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NDP MP for Hamilton Centre (Ontario)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 57.00% of the vote.
Statements in the House
The Environment May 9th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, Randle Reef in Hamilton Harbour is one of North America's most toxic sites. The deadline to sign a cleanup agreement between the federal and provincial governments and local Hamilton stakeholders is fast approaching. However, the Hamilton Port Authority has now raised last-minute liability issues that threaten to derail the negotiations.
Will the Minister of the Environment please inform the House and Hamiltonians what action he will take to ensure that this critical environmental cleanup takes place?
Business of Supply May 9th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is a veteran member of the public accounts committee and happens to be the senior lead for the official opposition. He was in attendance on May 2 when the public accounts committee held its public hearing with the Auditor General on this report. During the course of that meeting, one of the members asked the Auditor General this question: “Is there a risk that some of the $3.1 billion may not have necessarily been spent on what Parliament had approved it for?”
The answer by Mr. Ferguson was this: “I guess I would have to say that there would be a risk because there is not enough information to answer the question completely”.
Is the hon. member as concerned about this risk as we found out we should have been with respect to the border security infrastructure money, which happened to find its way to building gazebos in northern Ontario? Is that concern shared by the hon. member?
Elections Canada May 1st, 2013
Mr. Speaker, it is the Conservatives' budget, so it is the Conservatives' cuts to Elections Canada. The fact is, Conservatives are cutting the budget of Elections Canada and they are weakening our electoral system.
Elections Canada is already stretched thin investigating thousands of allegations of wrongdoing from the 2011 election without the legislative tools it needs. In fact, the government has delayed promised amendments to the Elections Act for over a year. It is clear the government is deliberately dragging its heels on giving Elections Canada the power it needs. Why are the Conservatives afraid of a chief electoral officer with real pull?
Elections Canada May 1st, 2013
Mr. Speaker, elections in Canada are nearing a crisis. A new report is pointing to many serious problems from the last campaign. Half the documents that were audited contained errors. There were errors in 165,000 cases; 500 errors per riding. These are the kinds of errors that could overturn election results.
With Elections Canada facing all these serious challenges, why on earth would the Conservatives choose now to cut the budget of Elections Canada by 8%?
Parliamentary Budget Officer April 22nd, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. What it means is that even this government is not above the law. The justice wrote:
...Parliament not only intended that the Parliamentary Budget Officer be answerable to it and to its committees, but also to every backbencher irrespective of political stripe.
...shield any given member of either House of Parliament from the will of the majority.
What that means is that we have a right to be asking these fiscal questions of the PBO. The PBO has a lawful responsibility to respond, and the only way he or she can do that is to get the information from the government, and it has now been told by the courts to provide—
Employment Insurance March 26th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, once the government brings in a budget that actually deals with the issues that affect Canadians, we will be there to support it. It will take the NDP to bring it in.
Just before Christmas Jane Kittmer of Stratford, Ontario, won a legal fight over EI. This is a mother with cancer who was denied EI while she was on chemotherapy. The Conservatives have chosen to appeal this decision, and they are even going after the $5,000 she was awarded, despite the fact that they have already acknowledged they are going to change the unfair policy.
Why will they not do the right thing and drop this case against this mother and cancer survivor?
Taxation March 26th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the NDP will never vote for budgets that deceive the Canadian people.
The Conservatives are even hiking taxes on hospital parking. Conservatives are trying to claim that hospital parking is like any other commercial parking, but it is not. These people are not going shopping; they are going to visit friends and family who are sick or dying in the hospital.
The Conservatives are already raising tariffs by over $300 million. Why are they adding insult to injury by also increasing taxes on hospital parking?
The Budget March 26th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are having a hard time defending their budget. They cut infrastructure but pretend that it is new spending. They cut hundreds of millions in provincial skills training but pretended that it is new money. They leaked information about a small tariff reduction on hockey equipment, then turned around and actually raised tariffs by over $300 million. There is a tax hike on almost everything.
Why the shell game? Why will the Conservatives not tell Canadians the truth about the budget?
Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion March 21st, 2013
Mr. Speaker, last November, in my riding of Hamilton Centre, I was honoured to join with the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion as it held its first ever conversation café at the Beasley Community Centre on Elgin Street. Attended by more than 150 people, the conversation café brought together members from many of Hamilton's cultural communities, including the Turkish, Somali, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic communities, as well as seniors and youth representatives, to discuss changes residents would like to see in their neighbourhoods and how they would like to get involved in their community life.
The conversation café continues the outstanding work of HCCI and its executive director and Diamond Jubilee medal recipient, Evelyn Myrie, who works to assist the City of Hamilton, as well as major institutions, business, service providers and others, to provide equity and create inclusive environments in all areas of civic life. This important work continues to play a critical role in Hamilton's multicultural development.
I would like to congratulate the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion for the excellent work in our community and wish it continued success with more conversation cafés.
Strengthening Military Justice in the Defence of Canada Act March 21st, 2013
Mr. Speaker, my first thought is how lucky we are in the official opposition to have such a fantastic defence critic who understands these issues so well. I am not a lawyer, not everyone here is. I am a layperson so I bring whatever practical experience and knowledge, as well as tapping into expertise. However, I listened to the hon. member point out in a very short period of time the flaws in the one example that the Conservatives stand on.
Is that not what people do when they do not have a really good argument? I have done it myself, so I know it works. They take one good issue and put it down on the ground and just stand on that one little thing and do not move. That is their one position. That one example is not nearly enough for us to be swayed to see this differently.
The hon. member for St. John's East has pointed out other equally important examples that also make the case that this would be the right change to make. Therefore, the Conservatives' one example, in our opinion, is not nearly enough. It is a point, but it is just one point. It is not enough in the tsunami of points that our defence critic can bring forward to justify the position we have over the position the government has.