House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was conservatives.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Green MP for Thunder Bay—Superior North (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 8% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions April 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I also rise to present petitions regarding CBC Radio.

The petitioners say that we need national, regional and local programming across Canada and that we reiterate the need to maintain stable and predictable long-term funding to CBC Radio.

Marine Transportation April 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, changes to pilotage requirements on the Great Lakes are overdue. Thunder Bay welcomes salties that come thousands of kilometres from around the world, waiting and waiting for a local pilot to go that last kilometre to our grain terminals. Let us facilitate trade not impede it.

My constituents are asking, “Can we get some common sense about pilotage requirements in Thunder Bay and throughout the Great Lakes?”

The Environment April 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the lack of a Canadian energy strategy should be a top priority for Conservatives and all of us. It is costing the Canadian economy billions every year and continues our dependence in Thunder Bay—Superior North and all of eastern Canada on unsustainable, expensive, and dangerous foreign oil.

Most Canadians support pricing carbon. The Conservatives have so far chosen ideology over evidence and over the desire of most Canadians. The member does not even seem to know what carbon fee and dividend is, and that it is not a tax. Carbon fee and dividend would reduce our CO2 emissions, support Canadian economic growth, and put money into Canadians' pockets. As well, it could get the Conservatives re-elected. When will the Conservatives understand what carbon fee and dividend is and finally address climate change?

The Environment April 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party, Liberal Party, and NDP have a chance to improve their environmental policies and likely their election chances.

Prominent economists and policy advisors from across North America and the political spectrum have recommended carbon fee and dividend as a good way to slow the progress of climate change and the best way to price carbon. Even Preston Manning, one of Canada's most respected Conservatives, has called for a price on carbon.

Canadian C02 emissions have been rising for decades under both the Conservatives and the Liberals. Stalling this issue into the future will only worsen our problem. Canada is one of the highest C02 polluters per person in the world. We have an obligation to our children and grandchildren to deal with this problem now.

Environmental issues have often taken a back burner in Liberal and Conservative governments. For example, Bill C-311, my climate change bill, is the only bill in Canadian history to be killed in our unelected Senate, without any debate, after passing in the elected House of Commons.

The current government has made Canada the climate pariah of the world. Conservatives have completely ignored international agreements on climate change. Our Prime Minister even boycotted the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit in New York City.

The Liberals, on the other hand, claim they are ready to put a price on carbon, but do not say what kind, when, or how. Now, the Liberal leader has shown incredible lack of initiative or leadership by announcing that any kind of carbon pricing system should be left up to the provinces. Basically, it is somebody else's problem.

Climate change is happening now and is having a very real consequence on people's lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies and ecologies. It is costing us dearly here in Canada today and even more tomorrow.

Canada must implement a carbon fee and dividend policy. It is a simple, transparent, revenue-neutral carbon pricing system that would be easy and inexpensive to administer.

Here is how it works.

Coal mines and oil and gas wells would pay for their C02 emissions at the source or at the border, and not a penny would go to the government. The dividends generated from those payments would be paid directly back to Canadians on an equal per capita basis, thus reducing poverty and C02 at the same time.

This is not a tax. Carbon fee and dividend would use the marketplace to reduce C02 emissions, guide Canada toward a transition to sustainable energy, and put money into the pockets of Canadian consumers who make sustainable choices.

The Conservatives and Liberals have no plan to reduce C02. The NDP has a bad plan.

The Green Party is committed to a carbon fee and dividend, as proposed by the Citizens Climate Lobby under the dynamic leadership of Sudbury's Cathy Orlando.

If the Conservative government wants to protect our economy and increase its election chances, it should waste no time in implementing carbon fee and dividend.

Will the government seriously consider carbon fee and dividend?

The Environment March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, regulations are a tax and they require growing huge bureaucracy. Carbon fee and dividend is not a tax. Carbon fee and dividend will help solve our dangerously high emission rates while also closing the ever-growing gap between the rich and poor in Canada.

The minister's response only demonstrates what Canadians who are paying attention already know: the Conservatives refuse to adopt an evidence-based policy for reducing carbon emissions. Instead, they are going to continue putting forward bad policy that conforms to their ideologies and their agenda. They continue to push aside any ideas that run contrary to those ideologies and agenda.

