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  • His favourite word is colleague.

Liberal MP for Kingston and the Islands (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 39.30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 15th, 2014

With regard to industrial policy related to defence procurement: (a) broken down by contractor, how many dollars have been contracted to businesses in the federal riding of Kingston and the Islands under the Industrial and Regional Benefit Policy since 2006; (b) broken down by contractor, how many person-years of employment have been contracted to businesses in the federal riding of Kingston and the Islands under the Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy since 2006; (c) broken down by contractor, what are all the projects completed in the federal riding of Kingston and the Islands under the Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy since 2006; (d) broken down by contractor, how many dollars have been contracted to businesses in the federal riding of Kingston and the Islands under the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy since January 2014; (e) broken down by contractor, how many person-years of employment have been contracted to businesses in the federal riding of Kingston and the Islands under the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy since January 2014; and (f) broken down by contractor, what are all the projects completed in the federal riding of Kingston and the Islands under the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy since January 2014?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 15th, 2014

With regard to high-speed Internet access in rural and Northern Canada: (a) concerning the funds announced in Digital Canada 150 in order to extend and enhance high-speed Internet services in rural and Northern areas, (i) has Howe Island, Ontario, been identified as an area of particular need or concern, (ii) specific to Howe Island, what measures are being undertaken to ensure that high-speed Internet services are available, (iii) how much money is earmarked for improving broadband services on Howe Island, (iv) how much money is earmarked for improving broadband services in the riding of Kingston and the Islands, (v) how much money is earmarked for improving broadband services in the riding of Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, (vi) how much money is earmarked for improving broadband services in the riding of Leeds—Grenville, (vii) how much money is earmarked for improving broadband services in the riding of Prince Edward—Hastings, (viii) how much money has been spent improving broadband services on Howe Island, (ix) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Kingston and the Islands, (x) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, (xi) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Leeds—Grenville, (xii) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Prince Edward—Hastings, (xiii) how much money is projected to be spent improving broadband services on Howe Island, (xiv) how much money is projected to be spent improving broadband services in the riding of Kingston and the Islands, (xv) how much money is projected to be spent improving broadband services in the riding of Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, (xvi) how much money is projected to be spent improving broadband services in the riding of Leeds—Grenville, (xvii) how much money is projected to be spent improving broadband services in the riding of Prince Edward—Hastings, (xviii) what is the process by which these funds were or are to be allocated, (1) when was this process determined, (2) which individuals were consulted, (3) which organizations were consulted, (4) on what date was the process finalized, (5) on whose authority, (xix) what is the expected date for these funds to be made available, (xx) what is the expected date for these funds to be made available on Howe Island, (xxi) what is the projected timeline for the project on Howe Island, (xxii) what is the projected timeline for the project as a whole, (xxiii) what is the specific scope of the project, (xxiv) were bids solicited, (1) if yes, how was this process determined, (2) when was this process determined, (3) which individuals were consulted, (4) which organizations were consulted, (5) on what date was the process finalized, (6) on whose authority, (xxv) are bids expected to be solicited, (5) if yes, how was this process determined, (2) when was this process determined, (3) which individuals were consulted, (4) which organizations were consulted, (5) on what date was the process finalized, (6) on whose authority, (xxvi) how are the funds advertised, (xxvii) what