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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was aecl.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for Mississauga—Erindale (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 33.90% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Nuclear Liability and compensation Act June 19th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, frankly I am quite disturbed by what I heard from the member. The member consistently throughout her speech misled Canadians, fabricated allegations and fearmongered. If she keeps that up it is going to ruin her chances of winning the provincial leadership of the NDP. She needs to stick to the facts and act as a responsible member of Parliament.

She said that nobody from the Liberal Party debated this bill. She said that nobody from the Bloc debated this bill. She said that nobody asked serious questions or acted responsibly. She knows that she was not at committee. She knows that this bill transcended partisan politics. Committee members worked together, listened to witnesses, experts, nuclear scientists. Yes, there is a legitimate debate about at what amount the liability limit should be capped and other issues. There are legitimate questions and legitimate debates, but the member is misleading Canadians, misleading her constituents. She is trying to stall this bill. Why? What will happen if she stalls this bill? The liability will remain at $75 million. How is that good for Canadians?

Host communities of nuclear power plants said that they support this bill and are waiting for its approval. What is she doing? Why is she stalling? Why is she being an obstacle to the communities that are hosting nuclear plants?

Budget Implementation Act, 2008 June 6th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member who asked the question for her service to the House of Commons and to her constituents. She has announced her retirement. I have great respect for the hon. member and I accept her questions.

The hon. member talked about cynicism. I wish she would stand up and answer why her party abstained on the softwood vote when we in the House of Commons voted on it. The NDP abstained on that vote. While the NDP members spoke so much in opposition to that vote, they abstained.

The NDP is irresponsible and irrational, but they are good at pandering, I have to admit. They are extremely good at pandering and extremely good at saying whatever they think they can say, but their policy and their irresponsible behaviour ended up causing us to lose the child care agreements that were signed by the provinces and caused Canada to lose the Kelowna agreement. When the Liberals were in power we were working with the NDP, but its members' irresponsible behaviour and irresponsible politics have put us where we are today.

As the Liberal opposition party, we are much more responsible and much more thoughtful. With our policies and with our leader, we will show Canadians that we are the right choice for Canadians.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008 June 6th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, the question the NDP will have to answer for Canadians is why it is spending so much time attacking the Liberals. Instead of doing its job, it expects progressive parties to attack and criticize the Conservatives.

It is very transparent that the NDP is obsessed with its own political gains. We will see what its gains are in the next election because it plays no role when we have a Conservative government. It could have been playing a much more effective role acting as a progressive voice and standing up to the ideological Conservative policies but instead it is obsessed with its own political standing with Canadians, which, by the way, is very transparent and Canadians are not buying it.

I do not agree with the immigration reforms and I do not support the immigration reforms, and when the Liberals gain the government after the next election, we will reverse these changes. The issue now is when we should have an election. The leader of the Liberal Party will choose when to have an election and we will ask Canadians to choose between the bad old Conservatives and the new, reintegrated Liberal Party.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008 June 6th, 2008

The NDP is the reason that we had a Christmas election.

We will choose when the election takes place and, when it does take place, the NDP will need to explain to Canadians why, if it is such a progressive party, it did not work with the Liberals on criticizing and holding the Conservatives in check. The NDP appears to spend most of its time criticizing the Liberals because it knows they are--

Budget Implementation Act, 2008 June 6th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to Bill C-50. I will dedicate most of my comments today to addressing the issue of the so-called immigration reforms or changes that the Conservative government is proposing within the bill.

First we need to ask ourselves a question. Why are the Conservatives introducing immigration changes or amendments to the immigration act within a budget? It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is not a budgetary matter. This is a policy matter that should have been introduced as a separate bill where the policies could have been discussed extensively, where the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration could have completed its study and examination of those proposals and offered its opinion, and then it could have been voted upon.

However, the Conservatives have chosen, under the cloak of $20 million, to introduce it within the budget bill. Many Canadians are asking why immigration changes have been introduced through the budget. That is a very good question that needs a real and honest answer.

