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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is regard.

NDP MP for Windsor West (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 51% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act June 16th, 2016

Madam Speaker, this is an opportunity we will not have again. We will not have it for this Parliament, unless the Liberals decide to actually introduce it as part of their process.

We have heard testimony on gaming accountability from international and domestic police and others who have testified to the veracity of the exposure we have from unregulated, unaccountable, single sports betting that is taking place in backrooms, bars, basements, and back halls and through organized crime. Sadly enough, with the click of a mouse, it is also being done by our youth.

Let us send this to committee. Let them hear the evidence, and let us move on.

Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act June 16th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleagues on all sides for taking part in this debate. What takes place next is a simple process. It is about whether this House has the courage to tackle organized crime in the most significant legislation that will be proposed in this House of Commons for this session of Parliament. It is clean and simple. We send this to committee to be studied, examined, and brought back here for a final vote.

Let us look at the facts carefully. The bill was already in previous Parliaments. It went through with Liberal, Conservative, and NDP support. It was stymied in the Senate and had to re-emerge here. With about $10 billion going to organized crime per year, it has cost us over $20 billion. As it has stalled in the Senate for three years, that is $50 billion going to organized crime.

If the bill does not make it this time and we do not get it to committee, it becomes another four years, unless it is introduced by the government, having to eat crow. What do we have in the meantime? We have a $50-billion gift to organized crime. Organized crime will get the biggest single corporate tax cut from the government. They will get the resources.

Sports betting across this globe is a $2-trillion annual business. Canada is a laggard in terms of accountability. Very little of that is recovered by governments. About 80% is going to organized crime.

If we vote for the bill right now, we give it a chance to go to committee. Let us hear from the experts that are for it. Let us hear it from the experts that are against it. Let us hear about one sentence in the Criminal Code that, in my view, would increase accountability, tourism, and jobs and would give us more reason to tackle other organized crimes, because we would unplug them from their single most profitable source of revenue. That would mean new revenue for health care, education, gaming addiction, and other elements.

I am being mocked and heckled by a Conservative over there, but that is okay. They do not take it seriously, but I do, because those revenues are being asked for and supported by the Province of Ontario and by the official opposition in Ontario.

This gives the provinces the opportunity to choose, if they want, to go into this type of possibility. They have the infrastructure, such as the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, which has accountability and the ability to put this out to market if they choose to do it.

For example, if Ontario wants to bet on one event one time, they can do that, monitor it, and provide the accountability and oversight that so many people want.

I can still hear my colleague, and I would ask him to maybe speak to the bill.

Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act June 16th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, later today my Bill C-221 will be debated in the House of Commons for the second time before going to a vote. I would like to thank the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley for his support for this bill.

This bill would allow single-event sports betting, which is critical for the Canadian economy. Most important, it would take away $14 billion of money to organized crime and unregulated offshore betting taking place right now in a market that induces our youth. The money it supplies to organized crime can be rerouted to public infrastructure, health care, education, gaming addiction, and a number of different priorities that Canadians want.

Sports analysts across the world are coming to the conclusion that regulation is necessary for this activity. This bill, to be clear, would allow the provinces to do this if they so choose. It would not make them do anything. Why would Liberals be opposed to the province of Ontario? Are they listening anymore?

International Trade June 15th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for mentioning Italian Day. Ironically, Italians helped build the auto industry in my community. On six blocks of Erie Street, one can find wonderful Italian cuisine, but the people are at risk of job losses due to the fact that the current government and previous governments have not supported the auto industry. There is no national program. It was the Liberals signing NAFTA that killed the Autopact, which helped build this country.

It is important to note that it has not taken too long for the blue labels to be removed from the shelved speeches, which have now resurfaced with red labels. The members actually speak the line of the government versus a real debate in the House of Commons.

The reality is that they signed this agreement and it now holds. They cannot change the agreement. Consultation, as it is called, is nothing more than basically hearing back with no input.

I will conclude with this. The parliamentary secretary should get to the bottom of it. That is what is going to be—

International Trade June 15th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I am here to continue the debate on the trans-Pacific partnership that has been taking place in this chamber and across Canada thanks to the work of the member for Essex on the NDP side, who has done a terrific job on this matter in promoting the rights of Canadians.

In this chamber, I raise the concerns with the TPP. This deal would put us again in a position of a greater trade deficit. What I mean by that is that we would venture into an agreement that would undermine the value-added goods and services that we produce in Canada for Canadians and those abroad, and would allow the shipping in of other goods and services that would be of lesser value. I will speak specifically to the auto industry in this particular case.