is the expected impact of the project, (xxviii) what is the expected impact of the project on Howe Island specifically, (xxix) if no money is allocated to Howe Island, what steps should Howe Island residents take under the program to obtain high-speed Internet services; (b) with regard to the funds announced in Economic Action Plan 2014 in order to extend and enhance high-speed Internet services in rural and Northern areas, (i) has Howe Island, Ontario, been identified as an area of particular need or concern, (ii) specific to Howe Island, what measures are being undertaken to ensure that high-speed Internet services are available, (iii) how much money is earmarked for improving broadband services on Howe Island, (iv) how much money is earmarked for improving broadband services in the riding of Kingston and the Islands, (v) how much money is earmarked for improving broadband services in the riding of Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, (vi) how much money is earmarked for improving broadband services in the riding of Leeds—Grenville, (vii) how much money is earmarked for improving broadband services in the riding of Prince Edward—Hastings, (viii) how much money has been spent improving broadband services on Howe Island, (ix) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Kingston and the Islands, (x) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, (xi) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Leeds—Grenville, (xii) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Prince Edward—Hastings, (xiii) how much money is projected to be spent improving broadband services on Howe Island, (xiv) how much money is projected to be spent improving broadband services in the riding of Kingston and the Islands, (xv) how much money is projected to be spent improving broadband services in the riding of Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, (xvi) how much money is projected to be spent improving broadband services in the riding of Leeds—Grenville, (xvii) how much money is projected to be spent improving broadband services in the riding of Prince Edward—Hastings, (xviii) what is the process by which these funds were or are to be allocated, (1) when was this process determined, (2) which individuals were consulted, (3) which organizations were consulted, (4) on what date was the process finalized, (5) on whose authority, (xix) what is the expected date for these funds to be made available, (xx) what is the expected date for these funds to be made available on Howe Island, (xxi) what is the projected timeline for the project on Howe Island, (xxii) what is the projected timeline for the project as a whole, (xxiii) what is the specific scope of the project, (xxiv) were bids solicited, (1) if yes, how was this process determined, (2) when was this process determined, (3) which individuals were consulted, (4) which organizations were consulted, (5) on what date was the process finalized, (6) on whose authority, (xxv) are bids expected to be solicited, (1) if yes, how was this process determined, (2) when was this process determined, (3) which individuals were consulted, (4) which organizations were consulted, (5) on what date was the process finalized, (6) on whose authority,(xxvi) how are the funds advertised, (xxvii) what is the expected impact of the project, (xxviii) what is the expected impact of the project on Howe Island specifically; and (c) with regard to the funds from the recently completed Broadband Canada program, (i) was Howe Island, Ontario, identified as an area of particular need or concern, (ii) specific to Howe Island, what measures were undertaken to ensure that high-speed Internet services are available, (iii) how much money has been spent improving broadband services on Howe Island, (iv) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Kingston and the Islands, (v) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, (vi) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Leeds—Grenville, (vii) how much money has been spent improving broadband services in the riding of Prince Edward—Hastings, (viii) what was the process by which these funds were or are to be allocated, (1) when was this process determined, (2) which individuals were consulted, (3) which organizations were consulted, (4) on what date was the process finalized, (5) on whose authority, (ix) what was the specific scope of the project, (x) were bids solicited, (1) if yes, how was this process determined, (2) when was this process determined, (3) which individuals were consulted, (4) which organizations were consulted, (5) on what date was the processed finalized, (6) on whose authority?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 15th, 2014

