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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

Rouge National Urban Park Act November 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague. I want to talk about the same thing she did, namely partnership.

More and more in the House, we are seeing that this federal government is refusing to work closely with the provinces, particularly Ontario. At a dinner yesterday evening here in Ottawa, Premier Wynne gave a speech in which she clearly indicated that she was still waiting for an answer from the Prime Minister of Canada so that they can begin working together on a number of files, including the Rouge national urban park.

Can the member help us understand how a federal government can continue to act this way? The two levels of government should have finished the work and should be ready to sign an agreement, yet there is no consensus or partnership. The federal government is not co-operating when it comes to the mines in northern Ontario.

Regional Economic Development November 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, according to Ontario's Lieutenant Governor, the Ring of Fire is the most promising mining opportunity in Canada in a century. Here is what the Conservatives are putting at risk: 5,500 full-time jobs, $60 billion of mineral reserves, $25 billion in economic activity, and $6.7 billion in government revenues.

When will the Prime Minister meet with Ontario's Premier to help secure this enormous opportunity for Canada?

Government Advertising November 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, investments in public transit reduce commute times and help families to spend more time together. They reduce gridlock, enhance productivity, and drive up business efficiency. Instead, the Conservatives are touting a $2-billion income splitting plan, all from borrowed money that excludes 85% of Canadian households. They do not hesitate to spend $750 million on self-serving advertising.

Why all of this, instead of investing in critical infrastructure that creates jobs, drives growth, and benefits all Canadians?

Government Advertising November 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives do not understand the priorities of middle-class families. They have spent $750 million on partisan ads to improve their chances of getting elected. Even Advertising Standards Canada said that these ads are misleading.

Rather than spending that money to mislead Canadians, why does the government not invest it in infrastructure, in bridges, public transportation and sewage treatment plants, which are things that are important to Canadian families?

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to come back to my colleague's remarks.

The U.S. has a great deal of experience with mandatory minimum sentences. This concept was invented and perfected in the U.S., particularly in Texas and California.

However, in the past four or five years, a senator and a congressman have finally concluded that there is no proof or analysis to justify this shift towards harsher and harsher minimum prison sentences.

Can my colleague help us understand why the government continues to push for a concept that even the Republican Party in the United States has given up on?

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the challenge we are having on this side of the House is not that there is no substantiation for the government's position on mandatory minimums, but it knows that this is not going to work. The government's own officials have told it in writing that this is not going to work.

It is not just Liberals who oppose mandatory minimums for their own sake. Here is perhaps one of the most compelling voices. Former Progressive Conservative MP for Ottawa West David Daubney, who retired only recently as director of criminal law policy in the Department of Justice after a distinguished career there, was quoted as saying this about the government as he was on the way out the door, “The policy is based on fear – fear of criminals and fear of people who are different. I do not think these harsh views are deeply held”. He went on to say at the same time, because he was the subject of so much pressure inside the department, that “somebody has to take the risk of talking”.

Could my colleague tell me what would possess a government or a minister of justice, who swears to uphold the law when he is sworn in as the minister and who has to bring opinions to the floor of the House from his own lawyers to show that the legislation is constitutional and in conformity with the charter, to take action with the deliberate knowledge that it will not work?

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is good to be here to debate this extremely important bill.

The crux of the differences here in the House relates to mandatory minimum sentences. I want to ask if the member could help all parliamentarians understand where the government actually sits on mandatory minimums.

Under the Department of Justice Act that created the department, there is a statutory obligation, which the Minister of Justice is sworn to uphold when sworn in as minister. He must table on the floor of the House of Commons, for any bill that he brings to this House, the legal opinion prepared by his expert 2,500 lawyers on his full-time staff. He must table an opinion showing that the bill he is bringing to the floor is charter proof, in other words that it is compliant with Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Has the government tabled that opinion? If it has not done so, when will it do so?

Petitions November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased to table the second petition on behalf of many concerned citizens regarding the government's serious cuts to the interim federal health program, which has assisted refugees in Canada since the 1950s.

I look forward to the government's response to these petitions.

Petitions November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I rise to table two petitions. The first is yet another petition regarding the devastating cuts to service and huge price increases at Canada Post.

Regional Economic Development November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, here is what is at stake for Canada in the Ring of Fire: 5,500 jobs; $25 billion in economic activity for our financial services, wholesale, retail, utilities, infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors; full participation of first nation communities. Ontario has brought $1 billion to the table. An independent development corporation has been set up. Corporate investors are on stand-by.

Time is of the essence. Will the Prime Minister meet with Ontario's premier by the end of this year, do his job, and support this project of national significance?