Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was international.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as NDP MP for Burnaby—Douglas (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 32% of the vote.

Statements in the House

International Aid October 23rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

The minister knows that the government has promised to urgently table a bill that would allow the export of affordable generic drugs from Canada to deal with the desperate plight of sub-Saharan Africans fighting diseases such as HIV-AIDS, TB, malaria and cancer.

I want to ask the minister, when will he table this urgently needed bill, and will he respect the WTO agreement that it not list diseases for which generic drugs can be used? Will he put public health of the poor ahead of corporate profits for multinational pharmaceutical companies?

Public Safety Act, 2002 October 7th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I wish to commend my colleague from Churchill for speaking out so eloquently and forcefully against Bill C-17 on behalf of the New Democratic Party caucus.

I would like to make a brief comment on the destructive impact of the government's approach to civil liberties since September 11, 2001.

We recently learned that the oversight body of the RCMP that has the responsibility for ensuring that Canadians who have concerns about the abuses of power by the RCMP has said that it is powerless when it comes to dealing with abuses under the anti-terrorism legislation, Bill C-36. Shirley Heafey, the head of the RCMP civilian watchdog, the RCMP Public Complaints Commission, said:

We can't (investigate) unless there's a complaint, and even if there is a complaint...we can't see the information. So for all practical purposes, there's no civilian oversight.

Just today a group of prominent Canadians in the international civil liberties monitoring group have called for an independent inquiry into the serious abuses around the deportation of Maher Arar to Syria by the United States and the possibility that there may have been collusion with the RCMP. There was no oversight body whatsoever on that. The minister responsible for the RCMP stonewalled and covered up on that issue as well.

I remember when Bill C-36, the anti-terrorism legislation, was passed. We were promised that there would be full and effective oversight. We were told there would be no problem. New Democrats rejected that bill then as an assault on our civil liberties just as we are rejecting Bill C-17 today as an assault on our civil liberties.

I wonder if the hon. member might comment with respect to the total absence of any meaningful safeguards in Bill C-17.

Zahra Kazemi October 1st, 2003

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my New Democrat colleagues and our leader, Jack Layton, we join in this unanimous call from all sides of the House to the Iranian government to finally do the right thing and return the body of Zahra Kazemi to Canada, to exhume the body and return it, so we can finally learn the truth of what happened.

We know she was interrogated for a period of some 77 hours. She was beaten and murdered. We know there were at least three different agencies involved, and we do not want to see a whitewash on this. The truth must come out. There must be an independent inquiry for which Reporters without Borders, Amnesty International and others have called. We as New Democrats join in this call. We urge the government of Iran to listen to the people of Canada and certainly to listen to her son, Stephan Hachemi, who is calling for justice on behalf of the family.

Foreign Affairs September 26th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, my question again is for the Solicitor General. Canadians are more and more concerned about this government's abdication of its responsibility to Canadian citizens overseas, whether it is William Sampson, Zahra Kazemi or Maher Arar.

I want to ask this minister a very specific question. Will the minister confirm to the House that in fact the RCMP did supply information to United States authorities with respect to Maher Arar before he was arrested, held for 12 days incommunicado and deported?

Foreign Affairs September 26th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General.

Today is the first anniversary of the United States' arrest and deportation to Syria of Maher Arar.

Yesterday the RCMP assistant commissioner stonewalled in committee and refused to say what information the RCMP had passed on to the United States about Arar.

Will the minister now answer that question? Will he stand up for this Canadian citizen and confirm that Canada has absolutely no evidence linking Maher Arar to terrorism?

Health September 23rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

It has been over four months since the date that Canadians were promised that the Canada health council would be up and running.

Will the minister now assure Canadians, who are concerned about the lack of accountability and the erosion of medicare through massive funding cuts by the new Liberal leader, and by privatization, that soon there will be a strong, well funded council in place with members committed to the Canada Health Act, to the Romanow commission and to a publicly funded and delivered medicare system?

Canadian Alliance September 18th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to do something that I have never done before in the House, and that is to congratulate the Canadian Alliance on a remarkable new power that we discovered that it had yesterday. At four o'clock yesterday afternoon, the Canadian Alliance website announced that my private member's bill, Bill C-250, had passed and their amendments had been defeated. This was two hours before the vote actually took place.

Now we know that the Leader of the Opposition has remarkable powers. He has discovered a secret conspiracy between the Prime Minister, the judiciary and Martians to ram through same sex marriage. Now we know that the Canadian Alliance can also predict the results of future votes in this House.

I look forward to the next federal election two weeks beforehand, Canadian Alliance website “Stunning upset; Prime Minister Jack Layton; Canadian Alliance wiped out in the election due to its narrow intolerant agenda”.

Criminal Code September 17th, 2003

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Criminal Code September 17th, 2003

moved that the bill, as amended, be concurred in.

Chief Actuary Act September 16th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary talked about the importance of consumer choice. How can consumers choose if they are not entitled to know exactly what is in their food, if we do not have mandatory labelling?

That right is fundamental. I want to point out that in a study that was prepared for the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food earlier this year, the scientists noted that “Consumers are becoming more worried that they can't distinguish between GE and non-GE products”. They pointed out that “these concerns could precipitate a loss of confidence in the integrity of the Canadian food system” and could also affect our international markets.

I would point out that consumers were grossly underrepresented in this Canadian General Standards Board committee. There were only four groups representing consumers and one of them pulled out. From the perspective of consumers and from the perspective of our markets and our farmers, it is long overdue that the government stop the farce of voluntary labelling and move ahead with mandatory labelling. Consumers have the right to know what is in the food they eat.

Why will the government not move ahead to respect the views of 80%-plus of Canadians in this important area?