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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 April 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in relation to its study of chapter 2, “Access to Online Services”, of the fall 2013 report of the Auditor General of Canada.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report.

Democratic Reform April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the bill would make major changes to the role of the Director of Public Prosecutions in election fraud investigations. Yet, the DPP, just like the elections commissioner, was never once consulted.

Why did the minister take the time to consult the Conservative Party before tabling the bill but fail to consult the DPP or the Chief Electoral Officer or the Commissioner of Canada Elections?

Democratic Reform April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we think it should be a lot easier for the government to say the words “Sheila Fraser”.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons sent a letter to the committee studying the unfair elections act. He suggested that anyone who has ever worked for Elections Canada was somehow tainted.

Is this his own smear strategy, or was it hatched in the offices of the minister and the Prime Minister?

Democratic Reform April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister once praised Sheila Fraser saying, “Her competence and her courage have shone a bright light on...corruption...this Liberal government has been trying to hide”. Now, the Minister of State for Democratic Reform dismisses her and calls her just a mouthpiece for Elections Canada.

Sheila Fraser is warning Canadians, saying this is “an attack on our democracy”.

Will the minister stop attacking this Canadian hero and start listening to her sensible advice?

Committees of the House April 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, three reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. The first report is on the Public Accounts of Canada, 2013; the second is on chapter 5, “Preventing Illegal Entry into Canada”, of the fall 2013 report of the Auditor General of Canada; and the third is on the main estimates 2014-15, vote 1, under Auditor General.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons, the committee requests the government table a comprehensive response to the second report only.

Ethics March 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kingsley, like Mr. Mayrand, left that bill in shreds by the time that their testimony was done.

Moving on to another Conservative scandal, that being the use of government jets, every Christmas it seems that the Prime Minister flies his good friend Mark Kihn from Calgary to Ottawa. This happens to be the same person who has helped the Conservatives raise millions of dollars.

The Prime Minister promised to finally end the Liberal culture of entitlement, so how can he justify a government jet for his own BFF?

Democratic Reform March 26th, 2014

It is interesting that the word has moved from “fraud” to “irregularities”, so we are getting a little closer to the truth.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kingsley also testified that the one-year requirement for preserving robocall records is far too short. As a former owner of an automated calling firm himself, the minister knows that these records could and should be preserved for much longer. Why is he making it more difficult to catch the fraudsters?

Democratic Reform March 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the former chief electoral officer testified about serious problems with the government's unfair elections act. He said that the removal of vouching destroys a fundamental fail-safe in our voting system, and he said that limiting the ability of a chief electoral officer to communicate publicly is an unprecedented gag order.

After hearing this startling testimony, is the minister now open to more amendments to fix this deeply flawed bill?

Business of Supply March 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would respond in part by quoting Mr. Neufeld, who said:

I think Mr. Mayrand is absolutely correct.... And [with] the provision that no one is allowed to use the voter information card that is sent to every individual voter who's registered, I think it will disenfranchise more people in addition.

We have the experts saying that all of the big problems the minister put forward and suggested were evidence of fraud or potential fraud were actually administrative issues.

Mr. Mayrand gave us an example at committee a couple of weeks ago. A woman and her son, who was a student, came in. He did not have all of the ID, but he had the card. His mother vouched for him. The clerk at the polling station, instead of recording the woman's name, wrote “mother”. That was an administrative mistake, but in no way was it fraud.

This is the kind of thing that Mr. Neufeld was pointing to as being an administrative issue, which the government is now trying to somersault into potential voter fraud.

Business of Supply March 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, let me say this for the record, because it needs to be said. Notwithstanding the ongoing day-to-day battle my party has with the third party and the representatives of other parties here to be seen as the government-in-waiting, the fact is that on this file, at least in terms of identifying the problems and wanting this bill to be killed, we are united. We have been working closely, and I thank the hon. member for his co-operation, leadership, and assistance. Others, independents whom I cannot name, have also been playing a role.

All of us on this side of the House, except for that little piece where the government can still claim some territory, are united in our position that this bill is bad.

My friend has talked about the inability to compel witnesses to speak. We know that the problems have arisen when allegations against and issues with Conservatives have been investigated and people say they will not talk. Without the power to compel testimony, we will not know what happened. That is exactly what the government wants.

Mr. Speaker, this is not a partisan issue, where the opposition is trying to score points. The opposition is united in concert with experts across the country and across the world, who are saying that this is an unfair elections bill that needs to be changed at the very least, if not killed outright.