House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was workers.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Davenport (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 41% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, the minister is the Minister of Finance. We take it he is a numbers guy, so does he not think it is time we track this information?

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, it is a simple question. Does the minister know how many Canadians are stuck in unpaid internships across the country?

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, I would like to switch to the issue of youth unemployment. How many Canadians are stuck in unpaid internships across Canada?

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, in the last months the big banks have increased fees on basic transactions. Does the government's code of conduct apply to these new fees?

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, according to the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, that dollar amount is up to $180 million a year.

The government finally agreed with the NDP and prohibited some pay-to-pay fees on monthly bills and statements. Why did the government exempt the banking sector from this prohibition?

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, I would like to start with the issue of banking fees. How much do pay-to-pay fees in the banking sector cost Canadians each year?

Citizenship and Immigration May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the question really should be why the minister is unable to tell the honest truth about cuts to CBSA.

The government is also turning away people who are actually legally permanent residents in Canada. Families are being torn apart simply over an expired I.D. card. In 2013 alone, well over 5,000 permanent residents were denied travel documents to re-enter Canada. People are losing their permanent resident status because their card expired and they have not renewed it yet.

When will the Conservatives stop their campaign to make life harder and harder for immigrant families in Canada?

Employment May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, over 50% of workers in Toronto cannot access full-time employment; that is work that comes with a pension, benefits or job security. Even those who thought they were full-time employees today can wake up tomorrow to find they have been reclassified as independent contractors.

On behalf of all the temp workers in my riding, all of those in Davenport not knowing whether their short-term contract will be renewed, to the freelancers and self-employed I meet at the Common, to all of them holding down multiple part-time jobs and squeezing into a packed Dufferin bus to pick up their kids from expensive child care, to new Canadians and new young workers from Queen Street to Eglinton working for free as unpaid interns, I want to thank United Way Toronto and researchers at McMaster University for their incredibly important report tabled last week on the outrageous growth of precarious work in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area.

We must bring Canada's labour laws and policies into the 21st century to reflect the reality of work today.

National Urban Workers Strategy May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank my colleague for his work on labour issues right across the country. It has been extremely important, and I am proud to work with him in this caucus.

Too often we have let young people down in terms of building a solid base upon which young workers can build a life. What this bill will do is essentially build a new, stronger, broader floor upon which workers can build a more stable life.

When I bring up issues around employment insurance, we need to remember that fewer and fewer young people can count on income security measures that workers from a generation ago, like his father, and a generation before that, like his grandfather, could count on. Workers fought for those things.

Today we have a new fight on our hands. That is why this bill is so important. That is why we need the support. That is why, quite frankly, precarious workers from right across the country are looking at this bill with great interest.

National Urban Workers Strategy May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that I do not think there is some kind of mutual exclusivity between the issues that affect precarious workers and organized labour.

In fact, many unions are very focused on this issue and are trying to find ways to organize and to help or support workers in precarious fields. I have had many conversations with trade unionists from both private sector unions and the public sector. I think they understand that these issues are crucial and that we need to find a solution together.