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Elsewhere

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for Kenora (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 21.90% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Budget Implementation Act, 2008 April 10th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that our colleague from Vancouver Quadra has learned very quickly in the House. One thing she pointed out very quickly is the meanspiritedness of the other side of the House.

She has talked to a lot of people in the short time since she was elected and is a great asset to the House. She mentioned that she met with other Canadians. What are they saying about this legislation? Obviously she clearly has problems with the immigration aspects. Could she please comment?

Criminal Code April 4th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, we just heard many words and the word I heard over and over was “meaningless” and a lot of it is coming from that end of the House.

There is a chance to do something. There is a chance to make a change. There has not been a change for many years. We can do that at this point. We can support Bill S-203 and make sure that something is actually done. We are going to try very hard to make sure that something is actually accomplished.

The member mentions many of the emails that he wants. Is he asking for emails from people who make their living from a lot of these efforts, trappers and hunters, the first nations people? He is talking about a group of people who want the same thing we want. We want to make the protection of animals a priority. Bill S-203 will do that. It will actually do something that has not been done in quite awhile.

The argument is that a future bill is coming in Bill C-373, but we have already heard that it will never see the light of day in the House. The time is not going to happen. We are not going to get to that discussion, so we will not be able to do that. We actually want to do something concrete and the time is now to deal with Bill S-203.

What do we want to do with this? We want to make sure that animal protection is a priority. We want to make sure the penalties are increased. We want everyone in Canada to know that we are actually doing something.

Starting out with this bill does not mean that we will not be doing something in the future. It does not mean that we cannot change and a new bill can come to the floor of the House.

As has been mentioned by every speaker, things can change and things will be changed in the future. We want to make sure that there is a lot of good sober second thought and a lot of effort put into this. We want to make sure that people's ways--

Aboriginal Affairs April 4th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, on March 17, six members of the KI First Nation, known as Big Trout Lake, were jailed for protesting mining activity in their traditional land. This includes Cecilia Begg, a great grandmother, who is now being held in a facility in Kenora.

Now, members of the community have started a hunger strike. Chief Donnie Morris, Grand Chief Stan Beardy and all Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities want to know what the federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development will do to resolve this dispute.

What will the minister do to support and protect the community of Big Trout Lake now left without leadership? Will the Conservative government help them or will it forget them?

Aboriginal Affairs March 31st, 2008

Mr. Speaker, on March 17 six members of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation were sentenced to six months in jail on contempt charges for protesting mining exploration on their traditional land.

Yesterday I travelled to the Thunder Bay correctional facility to meet with Chief Donny Morris who is being held there with Jack McKay, Sam McKay, Darryl Sainnawap and Bruce Sakakeep. Cecilia Begg has been sent to a facility in Kenora.

I met with the chief to communicate to him my support for his community that has been left without leadership in this difficult time. When in Canada do we throw the entire leadership in jail for standing up for their community?

I have spoken with many of my constituents who are very concerned with the way in which this situation has been handled and who are concerned that this decision will violate rights that have already been established.

Mining exploration is an enormous opportunity for first nations in northwestern Ontario, but communities must be consulted before the process begins. We must support communities, not punish them, when they are fighting for their rights.

I urge that all involved re-examine the situation and strongly consider the needs of the people of the Big Trout Lake First Nation.

Ethics March 5th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, one thing is clear: Chuck Cadman wanted nothing to do with the Conservative Party.

First, the Prime Minister denied that anything was offered to Chuck Cadman. Then in a desperate bid to explain, he comes up with this repayable loan story. How can the Prime Minister expect Canadians to believe that his operatives offered a loan to a dying man?

The bottom line is this. Even if this is a story, is it not still a bribe?

The Budget February 28th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, my colleague talked at length about tax cuts and I would explain to him that in northern Ontario we need more services. We do not need tax cuts because there are very few job opportunities left.

We know budget 2008 provided some money for retraining. I think I could give him a suggestion. The government should also have provided a moving allowance because it will remove all the workers from northern Ontario where there are no forestry jobs left.

However, I do have a direct question for the member. Could he explain to the House and all the workers in northern Ontario, who do not have jobs, the value of a tax cut to someone who does not have a job?

The Budget February 28th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, the member talked at length about the first nations issues. In my riding, the riding of Kenora, we have a severe problem with some of the policing issues. The Nishnawbe Aski Nation is policed by the NAN for all of Treaty 9. It has severe underfunding issues. It basically puts prisoners in plywood boxes, which is dangerous.

In budget 2008, there are a number of initiatives for front line officers and to provide more policing. Could you give me your opinion? Is there anything in budget 2008 for first nations?

The Budget February 26th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, over the past few years northwestern Ontario has been facing several challenges.

The forestry sector has been hit hard. Mills are shutting down, workers are being laid off and communities are struggling to survive.

All the while, our infrastructure is crumbling. New roads, bridges and water and sewer treatment plants are all projects that municipalities are desperate to move forward.

The government must recognize the importance and contributions of our region. For too long, municipalities and businesses in northwestern Ontario have been told what cannot be done.

Today is the day the government can tell northwestern Ontario what it can do.

The government can announce a comprehensive strategy to aid the ailing forest sector immediately, today. It can commit to ongoing funding for super flow-through shares, creating a favourable environment for mining investment. It can provide funding for much needed infrastructure projects in our region. It can close the gap between first nations communities and the rest of Canada.

These are all projects the government can do but the big question for everyone is this: will it?

Government Policies February 6th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, today marks two years of broken promises by the Conservative government. The government started off promising to be squeaky clean and to achieve five priorities. Instead, it opted for mismanagement and harpocracy. Here are some examples.

The government broke an election promise not to tax income trusts, resulting in a loss to Canadians of $25 billion and counting.

The finance minister flip-flopped on the disastrous interest deductibility measure.

The government gutted 92% of funding for climate change programs and then repackaged them with new names, less money and less commitment.

The government broke an election promise to honour the $5.1 billion Kelowna accord.

The government turned back the clock on women's equality by removing the word “equality” from the mandate of the women's program.

The government broke an election promise to create 125,000 new child care spaces.

After two years of harpocracy and two years of broken promises, this is not a happy anniversary.

Forestry Industry February 5th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, we also noticed the minister said not a nickel would get spent until after the end of March. The Liberal opposition demanded that the bill be passed as quickly as possible. We have to make up for the time lost by the Conservative games.

Will the government explain, specifically, how the aid to the communities hit by the forestry downturn will be targeted? How will the Conservative government ensure that the U.S. lumber industry will not use its billion dollar bonus from Canada to reignite the softwood war, targeting this new Canadian program?