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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was section.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for Scarborough Southwest (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2006, with 48% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Justice November 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, in this statement, the third in my series examining whether the courts are protecting our children, I want to bring another case to the attention of the House.

Timothy Foley, a 43 year old teacher from North Vancouver, was recently convicted of the sexual exploitation of a 15 year old female student in one of his classes. The exploitation began with oral sex, intercourse and introduction to a lesbian sex act and then progressed to sadistic sex.

What did Judge Judith Gedye do? She gave Foley no jail time. She sentenced him to 12 months' house arrest, allowing him to work and also run errands four hours a day. In addition, he is required to complete 25 hours of community service, speaking to teachers about the dangers of crossing the line with students.

Instead of serving justified jail time, Foley is left to teach other teachers how not to follow his example. How does such a sentence protect our children and others from sex predators? It does not.

Child Pornography October 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, in this statement, the second in my series examining whether the courts are protecting our children, I want to bring to the House's attention a recent case.

A 58 year old dentist, Dr. Leslie Griesdorf, was charged with possession of child pornography. Police said that he had the largest private collection of child pornography in Canada. He pleaded guilty. Justice Robert Bigelow sentenced him to an 18 month conditional sentence, meaning no jail time, unbelievably with the crown's consent.

Justice Bigelow and the crown should have been thinking not about Griesdorf but about the protection of our children. They should have been thinking about denunciation and deterrence. They should have been thinking that Parliament and Canadians view the possession of child pornography so seriously that the maximum sentence for such possession is five years in prison.

Next time, Justice Bigelow and the crown should think seriously about protecting our children from sexual exploitation.

Canada Shipping Act October 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I was not expecting to stand, but the bill is important, and important points have been made. The member referred to the report. As the chair of the fisheries and oceans committee at the time the unanimous report was tabled, I want to let the House know that I am certainly comfortable in my belief that the report was read cover to cover by the then minister of transport and also by the current parliamentary secretary.

Having said that, I wonder whether it was read cover to cover by the bureaucracy that advised the transition team prior to December, since we could not do the report until March. This appears to have been a decision made by the transition team advising the current Prime Minister; to take Canadian Coast Guard back to transport.

To end on a technical question, could the hon. member comment on the fact that the bill will be referred to the transport committee for study as opposed to the fisheries and oceans committee or a joint committee, given the fact there are numerous things in it that affect fisheries and oceans and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, particularly pollution prevention matters, and that the commissioner of the coast guard appears to have been abolished?

Justice October 8th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, on September 20 Salim Choueiri, a businessman and father, was convicted of obtaining the sexual services of minors on four occasions. The court imposed the lenient penalty of a six months suspended sentence, one year probation and a $500 fine.

Do the courts protect our children? The answer is sadly evident when we compare Choueiri's case to that of Chris Geoghegan's. Geoghegan was convicted of hitting Alberta Premier Ralph Klein in the face with a pie. Provincial Court Judge Terry Semenuk sentenced him to 30 days in jail, three months probation, 40 hours of community service and a $50 victim surcharge.

Had Geoghegan been given the choice, I am certain he would have been more inclined to choose the punishment granted to the child abuser over his own.

What kind of a society protects its children by giving a suspended sentence to a child abuser, yet gives jail time for throwing a pie?

This statement is the beginning of a series examining how courts are sentencing child abusers and pedophiles.

Petitions May 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition that asks the Parliament of Canada to bring in legislation defining a human fetus or embryo from the moment of conception, whether in the womb of the mother or not, and whether conceived naturally or otherwise, as a human being, and making any and all consequential amendments to all Canadian laws as required

Petitions May 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions containing hundreds of signatures from around Canada. All three petitions are on the same subject matter. They call upon Canada to protect the definition of marriage.

Interparliamentary Delegations May 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canada-China Legislative Association regarding the sixth bilateral meeting held in Canada in the fall of 2003.

Committees of the House March 31st, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans entitled “Safe, Secure, Sovereign: Reinventing the Canadian Coast Guard” . This report is a unanimous report of our committee.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response within 150 days of the tabling of the report.

Food and Drugs Act March 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of my bill is to provide information to Canadians that they can use to make healthy food choices. During the bill's hour of debate on a previous occasion a number of speakers pointed out the various organizations and citizens groups that do support the bill in its current form, never mind with any improvements.

I greatly resent the Chicken Little kind of arguments that have been raised by those who are in opposition to this bill that somehow the sky would fall if this bill were to pass, that somehow millions of Canadians would be thrown out of work because all of a sudden some regulations come in to show that a particular hamburger has 362 calories on a menu board, which is all the bill is about when it talks about fast food restaurants with menu boards only.

I also want to remind those who are listening that it is a gross exaggeration to say that poor old mom and pop restaurants will be put out of business because my bill has nothing to do with small businesses. The minimum threshold is $10 million a year gross sales. What kind of argument is it to say that this bill would put mom and pop restaurants out of business? Those are the arguments of desperate people who cannot come up with valid arguments.

Nonetheless, I have read the letters from the restaurant association people as well and, by the way, none of them have ever approached me to sit down and talk about this. They have simply mounted, as members have heard today, a huge campaign to defeat the bill at second reading. Some of my hon. friends across the way, apparently, do not even want the subject matter discussed at the health committee.

I have worked with the Minister of Health. I understand that the same kinds of arguments were raised by manufacturers when they wanted to put information on prepackaged foods in a voluntary way. They fought it tooth and nail until finally the government indicated that it must be mandatory. It is clear that people read labels. It is clear that people make food choices based on the information or lack of information they have.

Let us take the subject matter to the health committee. Let the health committee call the witnesses. Let the restaurant associations attend. The bill is not designed to cover six trillion possible combinations. It is designed to offer the kind of solution that Subway has offered, which is that if people order a standard Subway sandwich, they will get approximately seven grams of fat and approximately 350 calories. Of course, if someone wants it loaded up with five tablespoons of mayonnaise there will be more fat, but that is the person's choice. It is just so people will have an approximate idea of what they are consuming.

I urge members not to panic in terms of referring the subject matter to the health committee for further study. I have consented to withdraw the bill if the amendment to withdraw the bill passes, so there will not be any legislation. We are simply talking about providing consumers with further information.

How can anybody be against providing consumers with further information? We are not talking about bankrupting restaurants. We are not talking about putting Canadians out of work. We are talking about trying to find a reasonable middle ground to provide nutritional information to consumers when they go out to enjoy all the restaurants that have been named, many of which I have attended and have enjoyed.

Let us get serious and be reasonable. Let us at least study the subject matter. I urge my colleagues to support the amendment. We will withdraw the bill and send the subject matter to the committee where everyone will have more than five minutes to offer their views, and there will be considered consideration of the principle.

Food and Drugs Act March 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I was not going to rise on a point of order, but since you said that you would determine the point of order that was made on the other side, I would like to add a couple of points for your consideration before you make your ruling.

You will recall, Mr. Speaker, that the rules of the House require that a private member's bill that is sent to committee must be dealt with by the House, at least by the committee and reported back by a certain time or it is deemed to be reported back.

My only reason for mentioning this is because clearly the House has already set in place a procedure whereby the House has told the committee what it must do with respect to private members' business. To have a motion of the House, as moved by the hon. member from Newfoundland, which asks that a committee return its report by a particular day is nothing unusual.

I find it somewhat odd that a member from the Conservative Party of Canada, which championed the rights of private members and championed removing those aspects of rules which would prevent committees from reporting back on private members' business, would raise such an objection.

I ask that you consider this, Mr. Speaker, as you consider your ruling.