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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 November 8th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, our government has long supported Canadian sealers and their families while Hollywood activists have spread false information about the humaneness and practice of the hunt.

Could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans please inform the House of a recent study regarding the seal hunt and its humane practices, as well as our government's support for the industry?

Sealing Industry September 28th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, while the opposition members pander to extremist NGOs and pretentious Hollywood stars, they are outright disappointing for Canada's fishermen and sealers. Our government will continue to defend the right of our sealers to provide a livelihood for their families through our humane, responsible and sustainable harvest.

Canada has a long history of hunting and gathering. It is part of who we are. Could the parliamentary secretary give us an update on our government's continued fight against the European Union seal ban?

Miramichi Summer Festivals September 24th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the Miramichi region of New Brunswick is well known throughout our province and beyond for the many fantastic festivals we host during the summer months. Over the course of this summer, I was able to attend a great number of these wonderful events. It was an excellent opportunity to reconnect with old friends and to make new ones along the way.

Everywhere I went I saw the great sense of community that characterizes our beautiful Miramichi area. These local summer festivals are much more than simply a chance to relax and enjoy good weather. A wide variety of community services such as minor sports rely on the revenue from summer events to fund their activities throughout the year. They are a vital source of community pride and demonstration.

These festivals do not happen without the work of lots of volunteers. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the thousands of volunteers for their dedication and commitment. I am already looking forward to the festivals next summer.

Sealing Industry June 21st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, unlike the NDP and the Liberals, our government has been clear. We are unequivocal in our support of the Canadian sealing industry, an industry that is vital to communities across Canada.

We continue to stand up and support these important jobs. Could our regional minister from Newfoundland and Labrador please inform this House of any updates regarding our government's respect and support for sealers in Newfoundland and Labrador and the rest of Canada?


Mr. Speaker, it is well-known that Canada works to produce a trade industry across our country. This agreement will not only help one province but all the provinces will benefit from it.

It is important that Canadian firms establish an early presence in this emerging market and build a solid relationship that will provide them with a competitive edge.

Trade has always been a powerful engine for Canada's economy and so it is with this Panama trade agreement as well.


Mr. Speaker, I guarantee and assure the member that our government will be looking for factors and concerns like this and will only sign the agreement once it is sure the best interests of all Canadians have been taken care of.

This free trade agreement has the support of key exporters and investors across our country. Its passage through the House will ensure that Canadian businesses are able to take advantage of many opportunities in this important market. This will ensure Canada's growth, strength and prosperity. It is part of our global trade and part of our economic prosperity. Canadians elected us to do what is best for them.


Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the member opposite that our government will only be signing agreements that are in the best interests of Canadians. I am quite certain that she will find her question falls into that rank.

Global trade is vital to our economic prosperity. A country like Canada, with so much expertise, can now take advantage of these significant opportunities in Panama. This will help ensure Canada's growth, prosperity and strength.

I ask members to share in our vision and support this agreement.


Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to rise in the House to talk about the Canada-Panama free trade agreement.

The House has spent considerable time debating the key elements of this trade agreement. We are aware that Panama is already a significant trade partner for Canada, with two-way trade totalling over $235 million in 2011. Panama is an established market for Canadian exports and holds significant potential for Canadian businesses.

We have also heard about the tremendous opportunities that exist in Panama with respect to government procurement. In addition to the ongoing USD $5.3 billion Panama Canal expansion project, the Government of Panama has numerous infrastructure projects either under consideration or already in progress to build or improve ports, roads, hospitals, social housing projects, bridges and airports. These projects are part of the Panamanian government's USD $13.6 billion strategic investment plan for 2010-2014. A country like Canada, with so much expertise, can take advantage of these significant opportunities in Panama.

Panama is also a strategic destination for Canadian investment, with the stock of Canadian investment in Panama reaching over $121 million in 2010.

However, looking beyond this investment, government procurement and market access for goods, this agreement is a comprehensive free trade agreement with obligations that extend well beyond these subjects to include other areas of importance to Canadian businesses.

The free trade agreement provides comprehensive obligations in areas such as financial services, temporary entry of business persons, electronic commerce and telecommunications, and competition, monopolies and state enterprises.

Canadian banking is consistently recognized as among the best in the world. In fact, the World Economic Forum has ranked Canada's banking system as the soundest in the world for four years in a row. This is an area where Canada is truly excelling.

The Canadian financial services sector is a leader in providing high-quality and reliable financial services. Across the Americas, Canadian banks are helping foster economic growth through access to credit and other financial services. In Panama specifically, Canadian financial institutions such as Scotiabank have an active presence and offer a wide variety of banking services. This agreement will help those Canadian financial institutions take advantage of opportunities in Panama.

