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Liberal MP for Don Valley East (Ontario)
Won her last election, in 2015, with 58% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 15th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, let me remind the hon. member of a little bit of history. When our government, the Martin-Chrétien government, took over, we took over a bankrupt country. The Conservatives had left it bankrupt. We left them with a $13-billion surplus. What did they do with it? Economists called Mr. Harper the worst economic manager. GST is a regressive tax. They took boutique tax cuts without creating any jobs.
We do not need to learn any lessons from them because there they were stagnant, they were inward looking, and they put more money into advertising and in building gazebos instead of people.
Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 15th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise and speak on Bill C-29, the budget implementation bill.
As we all know, the Budget Implementation Act provides the legislative framework to implement the key campaign promises that were reiterated in budget 2016. In this bill, our key focus is to grow the economy by investing in people through tax cuts, as well as investing in the environment.
For the past 10 years, there has been no growth. The economy was lethargic, because the previous government did not take measures to invest in the economy. It made a lot of announcements and spent millions of dollars on advertising but not on people. Our government is more focused on investing in people and in helping to grow the middle class.
We know that middle-class Canadians are working harder than ever, but they are not getting ahead. We know that there is a growing consensus globally that governments need to invest in the economy, and that this investment has to be on a long-term basis and not short term. Therefore, to grow the economy, we need an ambitious agenda and an innovative agenda, which is the focus of our government. If we wish to move forward and not be stagnant, we need to think outside the box.
A strong economy starts with a strong middle class. When the middle class grows, so does the economy, because there is more purchasing power, and more money to save and invest. For example, in my riding of Don Valley East, our government's budget has had a great impact on the constituents. The riding is primarily a middle-class riding. Youth unemployment is above the national average. Our government's tax cuts have helped 90% of my constituents. This has put more money in their pockets. In my riding, I have seen a renewed sense of hope.
Families with children have also benefited from our government's Canada child benefit. This has alleviated the poverty level for nine out of 10 families in the riding. We know how expensive raising a child is. Families work hard to provide for their children. Our government's Canada child benefit program has been a welcomed impetus for these families.
As well, in the area of youth unemployment, we doubled our investment in the Canada summer jobs program. In my riding of Don Valley East, 66 businesses employed over 234 students. This was very important for these students, because it provided them with the skill sets and resources to help them through their university years.
While we are talking about employment and the area of creating jobs for the future, our government has been bold in not only taking steps to invest in infrastructure, but working with provinces and municipalities to help them address the issues of falling bridges, tracks, bicycle paths, walking trails, switches, etc. These were neglected by the former government, because it never participated or talked to the provinces or municipalities.
These are important first steps. In my riding, I have seen that there is an investment of over $125,000 in walking trails and paths. How does that benefit the residents? It benefits the citizens, because it is an area where people walk and build healthy lifestyles. As well, we help the environment.
Also in my riding are engines of growth, which have benefited from our government's innovation agenda. The companies in my riding have been able to create over 100 good-paying jobs for young professionals.
Confident, ambitious countries invest in their own future. They invest where the economy is growing. They do not shy away from progress. This type of progress is not easy. It takes smart investments in infrastructure, in technology, and most important, in the skills and creativity of its people.
Our government has taken that bold step. We have worked with provinces. We have worked with municipalities. We have invested where there are shovels in the ground, when municipalities have come as our partners, when provinces have come as our partners, and we are seeking to expand that pool as well.
Through our budget implementation bill, Bill C-29, that is what we are doing. We are moving forward. We are thinking outside the box. I would urge members opposite to participate in this bold, innovative agenda.
Business of Supply October 27th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for her passion and commitment to transform a system so we can get concrete results for the aboriginal community on the issues that plague them.
For the past 10 years, the Harper government did nothing. In fact, the Conservatives were accused of not protecting the children. They were accused of systemic racial discrimination.
What are some of the challenges the minister faced when she took over a file that had not been acted on?
Interparliamentary Delegations October 26th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, two reports of the delegation of the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
The first concerns the bilateral visit to Providentiales and Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, and Georgetown, Guyana, from February 7 to February 14.
The second report concerns the International Parliamentary Conference on Energy, Sustainability and Development, held in London, United Kingdom, from March 14 to 17.
Sri Lanka October 24th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the continued efforts of our government to strengthen Canada-Sri Lanka relations. Canada and Sri Lanka have enjoyed diplomatic relations since 1950 and we continue to build on this relationship.
For example, our Minister of Foreign Affairs recently visited Sri Lanka. This was to support and promote constitutional reform, economic development, as well as transitional justice and reconciliation. This was a follow-up to the commitment that Sri Lanka made in the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution, which was co-sponsored by Canada.
Sri Lanka is a fragile democracy and our government continues to support the timely reform process, strengthened democracy, and peaceful pluralism for all Sri Lankans.
Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship September 22nd, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate His Highness the Aga Khan for receiving the inaugural Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship last night in Toronto. This prize is given to an individual who has, through thought and dialogue, encouraged strategies and approaches that strive to remove barriers, change attitudes, and reinforce the principles of tolerance and respect.
As the 49th hereditary spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, His Highness has dedicated his life to improving conditions for the world's most vulnerable populations and in fostering an understanding of the importance of pluralism and diversity to promote global harmony.
His Highness continues his steadfast commitment to the ideals of inclusion and belonging through the Aga Khan Development Network. I wish His Highness the Aga Khan good health and continued success in his work.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development June 6th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, headquartered in my riding of Don Valley East, Thales Canada is a global leader in the development of high technologies in aerospace, urban transportation, security, and urban science. In addition, Thales Canada is a leader in the promotion of gender diversity and equality in the workplace.
Can the minister tell the House how the government can ensure that Canada continues to support innovative companies like Thales Canada?
Maternal and Child Health June 1st, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I recently had the privilege of visiting Tanzania to see first hand how the Government of Canada was working with partners like World Vision to improve the health of women and children, while helping communities overcome poverty and injustice.
We saw development aid at work. Communities have been transformed and empowered through World Vision's long-term health and livelihood programs. We also saw that much work remained to be done if the poorest women and children were to have access to family planning, skilled help during pregnancy, and better nutrition for themselves and their babies.
Reaching the sustainable development goal of zero preventable deaths is possible in places like Tanzania. I am proud to say that this remains a top priority for Canada.
I look forward to working with my fellow parliamentarians to increase our focus on empowering the most vulnerable women and children to achieve a high level and sustainable quality of life.
Criminal Code May 20th, 2016
Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her very thoughtful speech, and I know this is a very emotional matter. I have had town hall meetings on it, and there is some confusion as to the right of conscience for doctors or nurse practitioners, etc., who may not want to do it. I would like the member to shed light on this.
Sri Lanka May 19th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, torrential rainfall throughout Sri Lanka has tragically resulted in widespread flooding and landslides. According to the Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka, more than 418,000 people have been affected in 22 of the 25 districts, 41 people have been confirmed dead, and 16 are reported missing. Nearly 303,000 people have been displaced.
On behalf of all members of the House, I want to offer our sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sri Lanka during this difficult time.
Government of Canada officials are in contact with the High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka and continue to closely monitor the developing situation.
Additionally, the Canadian Red Cross is assessing humanitarian needs on the ground.
Canada stands ready to provide humanitarian assistance as appropriate, and I reiterate our sympathies to the people of Sri Lanka at this difficult time.