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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was businesses.

Last in Parliament December 2014, as NDP MP for Sudbury (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 49.90% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Consumer Protection November 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Interac is one of the most cost-effective modes of payment in Canada, but that is now at risk with MasterCard's announcement to enter the debit market.

At every turn, voluntary rules in the financial sector are flouted and exploited. Letting credit card companies co-badge cards and enter the debit market is currently forbidden under this government's voluntary code, but that is not stopping the credit card companies.

When will the minister recognize that his voluntary approach is not working, and when will he finally stand up for consumers and small businesses and put in place binding regulation that protects Canadians?

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this summer, over 260,000 Canadians participated in the ALS Canada ice bucket challenge, raising an astonishing $16 million. The icy plunge was taken by many politicians, including the leader of the NDP, while I had to endure a marathon ice water dumping to help raise funds that was supported by New Hot 93.5 in Sudbury.

However, ALS remains incurable. Around 3,000 Canadians live with the disease. Sadly, thousands will die of it, while thousands more will be diagnosed.

Initiatives such as this one have a clear impact on funding for research and treatment. Tens of thousands of Canadians participated, and that is the first step towards the ultimate goal of curing this disease.

On behalf of the NDP, thanks to all Canadian participants, and we applaud those at ALS Canada for raising awareness and money in hope of one day finding a cure.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns November 17th, 2014

With regard to complaints filed by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre since 2010: (a) what is the breakdown of complaints submitted by (i) phone, (ii) email, (iii) online form, (iv) fax; (b) what is the breakdown by province; (c) how many complaints have been filed regarding (i) advance fees, (ii) identity fraud, (iii) investment fraud, (iv) online auction fraud, (v) health fraud, (vi) counterfeit, (vii) fraudulent bankruptcy, (viii) property fraud, (ix) corruption, including, but not limited to, bribery, (x) other types of fraud; and (d) how many complaints have been resolved regarding (i) advance fees, (ii) identity fraud, (iii) investment fraud, (iv) online auction fraud, (v) health fraud, (vi) counterfeit, (vii) fraudulent bankruptcy, (viii) property fraud, (ix) corruption, including, but not limited to, bribery, (x) other types of fraud?

Telecommunications Industry November 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, a proposal from Industry Canada has raised serious concerns throughout rural Canada.

It discussed taking spectrum away from rural Internet users and giving it to urban telecom companies. While the minister has claimed no one will lose Internet services as a result of this process, his public comments do not jive with the proposal.

Mayors are concerned, communities are concerned, and business owners are concerned. Can the minister assure Canadians that this will not end up as another example of the government leaving rural Canadians behind in the digital era?

Gasoline Prices in Sudbury November 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, drivers in my riding of Sudbury are fed up with the unfair price of gas in our community.

Compared with neighbouring cities, Sudbury often pays 10¢ to 20¢ more per litre. To fill up one's tank, this could mean an extra $10 or $15, which adds up quickly in a northern community where for most people driving to work is not a choice but the only option they have.

In response to the growing unrest, since June more than 9,000 frustrated people have contacted the Competition Bureau, demanding an investigation into the price of gas in Sudbury, yet under the rules put in place by the current Conservative government, even such an overwhelming volume of complaints does not warrant an investigation.

If 9,000 complaints cannot force an end to unfair gas prices in Sudbury, then what can?

When will the Conservatives finally support the NDP's proposal to create an oil and gas ombudsman with a mandate to directly respond to the concerns of Canadians?

Telecommunications Industry November 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the minister should talk to the Small Business Matters coalition and it will give him a reality check on today's announcement. There is nothing to address hidden fees, nothing to address the egregious refund fees, nothing to do with the proliferation of the premium cards. It is just, again, a voluntary code that is toothless.

Canadian consumers are also upset. As they will tell the minister, they are fed up with the way they are being treated by the telecoms and the banks. The government announces with great fanfare one of its voluntary codes that apparently makes cellphone contracts clear, but the ombudsman put out a report today that complaints about misleading contracts are about 75%. When will they stop the unfair—

Consumer Protection November 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that this voluntary action by the credit card companies will not change a thing. While the minister was pleading with Visa and MasterCard to lower their fees by 10%, payment processor Chase Paymentech sent letters to small businesses raising their processing fees by 10%.

One uncompetitive fee goes down, another one goes up, and Canadians keep paying the highest fees in the world. Why could the Conservatives not bring in common sense regulations that would actually make a difference for small businesses?

Petitions November 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as always, I am pleased to rise today to table this petition. The petitioners call on the House of Commons to take action to eliminate predatory lending. Predatory lending is an unfair practice that exploits a legal loophole to charge criminal interest rates, and it affects more and more Canadians every year.

I would also like to recognize the work of Donna Borden, a resident of Toronto. Ms. Borden is the driving force behind this whole issue. Thousands of Canadians are concerned about this.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns November 3rd, 2014

With regard to funding applications submitted to the government, broken down by department and fiscal year, since 2003-2004, up to and including the current fiscal year: (a) what is the total number of funding applications submitted to the government from the constituency of Sudbury; and (b) what is the total number of successful funding applications submitted to the government in which money was allocated to an individual, business, or non-governmental organization in the constituency of Sudbury?

Committees of the House October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I was referring to his taking it outside because, while everyone assumes that of someone from Sudbury, his comments were actually quite inappropriate, and he needs to remove that type of language from the House. This is the House of Parliament. If he wants to continue to act like a juvenile, he needs to do that outside.