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Liberal MP for Kingston and the Islands (Ontario)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 39.30% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act March 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to finish maybe one or two sentences of what I was saying. Because I was interrupted by a point of order, I thought that maybe after the point of order was resolved there would be—
Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act March 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, on the face of it, what we are debating is whether the time allocated for debate on the bill to implement the trade treaty with Honduras should be limited. We have the Conservative Party supporting cutting off debate and the opposition parties opposing it.
I just heard a Conservative member ask a question, because he wanted more information. What I heard was a Conservative member asking the minister for more information about trade with Honduras. I heard a minister who had plenty to say in his answer. He had interesting answers. Obviously he has a lot that he feels needs to be said. I do not quite understand how that is consistent with the Conservative Party's desire to cut off debate on this legislation.
I also heard the minister talk about how all these other countries had treaties with Honduras and that Canada was behind. Therefore, I have a question—
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 6th, 2014
With regard to extradition: (a) broken down by country and by year for the past 20 years, (i) how many people have been extradited to Canada, (ii) how many requests has Canada received for extradition, (iii) how many people have been extradited from Canada, (iv) how many requests has Canada made for an individual to be extradited, (v) by year of request, how many extradition requests are still pending in Canada, (vi) by year of request, how many Canadian extradition requests are still pending abroad, (vii) what is the last step undertaken in the extradition process of cases that are still pending in Canada, (viii) what is the last step undertaken in the extradition process of Canadian cases that are still pending abroad, (ix) by country of request, what is the average delay in months from the date that extradition is sought to Canada extraditing the individual, (x) what is the average time in months from the date that extradition is sought to the individual returning to Canada, (xi) how much money has Canada spent on each extradition case litigated abroad, (xii) how much money has Canada spent on each extradition case litigated in Canada, (xiii) for each extradition request in Canada, how many judicial decisions resulted, and at which court levels; (b) what is the mean, median, and mode for number of judicial proceedings in Canada for the average extradition for the last 20 years; (c) for extradition treaties in particular, (i) with which countries does Canada have extradition treaties in place, (ii) with which countries is Canada currently negotiating extradition treaties, (iii) what is the last step undertaken in the process of treaty-making for current extradition treaty negotiations, (iv) how frequently are extradition treaties reviewed, (v) by what metrics are extradition treaties reviewed, (vi) what consultations have taken place regarding extradition treaties in the past seven years, (vi) what consultations are scheduled regarding extradition treaties, (vii) with what individuals and groups have Ministers of the Crown met regarding extradition treaties, (viii) with what individuals and groups have government departments met regarding extradition treaties, (ix) how is Parliament informed of any changes to extradition treaties, (x) by what metrics are the effectiveness of Canada’s extradition treaties evaluated, (xi) do different extradition treaties have different measures of effectiveness, and if so, how do they differ, (xii) what benefits does Canada observe from having extradition treaties, (xiii) how are the benefits in (xii) quantified, (xiv) what steps are in place to ensure consistency in application of treaties, (xv) what steps are in place to ensure consistency in enforcement of treaties, (xvi) what steps are in place to ensure consistency in effectiveness of treaties; (d) for the extradition process in particular, (i) how often is it reviewed in Canada, (ii) when was the last review completed, (iii) when is the next review scheduled, (iv) by what metrics is the effectiveness of the extradition system evaluated, (v) who determines the metrics in (iv), (vi) what steps are in place to reduce delays in the processing of an extradition case, (vii) what are the standards established for the processing of an extradition case and who establishes them, (viii) by what metrics are the standards in (vii) reviewed, (ix) when was the last review in (viii) completed, (x) when is the next review of the standards in (vii) scheduled, (xi) what is the role of Citizenship and Immigration Canada in the extradition process; (e) what metrics does Canada track with respect to extraditions and who is responsible for tracking them; (f) in what way are the provinces involved in the extradition process; (g) are the provinces being consulted with regard to any forthcoming changes, if so, in what ways; (h) regarding the Minister of Justice’s August 2013 comments that there is a “need to reform and modernize how we extradite people”: (i) what policies are in place to modernize the extradition process, (ii) what policies are in development to modernize the extradition process,(iii) how does the government define “modernization”, (iv) by what metrics is the modernization of the extradition process tracked, (v) what steps are in place to