House of Commons photo

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

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act September 27th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the member has given an excellent overview of the bill. I am sure all parties in the House will support this bill. It has been reported that 60% to 80% of email transactions are spam. Therefore, we know the extent of the issue of cross-boundaries and so on.

The member also indicated a coordinated approach that the government has put forward in terms of the privacy commissioner, the ministry and other parts of the federal organization.

In view of the fact that the member said that legislation alone was not enough, and we are looking at a very heavy fine regimen in this bill, how can the House be assured that, when this goes to committee, the resources will be invested in policing, law enforcement agencies and in business agencies that are taking a huge toll as a result of spam being perpetrated not only on individual email accounts but on business at a tremendous cost?

What assurances do we have that the House committee will report back on a regimen that would ensure that the resources will be invested to really put our money where our mouth is in terms of fighting span?

Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act September 23rd, 2010

Madam Speaker, the Canadian Society for Immigration Consultants was established by the Liberals a number of years ago. It was a genuine attempt to create an oversight body that would be effective and that would separate and address the kind of issues that have been raised. Obviously the hearings have indicated that it is not working effectively.

Could the member suggest ways in which that body could quickly be turned around and made an effective oversight body similar to the Law Society and similar to other oversight bodies, and not risk going back many months and not get something to address the kind of concerns that he has raised?

Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act September 22nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, would the member think that going out for a proposal call to try to find an oversight body that was objective and up front is going to take too long? Would it not be better to look at the regulatory changes that have come about as a result of what the committee has heard and implement immediately a statutory body that would have the teeth to regulate in a professional and up front manner?

Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act September 21st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that in the original legislation to set up the CSIC, there was an attempt to professionalize the opportunity, similar to law societies and the Ontario Medical Association, to discipline those among the ranks and to have the legislative capability to sanction those who were outside of the authority. However, the legislation did not give the CSIC that kind of power. In fact, I have heard many who in good faith have become members and who have been very critical, as both my colleagues have talked about.

At committee is it not really a matter of legislative action to empower in a professional way the CSIC and to do that quickly. As long as this exists there will be those who are literally outside the law who are exploiting those who are most vulnerable. Is it not possible for the committee to get on with that very quickly and then come back to the House with a legislative remedy?

Combating Terrorism Act September 21st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, for the record, and it will probably be obvious from my question, I am not a lawyer. The debate and questions and answers have been rather directed and contained within a very legal approach and that is appropriate with respect to the discussion of the bill. However, as I have been listening l have been trying to put myself in the position of the lay people listening to this discussion and trying to arrive at a conclusion as to whether they feel that the bill would in fact protect them against terrorist acts.

Probably the most heinous terrorist act was the Air-India bombing. As I was trying to react from my constituents' perspective, I could not help but reflect on the fact that a key witness to the Air-India bombing admitted to lying under oath, either lied or, by omission, circumvented the judicial proceedings that probably would have come up with a different conclusion.

Does that not give the member some concern? Is it not then, from that concern, realistic for us as legislators to find a way that would make the law capable of dealing with that kind of deliberate circumvention of judicial process? It is important to this debate because that is, in effect, what I believe Canadians want us to do. In fact, the investigative hearings within the concept of national justice does provide protection to those who are being accused by police and agencies. Would the member respond to that particular concern?

Business of Supply June 17th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I can appreciate the member's lack of belief with respect to the strange coalition with the NDP. I am looking at the record with respect to the leader of the NDP and on numerous occasions he has said that the NDP would bring forward a similar resolution with respect to this issue of prorogation.

When a poll was taken after prorogation, 78% of Canadians said that the Prime Minister had abused his office with respect to the democratic principles of Parliament being supreme. Is the member holding in contempt 78% of Canadians who believe that this is the kind of resolution and the kind of direction that should come forward and that it is the responsibility of Parliament to bring that forward? Is he saying that it is the opposition now that is abusing that right?

I would suggest that it is the opposition motion that gives credibility to those Canadians who felt that the Prime Minister and the government were abusing parliamentary privilege when it prorogued. I think that is what Canadians are watching and I think they expected more than they got from that speech, I would suggest with great respect.

Karen's Quest June 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to Sherry Welsh, member of the South Brant Lions Club.

For the past two years, Sherry has organized fundraising walks approximately 600 kilometres long in loving memory of her sister, Karen Manary Klassen, who passed away 10 years ago to kidney disease.

Under the banner of “Karen's Quest” and sponsored by the South Brant Lions Club, Sherry's walks have raised funds for the Lions Camp Dorset and awareness of organ and tissue donation. Lions Camp Dorset is the only camp in Ontario that specializes in support of families that have a family member who requires kidney dialysis. For approximately 13 weeks each summer, a full medical staff and dialysis equipment is provided for the families who attend. This allows the families to enjoy a summer together filled with activities, which otherwise would not be possible.

This year, Sherry began her walk at Lions Camp Dorset on May 1 and finished on Parliament Hill on June 6. I invite the House to join me in congratulating Sherry Welsh, the South Brant Lions Club, and the Weston Lions Club for a job well done.

Jobs and Economic Growth Act June 8th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, my colleague is an accountant and, as an accountant, he has given a very exhaustive, comprehensive overview of the budget. He also is an accountant as opposed to being somewhat of an accountant and he would know the difference between expenditures and revenues. He has also indicated that there are some storm clouds on the horizon with a budget of $238 billion, with household debt on the increase, with the ability to finance the debt being somewhat called into question and the signs that we will need to make exhaustive cuts.

He mentioned the privatization of AECL and talked about green technologies and so on. As an accountant, what would he advise the government as it appears we are entering into a period of economic uncertainty once again? What would he advise in terms of dealing with the deficit reduction strategy, part of which is not mentioned in this budget at all? There is no mention with respect to how to manage debt that will incur as a result of this type of expenditure.

Business of Supply June 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I did appreciate the response that the member gave, but mine is an accounting question.

When we talk about long-term contingencies, and we have cross-referenced the Auditor General in terms of her rationalizing that long-term contingencies do account with respect to this massive amount of money, when we think of the long-term effect of the oil spill, definitely in the gulf there will be long-term contingencies that will be unbelievably high in financial and fiscal terms, but I would ask this question.

Is it the position of the government that, above and beyond the day-to-day security issues and paying for the staff and the special units and so on, if there is a regular business-as-usual approach, is it possible at the end of the summits that there may be cost overruns that in fact can accountably be paid back on the balance sheet, that the government estimated would be $1.1 billion but these things did not happen, we hope, and the figure may indeed come in lower than the initial estimate?

Business of Supply June 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his deliberative overview with respect to security costs, and certainly the characterization that he has given of appropriate costs is one that would be supported by all Canadians. The issue here is what is appropriate.

In consideration of all the costs associated with the other summits, these costs seem to be so out of proportion that the average person on the street is saying, how could this magnitude of “appropriate” funding be accumulated now when the experience has been that it has not been anywhere near that in other summits?

I know it is difficult to ask a question based on intelligence, but could the member share any intelligence that would be of the proportion that he has described with respect to nuclear threats, and so on, such that Canadians could say, God bless the government, that it is taking the appropriate initiative in keeping with that degree of possibility?

If that is not available, then I have to say, from coast to coast to coast, people are looking at these costs and are saying they seem to be overwhelmingly out of proportion to the appropriateness with respect to the description that has been given by the government.