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

Health February 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, not just in Thunder Bay, but all across Canada, we have seniors stacked up like cordwood in cots in hallways, without comfort or dignity.

This is a problem all across Canada for three reasons: inadequate federal funding, aging parents waiting hopelessly for long-term care and home care, and the fact we are the only G20 country with no national health care strategy.

When will the Conservatives commit to investing long-term and preventative health care?

Health February 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Thunder Bay's acute care hospital has been in gridlock for years. On January 26, the hospital designed for 375 acute care beds had 469 patients stacked up in public hallways.

Tommy Douglas worked with the Liberals to create a world-leading system funded 50% by the feds. The feds' share now is less than half of that.

Do the Conservatives have a plan to restore and renew our health care system?

Natural Resources February 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the lack of a national energy strategy should be the top priority for Conservatives, who are now costing the Canadian economy billions every year, making us dependent on unstable and expensive foreign oil, as well as postponing and preventing the development of more sustainable resources.

The Conservative approach has totally failed. It is time to look at an alternative that will benefit all Canadians, not just Alberta.

The Conservatives like to claim they have a good economic track record, but their economic and energy policies simply make no sense at all. We must end Canada's dependence on foreign oil and create a national energy strategy for Canada ASAP. The real long-term solution is to reduce our dependency on foreign oil through the Green Party's plan to implement a revenue neutral carbon dividend, which would reduce both poverty and CO2, and create many jobs for Canadians.

Natural Resources February 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, In 1973 an oil pricing crisis broke out. OPEC forced the price of oil to skyrocket. The price of oil quadrupled. That was over 40 years ago, yet we do not seem to learn here in Canada.

Eastern Canada imports 80% of its oil from the same countries that caused the 1973 oil crisis, places like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, which are no more stable today than they were 40 years ago. While this week's oil prices are low, tomorrow a crisis in one of these states will raise the price.

The U.S.A. learned from the oil crisis of the 1970s. In 1975, the U.S. set up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to prevent future disruptions in their supply of oil.

Every country in the G20 has created some kind of national strategy to deal with fluctuations in the supply and the pricing of oil, except for Canada. We also produce enough oil every year to fulfill all of our domestic needs first and then continue to be a major exporter. Instead, we are currently importing Brent crude oil to eastern Canada, which is a risk-prone process. That oil is also the most expensive oil in the world. Under the current government, we are selling off our oil as raw crude in the west at a 30% discount while paying much more for expensive imports in eastern Canada.

My father was an investment banker. He taught me from an early age that to buy high and sell low is an incredibly dumb economic strategy. It is costing the Canadian economy at least $18 billion a year in foreign trade deficits.

The Minister of Natural Resources retorts that the solution will come in the form of pipelines. Therefore, let us talk about pipelines. Specifically, let us talk about the northern gateway and Keystone XL, which are being built to export even more low-value crude oil out of the country without any plan to relieve eastern Canada from our dependence on foreign oil.

The Conservatives seem quite focused on the short term. The northern gateway is expected to create perhaps a few hundred permanent jobs in Canada at best. The Conservative plan is to export Canadian crude and Canadian jobs to Communist China and the U.S. instead of using the resources we already have in abundance to create jobs here at home for Canadians.

Pipelines can have serious negative, social, and environmental effects. Not only do the pipelines bulldoze through the treaty rights of many first nations, but the inevitable spills will represent serious environmental risks. For example, the northern gateway would go through the Great Bear Rainforest, where a spill would not only threaten a priceless ecosystem but also threaten and perhaps kill a large portion of the B.C. economy that depends on fishing and tourism. Then it will be ferried away through the dangerous waters of B.C.'s north coast, where repeated studies have shown a high risk of a supertanker spills. Diluted bitumen is heavier than water and virtually impossible to clean up.

The debate on oil sands shipments is polarized between those who say that all pipelines are bad and those who say that all pipelines are good. Canada needs a balanced approach to energy and the environment—

Petitions February 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the second petition has to do with impaired driving; in other words, drunk drivers.

The petitioners call upon the House to pass tougher laws, so that new mandatory minimum sentences are available for people convicted of impaired driving causing death, and redefining the offence of impaired driving causing death as vehicular manslaughter.

Petitions February 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today.

The first petition calls upon the House to condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy terminations, which gives rise to a variety of factors, including creating a global gender imbalance.

Petitions February 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have received a series of petitions from people in Thunder Bay—Superior North and northwestern Ontario. The petitioners are concerned about the NWMO's, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, plan to bury waste, quite likely in 1 of 15 northern Ontario communities

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to not allow the construction of nuclear waste depositories in northern Ontario, nor the transport of radioactive material through northern Ontario communities.

VIA Rail Canada Act February 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have two quick points.

The first point is that recently I met with the very dynamic new CEO of VIA, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano. I was very encouraged by his personal commitment, and I believe him, to return passenger rail throughout Canada, but especially through Thunder Bay and the North Shore, which was a very profitable and popular route. He needs this legislation to empower his renewed vision for VIA across Canada.

The second point is that VIA is under the thumb of the freight railways, especially CN, on whose tracks its operates the bulk of its trains. The worst aspect of this one-sided relationship is that, contained in the 10 year train service agreement, VIA was left to negotiate on its own with CN in 2007, without help from the government. In the last five years, CN's charges to VIA have increased by 42% and will rise another 40% by 2018. There are other detrimental provisions in that confidential agreement.

In summary, the hard-working member has produced superb legislation. I and the Green Party will support it totally, and we thank him for his hard work.

VIA Rail Canada Act February 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I was led to believe I would have seven and a half minutes today to give a speech. I prepared for it for about 12 hours, but so be it. The House leader of the NDP has pulled that opportunity.

I have two quick points—

Petitions February 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am receiving hundreds and hundreds of petitions dealing with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. Many of these petitioners are from Thunder Bay—Superior North, and others from across northern Ontario.

NWMO is considering 15 communities for the storage of nuclear waste in northern Ontario, in close proximity to Lake Superior, which supplies drinking water to 60 million people. The petitioners ask that the NWMO reject proposals to construct nuclear waste facilities in northern Ontario and reject any proposals to transport nuclear waste through northern Ontario communities.