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Your Say


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is rcmp.

NDP MP for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 40.90% of the vote.

Statements in the House

An Act to Bring Fairness for the Victims of Violent Offenders June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I want to start by expressing my thanks to the member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale for the work he has done in bringing this bill in front of us.

He has certainly been very dedicated to this issue, very dedicated to his constituents, and has gotten this bill to this stage in the House of Commons to make some significant improvements in the rights of victims in our system. I congratulate him for that.

I also congratulate the member for being willing to listen in committee, willing to listen and make improvements to the bill. The bill we have has been slightly amended to the point where we on this side of the House are very comfortable in supporting the bill.

My question for the member is around how we let victims know about the rights they now have in the system and the changes we are making. That is one of the things I have heard, that lots of victims do not realize the rights they have now, and now we are making some changes.

I wonder if the member has given any thought to how we can make sure victims realize they have some new rights and new possibilities within the legal system.

Agricultural Growth Act June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I was here last night when we heard many Conservatives, wanting to shut down debate at that time, saying that they had heard enough. Today we are hearing again from the minister that we have already heard enough.

I am a bit confused about whether the government is getting tired of being the government. My offer to the Conservatives would be that they could step out of the way, and we could take over. We would present things Canadians really want to debate, and I am sure that they would find lots to say about what we are putting forward as initiatives.

Citizenship and Immigration June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Winnipeg resident Joyce Nakawunde is facing imminent deportation to Uganda. Not only will the deportation separate her from her 11-year-old Canadian-born daughter, as a lesbian, she will face threats to her personal safety if she is returned to Uganda. This is not only a result of the extreme legal penalties against homosexuality in Uganda, but also specific threats to her safety from the father of her child.

Will the Minister of Immigration take immediate action to stay the deportation of Ms. Nakawunde?

Victims Bill of Rights June 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this is going to distract me, but this is really what it is all about. When members want to actually represent their constituents, we hear from the other side “shut up”, “wrap it up”, “sit down”, “we don't want to hear from you”, yet the people who are advocates of the bill are telling us they want dialogue on it. How can we have dialogue on the bill when people on the other side are telling me to sit down and be quiet? It does not make any sense to me.

I am also concerned that sometimes when we talk about victims' rights, we focus too much on their role in the legal system and we forget about the other needs of victims. Victims quite often need compensation for time lost at work, compensation for their real material losses, counselling and other things which are quite expensive. As I said earlier in one of my questions, the government's solution to that in this bill is to rely on restitution. I am disappointed to hear the member say that means I am worried about someone who cannot pay the restitution. I am not. I am worried about the victim who will get nothing out of the restitution process.

I am already out of time. Probably because of time allocation, I will not get to speak again. It is very disappointing, because this is an important bill on which dialogue could lead to much improvement.

Victims Bill of Rights June 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to represent my constituents and this is my opportunity to do that, whether or not the government House leader continues to heckle me about it.

Victims Bill of Rights June 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I hear a member on the other side say, “Do it now”. I am not on the committee that this bill will go to and I have a very strong interest in victims' rights.

Victims Bill of Rights June 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is a very important topic. Of course I am disappointed to be speaking on it somewhere near midnight.

I would like to start by thanking the House staff, the pages, the security people, the bus drivers, all of those who are supporting us in these midnight sittings.

Having heard the comments by the government House leader just a few minutes ago, I will have to try to condense everything into four minutes because it sounds a bit like he is about to move time allocation on this bill, which would not surprise me because there are hardly any bills left to move it on. Therefore, I will try to make my points as quickly as I can.

The New Democrats support victims' rights. We have supported the private members' bills that have come forward. We have voted for those bills. We will be voting for Bill C-479 when it comes forward, and we will support this bill going to committee.

Victims Bill of Rights June 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her very heartfelt speech. I know we can always depend on her to represent the interests of her constituents and those who are less fortunate in our society.

I know that previously the government placed a lot of emphasis on restitution and pursuing the offender through the courts. I know that we have seen recommendations from the victims ombudsman that this is something that is not likely to be profitable and is very difficult for people to pursue.

I wonder if the member has anything she would like to say on this reliance on restitution.

Victims Bill of Rights June 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the House that I am very much interested in the bill on victims rights, but I am a little concerned about the emphasis on restitution, because the government at times slips over into an emphasis on the offender rather than the victim. People have to be lucky to be offended against by someone who has enough resources for restitution to do them any good.

I wonder whether in committee we will be talking about efforts to make sure compensation is available to all victims with some kind of federal-provincial deal on victims' criminal injury compensation funds, which do not exist in Newfoundland or in the territories and are under severe caps in most of the provinces. If people are not lucky enough, in that odd sense, to have an offender who has resources, sometimes there is no compensation available through restitution. I hope we will be discussing this at committee.

Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act June 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, once again I am surprised to be the first questioner when there are other parties here in the House that could be taking part in the debate, but they only seem to stand up to raise irrelevant issues instead of discussing the issue at hand.

My question is for the member, after a really good analysis of free trade. Who would the member say benefits when we sign an agreement with a country that does not have adequate labour or environmental standards?

I know in the member's conclusion she talked about how agreements like this one might sometimes not benefit either one. Who, then, would benefit if we went ahead with such an agreement?