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Liberal MP for Halifax West (Nova Scotia)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 35.90% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Health December 10th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I met with over 55 concerned constituents on Saturday, who fear the current mean-spirited government will cut their health care benefits. They are among thousands of retired public servants who have paid into a health care plan for decades to ensure they would be looked after in their senior years.
Now they hear the Conservatives plan to unilaterally double their monthly payments and restrict access to their health care. Will the President of the Treasury Board stand today and will he promise today to keep his paws off their benefits?
Petitions December 5th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of Nova Scotians and other Canadians who are calling on Parliament to create a strategy to preserve the Sambro Island lighthouse, an important symbol of our heritage. The Sambro Island lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in operation in North America.
I would like to congratulate the Sambro Island Lighthouse Heritage Society for its efforts to preserve and maintain this structure. The society has actually gathered over 5,000 signatures in support of its lighthouse. It is calling on the federal government to fund the Sambro Island lighthouse. I certainly support them.
Petitions December 3rd, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I present a petition on behalf of Nova Scotians, who are calling on Parliament to create a strategy to preserve the Sambro Island lighthouse, an important symbol of our local heritage. In fact, it is the oldest lighthouse in operation in North America. I met with the community and with MLA Brendan Maguire recently, and I saw how strong the attachment is in the Sambro area.
I want to congratulate the Sambro Island Lighthouse Heritage Society for its efforts to preserve and maintain this iconic structure. The society has actually gathered more than 5,000 signatures in support of the lighthouse. On behalf of those who signed the petition I am tabling today on behalf of all Nova Scotians who want our heritage preserved, we call on the federal government to continue to fund the Sambro Island lighthouse.
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns December 2nd, 2013
With regard to the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC): (a) what is the position of the government on the matter of overturning decisions of the CRTC; (b) what criteria or policies are used by the Cabinet to overturn decisions of the CRTC; (c) how many times since 2006 has the Cabinet overturned decisions of the CRTC and what were those decisions; and (d) who are the current members of the CRTC and what are each member’s date of appointment or reappointment?
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns November 29th, 2013
)With regard to the government's September 2007 announcement of a “one-time, tax-free, ex gratia payment of $20,000 related to the testing of unregistered U.S. military herbicides, including Agent Orange, at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick during the summers of 1966 and 1967”: (a) how much money was budgeted for these payments; (b) how many payments were issued; (c) how much of the money budgeted was not paid out in ex gratia payments; and (d) what was done with the money that was not paid out?
Ethics November 28th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Natural Resources stated, “I do not question the conduct of my chief of staff”. Chris Woodcock's misconduct includes: not disclosing his knowledge that Nigel Wright gave Senator Duffy $90,000, an action the RCMP considers criminal; taking part in the whitewash of a Senate report; and taking part in a cover-up.
Let us give the minister a mulligan. Does he really not question the conduct of his chief of staff, Chris Woodcock?
Questions on the Order Paper November 28th, 2013
With regard to the Standards Council of Canada (SCC): (a) does the SCC consider the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) a commercial entity or a regulatory entity; (b) does the SCC believe that CSA owns any portion of Canadian law; (c) does the SCC believe that the CSA is afforded an exemption, or exemptions, to Canadian law; (d) does the SCC believe that the CSA has the right to restrict public access to Canadian law; (e) what is the average annual value transferred from CSA to provincial governments in payment for those contributions; (f) what percentage of CSA members’ payments for Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) influence are diverted to non-CEC activities; (g) does the SCC believe that the CSA practice of trading influence over, or control of, legislative processes in exchange for money or other value consideration is a violation of law; (h) does the SCC believe that the CSA practice of leveraging regulatory authority for commercial advantage is an abuse of regulatory authority; (i) what is the increase in annual revenue experienced by CSA, expressed both in percent and in Canadian dollars, resulting from this decision to tighten the Code development cycle by 25 percent; (j) what is the average annual value of royalty payments made to CSA by each of the government of British Columbia and the government of Ontario in exchange for the right to print the statutes that CSA claims to own and that these jurisdictions have passed into law; (k) does CSA provide access to Canadian law at different costs to different customers according to the values that these customers have at various times paid to CSA; (l) does the SCC assure Parliament that CSA does not leverage any value in any form, including contributions of content and labour, from activities related to the CEC for any of its commercial developments including the CSA Handbook; and (m) does the SCC believe that articles and documentation that are developed as part of a legislative process and that are to constitute part of law in any jurisdiction of Canada may not be concealed from the public for purposes of commercial advantage or financial gain, nor may they be leveraged preferentially, by time or by access or by other advantage, by any entity for purposes external to the legislated passage of those articles or documentation?
Business of Supply November 26th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, my colleague's logic is inescapable. This is a Prime Minister who we know takes an interest in everything going on in his government. I think it is difficult for most Canadians to imagine that he did not know what was going on in his office when there were as many as a dozen senior Conservatives, some in his office and some in the Senate, who knew about and were part of this. How could he not have known, given the way he has his hand into everything? If he did not know that surely indicates incompetence and if he did know it is unconscionable.
Business of Supply November 26th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I remember reading The Stepford Wives. I think it was back in high school that we were required to read it, and I thought it was quite illuminating. It was an excellent book and it made one think about the condition of women in our society, but that is not what the member is talking about today. In particular, she is talking about the situation in the Prime Minister's Office.
In relation to the question that this has become a very insular Prime Minister's Office in which there is a determination to have absolute control, that is a reason to be concerned. Does her prescription for it solve the problem, or is it the right answer? I have seen a number of prime ministers' offices over the years, and they have not all been like this one.
What the resources of the Prime Minister's Office should be is certainly open to debate. I do not share the member's view that it should be abolished, but what we need most of all is a Prime Minister who has the confidence in his team and in Canadians not to be a control freak.
Business of Supply November 26th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, my colleague's question is a little off the topic we have today, although I can see the link that he is making to the topic. That is fine.
He talks about the fact that the Prime Minister, he feels, ordered this cover-up. Whether he ordered it or knew of it, it seems clear that he ought to have known about it, and most Canadians think he probably did know about it.
The member goes from there to our electoral system. That is a bit of a stretch from this topic. We have had a discussion about where we would go, and I am not one of those who favours what his preferred route is for proportional representation.
Yesterday I read an article that talked about the economic situation in France these days. It talked about the inability of government to move and said basically that the government was either in the hands of the far right or the far left, that both of those groups had far too much influence, as I think can happen with that system and the coalitions that result. The government's survival can depend upon a small group with an extreme point of view. The result is that it does not move forward in a way that represents what most people want.
The fact that we are having open nominations in our party will go a long way to making sure people can choose the candidates they want, and I am sure they will.