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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is program.

Liberal MP for Cape Breton—Canso (Nova Scotia)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 46.40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

International Trade October 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, with the CETA deal officially signed and the legal scrub of the text having started, there are still some questions that remain unanswered. One such question surrounds the articles around patent protections for pharmaceutical products.

Can the government tell us what commitments it has made to compensate the provinces and territories as a result of the pharma provisions of CETA?

Rouge National Urban Park Act October 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have tried to follow this debate, to keep an open mind and get a best feel for it. My colleague talked about bona fides and past Liberal governments. I am very fortunate to represent an area that benefited from a Liberal government that was very committed to environmental stewardship. It put $280 million toward the cleanup of the worst toxic site in our country, the Sydney tar ponds. This is the first year people have come and enjoyed the place.

I will give my colleague an opportunity to expand further on how he feels confident in our party's approach to all environmental issues.

Employment Insurance September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Employment and Social Development boasted that the new Social Security Tribunal has reduced EI appeals by 90%. However, he has not told unemployed Canadians that their actual chance of winning an appeal has been greatly reduced.

Before in the tribunal, Canadians appealing had the decision overturned over 50% of the time. The success rate has now dropped to 38% under the new system.

Could the minister explain to affected Canadians why such a drastic drop in the success of appeals?

Employment September 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, when the human resources minister's predecessor boasted that she had loosened regulations on temporary foreign workers, making it quicker and easier to get workers, we knew that decision was based on no information, and it hurt Canadian workers. Now this minister is trying to clean up her mess, using bad information and hurting Canadian businesses. It is like being on an elevator with no numbers on the button; we just keep pushing to see where we land.

When will the Conservative government admit that it has lost this program, turn it over to a committee of the House for study, and fix this program that is important to both workers and business?

Employment September 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member was half right. We did introduce this program, but it was the minister's predecessor who took the shackles off of it. She nearly separated her shoulder patting herself on the back because it was going to be no problem getting temporary foreign workers.

Conservatives are trying to clean up their own mess, but they did not even include the youth reciprocal program. There is no labour assessment needed for the youth reciprocal program. How do we know that Canadian students are not being pushed aside because of this program and the lack of controls over this specific part of it?

Employment September 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the government has had it wrong, on both sides of the temporary foreign worker program. Business owners in western Canada are facing incredible staffing challenges because of the government's incompetence. In essence what the government has done is to push back the entire House in order to tighten the clothesline. Western Canadian businesses are being penalized for a crime they did not commit.

When will the government swallow its pride, admit it is lost on the program, and ask a House committee to fix this broken program?

Safeguarding Canada's Seas and Skies Act September 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this particular bill is mainly technical in scope, but the committee heard from a wide array of witnesses.

When we talk about rail safety, everybody is very much aware of some of the horrific accidents that took place, Lac Mégantic being at the forefront of most people's recollections. We know that the Auditor General did an extensive study of all the events surrounding that accident.

I know that if we stand in the House during question period and ask the minister for particulars, the minister will stand and go on about how much money the government has spent specifically on rail safety. I would like to ask my colleague whether the minister is on solid ground when she says that. I guess that is the essence of my question.

Business of Supply September 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, one of my favourite times in the House is when I get to join in the debate with my friend and colleague from Acadie—Bathurst.

Let us be careful here. I had two calls in the office today, and I think my colleague will want to make sure the record is correct. Do not get me wrong: he did not mislead the House in any way with respect to this. He made reference to the fish plant workers and having respect for those fish plant workers who work for minimum wage, just as I have respect, as does anybody who lives in a coastal community where there is fishing. However, members must know that this motion would not impact anybody outside of the federal jurisdiction; so perhaps he could clarify that.

I will go back and ask my other colleague this. I know where I got the statistic of 416 people. That was from the StatsCan study. I still do not know where the NDP are getting this 100,000 workers that it would impact. If the member could enlighten me, I would appreciate that.

Business of Supply September 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, to my colleague's point, the two-year study that was done by Harry Arthurs and presented to the government in 2006 said that going back to the federal minimum wage would provide some benefit, although it would be marginal.

However, the purpose of debate in the House is to get a better understanding for the people watching at home and for those who take part in the debate. We want to learn as much as we can, and it has been identified on a number of occasions here that Statistics Canada's own number in 2010 identified that this measure would have an impact on fewer than 416 workers within the federal jurisdiction. That is a statistic that anyone can look up.

I am asking for some guidance. “Help me help you, Jerry Maguire.” Where is the NDP getting the figure of 100,000? Could the member at least refer to the study that shows it would help 100,000 people?

Business of Supply September 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the point has been brought up in each of the NDP members' speeches that the Liberals abolished this piece of legislation in 1996. Let us be right on here. They said it had been a while since there had been an increase in federal employees' minimum wage. Yes, the Liberals at that time had been in power for two and a half years and were looking at a way to get the increase. At the time, Audrey McLaughlin and the NDP supported that motion, as did Elsie Wayne, as did Jean Charest. Those are the facts.

Let us have a truthful debate. This very modest measure would help very few, but let us tell the truth to each other.