On financial services, this agreement provides market access parity with what Panama offered to the U.S. through the trade promotion agreement and contains a robust prudential carve-out. This agreement includes comprehensive obligations for the financial services sector, including banking, insurance and securities.

These market access commitments are complemented by key obligations that ensure non-discrimination, provide a right of establishment for financial institutions, and promote regulatory transparency in the financial sector. These are key elements that the Canadian financial services sector is seeking in order to ensure that it is able to compete in an increasingly competitive global market. This government is responding to this demand.

Another important area included in this trade agreement to ensure that businesses are able to fully maximize the opportunities in Panama is temporary entry for business persons. This is an important issue for Canadian businesses to ensure that their employees are able to work in Panama and is a natural complement to market access for goods, services and investment.

In recognition of a significant number of Canadian companies operating in the region, the agreement removes unnecessary barriers impairing the ability of companies to bring in the skilled workers they need. These would include impediments such as the requirement for labour certification, tests, quotas, proportionality requirements or any other prior approval procedure.

The agreement extends to an extensive list of professions, including various technicians and provisions for spousal employment.

The strength of this free trade agreement does not stop there. It also extends into the areas of electronic commerce and telecommunication. Electronic commerce is an important addition to previous free trade agreements in light of the importance of ensuring that no digital economy issues, such as the protection of personal information, consumer protection and paperless trade, are overlooked. These are issues that are increasingly important for businesses in the 21st century and Canada and Panama have recognized this fact.

In the free trade agreement with Canada, Panama has agreed to a permanent moratorium on customs duties for products delivered electronically. This includes items such as electronic software, music purchased online and digital books. This moratorium is important, not only for businesses but for consumers as well.

In addition to electronic commerce, telecommunications provisions were also included to support the competitive development of the telecommunications sector. Through this free trade agreement, Canadian telecommunication service providers will be able to better compete with their American counterparts in the Panamanian market.

Clearly there are many benefits to this free trade agreement with Panama that go beyond trade in goods and investment.

The final area that I will touch on is the obligation in the free trade agreement related to competition, monopolies and state enterprises. This agreement meets Canada's objective of ensuring that anti-competitive business practices and the actions of monopolies or state enterprises do not undermine the benefits of trade and investment.

Canada and Panama will co-operate on issues relating to competition policy through their respective authorities. The obligations ensure that Canadian companies doing business in Panama are treated fairly. There are many other areas of agreement that will offer real commercial benefits to Canadian companies.

Overall, this is a high quality and comprehensive trade agreement. It will allow Canadian businesses to compete and excel in the Panamanian market. This is a market where many key exporters are seeing enormous potential.

According to a recent report published by the Global Centre for Aviation, Panama has the fastest growing economy in all of Latin America and is expected to have the fastest growing economy in Latin America for the next five years. Panama's real gross domestic product growth for 2011 is estimated at 10.6%. That is a faster growth than many other rapidly emerging economies and clearly illustrates that the commercial potential in Panama is very significant.

It is important that Canadian firms establish an early presence in this emerging market and build solid relationships that will provide them with a competitive edge.

Panama holds a unique and influential position in the global trading system, thanks to the Panama Canal. Panama represents an entry point to the broader region, thereby enabling access to neighbouring markets. This growth, driven by the expansion of the Panama Canal and other major infrastructure projects, represents tremendous opportunities for Canadian businesses. This country's sound macroeconomic policy and improved security have resulted in favourable economic conditions and stronger demand for imported products. This represents new opportunities for Canadian exporters.

This free trade agreement has the support of key exporters and investors across Canada and its passage through this House will ensure that Canadian businesses are able to take advantage of opportunities in this important market.

Petitions June 5th, 2012

Madam Speaker, I rise in the House today to present a petition signed by many great Canadians from across our great country requesting that the government develop and implement a comprehensive national action plan to combat human trafficking.

New Democratic Party of Canada May 15th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader recently announced his new shadow cabinet and there is certainly weakness among the ranks. He appointed the member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl as critic for ACOA and post-secondary education. This member has developed the reputation of an “unapologetic Newfoundland separatist” and is willing to take extreme positions on unity.

He certainly has not been prepared to stand up for one of Newfoundland and Labrador's oldest industries, the seal hunt. Instead of standing up to the radicals who oppose this traditional way of life, he suggested that it may be time for sealers to just give up. Our government is proud to stand up for Canadian sealers. It is shocking to hear the member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl speak so harshly against this important industry.

The NDP threatens dangerous economic experiments, job-killing taxes—