With regard to the Directory of Federal Real Property administered by the Real Property and Materiel Policy Directorate of the Treasury Board Secretariat: for all properties located in Kingston and the Islands, (a) broken down by custodian and property title, what is the value of these properties on the financial records of the department, agency or Crown corporation responsible; (b) broken down by custodian and property title, how many properties have currently been declared surplus, and how did these properties appear on the financial records of the department, agency or Crown corporation responsible (i) prior to having been declared surplus, (ii) after having been declared surplus; (c) broken down by custodian, property title and sale price, how many properties have been sold prior to having been declared surplus since 2006, and what was the value according to the financial records of the department, agency or Crown corporation responsible (i) prior to the sale, (ii) for each year from 2006 to 2014; (d) broken down by custodian, property title and sale price, how many properties have been sold after being declared surplus since 2006, and what was the value according to the financial records of the department, agency or Crown corporation responsible (i) prior to the sale, (ii) for each year from 2006 to 2014; and (e) broken down by custodian, property title and sale price, how many properties have been sold without having been declared surplus since 2006, and what was the value according to the financial records of the department, agency or Crown corporation responsible (i) prior to the sale, (ii) for each year from 2006 to 2014?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 15th, 2014

With regard to Correctional Service Canada and the closure of Kingston Penitentiary (KP) and the Regional Treatment Centre (RTC): (a) as of April 19, 2012, what was the stated plan for the relocation of inmates; (b) as of September 30, 2013, what was the stated plan for the relocation of inmates; (c) as of October 1, 2013, where were the inmates residing; (d) as of April 1, 2014, where were the inmates residing; (e) as of June 1, 2014, where were the inmates residing; (f) as of June 1, 2014, what was the stated plan for the relocation of inmates; (g) what modifications to Collins Bay Institution were procured to address the increased inmate population resulting from the temporary relocation of inmates, (i) on what dates were these modifications authorized, (ii) on whose authority, (iii) what contracts were signed relating to these modifications, (iv) what is the dollar value of each of the contracts in (iii), (v) what is the status of each of the contracts listed in (iii), (vi) what will the total cost be for temporarily housing inmates at Collins Bay Institution; (h) what modifications to Bath Institution were procured to address the increased inmate population, (i) on what dates were these modifications authorized, (ii) on whose authority, (iii) what contracts were signed relating to these modifications, (iv) what is the dollar value of each of the contracts in (iii), (v) what is the status of each of the contracts listed in (iii), (vi) what will the total cost be for modifications required to accommodate the increased inmate population for KP and RTC; and (i) what modifications to Millhaven Institution were procured to address the increased inmate population, (i) on what dates were these modifications authorized, (ii) on whose authority, (iii) what contracts were signed relating to these modifications, (iv) what is the dollar value of each of the contracts in (iii), (v) what is the status of each of the contracts listed in (iii), (vi) what will the total cost be for modifications required to accommodate the increased inmate population for KP and RTC?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 15th, 2014

With regard to Statistics Canada, broken down by survey: for each of the current surveys for which some or all of the data has been collected from April to June 2014, (a) how many participants were selected; (b) how many participants agreed to be surveyed; (c) how many participants declined to be surveyed; (d) how many participants were contacted by letter (i) once, (ii) twice, (iii) three times, (iv) more than three times; (e) what is the average number of times that participants are contacted by letter; (f) how many participants were contacted by telephone (i) once, (ii) twice, (iii) three times, (iv) more than three times; (g) what is the average number of times that participants are contacted by telephone; (h) how many participants who declined to be surveyed were contacted by letter (i) once, (ii) twice, (iii) three times, (iv) more than three times; (i) what is the average number of times that participants who declined to be surveyed were contacted by letter; (j) how many participants who declined to be surveyed were contacted by telephone (i) once, (ii) twice, (iii) three times, (iv) more than three times; (k) what is the average number of times that participants who declined to be surveyed were contacted by telephone; (l) how many participants declined to be surveyed following (i) the first letter, (ii) the second letter, (iii) the third letter, (iv) a subsequent letter, (v) the first contact by telephone, (vi) the second contact by telephone, (vii) the third contact by telephone, (viii) a subsequent contact by telephone; (m) what other forms of communication does Statistics Canada use to contact potential participants, other than letter and telephone calls; (n) what is the policy for dealing with selected participants who have declined to be surveyed at the various stages of contact; (o) what arguments are made at each stage of contact to convince participants to agree to be surveyed; (p) what are the data retention and privacy policies regarding information from (i) participants, (ii) participants who declined to be surveyed; and (q) when was approval granted for the data retention policy regarding information from participants who (i) agreed to be surveyed, (ii) declined to be surveyed?

Justice June 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, visible minorities make up 19% of Canadians, yet in the last six years, only 1.5% of federal judicial appointments were visible minorities. That is three judges, not even enough to fill a Conservative photo op.

The justice minister says that Conservatives appoint so few visible minorities because few apply. The Prime Minister recently said, “You can't manage what you can't measure”.

Therefore, will the justice minister commit to releasing data on how many women and visible minorities apply for federal judgeships?

Red Tape Reduction Act June 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is great to have an accountant in our caucus to explain issues that consume time and resources for small businesses and explain what government could do to improve the situation.

