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NDP MP for Beaches—East York (Ontario)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 41.60% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Petitions March 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the second petition deals with the plans to end door-to-door delivery of our mail service. The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to reject Canada Post's plan to cut mail service and increase prices, and instead to explore other options for modernizing our postal delivery system.
Petitions March 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today. Briefly, the first petition calls upon the Government of Canada to enact a national public transit strategy that would provide a permanent investment plan to support public transit and establish federal funding mechanisms for public transit.
Petitions March 3rd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the second petition has to do with the planned expansion of the Toronto Island airport. The undersigned call upon the Government of Canada to block any changes to the tripartite agreement that would allow jet airplanes or extensions of the Toronto Island airport runways.
Petitions March 3rd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am rising to present two petitions to the House today.
The first concerns the elimination of door-to-door mail service in Canada. The petitioners are drawing the attention of the House to the fact that the elimination of door-to-door mail delivery will have a particularly adverse impact on seniors and the disabled, who will be forced to travel to their local community mailbox in order to get their mail. They call upon the Government of Canada to reject Canada Post's plan to cut mail services and increase prices and, instead, explore other options for modernizing our postal service delivery.
Petitions February 26th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I have but one petition, signed by many, to present today.
It reads in part:
Whereas the Federal Lands of Ontario's Durham Region encompass Class 1 Ontario Greenbelt farmland and vital watersheds of the Oak Ridges Moraine;
And whereas the Federal Government has recently announced that the Lands will be used for an airport and economic development but not for agriculture;
And whereas there is no business case for an airport at Pickering ...
And whereas ruling out agricultural uses on prime farmland — the land that feeds us — is unacceptable policy in the 21st century;
We, the undersigned citizens of Canada, call upon the House of Commons in Parliament assembled:
To rescind all plans for an airport and non-agricultural uses on the Federal Lands in Durham Region; and to act, instead, to preserve the watersheds and agricultural land of this irreplaceable natural resource, for the long-term benefit of all Canadians.
Canada Post February 26th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, Toronto City Council has passed a resolution demanding that Canada Post maintain home delivery. Still, Conservatives are cutting it with no plan. With proposed mega-boxes in neighbourhoods of 10,000 people per square kilometre, whose lawns? What about the traffic, our kids' safety, and seniors?
Canada's big city mayors are meeting in Ottawa today. The government should be investing in, not cutting from, our cities. Why are the Conservatives ignoring Toronto?
The Budget February 25th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I was surprised to hear the member for Pickering—Scarborough East talk about all sorts of things other than what is going on in the Toronto area. As a fellow member of Parliament from the Toronto area, I would have assumed that he would respond and answer the question that I get asked a lot, which is “What is the government doing to give my kids some hope for their future?”
This question arises because we have an employment rate in Toronto of just 43.5% for youth and we have an unemployment rate of over 18% for youth. It is so bad that the youth unemployment rate is driving overall employment and unemployment rates in Toronto.
What is the answer to that question? We have here a budget that does nothing, that inspires no hope, and that offers no hope to young people to find work in the Toronto area, so I am wondering how the member actually answers the question. What are the Conservatives, as a government, doing to give hope to my kid?
Petitions February 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, in support of the bill I just tabled calling upon the federal government to recognize February 21 as international mother language day, I also have the privilege of tabling a petition signed by hundreds of citizens in and around my riding calling upon the Government of Canada to designate February 21 as international mother language day in recognition of the value of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
International Mother Language Day Act February 5th, 2014
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-573, an act to establish International Mother Language Day.
Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to be tabling a bill today calling upon the federal government to recognize February 21 of every year as International Mother Language Day.
On that day in 1952, five students of the University of Dhaka who were protesting the imposition of Urdu on the Bengali population were killed by police. They became the martyrs of the Bengali language movement.
In 1999, UNESCO recognized February 21 as International Mother Language Day.
Every year, I host an International Mother Language Day event in my riding. I do so in part because I see in it something fundamentally Canadian, because what allowed us to be and what keeps us as one is a respect for the importance of our mother languages, because the culture of our first nations is carried forward on this land in the form of over 60 distinct languages, and because we are home to languages spoken all over this world, including Bengali, the preservation of which inspired a day that, through this bill, we can make Canadian.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)