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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is liberal.

Liberal MP for Winnipeg North (Manitoba)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 35.80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we hear a great deal about advances through technology, and particularly about the positive impacts the Internet has on society. One of the things that we do not hear enough about or that there is not enough debate about in the House of Commons is the issue of the negative impacts on our society. One of the greatest negative impacts is the exploitation of children through the Internet. There are private members' bills with respect to that from all sides of the House. All political parties are trying to get a better sense of the need for national leadership with respect to dealing with the predators who are exploiting our children. Could the member provide some comment on the need for us to be diligent in terms of what is taking place on the Internet today that is causing harm to our children?

Petitions November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I met with constituents about the issue of hunger and poverty and third world conditions, and they asked me to provide the House with a petition regarding adopting international aid policies that support small family farmers, especially women, and recognize their vital role in the struggle against hunger and poverty.

This is with regard to the exchange of seeds, particularly in developing nations, where there is a great deal of hunger and poverty.

Agricultural Growth Act November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as one of the members across the way has just heckled, he is right, it could have done better, so it is a lost opportunity.

However, it is good to see we are at least moving forward. Maybe next time, maybe under a different administration, we will even see more progress, more protection for our small farmers and better quality products for our consumers. We want to strive for that because we recognize the importance of the agriculture industry to the Canadian economy.

Agricultural Growth Act November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I suspect that if I asked to have the debate continue, it would probably be denied, so I will not ask.

However, I will pick up on the point the member just made reference to. Canada is a vast land. Our population is around 35 million, but land-wise we produce the best food in the world. If we look at our agricultural production as a whole, it is estimated that around 80% of all the food we produce here in Canada goes to foreign markets. Canada is very much the bread basket of the world, and our potential is so great.

When we look forward to the many Liberal Party policies, one of the ones I often refer to is the area of trade. We recognize the value of trade. For me, being from the Prairies, the bread basket of Canada, at least in good part, when we look at our agricultural communities, it is through trade that we will be able to increase opportunities and generate jobs in the future and provide good quality food and consumable products, not only here in Canada but also around the world.

The Liberal Party's agriculture critic has done a wonderful job in taking the bill from its origins, bringing it to committee, and even bringing forward amendments to the legislation, recognizing that we believe that our farmers, in particular our small farmers, need to have a strong advocate here in the House. The critic has done that. Even the chair of the agriculture committee just put on the record the point of about his consistency in being there for our small farmers. That is something I know he takes to heart.

We had him in Manitoba, where we had a wonderful tour of a chicken processing plant. There were thousands of birds being processed every day and then being distributed all over Canada, far beyond our Manitoba borders. This is a realization of jobs and economic activity and some of the best product in the world.

Our leader has asked us to go out and communicate with Canadians. A big part of that for me personally is to go out and meet other farmers. I have referred in the past to the dairy farm. We know how important supply management is to Canada and our economy in ensuring that we have good quality dairy products and many other products. I had taken the opportunity to tour a dairy farm just to get a better sense of supply management and the positive impact it has in Canada in providing protection for good quality product, protection for our farmers and so forth.

Bill C-18 is all about markets. One of the Conservative speakers mentioned international markets. In order to achieve success in our international markets, we have to make sure that our industry is going in the right direction. We have to have regulations to ensure quality. If a product has a maple leaf associated with it, consumers, no matter where they live in the world, can count on it being of world-class quality. Consumers all around the world will pay even that much more knowing it is coming from Canada.

Nowhere is that more significant than with wheat. I have had the opportunity, in different capacities, to witness its success. Driving on Highway 2, or Highway 1, one can see rows of combines harvesting tonnes of wheat in the fall. Here I could talk a little about the government's inability to get that product to the Pacific to get on to those empty ships, but that is for another day.

However, our farmers have a great sense of pride in the production of food. Many of us take this for granted. We go to a grocery store and we buy the consumer products we need, but it is our farmers who put those products on our tables. I do not think we give them enough recognition or the recognition they deserve. We, in the Liberal Party, believe we should acknowledge the important role of our farmers and stakeholders, those many industry representatives who came before the agriculture committee to make presentations and who wanted to improve the bill.

The Liberal critic brought forward several amendments. Unfortunately, they did not pass because the government was not open amendments. The New Democratic Party also attempted to make changes. However, the government does not recognize that overall this is a good bill, but it could have been better. Had the Conservatives listened to what the different stakeholders, including opposition critics, were saying, we would be debating and ultimately passing a better bill.

With the leadership that has been demonstrated from our critic, we will support Bill C-18 when it comes to a vote. On that note, the government could have done better.

Agricultural Growth Act November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have had the opportunity on dozens of occasions to talk about time allocation. What I would like to suggest to the government is that it look at the degree to which it uses time allocation. Every time they bring a time allocation motion, it is in the neighbourhood of an hour of the House of Commons' time. We are getting to close to 200 hours of talking just about time allocation. Time allocation, in essence, is when the government forces a bill through, disallowing all members who want to contribute to the debate.

This is a record. Never in the history of Canada have we witnessed this. This is not even the first time for this particular minister. Do members remember the Canadian Wheat Board? Even though it was denied the plebiscite, which by law was mandated, there was time allocation. It is disrespectful of our democracy.

My question is not for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food but for the government House leader. Quite simply, why is the Government of Canada so dependent on time allocation in getting its legislative agenda passed through the House? Whatever happened to consensus, co-operation, and working with stakeholders?

Petitions November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, last week I had a group of caring constituents come to my office with some petitions.

The petitioners are calling on the government to look at the consideration of adopting international aid policies that would support small family farmers, especially women, and recognize their vital role in the struggle against hunger and poverty.

Committees of the House November 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I want to go back to a previous question that I asked one of the member's colleagues, with respect to the legislation itself.

Let there be no doubt that there is an expectation by the public that this European trade agreement will be converted into a piece of legislation that will ultimately allow Canada to move forward on the trade agreement.

Very simply, given the many words that have been said here this evening, can Canadians expect to see the trade legislation before the end of the year? Is the member in a position to indicate that we would in fact have some sort of legislation before the end of year with respect to the EU trade agreement?

Committees of the House November 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my question is related to supply management. The Liberal Party recognizes the great value that supply management provides to our farmers in all regions of our country. I had the opportunity to tour a dairy farm over the summer, and one could not walk away without feeling confident that through our supply management we produce some of the best cheese in the world and that the quality of our milk is second to none. Farmers as a whole see so much value in supply management.

It is nice that the Conservatives incorporated it into the amendment, providing some sort of affirmation of their support for supply management. However, the Conservative government promised to support the Canadian Wheat Board, but at the end of the day it got rid of that board's monopoly. Why should farmers be confident in the government's commitment to supply management today?

Committees of the House November 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, if I did not know any better, I would suggest that maybe this subamendment might be kind of a weasel way of getting out of possibly voting for the amendment itself. This is very interesting. I think we might even potentially support the subamendment. I do not know if we will get the government to support it, which means that it could be defeated at the end of the day. It would then force the member to vote on the amendment.

If that were to happen, how would he and his party vote? Do they believe the principle of the agreement that is being referred to is something that will benefit Canada?

Committees of the House November 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, an amendment has been brought forward that in essence challenges the opposition parties to state what our positions would be, because we will likely be having a vote on this tomorrow. I am wondering if the member might reflect on the amendment that has been put forward this evening and give her opinion on whether it is an amendment we should be voting for.