In my riding of Kingston and the Islands, accountants have complained to me about the federal government's closure of a window at the CRA office so that there is no public access now.

I was wondering more generally if my colleague, who is an accountant, has any ideas on how the CRA could be improved to better serve small and medium-sized businesses.

The Environment June 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the world community would agree that Canada is taking leadership on the problem of climate change. It is a problem that requires countries around the world to co-operate.

I would also say that the so-called sector-by-sector approach still has not really been implemented. We are still waiting for what the oil and gas sector is going to do. We have been waiting for many years. In fact, we are way past the time at which the government said it would have these rules in place. As my hon. colleague from the Conservative Party has stated himself, and I want to thank him for being here at this late hour to answer these questions, he and millions of other people are very well accustomed to sitting in traffic in the Greater Toronto Area, wasting energy, time, and money.

That is why I think it is time for the federal government to help out all of the areas in the country where better investments are needed in sustainable transportation infrastructure. We have the money to pay for it, especially now when money is so cheap and interest rates are so low. As I said before, one-tenth of the economic cost of traffic congestion in Toronto could service the debt on twice the amount of the government's new building Canada plan.

The Environment June 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am here tonight regarding a question I asked on June 3. On that day, I asked about traffic jams in Toronto and the fact that the C.D. Howe Institute says that they cost the economy $11 billion a year. I asked why the government is investing so little in sustainable transportation infrastructure right now, in fact in infrastructure in general right now.

The minister answered in an over-simplified way, if I could just be kind and gentle. He said simply, “Because you are wrong”. That was all he said. Really. We can see from the video of those proceedings how entertaining the answer was to Conservative MPs. Therefore, the first thing I would like to say is that I hope the government takes the opportunity during these adjournment proceedings to explain how the minister could even answer a question in front of Canadians that way.

Let me talk now about infrastructure. Infrastructure spending is being held back. We know that, without even looking at the numbers, from the experience of Canadian municipalities that are looking to access federal money to work on infrastructure projects that are ready to go. My community of Kingston and the Islands has infrastructure projects that are ready to go. That is because of program delays and low levels of funding from the new building Canada plan in the first few years, funding that has been pushed back to make sure that there is a balanced budget for the Conservative Party's 2015 election campaign.

David Dodge, former governor of the Bank of Canada, says that now is the time to invest in infrastructure, because in many parts of Canada, such as Ontario, there is plentiful labour, extra industrial capacity, and most importantly, right now interest rates are very low.

Let us look at how much it costs Canada to borrow money. According to the Bank of Canada, the long-term interest rate for Canadian government bonds in June 1984 was 14%. That was the yield on the bonds. In 1994, it went down to 9%. In 2004, it went down to 5%. This year, Canada sold 50-year bonds for a 2.86% yield. That is under 3%. Canada can borrow money for 50 years and pay an interest rate under 3%. What does that mean?

In my original question to the minister, I said that the C.D. Howe Institute said that the economic cost of traffic congestion was $11 billion a year. Let us just take $1 billion a year, one-tenth of that. If we could borrow at an interest rate of 2.86%, we could service the interest payments on $35 billion of infrastructure investment. That is two times the new building Canada fund, which is only $14 billion.

To conclude, just one-tenth of the annual cost of traffic congestion in Toronto could cover the interest payments needed to pay for two of this government's new building Canada plans. That is how unambitious the government is.

Drug-Free Prisons Act June 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech. I listened very carefully, in fact. It would be inaccurate to suggest otherwise.

I would like to ask him if, instead of Bill C-12, it would have been more useful to provide Correctional Service Canada with resources to measure how effective existing programs are at fighting drug use in our prisons.

It is something that was suggested, I believe, by the Correctional Investigator, something that is not sufficiently in place presently. I wonder if my colleague would care to comment.

I think that approach would have been more useful than the measures in the current bill. As my colleague mentioned in his speech, drug tests are currently in place now and are used by the system.