House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was veterans.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for West Nova (Nova Scotia)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 63% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply September 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my friend from Long Range Mountains for her excellent speech. One of the things that I have heard so far today in the debate from the Conservatives in particular is that on this side of the House the Liberal Atlantic Canadian members of Parliament, which includes all 32 of them, are not standing up for Atlantic Canada. I would ask my friend if she would agree with that comment in particular. Would she also suggest some of the things that she has experienced in her time as a member of Parliament, working with her other colleagues in Atlantic Canada, to stand up for our constituents?

Lobster Fishing June 17th, 2016

Madam Speaker, May 31 marked the end of the annual six-month lobster fishing season in Lobster Fishing Area 34, located primarily in my riding of West Nova. This past season was one of the most successful ones in history, with roughly 55 million pounds of lobster caught off our shores, the best prices in about a decade, and increasing demand from emerging markets in Asia.

With LFA 34 being the largest and most lucrative lobster area on the continent, accounting for 40% of Canadian catches and 23% of all North American landings, a great lobster season is the lifeblood of so many rural communities in West Nova. I wish the roughly 5,000 fishers who participated in this year's season a wonderful summer as they prepare for the upcoming season starting in November.

I would invite all Canadians to come visit us in Atlantic Canada this summer, because there is nowhere else in the world to enjoy better lobster.

Criminal Code May 31st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her speech.

However, I happen to disagree. I am a member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and I take exception to the fact that she mentioned that during the very considerable and time-consuming debate on the amendments before the committee, the Liberals were not interested, not listening, or not working in the best interests of Canadians. The fact that we happen to disagree with some of the amendments that were put forward by the parties opposite does not mean that we were not taking our job seriously. I do not think it was fair to characterize it in those terms.

There were in fact 16 amendments made at committee, some proposed by the NDP, some by the Bloc, and some by the Conservative Party. We worked collaboratively on things such as amending the preamble and putting palliative care in it, as well as amending conscience rights to include a clause to ensure that nothing could compel anyone to perform the service.

I note as well that the NDP voted against almost all, if not all, of the proposals by the Conservative Party. Therefore, for her to say that Liberals were not interested would cause me to wonder if the New Democrats were not interested in listening when other amendments from other parties were put forward.

My question is this. Does she not agree that Liberals worked collaboratively and that the 16 amendments did improve the bill at committee?

Criminal Code May 17th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the comments of my friend. I know that at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, of which I am a member, we heard the same arguments. Obviously in the debate we are having with the competing motions before the House to amend the bill, we know there are some who suggest that the bill goes too far and some who suggest it does not go far enough. We are hearing that over and over.

One of the things that I would like to ask the hon. member is with regard to his change in Motion No. 7, which would basically change the words to “imminent natural death” being required. He says it is clearly constitutional, that the wording would be acceptable by the court, because Parliament has the ability to do that. Of course, we have a Charter of Rights in our country, and Parliament is subject to the rights as enunciated by the court. What I am wondering about is the word “imminent”. Does he believe that the appellants, who were the subject of the appeal in Carter, Kay Carter and Gloria Taylor, would have been able to get medical assistance in dying using the word “imminent”?

Transport de Clare May 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Transport de Clare, Nova Scotia's first not-for-profit community-based transportation service, on celebrating its 20th anniversary. I had the honour of marking this amazing organization's milestone this past Saturday.

Since its inception in 1996, Transport de Clare has been helping seniors, people with reduced mobility, and the economically disadvantaged get to important appointments and actively participate in their communities.

I thank the dedicated staff and volunteers who make the lives of others better every day with this service. I wish its founder, Claredon Robicheau, all the best in his retirement after 20 years. It is because of his vision and hard work that Transport de Clare is truly a success story that makes the whole community proud.

James Lamb May 12th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, West Nova is feeling the loss of an exceptional citizen. Unfortunately, James Lamb passed away on April 15. Jimmie was a well-known pork producer and businessman throughout the Annapolis Valley, where he operated the Meadowbrook Meat Market with the conviction of promoting local products and ensuring that his customers could have trust in the quality of the products he sold.

Jimmie was a dedicated volunteer within the community he loved so much, contributing to the planning and construction of the Berwick Apple Dome and providing countless hours and resources to organizations such as the Berwick Rotary Club, the 4-H club, the Baptist church, and the Brigadoon children's camp.

On behalf of my hon. colleagues and the people of West Nova, I would like to express my sincere condolences to Mr. Lamb's family, and especially to his wife, Margie. The Annapolis Valley has lost a dear friend whose legacy will be remembered and cherished for many years to come.

Harry Verran March 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute and respect to Mr. Harry James Verran of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, who passed away October 18, 2015, at the age of 85.

Mr. Verran was a member of Parliament for South West Nova from 1993 to 1997 and served his constituents proudly as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Mr. Verran was not only a politician: he was a member of the Royal Canadian Navy for 20 years, a premier long-distance runner, a photographer, a businessman, and a coach. He was truly a pillar of his community.

Most important to Mr. Verran, though, was his family. He was devoted to Connie, his loving wife of 61 years, and their seven children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Our community and our country are richer because of Harry Verran, and we treasure his enduring legacy. We will remember him with much fondness and affection. My thanks to Harry for a life well lived.

Citizenship Act March 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I agree that many dual citizens were gravely concerned about how this might impact them personally. It is important to remind everyone in this debate that dual citizens may be people who were born in this country and became, by birth, dual nationals, both Canadian citizens and citizens of some other country. The law as it stands now would actually mean that such a person could have his or her citizenship revoked for an egregious set of circumstances, as mentioned earlier, while having never lived anywhere else but Canada.

Therefore, yes, people were concerned about this issue in the election campaign, but, as I said, it is a matter of principle, and to say that it only affects a few who may actually get caught up by this provision makes no difference. It is a matter of principle. We should stand up for the values we believe in in Canada. I believe Bill C-6 is a good measure to do that.

Citizenship Act March 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the thoughtful question and suggestion from the member opposite. I certainly remember that issue being raised during the election campaign and I know that it affected many who wish to participate in our democracy and have significant links and ties to our country. I find it unfortunate that the right of those Canadians to vote was taken away by that measure.

It is obviously not part of this bill. It is certainly something that I believe we should look at. I would be happy to work with my colleague in bringing that forward, either as an amendment or perhaps in a different fashion. I know that it is tied directly to our election laws in this country. It is an excellent suggestion.

Citizenship Act March 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, it is quite clear that this is a matter of principle. This is a matter that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, and having a system whereby there are different types of Canadians is an affront to what we hold dear as Canadian values.

I note my friend referenced 52 countries around the world. One that he will not find on that list is the United States of America. That country has a law and a body of jurisprudence similar to what we have in our country when it comes to citizenship, and it is in the best traditions of both the United States and Canada that we stand proudly when we say that there is one type of citizenship. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, and I reject entirely the premise that because another country has it in its laws, so should we.