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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was budget.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2006, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of the House June 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon we will continue with debate on the motion regarding the sittings of the House. When that is disposed of, we will proceed to Bill C-48, the budget legislation, and Bill C-38, the civil marriage bill.

While I will not speculate any further than that, I understand the vote this evening will take place at 8 o'clock. Subsequent to the vote, we will see what legislation we would be looking at in the fall. Essentially I will deal with what we are speaking to after question period. Once the motion is disposed of later this evening, we would then proceed to Bill C-48 and subsequent to that, Bill C-38, the civil marriage bill.

The Budget June 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, as members know, we do not speak for the other place. I would suggest to the hon. member that he call his hon. colleagues in the other place and perhaps get the same cooperation that he seems to be suggesting we are getting on Bill C-43. Perhaps he could ask for that same cooperation so that the Senate can deal expeditiously with Bills C-48 and C-38 when they both get to the Senate.

Private Members' Business June 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, this is private members' business and I understand the intervention by my hon. colleague. I would leave it strictly to you. The government is not opposed to having the vote again, if another vote is required. Given that it is private members' business, if another vote is required, we will leave it to your judgment to call it.

Extension of Sitting Period June 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, no promises were made to any special interest groups. That is a direct response to the hon. member.

When he talks about what the government has essentially done, I can point to the early learning initiative, the new deal for cities, the investments in affordable housing and post-secondary education, the reduction in income tax for lower income Canadians and investments in the auto sector. I can point to a number of different areas, all of which the official opposition disagrees with, and it is certainly within its right to do so. It is the opposition's right to disagree with what the government is doing.

I would just go back to the point that when and if the House is able to decide on whether the motion should pass or not, we will then deal with both the budget bill, Bill C-48, and ultimately Bill C-38.

Extension of Sitting Period June 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it was a committee decision when to report and all parties agreed to the decision to report back on that day. The Conservative member who sat on that committee and who spoke very aggressively against this legislation agreed to report back on a certain day. It was the committee that decided when to report back the question.

With respect to the witnesses themselves, 75 witnesses have appeared with respect to Bill C-38, and there was 28 hours and 20 minutes of debate on Bill C-38.

I grant that not all members are happy with the process, and not all members are going to be happy at the end of the day with respect to the outcome. To suggest that there has not been enough debate on this issue is certainly a personal perspective and one that members are perfectly entitled to and should express on their own.

At the end of the day, I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that you have a question here and a vote will be taken on whether we extend the sitting of the House. Parliament will decide that. If Parliament decides to extend the sitting, then we will deal with both Bill C-48 and Bill C-38.

Extension of Sitting Period June 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would respond by saying that whatever I do, whether in this House or out of this House, I would do in the public interest.

Extension of Sitting Period June 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. colleague does reflect what Canadians said on election night, which is that they were looking for this Parliament to work. We have had successful discussions in different areas with various parties at different times, and that is what a minority Parliament is all about.

At times, some parties are not happy with the outcome of what may be a negotiation or a discussion, and that is perfectly acceptable, that is the way minority Parliaments work.

The hon. member across the way talked about respecting the vote. I would only say that if we have a successful vote today on this motion and we do come back next week, I would hope that we would have constructive debate and ultimately decide on the question.

I would just go back to what is coming up in some of the editorials. In yesterday's Globe and Mail , in reference to Bill C-38, it stated:

There is nothing materially useful to add. It's time for Parliament to vote on the bill, and for all parties to let the Commons have its say.

Ultimately, we are here to ensure that the Commons has its say.

Extension of Sitting Period June 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the preamble to the hon. member's question, every time a member across the way gets up and says something, with some exception, we hear nothing but hypocrisy.

The hon. member talks about wasting the time of this House moving concurrence motions and using all kinds of procedural dilatory tactics but that is what hon. members from his party have done for most of this session.

What is before the House is a motion that provides an opportunity to decide on a question. When the member talks about particular pieces of legislation, which it seems are of no importance to the Conservative Party, he is talking about investments in the environment, in affordable housing and in cities.

The hon. members are disagreeing with those types of investments and it is perfectly correct for them to do so.

However everything we are proposing are within the Standing Orders and within the rules of this House. Parliament can ultimately decide whether this motion should be accepted or not. I would only hope that the Conservatives will respect the outcome of the vote today.

Extension of Sitting Period June 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I certainly do not speak for the Conservative Party but I would suggest that the Conservatives are afraid of having these questions come to the House in order to have the House resolve the question.

The Conservatives constantly stand in this House and use debate in order to delay, which is perfectly within their right, but they should also have the courage to stand in this House to vote and to show Canadians where they stand on these particular issues. The rest of Parliament seems to be prepared to do so.

If the Conservatives feel so strongly about their position, they should vote in this House and then spend the summer telling Canadians why they have the correct position. I would suggest that Canadians would disagree with the position that they have taken.

Extension of Sitting Period June 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I do not think anyone in the country believes the Conservatives were doing anything but filibustering both on Bill C-48 and Bill C-38 in order to avoid getting to the question. It is certainly well within their rights to use every procedural tactic available to them in the Standing Orders to prevent something from happening.

However, ultimately I think Canadians look to a resolution to a question. While Canadians look for debate, and while the hon. members may argue that there has not been enough debate, I would submit that there has been debate in the House on Bill C-38 and Bill C-48.

What I am putting in front of the House this morning is an opportunity for Parliament to decide whether Parliament itself should have extended sittings. If that happens, I am saying that we would deal with Bill C-48 and Bill C-38 and ultimately Parliament will decide the outcome of those bills.

The members opposite may disagree with what I am looking to do but ultimately Parliament will decide whether what I am doing is acceptable to Parliament.