further modernize the extradition process, (vi) what consultations have taken place regarding the modernization of the extradition process in the past year, (vii) what consultations are scheduled regarding the modernization of the extradition process, (viii) with what individuals and groups have Ministers of the Crown met with regarding the modernization of the extradition process, (ix) with what individuals and groups have government departments met with regarding the modernization process,(x)what other policies are in place to ensure that Canada has an effective and modern extradition policy; (i) what other policies are in place to ensure that Canada has an effective and modern extradition system; (j) what is involved in determining the countries to which Canada can extradite a requested individual; (k) under what circumstances does Canada reject an extradition request; (l) how is the determination in (k) made; (m) how many extradition requests has Canada refused to honour in the past 10 years, broken down by country of request and reason; (n) in what cases will Canada not seek extradition of a Canadian abroad; (o) how is the determination in (n) made; (p) what procedures exist to ensure consistency in Canada’s requests or decisions not to request extradition of an individual; (q) has any study been conducted as to the impact on the extradition process (i) of an election being called in Canada and, if so, with what conclusions, (ii) of a change in government in Canada and, if so, with what conclusions; (r) what trends have been observed in the past ten years regarding the frequency of extradition requests and their processing; (s) what academic studies has Canada sought in relation to extradition within the past ten years; (t) what additional reviews or analysis of the extradition process have been completed internally by the government in the past 10 years; (u) what measures has the government undertaken to inform Canadians about the extradition process and any changes thereto; (v) how have Canada’s extradition policies been relayed to international partners and what meetings have most recently occurred with Canadian officials surrounding extradition; (w) what recourse is available to individuals whom the government chooses not to extradite; (x) what recourses exist for Canada when another government refuses an extradition request; (y) how many extradition requests made by Canada in the past ten years, broken down by country, have been refused; (z) on what basis was the request in (y) refused; (aa) what was the outcome for the individuals in the cases indicated in (y); (bb) in what instances has Canada sent a diplomatic note with respect to an extradition request; (cc) what is the role of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the extradition process; (dd) how does the government ensure compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; (ee) what other international law instruments--other than extradition treaties--are involved in the extradition process; (ff) how does the government ensure compliance with the other international law instruments described in (ee); (gg) what is the history of Canada’s extradition policy and what particular principles have been established to guide policy development and implementation in this regard?
Questions on the Order Paper March 6th, 2014
With regard to Canada Student Loan forgiveness for eligible family doctors, residents in family medicine, registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, registered practical nurses, licensed practical nurses, or nurse practitioners who work in rural or remote communities: (a) how many medical professionals have applied for loan forgiveness since April 1, 2013, broken down by (i) eligible medical profession, (ii) the designated community in which the applicant is working; (b) how many medical professionals who have applied for loan forgiveness have been accepted for loan forgiveness since April 1, 2013, broken down by (i) eligible medical profession, (ii) the designated community in which the applicant is working; (c) what is the anticipated total value of loan forgiveness payments that will be paid to qualified medical professionals under this program by April 2014, broken down by (i) loan forgiveness period, (ii) eligible medical profession, (iii) the designated community in which the applicant is working?
Employment Insurance Act March 5th, 2014
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-578, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (removal of waiting period for apprentices).
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a bill to amend the Employment Insurance Act. The bill is intended to remove the initial EI waiting period for the in-school training period for apprentices and to remove a disincentive for apprentices to complete their accreditation. I thank my colleague the member for Avalon for seconding the bill.
Apprentice training is a long process that ensures we have the skilled workforce that the economy needs. Right now, many apprentices start their training but do not technically finish because they are hired before being fully accredited. The system lacks incentives to return for the in-class portion of their training. For example, it takes over 6,000 hours, which is three years of 40-hour weeks, to complete an apprenticeship to be a baker. Much of this is crucial on-the-job training. However, there are two 12-week, in-school periods, and 150 hours of theoretical work to complete the apprenticeship and become an advanced baker-patissier. During these in-school periods, the apprentice is not paid. During the first of these periods, he or she still has to make it through the two-week waiting period before being eligible for employment insurance.
