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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is transport.

Liberal MP for Ottawa South (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 44.00% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for that speech. Rarely in my 10 years in the House have I heard someone speak extemporaneously without notes so passionately and comprehensively about what we can do together as a country. I implore my colleagues in the Conservative caucus to wait for the blues, print that speech and read it again. I think it would be particularly instructive for them about the nation-building opportunities we have.

The member alluded to many challenges, but I want to return one specific challenge. This is something we are all dealing with on all sides of the House, the increasing challenge Canadians are having with their retirement and pensions. It is a profoundly important issue. I see in my own riding of Ottawa South those who have public sector pensions and those who do not, those who have RRSPs, those who rely on CPP and OAS, those who are now waiting for a longer period of time, those who have OAS clawed back, and those who do not. However, when is the last time the current government, in nine years, sat down to address this pension crisis for Canadians together? We have the Province of Ontario now moving alone as opposed to our taking a national approach.

Can my colleague speak to that specific issue, given that it is so fundamentally important to our seniors?

Business of Supply January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is really remarkable to hear the government say it does not believe in sitting down together with its provincial counterparts once a year or more. I cannot for the life of me understand how a governing party could believe that we are not stronger and more competitive together and that they would reject out of hand the notion that we would sit down and talk to each other, arrive at some priorities as a federation, and address those priorities one by one. It is what Canadians expect us to do, not just between the federal and provincial governments, but with municipalities, first nations, the private sector, and civil society. That is how we are strongest.

Let me give the member one example that brings it right home to him in his riding of Saint John. The Government of Alberta and the federation of premiers have been calling for an adult conversation about Canada's energy future for several years now. They have been asking the Prime Minister to meet with them about this. They have been asking for a new national approach to our energy future.

In a decade or less, we are going to have a million barrels a day of excess oil, which cannot be transported by pipeline, likely going by rail, if present production trends continue. The member's city is going to be deeply affected by this question, through refineries and transportation. Why would he not want an adult conversation as a major point of discussion with the premiers once a year to address, for example, a national energy strategy?

Business of Supply January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pick up on a theme raised by my colleague, which is very important. Most Canadians would expect that their federal, provincial, and municipal governments, first nations, civil society actors, and economic trade associations work together. We are in a competitive world, and coming together is not a form of weakness. It is actually a form of strength. That is what they are doing in the United States, the European Union, and China.

I want to raise with the member a couple of issues that are languishing in the Canadian context. Successive Alberta premiers have raised the need, for example, for an adult conversation about Canada's energy future, a national energy strategy. They are not Liberal premiers, not Liberal governments. They are Conservative governments. That has fallen on deaf ears.

In the United States, the American governors meet at least once, if not twice, a year, and usually the Oval Office is represented by the vice-president of the United States. They have an adult conversation about American challenges.

Third, I would like him to address perhaps the most egregious example of a failure to work together, and that is internationally. Internationally, Canada lost a prized seat on the Security Council. We lost out to Portugal. It is a great country. Do not get me wrong. I could understand if we lost out to Portugal in soccer, but it is another thing to lose out to Portugal on the Security Council. Just months before the Russian-Ukrainian crisis broke, when we were trying to exert and exercise influence, we had no seat. Why is that? It is because we were not playing nice. We were not co-operating with or talking to fellow countries, and we did not earn that vote.

I would ask my colleague to draw on those examples and help explain why it is so important for us to come together, meet, and compete.

Business of Supply January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and I believe if you seek it you will find unanimous consent for the motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, at the conclusion of today's debate on the opposition motion in the name of the Member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred to Monday, February 2, 2015, at the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders.

Points of Order January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond, if I could, to the point of order raised by the member for Ottawa—Orléans and apologize without equivocation to the House, to the Chair, and to my colleagues.

I did receive a call yesterday during the votes. It is something I should not have done. I can assure the House it is something that will not happen again in the future.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 26th, 2015

With regard to the public service, for each fiscal year since 2008-2009 inclusive: (a) how many days of sick leave were due to public service employees at the end of each fiscal year, or as of the most recent date in the current fiscal year, as the case may be; (b) how many public service employees retired; (c) how many public service employees left the public service for reasons other than retirement, distinguishing those who left because of (i) disability, (ii) resignation, (iii) termination, (iv) death, (v) other reasons; (d) of the total sick leave referred to in (a), how many sick days were not paid, broken down by the categories of termination enumerated in (b) and (c); and (e) what is the dollar value of the sick days referred to in each of (a), (d) and (e)?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 26th, 2015

With regard to government communications since September 18, 2014: (a) for each press release containing the phrase “Harper government” issued by any government department, agency, office, Crown corporation, or other government body, what is the (i) headline or subject line, (ii) date, (iii) file or code-number, (iv) subject matter; (b) for each such press release, was it distributed on (i) the web site of the issuing department, agency, office, Crown corporation, or other government body, (ii) Marketwire, (iii) Canada Newswire, (iv) any other commercial wire or distribution service, specifying which service; and (c) for each press release distributed by a commercial wire or distribution service mentioned in (b)(ii) through (b)(iv), what was the cost of using the service?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 26th, 2015

With regard to government procurement: what are the details of all contracts for the provision of research or speechwriting services to ministers since June 6, 2014 specifying (a) for each such contract (i) the start and end dates, (ii) contracting parties, (iii) file number, (iv) nature or description of the work; and (b) in the case of a contract for speechwriting, the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) audience or event at which the speech was, or was intended to be, delivered?

Petitions December 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I rise today to table a petition regarding the rights of small-scale family farmers to preserve, exchange, and use seeds. The signatures were collected by Development and Peace, an organization that continues the important mission of promoting social justice. I am very pleased and honoured to present this petition on behalf of concerned Canadians, and I look forward to the government's response.

Petitions December 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I rise today to table a petition regarding VIA Rail service in Canada. I am pleased to table this petition on behalf of concerned Canadians. I look forward to the government's response.