada. This year's theme, Women in Canadian Military Forces: A Proud Legacy, highlights the important contributions of women to the Canadian military forces throughout Canada's history.

It is an ideal time to learn about the work of outstanding women who serve and protect Canada and Canadians through key roles in the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Women such as Elizabeth Gregory MacGill, the first woman aircraft designer in the world, Josée Kurtz, the first woman to command a warship, and Marie Louise Fish, the first woman to serve as a naval officer at sea, are inspiring leaders. Their milestone achievements helped pave the way for women in the Canadian military.

On behalf of all Canadians, we thank them for being an important part of our national military history.