The bill builds on the Liberal Party's 2001 amendment that waived the subsequent waiting periods for apprentices, by also removing the first two-week waiting period for claimants enrolled in an apprenticeship program. I hope we will see more apprentices completing their programs, which will result in a more skilled and productive workforce.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)
Privilege March 3rd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, earlier, the Chair, at the end of the ruling, said that there were too many contradictory statements in this House.
If every time a Canadian went to read the record of this House of Commons they had to check to see if something an hon. members said was corrected later on, would Canadians think of us as hon. members? Things cannot be that way.
I have a question for my hon. colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley. Does the member think there should be a system put into place so that the official record of this chamber may be corrected? If anybody read a statement or looked at a video where a statement was later corrected, that person would see that the statement had been corrected, or would see in the video when a member stood up to say something that it was later retracted.
Then we would not have to worry about whether something we are reading which was said in this House of Commons was true or not.
The Budget February 25th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the expiration of the agreements will impact both co-operatives and cities.
There is an impact on the city of Kingston, which is mandated to operate roughly 2,000 units of affordable housing. Of course it is not going to cut those units as these operating agreements and mortgage subsidies expire. Therefore, what does it have to do? It has to raise property taxes.
The Conservatives' non-action is essentially raising the property taxes of people in Kingston and the Islands. That is what happens when the Conservative government decides to ignore affordable housing.
Does my colleague agree that we should consider the impact on cities and property-tax payers as well as on housing co-operatives?
The Budget February 25th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I would like to continue in the same line of debate regarding the government's announcement for the build Canada fund. It is back-loaded, so for the first few years there is not much money to spend on much-needed infrastructure.
However, I have another concern, which is that the government recently announced, with respect to the build Canada fund, that there would be no framework agreement with the provinces. The problem that results is that separate arrangements between provincial and federal governments will now have to be made for each project, because costs for a lot of large infrastructure projects are shared between the federal, provincial, and municipal governments.
I am thinking in particular of something that causes congestion in my riding of Kingston and the Islands, which is the need for a crossing over the main rail line. I wonder if the member could address that question. I know it is a bit technical, but could he say whether he has heard any assurances about the problems that might be caused by the lack of a framework agreement between the federal and provincial governments?
The Budget February 25th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, first, as this is a chamber of debate, I would like to respond to a request made by the last two speakers from the Conservative Party, who asked opposition members to vote for the budget. The reason the Liberals are not voting for the budget is that we know that we could produce a much better budget, and we would be betraying what we believe in if we did that.
My question is about the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. The member from the Kitchener-Waterloo area may know about this telescope. It is a telescope Canadians have worked on for many years. It is a world-class instrument. Canada has put millions of dollars into the telescope. It needs roughly only $700,000 a year to continue its operation until about 2019, when a new telescope will take over.
Given that the government has announced the Canada first research excellence fund, which, by the way, this telescope is not eligible for, would my hon. colleague from the Kitchener area join me in asking the government to find a way to fund Canadian astronomers using this telescope for the next few years?
The Budget February 25th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the Conservatives always quote job statistics from the bottom of the recession instead of when they took power in 2006. It makes the numbers look better.
I am encouraged by my hon. colleague mentioning one of the red seal trades: agricultural equipment technician. It is very important to have people who can fill the jobs that involve needed skills. However, I would remind the member that it was his government, when it closed the prison farms, that said there were no jobs on farms. That was the justification that the Conservatives gave for not having inmates work hard and regularly, work on time, and work up to standards on farms while they were in minimum security institutions.
At that time the Conservatives said there were not any jobs on farms, and now my hon. colleague talks, correctly, I would say, about the importance of agricultural equipment technicians when he talks about the new apprentice loan program. I wonder if he might like to correct the government's statement from previous years.