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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was respect.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for York South—Weston (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 32.80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions March 25th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I would like to present this petition and thank Noreen Baseggio for getting the over 500 signatures.

The petitioners call on the government to allow for the testing of MS patients for liberation treatment through MRIs, ultrasound and/or whatever other means necessary to determine same and to allow for any related treatment procedure as soon as possible in Canada.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 21st, 2011

With regard to Building Canada Fund projects in British Columbia: (a) in which federal riding is each project located; (b) what is the description of each project; (c) what is the expected cost of each project; and (d) what is the expected completion date of each project?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 21st, 2011

With regard to Recreational Infrastructure Canada projects in Nunavut: (a) what is the description of each project; (b) what is the expected cost of each project; and (c) what is the expected completion date of each project?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 21st, 2011

With regard to Building Canada Fund projects in Saskatchewan: (a) in which federal riding is each project located; (b) what is the description of each project; (c) what is the expected cost of each project; and (d) what is the expected completion date of each project?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 21st, 2011

With regard to Building Canada Fund projects in Alberta: (a) in which federal riding is each project located; (b) what is the description of each project; (c) what is the expected cost of each project; and (d) what is the expected completion date of each project?

Immigrant Settlement Services March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, federal funding for language, counselling, mentoring and job training to help new Canadians integrate and support themselves and their families was arbitrarily cut by the government by $53 million in December.

Nowhere has the impact been more dramatic than in Toronto and the greater Toronto area, where unemployment rates for new immigrants are nearly triple the national average, as their jobs have proven to be less secure in the recent recession.

Fully 81% of these cuts are being made in Ontario, largely in the GTA and are in addition to $207 million the federal government promised but has not spent.

The Province of Ontario has responded with interim funding to community-based organizations, which will allow a continuation of service during this present impasse.

In addition, this House has supported a resolution from the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration calling for a reinstatement of the program in support of settlement services.

Given the actions of the Province of Ontario and this House, I would ask that the minister simply declare a moratorium on the funding cut and accelerate negotiations with the Province of Ontario for a new Canada-Ontario agreement for settlement services.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the member has somewhat addressed the issue with respect to defending one's property within the context of an incident that was going on in a shop, as the case was.

The police and law enforcement agencies are concerned however with respect to the chase and the serious harm that could be done to an individual who has had his or her property stolen under the conditions Mr. Chen found himself.

Would the member elaborate in terms of how we could minimize the impression with the community that this is an action that, while understandable, is one that could place an individual in harm's way? Is there some associated communication that we could put out to the public? Is there anything we could entrench within the Criminal Code that would remind people, particularly those who are dealing with the public on a day-to-day basis, that quick acceleration of an incident could be dramatically harmful?

Business of Supply March 3rd, 2011

Madam Speaker, I was listening carefully, as members have been, to the debate and in particular to the comments that the minister has just given.

We firmly believe that the bicameral relationship could be improved. The Senate, in its origins, was designed to represent regional interests, protect provincial rights, and within the present demographic milieu, and Canada being a strongly federalist entity, we are always searching for that balance between regional interests and provincial interests, and the higher common interests of the national state.

The thrust of the motion and the comments that have been made thus far appear to be challenging the manner in which reform takes place, in particular how senators are chosen. There is a veiled characterization that crass politics are playing too strong of a role.

The minister has emphasized his belief in democracy and electing senators. As an intermediate step, would the minister have any other suggestions in terms of how the public's confidence, given the objectives that he has very well outlined, could be instilled and reinforced in the Senate, that the Senate would in fact be that sober second thought and would be representing—

Business of Supply March 3rd, 2011

Madam Speaker, the question I want to ask the member is based on the premise that the Senate was established within a bicameral system going back to 1867. It was established to provide regional and provincial balance. I am not sure whether the position being taken is that first past the post representation would provide regional representation and a balance of regional interests compared to a reformed Senate.

Is it the member's position that proportional representation would be a regional counterbalance and thus a reformed Senate to reflect the changing realities would be unnecessary?

Committees of the House March 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the minister. He has given the appearance that the various provincial-federal contracts that are multi-year in nature, in fact have been evidence-based, and those changes have been negotiated through those agreements, and the impact is the cuts that have been effected on, for example, Ontario and the greater Toronto area. It gives the appearance that it is, in fact, an empirical process that is based on the evidence he has suggested.

If that is the case, how come the province of Ontario, within the transfer agreement that has existed for the past five years and is in the process of renegotiation, has had a truncation of that process with a cut of over $200 million that has impacted further on the transfer arrangement that was negotiated as part of that five-year agreement?

If the minister is accurate in the manner in which he has characterized this negotiation, then why is the province of Ontario saying that there has been a breach of that contract and it is very difficult to get on with a new negotiation, when it was entered into in bad faith in the first place? That is the question we would like to have answered.