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

Fair Representation Act December 9th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise and speak to Bill C-20. As we know, representation and the redistribution of seats is a delicate balancing act. It is a vital exercise in nation building and we need to balance many issues. We need to balance the fact that we have huge northern ridings that are having a hard time—

Housing December 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, 70,000 people are on a waiting list for affordable housing in Toronto alone. The government really does not get it. Low-income and middle-income Canadians right across the country are facing an affordable housing crisis. The government refuses to act, yet it could. It could work with New Democrats on a national affordable housing strategy but it does not.

Is building more prisons the only kind of housing program and strategy we are going to see from the government?

Search and Rescue December 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the men and women of the Canadian Forces take pride in their search and rescue operations. All Canadians have respect and admiration for the SAR technicians who put their lives on the line to rescue others. What Canadians do not like, and what lowers the morale of our troops, is when ministers use these precious assets as taxis.

On September 26, the Minister of National Defence told the House, “I took part in a previously planned search and rescue demonstration”. However, the documents from the Department of National Defence show this was not true. There was no previously planned exercise. The Minister of National Defence, at his own request, was picked up in a basket and taken to a waiting Challenger jet.

The minister's excuse was nothing more than “a guise”.

The minister and the Conservatives came here to change Ottawa; instead, Ottawa changed them.

By using Challenger jets and SAR helicopters as personal limos, they have become everything they used to oppose.

Safe Streets and Communities Act December 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, we are debating this bill for the first time at third reading this morning and the debate will end this afternoon. This is a massive piece of legislation. This is an outrageous display of lack of democracy on the part of the government. Stakeholders right across the country are asking for more input.

The government, however, at the 11th hour is realizing that it should have passed some of the amendments that it rejected in committee and is now trying to stuff them in at the last minute. The government is floundering about trying to get this right and pretending that it has consulted all stakeholders.

The Canadian Bar Association has 10 reasons that Bill C-10 needs to be rejected. One of them is that this is a rush job. We should be much more diligent. We should be doing research and listening to Canadians. Why is the government refusing to listen to Canadians on the issue of Bill C-10?

Safe Streets and Communities Act November 30th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I applaud my hon. colleague for an excellent speech.

The racialization of poverty in the country is atrocious. In communities in Toronto, the African Canadian communities are very concerned about Bill C-10 and what it will do to their communities. They are crying out for attention to issues of job creation, job training, education and opportunities like that.

Could my hon. colleague speak to why the government is refusing to listen to the overwhelming body of evidence that its plan will not reduce crime?

Safe Streets and Communities Act November 30th, 2011

Madam Speaker, a couple of minutes ago the minister opposite misled the House. It is not true that New Democrats did not support every element of this bill; in fact, we stood in the House and moved a motion that would expedite the passing of the part of the bill that would protect children from sexual predators. The minister needs to stand and correct the record.

Improving Trade Within Canada Act November 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, in southern Ontario there is an innovative program where farmland that is being underused is matched with young farmers who have been encouraged to come to southern Ontario and experiment with crops that people in Toronto, especially in the ethnic communities, want to buy. These are crops that they would normally would have to ship in from the Caribbean, Latin America or India and Pakistan.

It is an exciting program, reflecting interesting niche markets and a diversity of business opportunities. It serves a real market.

I am wondering if my hon. colleague, who has done such a great job with this overview, could speak to the concerns around this diversity of access for farmers.

Copyright Act November 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the bill would grant a range of new access privileges, but does not really increase opportunities for artists to make a living. This is a big issue for us on this side of the House because we know the arts and culture sector is a major economic driver in our country. The bill is an opportunity for us to get copyright right so innovation can proceed in the country.

Would my hon. colleague care to comment on the import of the arts and culture sector to our economy and to Canada as a whole?

Copyright Act November 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, as many people know--and if they do not, it bears being reiterated here in the House--most Canadian artists' wages are below the poverty line, below $13,000 a year. It is incumbent on us as policy-makers to fashion policy that is going to support innovation and allow for the building of a greater middle class of Canadian artists. This sector is a major economic driver in our economy, but the copyright bill as it stands right now would take $20 million a year out of the pockets of artists because of the changes in the broadcast mechanical provisions. Would my hon. colleague care to comment on the effects of this kind of policy for our Canadian artists?

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act November 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the government did run on that platform and that is why most Canadians voted against it.

I want to read a small quote from one of the member's colleagues about closure. He referred to closure when he said, “It tells the people of Canada that the government is afraid of debate, afraid of discussion and afraid of publicly justifying the steps it has taken”. That was a quote by the Minister of Public Safety around closure.

Why is the government so afraid of debating this bill? I would argue that in part it is because we have the largest deficit in Canadian history. Perhaps the government does not want to focus Canada's attention on that glaring fact.

On another glaring fact, youth unemployment in our country is double the national average. Young people right across Canada are protesting that very fact. Yet we never hear the Conservative side of aisle talk about young people and employment. We hear about jobs, jobs, jobs, but the government never says whether the jobs are sustainable, whether one could raise a family—