House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was veterans.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2008, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Environment June 18th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, soon, the Liberal leader and his team will unveil a new way to look at pollution and climate change. Unlike the Conservatives and the New Democrats, the Liberals are inviting Canadians to engage in an important dialogue on the future of energy use in Canada.

False reports by the Conservatives about a green tax shift underline their own lack of action and desperation.

They know, we know and Canadians know that something has to be done. Neither Canada nor the world can wait any longer.

Our plan will be comprehensive and it will be revenue neutral. Low income and middle income Canadians in particular will benefit from our green tax shift.

Canada cannot allow itself to lag behind in the green industrial revolution.

As one important aboriginal teaching says, “Our vision must be for seven generations”.

We know that Canadians want this debate and are aware of the consequences of inaction. It is sad that the Conservatives and the New Democrats do not have confidence in Canadians.

Veterans June 16th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, anyone who has actually talked to veterans in this country about this serious problem will tell you that we are simply not doing enough to help. Recent reports of our soldiers being told to ignore incidents of sexual assault in Afghanistan of civilians, some by Afghan soldiers, have only made matters worse. Already many of our soldiers come home with PTSD. Now we add this latest terrible twist.

When will the government do something to help our soldiers by taking these matters seriously?

Veterans June 16th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, last week, I asked the minister responsible for veterans when this government will take action on the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder which is affecting Canada's newest generation of veterans.

The current system is not working. When will the government actually put money toward treating PTSD?

Ethics June 13th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I think we can assume that Mrs. Cadman is safe from Conservative lawsuits for now.

The parliamentary secretary repeatedly talks about a meeting on May 19, but last week he handed out a sworn affidavit from Mrs. Cadman in which she swore that the insurance offer was made to her husband on May 17, which is not May 19.

Why did the parliamentary secretary hold a press conference to distribute information that contradicted the Prime Minister's version of events? Why not simply explain what happened on May 17?

Ethics June 13th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, amazingly the Conservative Party has produced a self-incriminating affidavit from the widow of the late Chuck Cadman. In the sworn affidavit she refutes most of the key arguments made by the government to claim its innocence in the 2005 Cadman affair. Contrary to the government's line, Dona Cadman confirmed that on May 17 two Conservative Party officials had indeed offered her late husband a million dollar insurance policy in return for his vote.

Given the litigious nature of the Conservative Party when confronted by its own wrongdoing, will the Prime Minister be suing Mrs. Cadman for defamation?

Aboriginal Affairs June 10th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the federal government will apologize to residential school survivors. I believe that such an apology is a key step in the healing and reconciliation process with Canada's aboriginal peoples. I look forward to hearing the apology and hope it achieves its intended purpose.

I also hope this apology and the reconciliation process will inform all Canadians about some of the tragedies that have been inflicted upon our aboriginal people. I believe the relationship between aboriginal Canadians and non-aboriginal Canadians can be strengthened with better dialogue and an increased understanding by all Canadians of aboriginal history.

For this purpose, I have introduced Bill C-496 to promote the teaching of aboriginal history and culture in Canada's mainstream primary and secondary schools. I believe such a measure will encourage an environment of understanding that will better help our country move forward. Over the long past, the teaching of aboriginal history has been deficient in Canada's schools and this needs to be addressed.

I urge all hon. members to support initiatives that promote better understanding and appreciation of the important role in Canada of aboriginal Canadians past, present and future.

National Defence June 9th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, today we mourn the very recent loss of two more Canadian soldiers.

We know that all members support our troops and that the loss of life and health of our military men and women is felt by all Canadians. Yet the government continues to fail our troops as they return from Afghanistan and other operations. Let us consider the fact that post-traumatic stress disorder, a crippling mental injury, still ranks among the most common of afflictions.

While clinics are fine and they are needed, when will the government provide real support for all the health care needs of Canada's newest generation of veterans? When will it take real action?

Business of Supply June 5th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I listened with care to my colleague from Charlottetown and he made a point of saying that the Ethics Commissioner, Ms. Dawson, was actually trying to be very helpful but that she was apparently constrained by the existing rules.

We should be thanking the member for West Nova for providing all members on both sides of the House with an opportunity to examine more carefully what appears to be an anomaly in the rules, which has allowed for what I would call her inadvertent decision.

I am wondering if my friend from Charlottetown could talk a bit more about the opportunity that this provides us to clear up an error that is not really helping any one particular member or another. It is for all members for the future.

Criminal Code May 14th, 2008

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-543, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (abuse of pregnant woman).

Mr. Speaker, the reason I am tabling the bill is many of us felt that Bill C-484, while it did attempt to accomplish certain things in protecting pregnant women from assault or abuse, left too many unanswered questions and too many doors were left open.

For those of us who are pro-choice, but did not want to go down that road, I have created a simple bill, which would provide judges with the ability to increase the penalties for those who would knowingly assault or abuse a pregnant woman.

I have had this tested to see whether it would open the door to recriminalization of abortion, and it will not. I have had it tested to see whether it would have any censure against the women herself, should she choose to have an abortion, and that will not be the case. In fact, it plugs all the holes left by Bill C-484.

I invite members, who felt as awkward as I did in not supporting Bill C-484, to look at this as a very helpful option to assist pregnant women, should they be attacked by those who are knowingly aware they are pregnant.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Battle of Vimy Ridge April 9th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, 91 years ago, on April 9, 1917, at Vimy Ridge, France, 100,000 soldiers from all over Canada fought shoulder to shoulder for the first time in international battle under the Canadian flag and under a Canadian commander.

Canadians representing all of Canada's regions fought together and won together. This victory has become known as the day when Canada truly became a nation and it earned for Canada a signature on the Treaty of Versailles.

The victory at Vimy Ridge is historic for both its significance and the losses our armed forces incurred. Some 4,000 Canadians gave their lives during this battle. They never saw the result of their sacrifice.

However, this important victory proved to our allies that Canadian soldiers were prepared to fight our common enemies. This enabled our country to take a strong position in the group of nations.

As of 2003, April 9 became an official military heritage day in Canada after the enactment of Bill C-227.

I ask all my colleagues to join me in commemoration of the bravery and courage of those who won at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.