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Track Robert

Your Say


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is deal.

NDP MP for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour (Nova Scotia)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 36.30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions October 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls upon the government to stop the cuts to our postal service. Again, it is a petition signed by hundreds of constituents in Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.

The third petition also asks the government to stop the cuts to our postal service, in particular, due to the consequences as they affect seniors and people with mobility issues as well as the 8,000 jobs that will be lost as a result of this decision.

Petitions October 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have a few petitions that I would like to table on behalf of constituents of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.

The first petition is in respect to the climate change accountability act that has been tabled by the official opposition caucus. The petition, signed by hundreds of my constituents, supports the New Democratic Party caucus climate change accountability act, which would be a law that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and hold the government accountable.

Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act October 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the member for Winnipeg North as he talked about what Jack Layton said and what the NDP stood for. Maybe he should stick to what his own party stands for.

The problem we have on this side is that with respect to what the Conservative government has done in its trade policy, the Liberal policy tends to be “me too”. The Liberals go along with it. They do not think about it. They do not question it. They do not analyze it. They just want to agree.

What we have talked about here with respect to the Canada-Korea trade agreement, like we have with every other agreement that has been brought into the House, is the merits of it, the provisions, what is contained within the agreement and how it benefits Canadians, Canadian businesses and Canadian workers.

Why does the member for Winnipeg North get so offended when the NDP looks at a deal from a logical and principled point of view before we decide yea or nay?

Public Works and Government Services October 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the current government stonewalls the PBO every single time, but when it comes down to who is telling the truth, it is the PBO that is always right.

The Prime Minister has been announcing these ships since 2007 and promising that the first one would have been built last year. The longer this project is delayed, the more expensive it will get. According to the PBO, if it is delayed another year, they will only be able to build three ships.

When is the government going to explain to Canadians that it is not going to keep its promise of building six to eight offshore patrol vessels?

Public Works and Government Services October 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, another day, another vital military procurement project massively mismanagement by the Conservative government.

Today, the PBO reported that the Conservative budget for the offshore patrol vessels is not realistic because it will only cover four ships, not the six to eight promised by the Conservatives.

The people in my riding and across the region are counting on those jobs. Can the minister explain how the government will get the project back on track and get those six to eight vessels it promised built?

Community Service October 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, people all over Dartmouth—Cole Harbour are working hard to build a stronger community, and they deserve our gratitude.

Thanks to Laura McAvoy and the volunteers at Bicentennial School, I recently spent a beautiful Saturday building and installing benches on the school grounds.

Thanks to Joel Plaskett for supporting the work of the BridgeCAT centre in downtown Dartmouth keeping at-risk youth in school and introducing them to the world of arts and technology, especially through music.

Thanks to David Foster and the team at Halifax Diverse for their community orchard initiative at the Dartmouth Commons.

Thanks to Lesley Dunn and the Dartmouth Learning Network for hosting a citizenship ceremony at the Dartmouth North Community Centre.

Thanks to Joe Gibson and the Freedom Foundation for 25 years of addictions recovery services.

Thanks to Debby Meier and the North Woodside Community Centre for 20 years of community building.

Finally, a hearty congratulations to Susan Marshall Steele, a teacher at Astral Drive Elementary School, and Angela Daniels-Drummond, of the Dartmouth Day Care Centre, who were just awarded the Prime Minister's Certificates of Excellence.

Employment Insurance October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, unemployed Canadians sure know that under this scheme they are not going to be getting back to work very soon. This is at a time when fewer than 40% of unemployed Canadians are even eligible for EI. That is a historic low.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer says the government could easily afford to expand coverage to another 130,000 unemployed Canadians. Instead, the Conservatives have chosen to raid the EI account for a program that is clearly designed to fail.

Why will the Conservatives not respect workers and start using the money to fix EI?

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, what is going to be shipped is part of the issue. We do not know, and we do not know what the ramifications will be, but we do know that this proposal has been presented. We have been demanding, and continue to demand on behalf of the citizens of that region, this country, and Quebec, that the government understand the potential impact on the ecosystem and on the beluga, the species at risk, and that it be much more demanding in terms of what information is required. Then the government must ensure that the information is provided to Canadians.

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the motion clearly spells out the concerns we have with the proposal to develop a crude oil exporting port at the Port of Gros-Cacouna.

Now it is time for that member, as New Democrats will, to explain the issues at the heart of this situation and why we are so concerned. He raised the point that the federal government has failed to release information. That failure is a very key ingredient, and one that I hope we will hear him expound on some more.

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question, which is a good one, and I will be clear: New Democrats are concerned on a number of levels.

With respect to the St. Lawrence ecosystem, we are concerned about endangered wildlife species such as the beluga. The government is failing to put in place the necessary protections and has failed to disclose information that would help local communities understand what the impacts are. It is failing to address the concerns being brought forward to the point where the Quebec court finally had to issue an injunction to stop it and ordered the release of this information.

Let me be clear. New Democrats think that bitumen should be upgraded in Canada, that jobs should be created in this country, that it should not be exported offshore. The work should be done here. However, all this particular project is proposing to do is to ship more—