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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

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act May 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to know that the opposition will be supporting this bill, because it is very important. It will greatly help our economy.

We need to take measures to put a stop to illegal fishing, and this is what these amendments will do. The bill will give our fisheries officers a bigger role to play. We certainly know about and appreciate the hard work these officers do.

This is an important bill for our economy, and I am so proud to be part of a government that is taking action to help stop illegal fishing in our country and in many waters.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act May 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

I am pleased to rise in the House today to support Bill S-3, An Act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act. This bill would give Canada additional tools to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities more effectively and support global efforts to stop illegal fishing.

As a maritimer, I am keenly aware of the critical importance of sustainable fisheries for coastal communities. Illegal fishing is a worldwide problem. Unfortunately, these criminal operators have been able to move around, seeking out opportunities for profits in areas where enforcement is lacking or is difficult to undertake.

Over the last several years, the global community has been developing tools to ensure that illegally harvested fish do not make it to the global market. The goal of these efforts is to remove the economic profits from illegal fishing. By removing the monetary incentive from these illegal fishing operations, which are so detrimental to our environment and to the sustainability of marine species, we can hopefully eliminate these activities.

As a country that exports 85% of our fisheries harvest, we are mindful of the serious impact illegal fishing in other parts of the world can have on our industry too. By ratifying and implementing the port state measures agreement, we are working with our international partners to prevent illegal harvest from being traded around the world. We are making a commitment to support a fishing industry in Canada and abroad that follows the rules.

What kinds of species are targeted by illegal fishing ventures? They are the high-value species: bluefin tuna, toothfish, and so on. In many cases, the reason these fish are so valuable and so attractive to these criminals—their scarcity—is the same reason they are in such dire need of protection from unsustainable fishing practices.

Illegal fishing is not a new problem. In fact, there is a growing trend to require proof to ensure that imports of fish and seafood have been harvested legally. This proof usually takes the form of a document attesting that the fish harvesters followed national or regional fisheries management rules when catching the fish. Such documents must be supported by effective monitoring, control, and surveillance activities so that the importing country can confirm that the proper procedures have been followed.

Depending on the area, fishing requirements in international waters may be set by regional fisheries management organizations, such as the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, or NAFO. Through our membership in NAFO, our government is standing up for the interests of Canadian fishermen and sustainable fisheries. We have consistently called for measures that promote sustainability, address overfishing, and protect important marine ecosystems.

For example, at the 2014 annual meeting, Canada successfully pushed for further measures to strengthen catch reporting by all member countries. Some countries have started requiring catch documents for some or all seafood that is landed or imported into their markets. For example, the European Union has required all fish and seafood imports to be accompanied by a catch certificate since 2010. All countries who export to the European Union, including Canada, must demonstrate that they are able to ensure that their certificates are backed by strong fisheries enforcement.

Many regional fisheries management organizations take the same approach. These organizations have been focusing on creating catch documentation requirements for valuable species that are often fished illegally. For example, some organizations have documentation requirements for tuna species. These include regional management organizations that Canada is a member of, such as the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

We also import fish and seafood from areas around the world where we do not harvest. In many of these areas, regional organizations exist to manage prized species, such as tuna. Organizations, including the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna, also require catch certification documents to ensure that fish are caught legally.

Under the amendments proposed in the bill before us, Canada would be able to make it an offence to import tuna from these far-off regions without the required documents. This bill creates the necessary protection between Canada's seafood market and the illegal fishing operations that want to cash in on the high demand for these species.

Import documentation requirements can have a real impact on illegal fishing operations. One example is another species at great risk from illegal fishing operations, the Patagonian toothfish, often sold under the trade name “Chilean sea bass”. This species, living in the world's far southern oceans, is managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. All vessels fishing for toothfish in these waters must follow conservation measures and obtain a catch document to show that their catch was sustainably harvested. Since this catch documentation requirement was implemented in 2000, the amount of illegally caught toothfish entering global markets has dropped by half.

Canada does not fish these species, but this species is imported into our country. Much as is the case with tuna, the amendments before us in Bill S-3 will provide clear legal authority for Canada to adopt and implement such certification requirements for our imports.

Outside of catch certification documents designed by regional fisheries organizations, the amendments made to this bill in committee would allow Canada to determine, on our own, whether other fish and seafood imports should require specific documentation and what that the documentation should contain. The requirements would be set out in the regulations.

The amendment adopted in committee is important as it will allow Canada to react quickly with new requirements for fish imports when we learn of new species being targeted for illegal fishing.

