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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was respect.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for York South—Weston (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act October 5th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we were debating white collar crime. One of the parts of Bill C-21 would place the onus on a judge to review restitution. It would appear that the reason for that is to concentrate on deterrence and ensure that those who abscond with public funds or private funds will be held accountable.

The parole system also acts as a deterrent. If it is very clear that the likelihood of parole is not there unless criminals keep in mind the need to participate in rehabilitation programs while in prison, what happens if they do not? Does this bill come to grips with a judge having to focus on their records, not only outside but inside prison?

I think the House would be interested to know why it is important in committee to have prison guards give some input with respect to this bill and its impact.

Standing Up for Victims of White Collar Crime Act October 4th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the House would agree that the member has a very intimate knowledge of how the Criminal Code works, as a lawyer. I have always taken his experience and have attempted to ask questions that would perhaps allow a layperson to understand better how the Criminal Code works. My question is related to that.

I think the member can appreciate how frustrating it must be to those who are victimized by these white collar bandits who are so skilful in defrauding very innocent people. What compounds that even more is that they get away with it, that they have assets that are hidden, and the fact that in this bill, restitution where possible is required and a judge has to say why he or she is not making a motion for restitution. I am sure the member can feel the frustration on the part of those who have been defrauded.

Is there any way this bill could be strengthened with respect to the proceeds of that type of crime for those who have been successfully prosecuted, so that through a judge's order, the resources are there to exact that money back and repay it to the people who have been defrauded?

Standing Up for Victims of White Collar Crime Act October 4th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, prior to question period, my colleague had gone into a great deal of analysis of the difference between general fraud and white collar fraud in terms of the kinds of people who are victimized. People are victimized through their inability to understand the technology. Organizations are defrauded by very unscrupulous and skilled individuals. He also said just now, as he had repeated before, that there is not enough emphasis on prevention.

What I wonder about, and I think the House would be interested, is if those who benefit from the proceeds of crime knew in advance that the full spectrum of law enforcement and the judicial system would come hard on them, whether it is a tax haven or wherever the proceeds were, they would not be able to count that in the future as part of their ownership.

Does this bill come anywhere near to talking about the proceeds of crime, and if it does not, should that be elevated in terms of the committee's understanding and perhaps recommendations brought forward in that respect?

Canada-Panama Free Trade Act September 30th, 2010

Madam Speaker, the issue with respect to tax havens has been addressed, according to another colleague, through the OECD. It has created a grey list and is looking very seriously at, particularly within the context of globalization, capital mobility and so on, building tax accountability into the global banking system. The OECD is moving on that.

Would it not be better to address the kinds of issues the member has raised by having this bill go to committee to look at that? It could look at taking Canadian leadership on an issue that has been described as the next generation of globalization and the issue of banking institutions which must be addressed. Would it not be better to take that approach than to say there is no opportunity here to achieve labour solidarity so let us not go there at all; let us just say that we cannot do that and not negotiate? Why not continue the negotiations and address those kinds of issues and bring back a better bill?

Canada-Panama Free Trade Act September 30th, 2010

Madam Speaker, my colleague said there were no effective enforcement mechanisms with respect to labour issues: occupational health and safety, exploitation of children, collective bargaining, forced labour, and workplace discrimination. I wonder if he knows that, in the agreement, failure to respect International Labour Organization principles would result in an independent review panel assessing monetary penalties as a matter of a special fund to be used to support the implementation of a remediation for whatever the issue was, exploiting children or whatever.

Therefore, there is that mechanism. I wonder if he is aware of that.

Also, if we do not engage countries such as Panama, how can we ever bring that kind of sustainability in the environment and fairness in trade if we do not have them under either a bilateral umbrella or availing ourselves of the multilateral umbrella provided by international dispute mechanisms? How are we ever going to bring a humane, humanitarian and empathetic solution to the kinds of issues that the member has talked about?

Canada-Panama Free Trade Act September 30th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I am sure that members of the House are quite taken by the depth of knowledge that the member has and I found it instructional myself with his analysis of two major issues.

One is the international regime with respect to labour standards and occupational health and safety, and so on. The question was trying to extract what this agreement would do to firm up fair labour relationships.

The member has also addressed the issue of tax havens. He has talked about the second generation of globalization as a need to reassess, for example, mechanisms such as the WTO and chapter 11 dispute mechanisms that are not working properly. We have heard before that crime and international criminal activity are focusing around the whole issue of tax havens and the lack of accountability in the international banking regime. He has indicated that the OECD is grappling with this very same issue.

Would it not be better to send the bill to committee, given the member's approach and his overview with respect to globalization, and look at the experience of late through the OECD to see if we can come up with mechanisms similar to the labour initiative that would allay the fears put forward with respect to the international banking regimes that in fact are very problematic to trade?

Canada-Panama Free Trade Act September 30th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the member has spent a great deal, and quite rightfully so, on the rights of workers, fair trade and fair labour conditions.

My question is related to the support in the bill for the International Labour Organization's declaration on fundamental principles and rights of work. It talks about child labour, occupational health and safety, compensation for injuries on the job and so on.

We have a commitment to the International Labour Organization's declaration by all parties to this agreement and there is a provision where a panel of last resort would be established to hold a hearing on a particular violation to the agreement.

With all the issues he has mentioned about occupational health and safety, children's rights and so on, is it not better to have an agreement that would invoke a multilateral organization, like the ILO, with a provision that there would be compensation back to those very people who he is concerned about, those who are exploited under present conditions? Would it not be better to have this agreement that would address those kinds of issues in Panama?

Canada-Panama Free Trade Act September 29th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for an extremely expansive overview of the legislation.

I am not sure the member was here when my colleague, the representative for Willowdale, talked about the mechanisms that have been entrenched in the agreement that deal with occupational health and safety, that deal with the exploitation of children and their working conditions, that deal with fair labour issues, and that also deal with issues related to sustainable development under multilateral environmental treaties.

Entrenched in the agreement, the member for Willowdale reminded us, is the mechanism of appeal to the International Labour Organization and other suitable, established international organizations.

My question is on the human rights and fair trade issue. Is the member not satisfied with the concerns that have been raised and answered by the legislation and by, for example, the overview that was given by the member for Willowdale?

Canada-Panama Free Trade Act September 29th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I am sure that the House agrees that the dependence on our American trading partner over the next decade, or several decades, has to have a counterbalancing strategy with respect to our trade relationships with the world, in particular in relation to capital flow, investment, and so on. We need to look at a new regime.

The minister tangentially touched upon the issues of the environment and fair labour practices. That was of great concern to members of this House during the debate on the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. I wonder if the minister could elaborate a little more on how the trade agreement will encompass fair labour practices and positive environmental strategies, given that these have been concerns and in fact would be concerns to Panamanians.

We have a private member's bill that is looking at fair labour practices in the mining industry where there is Canadian investment in mining.

I wonder if the minister would just make a comment on that.

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act September 27th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the House has been convinced by the insightful arguments in support of the bill that have been put forward by the member.

The member made reference to the national do not call list and the experience that has been gained from it. I wonder if she could expand on this a bit. From other speakers, there has been some suggestion that the experience has not been as successful as it could have been. She mentioned a number of spam issues, including the vulnerability of seniors and the huge cost to businesses. I know that at the beginning the chamber of commerce had some concerns with respect to the national do not call list. I wonder if she could expand a bit on what that experience has been, what we have learned from it, and how we could make the anti-spam legislation more substantive and effective.