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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is chair.

NDP MP for Hamilton Centre (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Citizenship Act June 16th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to congratulate my colleague from Vancouver East for not only an excellent speech but obviously a reflection of the work that she has put into this. I always wondered who would succeed Libby Davies, and kind of felt sorry for that person, given the fantastic parliamentarian that she was. However, the people of Vancouver East have managed to find someone who can actually fill those shoes. She brings a great depth of experience here, particularly as a senior provincial cabinet minister.

My question to the member is in regard to something she commented on earlier, which really jumped out at me. If I am correct, it was with respect to permanent residents, although I am not sure of the subject. However, I do remember the comment, which was that, because the bill was unamended as my colleague tried to amend it, in her opinion we have a bill that gives less judicial fairness to applicants than would be given in a parking ticket situation. Therefore, I was wondering if my colleague would expand on that issue because it sounded very jarring.

Status of Women June 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the chair of the public accounts committee tabled “Report 11: Chapter 1, Implementing Gender-Based Analysis, of the Fall 2015 Report of the Auditor General of Canada”. In this unanimous report, our committee recommends that by April 1, 2017, gender-based analysis be made a mandatory requirement for all federal departments and agencies.

Given that both government and opposition members support this report, will the government commit today to implement the committee's recommendation on mandatory gender-based analysis?

Canada Revenue Agency June 7th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, another day, another scandal involving KPMG. It appears it was not enough for KPMG to just advise clients on how to evade paying taxes, now it has been caught devising schemes so clients could dodge their support, divorce, or alimony obligations.

Just how many more scandals do we need before the government finally launches a full investigation into the actions of KPMG?

Privilege May 9th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to take a couple of minutes to make a couple of personal comments.

Last Friday, the House had the historic opportunity to debate the words of our national anthem. It was historic in terms of the presentation of the debate and certainly historic in terms of our friend, the member for Ottawa—Vanier, who was able to come from his hospital bed directly here on Friday. That alone warrants special recognition.

However, I want to point to the camaraderie that day. We all know that the partisan fighting we have every day is part of what we do. However, we do have the ability to rise above that and when we do, it is important to underscore it. That is what this moment is.

I want to thank my colleagues in the Liberal caucus. Some will know that the member for Ottawa—Vanier and I are particularly close. I asked to go into the salon to say hi to him before he came in. The member for Don Valley West first expressed the opportunity, if I wanted, to join their caucus and sit behind him. The chief government whip, the member for Orléans, insisted that I also be given the opportunity to escort the member in. Lastly, my new BFF, the member for Hull—Aylmer, offered up that great seat of honour over his right shoulder. I appreciated it so much that I wanted to underscore it.

I thank my colleagues. I want them to know how much it meant to me and how much it—

Ian Deans May 5th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of myself, the member for Hamilton Mountain, my leader, my caucus, and my party, I rise in the House today to join with Hamiltonians in mourning the loss of Ian Deans and to extend our sincere condolences to his family.

Starting as a Hamilton firefighter and becoming a political giant, Ian was the MPP for Wentworth from 1967-79 and was the MP for Hamilton Mountain from 1980-86. Ian's incredible talent made him an ideal House leader not just at Queen's Park but here in Ottawa as well.

For 10 years, lan served as the chair of the Public Service Staff Relations Board.

I am honoured to have called lan a friend and a mentor. He was the one in 1984 who convinced me to move from the labour movement to the political arena. Ian was one of the most naturally gifted politicians I have ever met, and he set the gold standard for what it means to connect with one's constituents, represent one's community, and make a real difference here in Parliament. Hamilton has lost one of its true champions.

Rest in peace, my friend.

National Defence May 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, today, the Auditor General reported that Canada is treating our army reservists like second-class soldiers. They are underfunded, under-equipped, and undertrained. In fact, our reservists were sent into combat without first receiving the proper international mission training. This is all unacceptable.

Will the minister today commit to give reservists the training they need, the support they are entitled to, and the respect they deserve?

Canada Post April 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, Hamiltonians were front and centre in the fight to save home mail delivery. They know just how important this service is for seniors and those with mobility issues, as well as the other important services Canada Post provides across our country.

In the middle of the last election, while visiting the mayor of Montreal, the Prime Minister said that his party would restore home mail delivery. Those comments were very clear and can be seen on video. However, now, in a classic bait and switch, the Prime Minister says that he is not going to be restoring home mail delivery because his platform only commits him to a moratorium on the previous government's plan to end door-to-door mail delivery.

This is just another example of Liberals campaigning on one thing and doing exactly the opposite when they are in power. After a winter of frozen community mailboxes, stolen letters, and mail littering the streets, Canadians expect the Prime Minister to honour his word and commit to fully reinstating home mail delivery, because as anyone—

Business of Supply February 25th, 2016


Canada Labour Code February 16th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. friend for his compliments. I appreciate that. If that is his style, I look forward to more of this back and forth.

I would remind the member that there are problems in democratic unions just like there are problems in Canada, in our own democracy. We even had an inquiry led by Judge Gomery which looked into people accused of stealing tens of millions of dollars. Did that mean that we said to heck with Canadian democracy and threw it out the window? No. We say we have a problem, but we have systems and checks and balances to take care of that problem and we will do it in an open and transparent way. That is exactly what the labour movement does with those sorts of things. The members are in charge, they pay the freight, and they are the ones calling the shots.

That was what was so obscene about the legislation. It left the impression that unions were full of big union bosses and the goons and the guns and the stealing and all the other nonsense. That was the impression my colleague's party left and it was the impression it wanted to leave. That was the impression the legislation left. It had the desired effect. That secret ballot lessened the number of successes that were there because of intimidation. Anyone who has studied this issue knows that this is a fact. This hiding behind the secret ballot as the only way to do it is not the issue at hand. What matters is fairness and equity, and the workplace is not a fair and equitable place. Different rules are needed for that kind of circumstance.

Canada Labour Code February 16th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Hamilton East—Stoney Creek for his kind words and I congratulate him on his election to this place. I recognize the hon. member's role. We may have disagreements from time to time on different details of the labour movement, things that are important and the order of things, but any question of the major contribution that the labour movement makes to Canada I know my friend from Hamilton East shares that. I thank him for his voice over the years and for his continuing voice.

On that last point, team Hamilton was started by Mayor Fred Eisenberger. The whole idea of team Hamilton was wherever possible, MPs and MPPs from all parties would get together, not to fight or to put government members on the spot, to agree on common issues that were in the best interests of home town Hamilton. We would all agree to move forward. In my case, being in opposition, the most I could usually offer was a willingness to shut up and not stand in this place and make a big deal out of something when quietly we were trying to get something done. That can only be done with co-operation, respect, and leadership.

I look forward to continuing that, because I know one thing for sure, and that is that nobody else but a Hamiltonian would get up and ask “What can I do for Hamilton?” It has to be Hamiltonians. We need to stick together, so I am in.