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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

The Economy May 31st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, we heard that Canada has recorded its strongest quarterly rate of economic growth in a decade. Indeed, Canada posted the strongest first quarter growth in the entire G7. No wonder the OECD secretary-general singled out Canada for praise, saying:

I think Canada looks good—it shines, actually

Canada's economic action plan is having a major positive impact with its job-creating tax cuts, stimulus infrastructure projects, and much more. Our Conservative government's plan has helped create 285,000 jobs since last July.

The last thing our economy needs is a massive Liberal tax grab. While our plan is helping lead the way on jobs and growth, the Liberal plan to raise taxes would halt our recovery in its tracks, and according to experts, would kill almost 400,000 jobs. Canada's economy just cannot afford another Liberal tax grab.


Mr. Chair, my riding of Miramichi depends a great deal on both the lobster and crab fisheries, and fishermen in my riding have been affected by both the global economic recession and the recent downturn in the crab stock.

I have spoken with the fisheries minister on many occasions about these issues and I am encouraged by some of the investments our government has made in the fishery. We have invested over $200 million under the economic action plan last year to bring our wharves up to a safe standard. We provided over $70 million in support for lobster harvesters during last year's global economic downturn. And we transferred over $245 million to the province of New Brunswick, under various HRSDC programs, to allow the province to provide support for those in the processing sector.

We know that decisions concerning the crab fishery are based on science advice. I wonder if my hon. colleague could explain in more detail on what basis decisions are made regarding quotas.


Madam Chair, I want to note that our minister has only been in office for two years. With the crisis in the price of lobster last year, I can understand her reasoning for not wanting to hit the boom on small crab as well. Even though she was told about the biomass, she listened to the fishers that time.

Access and allocation decisions are always very controversial, even more so when new entrants are added to a fishery. In 1995 there were 62 licences, regular and temporary, in zones 23 and 24. When the Liberal Party left office in 2006, there were 111 licences in total in these zones. That is an increase of 49, which would have been quite a heavy burden on that zone.

Could the member opposite comment on the merits of the Liberal policy that saw an increase of nearly 80% in these zones over that period of time?

Eliminating Pardons for Serious Crimes May 12th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, yesterday legislation was tabled in the House to ensure that sexual offenders against children do not receive pardons.

As the Minister of Public Safety said, “These changes are tough, yet they're fair. And they're in line with the expectations of Canadians”.

This legislation is a step in the right direction. Canadians agree and victims' advocates agree.

It is too bad the opposition members are not listening. Here is what they had to say yesterday. The Liberals want to hear from the experts. The Bloc members are concerned about stigmatizing rapists. The NDP members say they oppose the principles behind the bill.

The opposition parties need to stop playing games and start listening to Canadians. We call on the opposition parties to side with victims and law-abiding Canadians, not criminals.

Pay Equity Task Force Recommendations Act May 4th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss an issue of great importance to women and to all those who believe in the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. The subject is the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act which, I am proud to say, our government introduced into the House last year and was subsequently passed into law.

The previous pay equity system in the federal public sector was broken. It was lengthy, costly, and because it was complaint-based, these issues were addressed only as an afterthought when complaints were made. As a result, women had to wait up to 20 years for resolution of their complaints following gruelling and divisive court proceedings. In fact, many employees had already left the public service by the time complaints were settled.

Why was this happening? It was because under the previous system, federal public service employers and unions were not required to take pay equity issues into account when they negotiated wages, and this was not fair to women.

There is a better way. That is why our government introduced the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act. Our approach ensures employers and unions take pay equity into consideration every time they negotiate. It is time for employers and unions to be jointly accountable for setting equitable wages, for reporting publicly to employees, and for sticking to the commitments they make at the bargaining table. We should be putting dollars in the hands of women and not in the hands of those directing these costly and lengthy legal proceedings.

Others share our viewpoint. The Federally Regulated Employers-Transportation and Communications organization told a parliamentary committee that the legislation makes sense and that both collective bargaining parties must be responsible for implementing pay equity.

In 2004 a task force, appointed by the previous government, concluded that proactive pay equity legislation was a more effective way of protecting the rights of women. The same task force recommended that Parliament enact new stand-alone pay equity legislation, which is what we did. Our legislation addressed the key recommendations of the 2004 report by setting out a proactive and collaborative system to ensure equal pay for work of equal value.

It does not change human rights. It protects them. We put teeth in this legislation. Fines will be imposed on either employers or unions that do not comply with their duty to ensure equitable compensation. As a further protection, employees will be able to resolve any disputes through the Public Service Labour Relations Board, an independent tribunal.

