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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is way.

NDP MP for Hamilton Centre (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 57.00% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House February 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the following reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts: the 12th report on Chapter 6, Transfer Payment Programs—Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, of the spring 2014 Report of the Auditor General of Canada; the 13th report on Chapter 3, Aggressive Tax Planning, of the spring 2014 Report of the Auditor General of Canada; and the 14th report on Chapter 2, Support for Combatting Transnational Crime, of the fall 2014 Report of the Auditor General of Canada.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons, the committee requests the government table a comprehensive response for the 12th, 13th and 14th reports.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the government needs to understand that there is a world of difference between the government and Parliament.

We are talking about the security of Parliament, not the security that the government is responsible for. The fact that it would attempt to ram this through without agreement is unacceptable.

I think all of us here accept that we have to act with some urgency. This is not something that can sit on the back burner and have a review of it happen whenever it happens.

I want to add my voice to support the members for Ottawa—Vanier, and Saanich—Gulf Islands. The member for Ottawa—Vanier asked, at the very least, whether we could not stop for a moment to see if we cannot reach an agreement whereby all the members here are comfortable going forward.

This is not a matter of whether we should do something, whether we should combine the two services in terms of security, the other place and here. We all agree with that. That is the easy part. The hard part is who is in control. In this Parliament, and in all parliaments, the separation of government from parliament is superior. We need to ensure that no matter how this is structured that the government at the end of the day does not call the shots, pardon the pun, on what happens vis-à-vis security in Parliament. That is the problem with the government rushing it through.

There is ample time for the government to consult with all members in all caucuses, to ensure that for once something that they say is the right thing, we can actually say is the right thing. The government saying it is not good enough, and it does not address the important parliamentary principles that are stake. There is a separation between the government and the Parliament, and this motion crosses every line. It is unacceptable and fixable, if the government, for once, would just be reasonable and allow others to have their say.

Rail Transportation February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, if Conservatives had not rammed through back-to-work legislation in 2012, we might not be seeing a strike at CP today. Yet, Conservatives are again blindly moving toward a one-sided back-to-work law.

Current negotiations are focused on rail safety issues, things like extreme driver fatigue caused by scheduling practices. Now the American union is warning of U.S. engineers being forced to work in Canada, operating trains with hazardous materials on routes they are not familiar with, creating very real safety concerns.

Can the minister confirm if this is true?

Food Safety February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, what producers want to know is that the government will have their backs in the case of a crisis. Maintaining the confidence of Canadians and our key trading partners is essential to the creation of economic opportunities for our beef producers. We all remember the slow reaction the first time that BSE hit Canada. Swift action is needed this time.

What is the government doing to reinforce consumer confidence?

Food Safety February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we all hope that the new discovery of BSE in Canada is an isolated case. The disease once devastated our agriculture industry, and there is huge potential for serious economic problems. South Korea has already moved to close off beef imports.

Can the minister tell the House if the source of the illness has been found and what assistance has been offered to ranchers and farmers?

Business of Supply January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity. I want to follow up a bit on the last question, because it is incredibly unclear as to what exactly the Liberal position is when we talk about the relationship between the federal government and the provincial governments, which is exactly the focus of the motion before us.

On the one hand, we are hearing that the party that sponsored the motion in front of us today has said that it should be the provinces that deal with the issue of pricing on carbon, not the federal government, but at the same time it says that the federal government should be stepping up to the plate and playing a leadership role.

Which is it? As well, if the federal government is to play a role, specifically what is the member saying that his party would have the federal government do on the issue of carbon pricing?

Intergovernmental Affairs January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as layoffs continue to pile up even higher, Conservative economic credibility is dropping even lower. Canada just had its worst year of job growth since 2009. Plunging oil prices and federal downloads are set to tear multibillion-dollar holes in provincial budgets.

With the health of our economy and the jobs of so many Canadians at stake, why does the Prime Minister continue his political petulance and refuse to even meet with the Council of the Federation?

Employment January 29th, 2015

So if I get this right, Mr. Speaker, losing jobs is good news for the Canadian economy, according to the Conservatives.

Hundreds are being shown the door with no warning, yet this minister expects congratulations because he signed a secret deal to only fire 20% of the staff.

Conservatives rubber-stamp these deals with no transparency and have a record of failure when it comes to holding these companies to account when they break their promises. Just ask any of the thousands of former Stelco workers in my hometown of Hamilton.

When will the Conservatives stop signing secret deals like this that consistently sell out Canadians and their jobs?

Employment January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, another foreign takeover approved by the Conservatives and another round of pink slips for Canadian workers. Hundreds of staff summarily fired at Tim Hortons headquarters are just the latest sad reminder of the Conservatives' failure to protect Canadian jobs. Many of these people had put their whole careers into this company, only to be let go with no notice when the new foreign owner swept in.

Why did the Conservatives yet again fail to stand up for Canadian workers and their jobs?

Business of Supply January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can demand that I answer him whatever way he wishes, but I will still answer the way I wish. The way I wish to answer is to go right back to the first point I made.

The member stands up and brags about these 300 meetings. Can he imagine what would happen if there was just one with all the premiers at one time?

The member is trying to suggest that the 300 number would go down to two. That makes absolutely no sense at all, just as it makes no sense at all for the government to talk about how productive it is when, at the ministerial level or at the minister of state level or even at a parliamentary secretary level, there is respectful dialogue between the federal government and the provinces and territories.

I would extrapolate from the member's comments that the 300 times is meant to say that those were 300 good meetings and 300 good things happened. I am not questioning the veracity of that. However, I am suggesting that starting to have more regular meetings with the Council of the Federation makes a lot more sense than telling it to hit the road.