The continued threat of illegal harvests was highlighted by the recent case of the fishing vessel called Thunder, which was tracked for months while fishing with illegal nets in Antarctic waters. In this instance, co-operation between Interpol, several states, and the organization performing surveillance left the vessel with no viable safe harbour for its illegal catch. This case clearly demonstrates that when the global community works together, we can stop these criminals and protect our oceans.

I urge all hon. members to join me in supporting the passage of this bill as reported by committee. These amendments to our Coastal Fisheries Protection Act would ensure that Canada's port state measures regime is consistent with this important international agreement and with standards shared by our international partners.

I am proud to be part of a government that is taking action on this important matter. I hope the opposition will do the right thing and vote for this bill.

Marven McCarthy April 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to the memory of a dear friend, a great Irishman and a true Miramichier. Marven McCarthy passed away suddenly, surrounded by his loving family.

Marven has been described as a travel agent, a tour guide, a fund raising expert, guardian of Middle Island and a champion of all things Irish-Canadian. Most important, he was a generous Christian, an amazing husband, father, grandfather, son and brother. Born and raised in Miramichi, Marven spent his entire life on the river. He fulfilled his life's journey by teaching high school math to countless young people at James M. Hill High School. His spirit and passion for community was shown as he gave tours of Middle Island, and imparted many life lessons to the hundreds of athletes he coached and managed.

Marven is remembered by his loving wife Mary Ann, their children and grandchildren. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him and who have been affected by his generous and passionate spirit.

Taxation April 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I rise today because I have some good news for hard-working families in the riding of Miramichi.

Our Conservative government is reducing taxes on middle-class families. As we announced in the balanced budget tabled by the Minister of Finance last week, our government has expanded and extended the universal child care benefit to provide more money to 100% of families with children. Regardless of their income or the form of child care they choose, parents will receive almost $2,000 per year for every child under the age of six, and $720 per year for every child six to seventeen years of age,

There are still nearly 200,000 Canadian families who are eligible to receive this benefit from our Conservative government, but who unfortunately have not signed up. I strongly encourage all families in Miramichi to go to Canada.ca/taxsavings to ensure that they receive all the money they deserve.

The Budget April 22nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, since 2006, our Conservative government has delivered for seniors with income splitting for pensioners and the largest top-up to the guaranteed income supplement in a quarter decade.

Unlike last month's Liberal budget in the province of New Brunswick, which attacked seniors and increased the cost of nursing home care and prescription drugs, economic action plan 2015 would build on our support for seniors by increasing the tax-free savings account annual contribution limit, introducing a new home accessibility tax credit, establishing a Canadian centre for aging and brain health innovation, and extending employment insurance compassionate care benefits from six weeks to over six months.

In addition, the Mayor of Fredericton said, “Well, we're very pleased. That's exactly what we asked for”.

Unfortunately, the leader of the Liberal Party has already said that he would cancel our expansion of the tax-free savings account and increase taxes on middle-class seniors.

Sealing Industry March 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our government has always been clear about its support for our Canadian sealers and the sealing industry. Unfortunately, earlier this week, we learned about a woman from Newfoundland and Labrador who recently had her seal skin purse confiscated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection because seals are on the endangered species list in the United States. She is now forced to pay a $250 fine for trying to take her purse across the border.

The seal hunt is the most humane hunt in the world. Sealing is a proud and historic tradition, one that is part of rural, northern, and Inuit life. It is always a way of life. Our government remains steadfast that the seal harvest is a humane, sustainable, and well-regulated activity. We stand behind the thousands of Canadians in coastal northern communities who depend on the seal harvest to provide a livelihood for their families and recognize the important role sealing plays in the management of aquatic ecosystems.

National Fiddling Day Act March 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I just want to say a sincere thanks to all of the members here tonight who have given such strong support. I am assured that all of the members here in the House realize what fiddling music has done for all of Canada, and how much value there is to this. I look forward to seeing this bill passed and being able to have our special day for all fiddlers right across Canada. I know that they too would appreciate this day designated just to recognize them.

National Fiddling Day Act March 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, yes, I have received lots of comments and thanks from the Miramichi Fiddlers themselves and from Mrs. Murdoch, who was very proud of the fact that I am bringing this bill forward, and from many relatives who have gathered over the years to play fiddle music in our own homes.

Yes, it has been very well received on the Miramichi, and I have received lots of thanks for doing it.

National Fiddling Day Act March 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her statement and for her support on the bill.

I certainly agree. I doubt there is anywhere across our great country where we would not find the fiddle as an important instrument. It certainly provides a lot of entertainment for all of us right across our great country.

National Fiddling Day Act March 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his statement and reiterate all of what he said.

As I said in my statement, we need to promote this idea. We need to keep it going so that our future generations will realize and appreciate how much fiddlers mean to us and what they have given to Canada right across our great country.