In the auto industry, the deal is so bad. The United States is our trading partner with NAFTA, where we have a fully integrated auto-manufacturing system in place. For example, our neighbours and the neighbours across from us both contribute directly to the well-being of our communities. In the TPP agreement, our neighbour to the south has a 25-year exemption on auto because the deal is so bad for auto manufacturing. The United States gets 25 years to plan for this intrusion into the market.

Those value-added jobs are very important. They are the ones that we are trying to win back because they pay pensions, they have money for families, they are growing the middle class, they have benefits, and they lead the world in work-safety regulations. What do we get? As my colleague from Hamilton has noted, the U.S. gets 25 years and we would get five years, and we have an integrated market.

The reason I brought up the integrated market is because vehicles such as those built in Windsor go across the border, back and forth, to produce the minivan, for example, from the plant that is arguably the most successful manufacturing plant since the Second World War. It provides hundreds of millions of dollars to the coffers of this nation and also great employment for workers, money for the United Way, and more important, Canadian innovation that is also spread across other sectors because one auto job counts for about seven to nine other jobs. Those jobs are at risk.

The U.S. gets 25 years, so where are they actually going to go for replant development? Where are they going to go to get the parts and the service and the structures? They will be enticed to go to the United States because it has 20-plus years of exemptions for exporting and importing that we will not get.

I ask members to think about this. Malaysia got 12 years. Our government is promoting a deal where Malaysia outmanoeuvred us by ensuring that they had a better, bolder agreement of 12 years. If we were playing the Malaysians in handball, I could say they might have some competitive spirit there. However, when it comes to innovation, science, technology, and value-added jobs that have human rights, labour rights, gender rights, and most important, contribute to our economy as a whole and to our United Way organizations from coast to coast to coast, I say we defend those workers.

These people are telling them, “Good luck, see you later”.

Public Safety June 15th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, Canada's out-of-date privacy laws are failing Canadians.

Two recent privacy breaches shone a spotlight on the risk to Canadians. The University of Calgary paid $20,000 to buy back students' and faculty members' personal data after it was hacked, and we learned BlackBerry routinely shares customer information with no warrant and with no notifying those affected, including going overseas.

Our privacy laws are not up to these challenges. When will the Liberal government stop putting privacy at risk and update Canada's weak privacy laws?

Business of Supply June 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I think it is fair to ask how this could affect negotiations. I believe the government's position right now is more of a knee-jerk reaction versus a strengthened position, an expression that we in Parliament are interested in increasing trade among all provinces. That is leadership. I do not think it is hostile to pin the minister down during these negotiations. I want to emphasize that, because it is complementary.

The member talked a lot about some of the digital aspects in the movement of currency, whereas his previous colleague spoke about a bus crossing a border, picking up alcohol, going back across the border, getting checked, and having the same oversight. That shows the very important nature of why we need to get our heads around this. There are different formats of trade and there needs to be accountability for that trade.

Business of Supply June 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary does have a point with regard to there being greater interest in engaging provincial allies; but at the same time, I do not understand why this is a detriment to the minister when he goes to negotiate, because it is a motion in the House of Commons. The member's former leader, the former prime minister who still is here today, noted when he was in opposition that motions should be lived up to and acted upon because the spirit is of the House. It became quite a debating point when motions were seen as more relevant.

We have seen motions on climate change and on everything from housing to Ed Broadbent's motion to end child poverty and one of the motions that I co-sponsored with regard a seniors' charter of rights. They never were enacted, so the House has not lived up to those things. I would ask the member to expand his argument because I do not think this is hostile to the minister when he goes to negotiate. I think it is complementary, because it can show the provinces that all of Parliament is serious about this issue of wanting to reduce interprovincial barriers.

Business of Supply June 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, obviously one of the benefits is that it would support a lot of different local and regional commerce that could then expand into other regions where there is support.

A lot of Canadians can identify with different areas of the country and the wine or other exports that come from those areas. They develop an affiliation for a certain area in the country through trade, travel, tourism, and so forth.

That helps, because at the end of the day when we look at all of the work that is being done here, the vast majority of it is seen through the lens of proper rights, accountability, and most importantly, value-added work. All one needs to do is take a tour of a winery or a brewery and see the value-added work. People use their education and resources to achieve those goals. That will help in general.

Business of Supply June 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, with respect to programs and incentives, we could look at the wine industry. Some studies have been done with regard to whether wine is high in pesticides. Some studies have shown that some international wines that come into Canada contain metal. The LCBO has successfully tested and screened for this. Perhaps there could be some type of motivation. Canada's best advantage is its food supply and other types of goods and services. Quality and security will become increasingly important as marketable skills.

With respect to food and wine, Canada's high standards are an asset. Perhaps a federal program or support of some kind to ensure that would be wonderful for us, especially with respect to our exports both domestically and internationally.