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  • His favourite word is guelph.

Liberal MP for Guelph (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 43.40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply February 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I and others in this room are co-chairs of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care, and we understand the absolute value of palliative care.

I come from a community in Guelph where we have one of the best hospices in Canada. The problem is that there is no consistent palliative care across Canada, and not everyone has access to palliative care. I frankly agree with the previous speaker that it is important that we address palliative care. The notions we speak of are not mutually exclusive.

This is a divisive issue. There are people who agree with the Supreme Court decision and people who disagree with the Supreme Court decision. However, physician-assisted death is now upon us as of February 6 of next year. We have to, as a Parliament, get on with implementing what we have been charged with by the Supreme Court.

My concern is that February 6 will be upon us quickly but there will be no law at all, nothing consistent across Canada, and we will have 13 different jurisdictions across Canada dealing with it in different and inconsistent ways, having some people go from one province or jurisdiction to another seeking a physician's assistance in death. I wonder if my colleague from Winnipeg North has the same concern and if that is one of the motives for encouraging this Parliament to get on with the discussion.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It was the Liberals' intention to vote yes, and unfortunately we moved from the yes to the noes too quickly. I apologize.

Committees of the House February 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals agree to apply the vote and shall be voting yea.

Veterans Affairs February 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Veterans Ombudsman has said that he is “...disappointed that the update provides no details on how the substantive deficiencies with the New Veterans Charter (NVC) are to be addressed.” He continues that “...we’re not starting from scratch. Much research has been done and many reports have focussed on them.”

Now VAC needs to act. The Royal Canadian Legion has said that the government had plenty of time to make changes, but lacked the willingness to look after our veterans.

The minister thinks veterans can be satisfied with a late Friday night tweet. What happened to his new approach? Is he really any different from the predecessor?

Congressional Gold Medal February 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, against tremendous odds, a unique group of Canadians and Americans were called upon to perform some of the most difficult tasks of the Second World War.

Yesterday, for their achievements and their sacrifices, members of the Devil's Brigade were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honour the United States Congress can bestow.

The first special service force was an elite group made up of soldiers from both sides of the border who were trained to jump out of planes, climb mountains, sneak behind enemy lines and fight hand-to-hand if need be.

I want to congratulate Canadians John Callowhill, James Summersides, Vernon Doucette, Herb Peppard, Arthur Pottle, Wilfred Paquette, George Wright, Donald Ballantyne, Morris Lazarus, H.R. Hawkyard, Charles Mann, Ralph Mayville, Leonard Corbet and Maurice White.

I also want to honour veterans like Bernard Cooper who could not travel to the ceremony, and like Al Wilson who sadly passed away the day before.

Lest we never forget these men and the men who went before them.

Veterans Affairs January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, in June the veterans committee published a report in which every member agreed on immediate changes necessary to the new veterans charter, which the government keeps kicking down the road.

Recommendations included ensuring enough case workers so veterans like Ron Clarke are not forced to wait up to six weeks for assistance. The government has had over six months to act on the recommendations.

Will the minister confirm he will table, by tomorrow, an update on their progress on implementing these recommendations, and provide a concrete timeline for when veterans can finally expect the changes for which they have all been pleading?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 26th, 2015

With regard to government public relations, for each contract for the provision of photography services to the office of the Prime Minister, a minister, a Minister of State, or a Parliamentary Secretary, since January 1, 2006: (a) what was the date, file number, and value of the contract; (b) what were the dates on which the photography was carried out; (c) what was the event or occasion, if any, to which the photography related; (d) were the photographs which were produced used in any government publications or on any government websites; (e) were the photographs used in any other way, specifying the way in which they were so used; (f) who has custody or care of the photographs which were produced; (g) if no longer required for the day-to-day operations of the office, have the photographs been transferred, or will they be transferred, to a library or historical division within the department, a national museum, or Library and Archives Canada; (h) does the department, agency, or other government organization for which the Minister, Minister of State or Parliamentary Secretary is responsible, have an office or position which has the capacity to carry out photography, identifying the office or position; and (i) if the answer to (h) is affirmative, why were the services of an outside photographer engaged?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 26th, 2015

With regard to Veterans Affairs delegations to Cyprus in March 2014, to Normandy in June 2014, and to Italy in November 2014: (a) for each delegation, what was the (i) total cost to each department which incurred expenditures related to the delegation, (ii) total cost for accommodation, (iii) total cost for travel, (iv) total cost for gifts, (v) total cost for meals and incidentals, (iv) complete list of delegation members, (vii) complete itinerary, (viii) reason for each delegation; (b) for each member of the delegation, what was the (i) total cost to each department which incurred expenditures related to the delegation, (ii) total cost for accommodation, (iii) total cost for travel, (iv) total cost for gifts, (v) total cost for meals and incidentals, (vi) reason for inclusion on the delegation; (c) for each contract for accommodations, was the contract competitively or non-competitively sourced and, if non-competitively, what was the rationale for non-competitive sourcing; and (d) for each delegation, (i) when was the itinerary tentatively established, (ii) when was the itinerary finalized, (iii) when was the Minister of Veterans Affairs own travel booked, (iv) if there were any changes to the booking referred to in (iii), what were those changes and when were they made?

Veterans Affairs January 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the Minister of Veterans Affairs to his new role. I am glad that the Prime Minister has finally recognized how poorly the previous minister was treating veterans. A new face does not mean a change in attitude though.

The new minister already started off on the wrong foot by excluding from consultations the veterans groups with whom he disagrees. This does not offer us much hope for movement on major issues like reopening veterans offices, ending budget cuts on the back of veterans services, and recognizing the sacred obligation owed to veterans.

Why was the minister's very first act an attempt to silence Canadian veterans who have rightly called the government out for mistreating them?

Alzheimer's Awareness Month January 26th, 2015

January is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, a time to renew our efforts to be more attentive to and to better combat Alzheimer's disease, its stigma, and the heavy burden it places on the family and caregivers of the hundreds of thousands of Canadian sufferers.

In Canada, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease every 5 minutes, and with baby boomers approaching their senior years, this rate will increase exponentially over the next few decades. Beyond the $33 billon direct cost to our economy, this disease takes a terrible physical, psychological, and financial toll on the many families who care for a loved one with a form of dementia.

Family caregivers spend hundreds of unpaid hours a year looking after loved ones with cognitive impairment. It shook the foundation of my family when my father, Mico Valeriote, developed Alzheimer's. The disease took a terrible toll, not only his quality of life, but also dramatically altered how my mother, siblings, and I related to him and to each other.

In his memory and the memory of so many Canadians with Alzheimer's we all know, let us be the difference this year.