Pay equity legislation has been continually evolving since the first such legislation was introduced in Manitoba in 1986, followed by Ontario and Quebec. Our new federal model builds on those existing models. It goes a step further by truly integrating equitable compensation into the wage setting process and ensuring continuous action for years to come.

Women deserve fair pay rates now and every time their collective agreements are renewed, not 20 years from now, which is why I am proud of our government's pay equity legislation.

Let us be clear. When women are treated fairly, they prosper. We need look no further than today's public service. In today's public service, women and men have equal access to all positions. Today women comprise just over half of the overall public service and they have shown a marked increase in their participation in professional, scientific and executive ranks.

Since 1999, women have made great strides in accessing more top jobs in the public service. The glass ceiling does not exist in today's federal public service. Women are fully represented in positions of power and authority and are able to contribute at all levels. Women have made important strides in the federal public service. The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act reflects our commitment to ensure we continue to move in the right direction.

However, our commitment to women does not end there.

We support a wide range of initiatives that create opportunities for women and their families, including the extension of maternity and parental benefits to self-employed Canadians, as well as more targeted programs such as the women's community fund and the women's partnership fund.

The women's community fund supports projects at the local, regional and national levels to enable the full participation of women in all aspects of Canadian life.

The women's partnership fund facilitates the engagement of eligible organizations and public institutions through joint projects designed to address issues important to women.

Our government continues to introduce initiatives that improve the lives of women at home and abroad.

In the recent Speech from the Throne, we committed to further protecting women by cracking down on crime and addressing the unsolved cases of murdered and missing aboriginal women.

On the international front, Canada is championing a major initiative on maternal and child health in developing nations, during its G8 presidency.

Every year, more than half a million women die in pregnancy and nearly nine million children die before their fifth birthday. Far too many lives and futures have been lost for lack of relatively simple health solutions, all well within the reach of the international community. Often, the keys to life are no more sophisticated than clean water or the most basic treatment against infection.

Other members of the G8 share our concern. Together, we will take action to address this human misery.

Action was what was required when it came to the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. Our government acted when it brought forward the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act.

Let us not now undo the progress we have made. Let us not now return to a system in which women had to wait up to 20 years for resolution of pay equity complaints, and then only after gruelling and divisive debates in court. Let us not take a step backward for women. Instead, let us support the just system our government has put in place by opposing the bill before us today.

Employment Insurance April 13th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has a solid record of unwavering support for our Canadian Forces members who put their lives on the line for our country and for their families.

Unfortunately, the rules for EI parental leave prevent some soldiers who are deployed from spending quality time with their new child.

Could the minister tell the House what our Conservative government has done to rectify this important issue that Liberal governments ignored for so many years?

St. Patrick's Day March 17th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, March 17 is the day to celebrate Irish culture. It is St. Patrick's Day.

The first Irish immigrants settled around Miramichi, the riding I proudly represent, and I wish to take this opportunity to salute Canada's national Irish capital, the Miramichi.

Thousands of people come together at Miramichi's own Irish festival each July to celebrate and take part in a variety of activities: Irish dancing and music; cultural and musical workshops; family parade and family reunions; and stories and games for the little ones.

Although I am not on the Miramichi today, I wish to take this opportunity to salute all the Irish in our country who are celebrating our culture, our Irish traditions and those who are wearing green.

I especially salute the hard-working Irish festival committee, the retired teachers group and all who are today doing their thing to enjoy and promote our Irish culture.

Fisheries and Oceans March 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, for generations Atlantic Canadian fishermen have looked south to sell their products in the lucrative New England market. Today, a lobster pulled from a trap on the Miramichi in the morning could be on the menu in Boston later that evening.

Could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans inform this House about the recent work at the International Boston Seafood Show and our government's support for Canadian fishermen?

Sealing Industry March 9th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, today Canadian sealers again came under attack from a member of the Liberal caucus. This morning a Liberal senator, working with a radical animal rights group, announced his plans to retable a bill to end the seal hunt.

I ask the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans this. What will this government do to protect Canadian sealers from this harassment from within the Liberal caucus?

Sealing Industry March 8th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are being subjected to mounting hypocrisy in the Liberals' positions.

While some Liberal members profess to support Canada's seal hunt, a Liberal senator has vowed to reintroduce his insulting private member's bill to ban the hunt entirely.

I ask the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, what is the government doing to protect Canada's seal hunt?