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Liberal MP for Sydney—Victoria (Nova Scotia)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 39.90% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns December 3rd, 2013
With regard to the Canadian Armed Forces, since January 1, 2006: (a) what are the file numbers of each set of Minutes of Proceedings for a Board of Inquiry convened to investigate the death, attempted suicide, serious injury, or injury likely to cause permanent disability of a Canadian Armed Forces member; (b) what was the date on which the Chief of Defence Staff, or a person acting on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff, approved those minutes; (c) if the minutes have not been approved, the date by which such approval is anticipated; and (d) has a copy of the minutes of the Board of Inquiry been released to the victim or next of kin of each victim?
Agriculture and Agri-Food November 29th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is failing farmers.
The Auditor General's report says over one-third of farmers are forced to wait for months to receive their disaster assistance. This money helps farmers get back on their feet and back to business quickly after they are hit by drought, disease or other unforseeable events.
The Auditor General directly contradicts the government's boasting about supporting farmers. Is it the government's position that the Auditor General is lying?
Business of Supply November 26th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the member for Timmins—James Bay has hit the nail on the head.
What is interesting is that when the Conservatives first spoke, they asked why this was being brought to the House of Commons today when there are so many other important things happening in this country. I am sure the Republicans said that about Nixon when there was trouble in the Oval Office, with the energy crisis that was happening down there as well as Vietnam.
Why bring it to the House of Commons? It is because that is where the power is centred. I think all Canadians would agree that there is a confidence problem with respect to the Prime Minister's Office.
I would like to ask the member for Timmins—James Bay what he has been hearing in his riding and across the country with respect to the seriousness of the situation. What are his feelings on the attitude of the Conservatives, who are saying that we should not even be bringing it to the floor today?
Chris Hayes November 21st, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to announce the untimely passing of a true Cape Breton ambassador, Mr. Chris Hayes. Chris passed away on the weekend after a tragic accident while doing something he truly, passionately loved: enjoying the great outdoors in Cape Breton.
Chris had a great sense of spirit and adventure, discovering all the outdoors had to offer. I had the opportunity to witness this first-hand through my time at his archery club.
At the time of his passing, Chris was a reporter and editor with the Cape Breton Post; he had worked for the Post for 29 years. During this time, Chris encompassed all the qualities of a great journalist. He was dedicated and compassionate, taking on many issues with fairness and conviction. The industry lost a true champion. He was a very genuine person and passionate about his family, his work and his community.
I ask this House to join me in extending our condolences to his wife Marlene and his sons Robert, Richard, and Joshua. He will be dearly missed by all of us.
Agriculture and Agri-Food November 19th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Employment has alluded to what he might be doing for the plant workers in Leamington.
Is the government going to do anything for the farmers who have invested over $1,500 for every acre of tomatoes and have no market for their tomatoes next year?
Veterans Affairs November 6th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I have stood in the House before to recognize the contributions Cape Breton men and women in uniform have made, going above and beyond the call of duty to defend our country and help liberate others around the world.
With Remembrance Day on the horizon, our veterans are taking a stand against the government's decision to close nine offices across this country. This Saturday, I will be attending a rally with many of my colleagues to protest the closure of our Sydney Veterans Affairs office. This will leave more than 2,900 veterans with no in-person service.
Veterans, such as Ron Clark in my riding who suffers from PTSD, worry about their fellow veterans across the country who are going to lose the help of compassionate, caring workers such as Brenda LeBlanc in our local Veterans Affairs office. Brenda knows Ron's story. Ron has tried the 1-800 numbers and the apps. They just do not work.
When our men and women risk their lives for our peace and prosperity, the least we can do is to take care of them when they come home.
Co-op Week October 30th, 2013
Mr. speaker, Reverend Moses Coady started the co-operative movement many years ago during the depression in Cape Breton. This effort helped rural communities across the Maritimes to improve their economic and social circumstances.
Mr. Coady led a movement that spread across Canada and around the world. Today, co-operatives in Cape Breton are thriving.
Two weeks ago, our co-operatives' advocate, the member for Ottawa—Vanier, travelled around my riding in celebrating Co-op Week. My colleague accompanied me to credit unions, co-op grocery stores, the United Farmers Co-op country store, the Bras d'Or Farmers Vegetable Co-op and the Victoria Fisheries Co-op in Neil's Harbour.
There are 9,000 co-ops across the country, with 14 in Cape Breton.
As rural Canada continues to struggle with economic hardships and out-migration, the co-operative movement, with more assistance from the federal government, could help them prosper.
I support my colleague's efforts to create a special parliamentary committee to determine the needs of Canada's co-operatives so we can help build on this model for many years to come.
Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 24th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, we are starting to learn a bit more about what is in the minds of the Conservatives in the budget. With regard to infrastructure, in the budget in the spring they mentioned all these billions of dollars that were going to be spent over 10 years. That said, in Cape Breton we have the CBRM, the municipality, and it puts forward a report with all the infrastructure needs it has. It is all costed and includes timelines.
With great fanfare, we are hearing some announcements on infrastructure, such as the Toronto subway. When can a place like Cape Breton, or CBRM, sit down with the federal government and get some commitment for the infrastructure dollars it needs for the upcoming year? When are the other areas going to get what they need from this infrastructure budget?
Craft Sector June 13th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Ms. Carol Beaton from Cape Breton.
Her contribution to the growth of the craft sector of our island cannot be overstated. She has been contributing to the growth of this industry for well over a decade. Her work ethic and success are truly inspiring.
Carol has spent many years as the executive director of the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, and under her guidance the centre has grown tremendously.
In her time as director, the centre has expanded from two employees to ten employees. She brought the funds together to construct a 14,000 square foot building to allow artists to showcase and sell their work year round.
More than 78,000 people have visited this new centre since its opening in 2007. Carol's efforts have ensured the craft sector is a significant contributor to Cape Breton's economic and cultural infrastructure.
I urge all members to join me in congratulating Carol Beaton for her great work and wishing her all the best in her retirement.
Employment Insurance June 11th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, Crystal MacKinnon is a widow with two small children. She has worked on her uncle's boat for 20 years. She gets up at 4 o'clock in the morning, baits and sets the traps. This past winter she was cut off EI and forced to go to a local food bank. The intimidating appeal process has denied her again.
The government is chasing people out of seasonal industries like the fisheries, from Atlantic Canada, northern Cape Breton and Quebec.
Why is the government attacking our most vulnerable citizens?