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Liberal MP for Guelph (Ontario)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 43.40% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Petitions November 4th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table three petitions from constituents in Guelph and other concerned Canadians on the ratification of the UN migrant workers convention. The petitions recognize the important role thousands of temporary foreign and seasonal labourers play every year in Canada's workforce performing necessary work, consuming local goods and services, and paying taxes.
The petitioners are concerned that the workers are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and unsafe or substandard working conditions. They state that the United Nations developed the migrant workers convention, entitled the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, to address these vulnerabilities and that it entered into force on July 1, 2003.
The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, which it has failed to do for the last ten years.
Petitions October 31st, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of my constituents from Guelph, who are asking for a moratorium on genetically modified alfalfa.
The petitioners are concerned that herbicide-tolerant genetically modified alfalfa requires variety registration before it can be sold as seed in Canada but has already been approved for human consumption and environmental release. The petition states that cross-contamination could be a threat to organic farming systems and to the ability of both organic and conventional farmers to sell alfalfa and related products to domestic and international markets.
The petitioners finally call upon Parliament to impose a moratorium on the release of genetically modified alfalfa in order to allow a proper review of the impact on farmers in Canada.
Guelph Curling Club October 31st, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the Guelph Curling Club which is celebrating a very important anniversary. Predating Confederation, for 175 years the club has embodied the values of healthy competition, good sportsmanship and community engagement.
Over the course of its many years, members of this club have not just “hurried hard” from end to end, but have contributed to the continuous growth of the popularity of this sport across the city, indeed, across the country.
The Guelph Curling Club is the second oldest curling club in Ontario and has a proud tradition of producing some of the finest curlers, including the men and women in Evan Macdonald's iconic painting, Speed River.
Since making its way across the ocean with the great Scots who invented it, curling has been a familiar exercise in community bonding and activity. The Guelph Curling Club is no exception with its longtime tradition of giving to the community.
Parliamentarians of the House applaud all the members and staff who have made 175 years of curling at this club a possibility and the board of directors that manage it so well.
Petitions October 30th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, it my honour today to table four petitions from many constituents in my riding of Guelph with regard to the Canada-China investment treaty. My constituents are very concerned about the lack of public consultation and the secretive process by which the treaty was negotiated. They are also concerned that the treaty will provide state-owned enterprises with the ability to claim damages and complain to the federal government about laws or regulations, made at any level of government, that reduce their expectation of profits.
The petitioners ask the government to take immediate steps to limit the influence of state-owned enterprises over our democracy in the interest of ensuring that the power over Canadian laws remains in Canadian hands.
Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 29th, 2013
The member for Huron—Bruce was lauding the Canada job grant and how wonderful it is and how much it means to everybody in his riding. The interesting thing is that it is a myth. There is no Canada job grant. It has not been created.
The Conservatives have been spending $90,000 per minute for commercials on TV for a program that does not exist. Why does it not exist? It is because they took $300 million away from the provinces that were using that money for skills training.They took it for themselves and said that they would give it back to the provinces, provided that they do it their way. The Conservatives did that without consulting the provinces at all. There is no Canada job grant.
I would like the member for Kingston and the Islands to comment on the seriousness of youth unemployment and the lack of the current government's attention to that issue.
Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 29th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, all morning we have been hearing Conservative members lauding the Canada jobs grant, which amounts to a $15,000 contribution to training, $5,000 from the federal government, $5,000 from the provincial government and $5,000 from independent industry. Do members know where the government got the $300 million that it will put into this program? The government took it from the provinces and now it wants the provinces to invest money. The money was taken away from the provinces, money they were deploying in their provinces in a way they thought was appropriate and in a way that was working. Not only that, but all the provinces have said that they will not participate.
To exacerbate the problem, the government has been advertising the program as if it already exists, at a cost of $90,000 a shot on TV. The program does not exist, but it is needed to fill our jobs training gap.
Could the member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue speak about this issue?
Telecommunication Industry October 28th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, cellphone towers are popping up indiscriminately across the country from Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island.
Last week alone I tabled three petitions with signatures from hundreds of Guelph residents with regard to their health and other concerns. Local residents of municipalities are deeply frustrated over a federal approval process that either leaves them powerless to influence the decision or ignores them when they try.
When is the Minister of Industry going to listen, stop ignoring their concerns, change the process and empower local governments and Canadians to make decisions in their own communities?
Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 25th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, as I have travelled through my own riding in Guelph, I have talked to a lot of youth. As we know, there are 224,000 less jobs available to youth now than there were before the recession. They are concerned. We have an unemployment rate for youth at about 17%. That is almost twice the national average for adults. What is worse is that rate is actually more than 25% when we consider the underemployed and those who are not even looking for jobs anymore. They are desperate and they find nothing in this budget that gives them any promise whatsoever.
What does the member opposite have to say about those statistics and what possible hope our youth have if they are to rejoin our employment force?
Petitions October 25th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table yet another petition on behalf of several hundred more constituents in Guelph with regard to their health concerns about cell towers.
The petitioners reference the World Health Organization, which has classified cell towers as a class 2B carcinogen. They also reference a National Research Council press report that cell towers should not be placed within 500 metres of residential properties, schools, hospitals, and day cares but should be at least 1000 metres away.
My constituents call on the Government of Canada to revise the Health Canada Safety Code 6 and enforce a moratorium on all new installations of cellular and wireless antennae and base stations until there are more studies. They also call for the immediate implementation of unbiased, non-industry-funded scientific research and ask the government to adopt the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health's report, entitled “An Examination of the Potential Health Impacts of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation”.
The indiscriminate installation of cell towers at just any location must stop now.
United Nations Day October 24th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate United Nations Day. This important day marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN charter in 1945.
The United Nations is committed to maintaining international peace and security, refugee protection, disaster relief, counterterrorism, the advancement of women and children, to name a few. There were 193 countries that came together in pursuit of these honourable goals. This international organization reaches every corner of the globe and this year alone the UN has come together on armed conflict, human rights and the environment.
With these facts, Canadians are understandably alarmed about why the Prime Minister consistently demonstrates such contempt for the UN when he goes to New York, but refuses to speak to the assembly. Under his watch, Canada lost its seat at the Security Council. He openly disrespects the organization and has obstructed climate change negotiations.
Canada works best when it is a leader among nations. Our country must restore its reputation and work with other countries and institutions such as the United Nations.