Members of the House have an obligation to work across party lines and to put forward policies that will benefit all Canadians. Carbon fee and dividend is such a policy.

The Environment March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the gap between the rich and poor in Canada continues to grow at an alarming rate. At least three million Canadians currently live in poverty, or about one in ten. We are the tenth worst in the OECD.

Poverty is a problem that affects all Canadians, not just the poor. The financial burden of poverty in Canada is estimated to cost the government between $72 billion and $86 billion per year.

C02 emissions, like poverty levels, have also been rising for years in Canada. The Conservatives have not taken any serious action to reverse either of these trends. Climate change is an incredibly serious issue. We need to start making a plan to reduce both carbon emissions and poverty. Like poverty, climate change is a moral issue, but it is also an economic one. Canada is now paying billions of dollars annually due to forest fires, floods, and other effects of climate change.

They are both moral issues, with huge economic impacts as well for Canadians. As different as the two issues may appear to be, they can be addressed by the same policy: carbon fee and dividend. This is a carbon pricing system that will address carbon emissions without adding one penny of tax. It is not a tax; it is a revenue-neutral system in which the government gets zero money.

Instead, every Canadian will receive an equal share of all the carbon fees. Coal mines and oil and gas wells will pay a fee at the source based on the potential to release C02. The revenue generated from these payments will be paid directly to consumers on an equal per capita basis. Lower-income and middle-class Canadians will make money on carbon fee and dividend. Carbon dividends will use the marketplace to simultaneously tackle both climate change and income gaps.

The Conservatives say that they believe in the marketplace. All political parties should be in favour of a carbon fee and dividend because it uses free markets and addresses rising levels of both carbon emissions and poverty, all without implementing any tax system or any money going to the government.

Presently the Conservatives have no policy to address climate change. The Liberals plan to make it someone else's problem by passing the buck to the provinces. The NDP is stuck on cap and trade: expensive, bureaucratic, and ineffective.

Chris Ragan's Ecofiscal Commission was recently set up to decide upon ecofiscal solutions for Canadians. The commission was made up of prominent Liberals, including Paul Martin, and prominent Conservatives like Preston Manning. They decided that it was time to price carbon.

Carbon fee and dividend is a smart and effective policy that will decrease Canadian carbon emissions and reduce the divide between rich and poor, all without taxing Canadians or slowing economic growth.

When will our three main parties start seriously considering carbon fee and dividend?

Pipeline Safety Act March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the member if she is familiar with the work of scientists, technicians, and academics on double-walled pipelines with sensors in between, which are close to being spill-proof. Of course, they are not mentioned in this bill, but an increasing number of experts feel they are necessary to prevent the kinds of problems to which the member has already referred.

Petitions March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I again have petitions from across my riding from Dorion, Geraldton, Schreiber, Marathon, and Thunder Bay. The petitioners say that the VIA Rail route on the north shore, which was cut over two decades ago despite being one of the busiest and most profitable of VIA Rail's routes, is an important component of our local economy, both for tourism and for residents, because of cutbacks to bus service and because it is one of the most efficient ways to travel and is integral to reducing pollution and harmful climate change.

Petitioners are asking us to please re-establish passenger rail service along the spectacular north shore of Lake Superior to Thunder Bay and on to Winnipeg.

National Defence March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, over half the health claims and medical discharges of wounded soldiers are due to MSK, that is, musculoskeletal problems. This is a financial burden on both the system and the veterans. MSK care, including chiropractic in the early stages, reduces both long-term costs and lifelong pain. Will the government commit to an MSK strategy for veterans in Thunder Bay North and across Canada?

Petitions February 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Canadians from Thunder Bay—Superior North and across Canada are repeatedly sending me petitions about the Communist Chinese persecuting Falun Gong only because the latter have a spiritual belief in truth, compassion, and forbearance.

David Kilgour, a former member, has compiled tremendous amounts of evidence about murders and organ harvesting, and so my petitioners request that we condemn the Communist Chinese government for murdering people for their organs, and to end the persecution of Falun Gong in China.