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  • His favourite word is vancouver.

NDP MP for Vancouver Kingsway (B.C.)

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

Statements in the House

Points of Order June 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is said that it is one of the foremost responsibilities of parliamentarians to scrutinize government spending. Twice now the Minister of Health has testified in committee and now before the House that there have been increases in the budget to the federal initiative on HIV. I have in my possession the actual departmental spending estimates that show that this is not the case, not this year, not next year.

I would seek unanimous consent in the interest of allowing the minister to prove that this is the case. I am sure the minister would not want to leave us—

Health June 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have in front of me the department's spending documents that prove there is not a single dime in extra funding for the federal initiative on HIV. These documents prove there is not an extra nickel for the community action fund, the very program that funds the groups providing HIV care. The minister stated that she secured “investments in the budget to expand the federal initiative on HIV...of $30 million of new funding”. This is demonstrably false. Will she apologize to the organizations she misled?

Foreign Investment June 14th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have approved the foreign takeover of the major B.C. provider of seniors care by Anbang, a huge Chinese conglomerate. They did so despite serious concerns raised by the U.S. and many others about the company's murky ownership structure. Now we see that the chairman of Anbang has been arrested on suspected corruption charges.

We are talking about the well-being of B.C. seniors. Why did the government fail in its due diligence, and will it revisit its decision to ensure that Canadians are protected?

Indian Act June 13th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I want to pick up a comment made by my colleague on the government side, the member for Spadina—Fort York. He said that he and the government felt uncomfortable proceeding with the amendments proposed by the Senate because there was not unanimity. It was not a slip of the tongue. He used that phrase repeatedly in his comments, saying that it was imprudent to move forward until we had unanimity.

Would my hon. colleague comment on whether she thinks we require legislative unanimity in this case to move forward on these amendments from the Senate, or does she feel comfortable and confident moving forward with the Senate amendments to take out the gender inequity in the Indian Act now? We obviously have the democratic expression of the House and clearly a majority of the Senate, albeit not unanimous?

Indian Act June 13th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat disturbed by what I just heard the hon. member say.

He is worried about moving too quickly. Frankly, we are talking about the Indian Act. We have spent decades and decades studying this issue. We know exactly where the problems are. I am disturbed that the member would say that we need to exercise caution at this point. Indigenous people in this country have waited long enough.

Moreover, I am disturbed by the fact that my hon. colleague talks about how we might err. How about we err on the side of more equality? How about if we err on the side of giving women equal rights? If there is an error in some way, then perhaps we have gone too far too fast. It would be nice, after 150 years of colonialism in this country and hundreds of years beyond that, if the Liberal government actually had a little bit of daring.

My final point is that this was a considered amendment by the Senate. For decades I have heard the Liberals defend the Senate as a place of sober second thought, a chamber that is supposed to bring concentrated analysis of issues, and we are supposed to take that seriously. Is my hon. colleague saying that the amendments from the Senate are ill-considered or unnecessary?

Why does he not just accept what the Senate says ought to be done, what the members on this side of the House want to be done, what indigenous people across this country want to be done, have some courage and actually make these amendments that are so desperately needed and long overdue?

Indian Act June 13th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I think I speak for most Canadians who feel that the colonial vestiges of the last several hundred years really have no place in modern Canada.

I come from British Columbia and it is almost entirely unceded territory. Issues of identity and full inclusion in Canadian society are still very much top of mind for many indigenous people in my riding of Vancouver Kingsway and across British Columbia and Canada as a whole.

I am wondering if my hon. colleague could speak to the feeling of urgency he feels or may not feel about resolving treaty claims in Canada and whether he feels that plays any role in helping to resolve some of these issues of status and inclusion in Canadian society today.

Business of Supply June 13th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my hon. colleague on a thoughtful and extremely rational approach to appointments. Canadians have watched government after government at the federal and, frankly, many provincial levels abuse their position of having a majority by appointing people to positions of authority that are simply tainted with partisan consideration.

The issue before the House is that we are asking parliamentarians to recognize there are certain positions that ought to be above partisanship. They ought to be officers of the House who are here to serve the House on a non-partisan basis, and serve Canadians in a similar way.

The United States has an approval process for important positions, where potential candidates are called before committee, which is televised, so that all Americans can see those people answer questions. Does the member have any thoughts on whether such a process could be validly imported to Canada. If we are really concerned about transparency, then perhaps we ought to have proceedings where officers of the House are appointed where the committee work, and the questions being asked of the potential candidates are there for all Canadians to see.

French Immersion June 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, Canada's 150th anniversary is an important opportunity to celebrate Canada's linguistic duality as a key aspect of our collective identity and as a gift for future generations.

Despite long wait lists for French immersion programs in Vancouver, the Christy Clark Liberal government and its school board appointee are cutting French immersion enrolment for kindergarten students by one quarter next year. This will result in 135 fewer spaces, and five schools will lose one class each.

Many parents who want to register their children in this very popular program will be upset about this, and even more children will be deprived of the opportunity to be bilingual.

I urge the federal government to defend bilingualism and our official languages across the country in order to ensure that all Canadian students have access to education in French and in English.

Criminal Code May 31st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. member on her maiden speech in this House. We have heard a lot of profound commentary in this House tonight, so as we near the end of the night, I would like to ask a lighter question.

The Liberals have not been clear on the revenue side of the equation, on how they will tax cannabis. Does my hon. friend think that the imposition of the GST on cannabis will be a buzz-killing carbon tax?

Criminal Code May 31st, 2017

Madam Speaker, I also want to congratulate and thank my hon. colleague who has not only served the House for a long time but was solicitor general in the Ontario government, and is very attuned to issues of justice and making sure our justice system is working well, both in terms of enforcing the law and in defending the rights of Canadians.

It is an excellent point that he raises, which is to recognize that there are other jurisdictions in the world that are struggling and grappling with enforcing impaired driving laws in a world where people are impaired by substances other than alcohol. Exploring the experiences of other jurisdictions will be a very helpful mechanism as the bill goes through the House and to committee. I will say, though, that issues of testing technology and whether it is capable of measuring present impairment versus metabolites is a very important concept, and I am hoping that this process as it unfolds will help us craft a very effective—