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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is water.

Liberal MP for Ottawa South (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 60% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Interparliamentary Delegations June 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, a report of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union respecting its participation at the 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly and related meetings in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from April 1 to April 5, 2017.

Infrastructure June 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, residents of the national capital region understand the importance of public transit for shorter commutes, cleaner air, and a stronger economy. With the first phase of light rail nearing completion, it is important that we build on this momentum and expand the system. Could the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities please tell the House how the government is supporting the future of public transit in this, our beautiful national capital region?

Canadian Public Service June 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, today is the end of National Public Service Week in Canada. I would like to take a moment on behalf of all MPs to thank all of our dedicated and committed public servants in the House, in the national capital region, and across our entire country.

All governments stand on the shoulders of competent and talented public servants. They administer our programs, keep us safe, conduct our research, help keep our environment clean, and do so much more.

Once again, we sincerely thank all public servants who are there for us every day.

I would be remiss as well if I did not take an opportunity to wish happy Father's Day to all the fathers in our public service and to every other father across this beautiful country.

Criminal Code June 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to a theme the member touched on earlier, the theme of anniversaries. This is the 30th anniversary of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

One of the things our government has been practising, which I think he would admit in fairness, as a former minister of justice, his government did not do, is our Minister of Justice, since becoming the minister, has been tabling with every justice bill a statement of the bill's potential effects on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This bill would codify it. It would formalize it. It would require, going forward, any government to provide that statement so we could get a better sense as Canadians, as legislators, to what extent the bill would or would not be at variance with the charter rights, which are guaranteed and have evolved through our court system.

Could he take a minute to explain what his party's position is with respect to this? In the past, the Conservative Party's position was not to do so. I remember asking the member, the former minister of justice, on repeated occasions why he would not give Canadians assurances that when justice matters came forward to the floor of the House, they would in fact be in compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Interparliamentary Delegations June 2nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union respecting its participation at the Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations in New York, February 13-14, 2017, and the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, March 17, 2017.

Geological Survey of Canada May 5th, 2017

Madam Speaker, Canada's very first scientific agency, the Geological Survey of Canada celebrated its 175th anniversary on April 14, 2017.

In 1842, 25 years before Confederation, its founder and first director, William Logan, began by assessing our mineral wealth, our very first natural capital indicator. Travelling by horse, by foot, by canoe, mostly through uncharted wilderness, its early scientists described and recorded Canada's geology, geography, resources, inhabitants, and wildlife. They were, in effect, the government's official explorers. Their pioneering work in the 19th century laid the foundation for the development of Canada's mineral and energy resources.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the GSC's national geological and resource maps, publications, and scientific studies provided significant stimulus for our expansion and our growth.

I ask all members to join me in congratulating the Geological Survey of Canada on 175 years of groundbreaking, outstanding service, and wish them every success in their future projects.

Ottawa River Watershed April 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I thank the colleagues who have contributed. I would like to take a moment to thank, in particular, the members for Pontiac, Lac-Saint-Louis, and Ottawa West—Nepean for their thoughtful remarks on this motion. I thank all of my colleagues, all 11 MPs in the national capital region caucus, for their encouragement and collaboration on Motion No. 104. I would also like to pay a special tribute to and thank the Minister of Environment for her ongoing support for the Ottawa River watershed council. I look forward to working with her and her department on this important initiative.

Some 15 years ago, I wrote an op-ed in The Globe and Mail that I entitled “Overdraft at the Nature Bank”. The piece was about trying to illustrate for Canadians that our economy, our daily lives, and the way in which we order our affairs continues to draw down and rely intensely on nature. We need nature for its carrying capacity. There is no replacement for a functioning air and water filtration system, for example, as is provided through the hundreds of millions of hectares of wetlands on this planet, yet we continue to deplete wetlands without really knowing the effect on our long-term sustainability. We continue to draw down species on the planet without knowing necessarily what will happen when they are depleted or cease to exist. My point at that time was that we needed a new form of reporting and wealth measurement and that all countries should begin to measure and report on their natural capital, on the wealth that surrounds us, which is beyond the typical economic reporting we use, for example, in the budget-making process.

Similarly, this motion looks to push out our thinking in another way, which is to rethink the way in which we manage the natural assets around us.

One of the world's top economic environmental economists once said that the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, and not the other way around. We would be foolish as a species, as a people, to knowingly draw down the capital on this planet without replenishing it or investing in it. No corporation would do such a thing. No company would ever try to run its affairs knowingly drawing down and losing its capital base. On the contrary, it would look to increase its capital base. This new form of management we are trying to examine in the study is one where we recognize a fundamental truth, which is that we are not organized by geopolitical lines; we are organized through natural lines.

The Ottawa River watershed is massive. It is mighty. It is the jewel in the crown of this entire part of our beautiful country. It does not understand that it is divided by province. It does not understand that it is divided by municipalities and that we have many different actors working within it. What we know is that it is one integral watershed. We know that it is subject to all kinds of stressors. We know that there are many kinds of activities in the watershed. For Canadians who might be listening or watching, this watershed is bigger than the province of New Brunswick. However, we do not sit down together in any one place and deal with this situation. We do not have business, first nations, governments, NGOs, labour groups, and community groups sitting down together and saying that there is one watershed, just one watershed. We can knowingly draw it down, or we can stop for a moment and look at the possibility of creating a council where we would respect the fact that it is one and understand that keeping it sustainable for all of us is the end game.

When Lord Stern did the most comprehensive study in history on climate change in the U.K., what he illustrated for the world was that we could take action on climate now. Yes, it would cost some money to deal with the climate crisis, while giving rise to all kinds of new economic activity. We could do it now and pay some price, or we could delay and pay so much more later.

I believe it is time for us to really clearly examine co-management going forward, integrated water management. That is why this motion is so important. It is time for us to admit what is true. It is time for us to come together and deal with the watershed as one whole.

Air Transportation February 24th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, last year in Ontario alone there were 144 laser strikes on aircraft. The Ottawa International Airport in my riding is a possible venue for these types of incidents. Laser strikes can seriously blind someone operating an aircraft. All of us were very concerned by the recent event in Elgin County where a police helicopter was struck by a laser strike. This is serious business.

Could the parliamentary secretary please inform the House on the actions the government is taking on this file to ensure air safety in Canada?

Ottawa River Watershed February 23rd, 2017

Yes, Mr. Speaker, I do.

Ottawa River Watershed February 23rd, 2017

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, no.