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Liberal MP for Kings—Hants (Nova Scotia)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 39.60% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Agricultural Growth Act November 24th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his thorough speech on this legislation. He is an expert, of course, on agriculture, with his background, and he brings a lot to this House in terms of that experience.
The member just spoke of the importance of research. I want to ask him a specific question about the research being done in the Annapolis Valley at the Kentville research station. In recent years, we have seen, through attrition, a reduction in the number of researchers working there. They are not being replaced at retirement.
Given the member's experience in horticulture, does he agree that regional, decentralized research is essential to the future of industries, whether it is the apple industry or the growing grape and wine industry? The research done in the Annapolis Valley is going to render a different result than that done in the Okanagan Valley or in Prince Edward Country in Ontario or in the Niagara region. As such, should we not be focusing more on regional research as opposed to centralizing it, which seems to be the trend with the current government?
The Budget November 20th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' so-called job credit would cost more than half a billion dollars of taxpayers' money, yet the finance minister told committee that the government has not done any economic analysis of it.
Yesterday, when I asked the finance minister why, he said, “...we don't do analysis on every expenditure.”
If a half-billion-dollar expenditure does not require analysis, exactly how much taxpayer money do the Conservatives have to spend before they do their homework?
Employment November 18th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I was not aware that Jack Mintz was a union leader.
With over 200,000 fewer jobs for young Canadians than before the downturn, young Canadians are not getting the work experience they need. Governor Poloz says that high youth underemployment and unemployment are hurting their chances for future success, but he suggested the wrong solution: unpaid work.
A better way to offer young Canadians meaningful job experience is actually through government programs that can pay young people so they can get jobs and experience at the same time, so why did the government, last summer, create half the number of summer jobs for young Canadians than in 2005 and—
Employment November 18th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada tells us that there are 200,000 fewer jobs for young Canadians than in 2008. Instead of helping, the Conservatives have actually introduced a flawed EI tax credit that rewards firms for firing workers. This is what the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said recently:
Why not just fire your summer student or cut back her hours to get yourself under the cap? Your reward for firing a student...a tax break!
That is also what Jack Mintz, the economist, has said—that this job credit creates a disincentive for hiring and an incentive for firing.
Why do the Conservatives not help young Canadians instead of giving a flawed job tax credit that actually hurts them?
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns November 7th, 2014
With regard to government funding, for each fiscal year since 2007-2008 inclusive: (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions, and loans to any organization, body, or group in the electoral district of Kings—Hants, providing for each (i) the name of the recipient, (ii) the location of the recipient, indicating the municipality, (iii) the date, (iv) the amount, (v) the department or agency providing it, (vi) the program under which the grant, contribution, or loan was made, (vii) the nature or purpose; and (b) for each grant, contribution and loan identified in (a), was a press release issued to announce it and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline, (iii) file number of the press release?
Infrastructure November 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, experts like David Dodge, the IMF, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce all agree that we need more public investment in infrastructure. Now we can add Governor Poloz to that list. This week he called infrastructure “a key ingredient in our economic growth story”. He said that with interest rates at “a generational low”, the “missing ingredient” is government and the certainty government can provide.
Governor Poloz is right. Will the Conservatives listen to Governor Poloz and to David Dodge? Will they reverse their 90% cut in planned infrastructure spending this year?
Employment Insurance November 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are spending more than half a billion dollars on the small business job credit without doing their homework. Yesterday, finance officials admitted that they had not done any internal analysis on how many jobs would be created. The PBO has done its analysis, and it has confirmed that only 800 jobs will be created, at a cost of $700,000 per job. Why is the government spending half a billion dollars of taxpayers' money without doing its homework?
Taxation November 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I saw the light and I followed the guidance of my better angels who told me that income splitting would only benefit 15% of Canada's wealthiest families. When I learned that, I knew it was wrong, as did Jim Flaherty. Beyond that, in the riding of Yellowhead one out of every five families with children is a single parent family.
Why are the Conservatives taking away a $2 billion tax credit that actually helps single parent families to pay for a $2 billion income splitting scheme that leaves these vulnerable families behind?
Taxation November 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the late Jim Flaherty said, “I think income-splitting needs a long, hard analytical look...to see who it affects...because I'm not sure that, overall, it benefits our society”. Perhaps Mr. Flaherty was thinking about the people in his riding. There are 5,700 single parent families in the riding of Whitby—Oshawa that will not get a dime from income splitting.
Why are the Conservatives going ahead with this $2 billion regressive income splitting scheme that does nothing to benefit single parent families?
Taxation November 4th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, Jim Flaherty did not believe that this was a progressive measure and that is why he opposed it.
In fact, there are over one and a half million single-parent families in Canada. These families got help from the child tax credit, but they will not get a dime from this income splitting scheme.
Why are the Conservatives scrapping a program that helped single parents and replacing it with an income splitting scheme that will leave these single-parent families, some of Canada's most economically vulnerable families, out in the cold?