House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was elections.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Toronto—Danforth (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation March 30th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's budget showed once again that the Conservatives just do not seem to care when it comes to Canadian culture.

At least $115 million was cut from the CBC's budget. That means less unique Canadian programming and it means less local content. Canadians do count on the CBC to be informed, entertained and inspired.

Is the government actually trying to cripple the CBC? Why will it not defend this important Canadian cultural institution?

Points of Order March 29th, 2012

In the time provided for statements under Standing Order 31, the member levelled a personal attack against me.

Mr. Speaker, you would know that your predecessor, Speaker Milliken, in his rulings of June 14, 2010, and December 14, 2010, with respect to statements, expressed his concern with the “unsettling trend towards using members' statements as a vehicle to criticize other members”.

According to the book that Ms. O'Brien gave me this morning at my swearing in, statements are meant to cover “virtually any matter of international, national, provincial or local concern”. The intent of the passage, I submit, is not for one member to raise concerns over another member's character or integrity. The book also states that personal attacks, insults and obscenities are not in order.

I believe that all members of this Parliament would benefit from a heightened level of order and decorum, particularly in relation to statements by members. As has been accurately pointed out by O'Brien and Bosc in this book, the proceedings of the House are based on a long-standing tradition of respect for the integrity of its members.

However, mostly I am disappointed. I have been so inspired by the words, the message and the example of my predecessor, the hon. Jack Layton--

Points of Order March 29th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I regret that I have to rise on my first day as a sitting member of this House on a point of order arising from statements by members.

I have been here for an hour and I already appear to know more about the rules of order of the House than the member from Mississauga--

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation March 29th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his welcome.

Throughout the life of the CBC and the government, actions do speak louder than words and the government is trying to cripple the CBC with budget cuts, as we will see. Many artists, actors, composers and independent producers depend on the CBC to develop unique content which the CBC then showcases. Many regions of the country depend on the CBC for local content.

Will the Conservatives finally support Canadian culture rather than undermine it and support the CBC?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation March 29th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are proud of the CBC. On the radio, on television and online, the CBC informs, entertains and inspires us, but the Conservatives could not care less. Once again, they are going to cut our public broadcaster's budget. To bad for Canadian culture; too bad for our heritage.

When will this government provide adequate funding for that institution, which is a source of pride for Canadians?