The fact is that the Conservatives have been misleading Canadians and making things up about these changes because they are unable to explain their purpose. They claim that these changes will help reduce the backlog, which is now around 900,000 applications. However, if we were to actually read the proposed changes we would see that these changes will not take effect until February 2008. These reforms will not address the 900,000 applications that are already in the backlog. They will still need to be dealt with using the existing rules.

The government claims that the minister will not use this power, which the bill would give her, to limit the number of applications the government receives. How can the government draw that circle when it says that it will expedite economic immigrants but that it will not slow down family reunification? It also says that it will cut the backlog, that it will be transparent and that it will do everything by the book, but that it is important to give the minister unchecked discretionary power in order to implement these changes.

The fact is that if the government tries to expedite economic immigrants and keep the target of immigrants the same, this will happen at the expense and on the backs of family reunification, and that is of concern to many Canadians.

Many Canadians are keen that we attract economic immigrants who address our economic needs. Nobody is arguing against that. Also, nobody is arguing that the immigration system needs reform. However, to assume that the only way to fix these issues is to give the minister of immigration these powers, regardless of who the minister is or which party is in power, is a shortsighted solution and it will not help. In fact, it will only introduce powers where a lot of questions can be asked when they are applied.

What we need to do is fix the immigration system in a systematic and comprehensive way. We need to see where the issues are and apply more resources. We need to be wise and thoughtful about how and when we process our immigration applications.

This disingenuous proposal that by giving the minister unchecked discretionary power we can solve the backlog problem, does not stand up to scrutiny. The reality is that this is an ill-advised, ineffective, short-sighted proposal on which it makes it very tempting to bring down the government. I would like to see the Conservative government go yesterday before today. I do not believe it has the best policies for this country nor do I believe it is able to come up with thoughtful, reasonable, practical and pragmatic policies.

However, this is the choice we have. Let there be no doubt that we disagree and oppose these immigration changes. The question that remains is when should we have an election. I know the Conservatives will not like it, but we will choose that timing.

I am quite disappointed with the NDP. If it had been up to the NDP, we would have had 17 elections by now, even though it is the party that claims it wants Parliament to work. The NDP is the reason that we lost the child care agreement with the provinces and the reason that we do not have a Kelowna accord.

The Environment June 6th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, as World Oceans Day and Canadian Rivers Day approach this weekend, Canadians are stuck with a Conservative government whose environmental policies are all wet.

How else can we describe a government that ignores the crisis of climate change, is unconcerned about the amount of water used to extract oil from the Alberta oil sands and does nothing but attack premiers who propose innovative solutions to environmental problems?

In fact, a recent Senate report showed that the federal government does not even have the resources to measure Canada's water supply, let alone protect it.

The federal government is abandoning its duty to protect Canadian waters. In commemoration of World Oceans Day and Canadian Rivers Day, we call on the federal government to take real action to protect Canada's oceans and rivers.

Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act May 29th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my honourable colleague for his presentation. I also want to thank him for his excellent work on committee. He is a valuable member of our committee. He was a member of the committee when we conducted the study on AECL earlier this year.

I want to hear his comments on the government's decision about 10 days ago to cancel the MAPLE project without offering any plan or solution to ensure the supply of medical isotopes that many Canadians and citizens of the world rely on. How does he feel about that decision and how does he feel the government is handling it?

Business of Supply May 28th, 2008

Mr. Chair, I know why they are scared. I know why they do not want me to ask this question. Their document says that by 2018 their price on carbon will be $65 a tonne. Does he agree with that or—

Business of Supply May 28th, 2008

Mr. Chair, he is the Minister of Finance and the Department of the Environment says that by 2018 they are putting a price--

Business of Supply May 28th, 2008

Mr. Chair, it was published by the Department of the Environment. It states that, on average, national residential electricity prices can be expected to rise about 4% by 2020 and natural gas prices by about 2%.

Does the minister agree with that? If that is what he is doing, what does he plan to do about offsetting the cost crisis?