House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was housing.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as NDP MP for Ottawa Centre (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 41% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Budget February 24th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, in the last election on television screens across the country the Prime Minister warned Canadians about Conservative values. He said, “That's why this election is so important. It's about the values we bring”. Paul Martin said he shared NDP values. Now in their first budget the Liberals have betrayed the people of Canada by--

Public Service February 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, at least the answer had the virtue of being brief.

Will the minister guarantee that no jobs will be relocated without prior consultation and after providing a cost benefit analysis? Otherwise the people of Canada will rightly believe that what they are faced with is another $70 billion Liberal boondoggle. That is what it amounts to.

Public Service February 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

Some years ago the Liberals moved the taxation centre to Shawinigan, Jean Chrétien's seat. Earlier they had moved the Department of Veterans Affairs down to Charlottetown for the same political reasons.

Will the minister now confirm that the Liberals are at it again and they plan to move thousands of jobs out of Ottawa without consulting the families and workers affected, and without providing taxpayers with a cost benefit analysis?

Wal-Mart February 14th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry and it is deliberately so because there is federal jurisdictional authority.

Under the Investment Canada Act, last fall the minister speculated on including human rights as a requirement. Will he now put such a clause in that act so we will not have companies like Wal-Mart that discriminate against women, violate child labour laws all over the world and destroy workers' rights?

Wal-Mart February 14th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, Wal-Mart is the most anti-democratic company in the democratic world. Last week in Jonquière, Wal-Mart closed a store where there was a union. This week, the same company is trying to deny the rights of working men and women in St-Hyacinthe.

In the United States, Wal-Mart is already subject to anti-women's law-breaking under a class action suit and on the weekend we learned that it had violated the child labour code in the U.S.

Will the minister call in the Canadian head of this company and explain that it is not our--

Treasury Board February 11th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know very well that job transfers in the past have had more to do with benefits for the Liberals than for the people of Canada. That is why we have a taxation centre in Shawinigan and Veterans Affairs was moved to Charlottetown.

Will the minister guarantee that there will be discussions with the workers in Ottawa who are currently holding the jobs before their relocation and that a cost benefit study will be done before a decision is reached?

Treasury Board February 11th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the President of the Treasury Board.

Canadians want fairness in the distribution of federal jobs but they also want cost benefit efficiency and fairness for those now holding those jobs.

Given news reports this morning that jobs once again are going to be relocated out of Ottawa, will the President of the Treasury Board assure us that the workers affected in Ottawa will be consulted first and that there will be a cost benefit study done before these jobs are relocated?

Child Poverty February 7th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it was this government in the 1990s that became the only government in the industrial world, among industrial leaders, that did not have a national housing program.

Another reason for children being in poverty is that so many of their families, even with two parents working, do not earn enough income to buy the clothes and the food they need. I want to ask the Minister of Finance, will he address this issue in the coming budget and at least increase the child tax benefit to $4,900?

Housing February 7th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Finance.

In the 1990s the Liberals completely destroyed the national housing program. As a consequence, many of the children living in poverty today do so because of the terrible condition of housing. Particularly in this city, some 13,000 families are waiting for affordable housing.

Will the minister restore the budget for housing to the pre-1993 level in the coming budget? Will he guarantee 25,000 new units of affordable housing?

Child Poverty February 3rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, last week in Ottawa, experts and social activists made recommendations on what is required to combat our atrocious level of child poverty. These measures included new ideas on income security, child care and housing.

When he was minister of finance the Prime Minister referred to the plight of Canada's poor kids as a “national disgrace”. He should know. It was his budget cuts in the 1990s that drove up the number of poor kids and it is his government that boasts about a $61 billion surplus, when thousands of our children get up in the morning hungry and go to bed at night hungry.

We need to invest in our children now in the budget. Increase the child tax benefit. Create early learning programs. Bring on public universal child care. We have the money. Let us get on with it.