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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was farmers.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Liberal MP for Guelph (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Huntington Society of Canada November 3rd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, November is Amaryllis Month and I would encourage my colleagues in the House to join me in supporting the Huntington Society of Canada.

Huntington's disease is an inherited brain disorder that affects both body and mind. It affects thousands of Canadians across the country, leading to profound cognitive and emotional impairment and eventually incapacitation and death. The disease remains incurable, and there are no known effective treatments.

The amaryllis flower is the signature flower for the Huntington Society of Canada, whose volunteers have been selling amaryllis plants since 1985 and have raised over $1 million for the fight against this terrible affliction. This month's Inspire Hope amaryllis campaign will support today's vital programs for family services for people coping with Huntington disease and crucial research to find a cure for tomorrow.

I encourage my colleagues in the House to please join me in wearing an amaryllis lapel pin to support this campaign and to spread the word about this devastating disease.

November 2nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the member from Quebec to pursue his line about the education campaign undertaken by the government.

Specifically, in Guelph, almost without exception, people are noticing the almost paltry sum spent by the government on educating the public when it comes to H1N1, as compared to the vast millions and millions of dollars in self-promotion that it has spent. As a result, there is inadequate messaging that they have received.

I am wondering if he has experienced the same problem in his riding that I experienced in Guelph regarding the lack of information about H1N1.

November 2nd, 2009

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Toronto—Danforth for his comments. I want to address, if I could, the latter part of his comments with respect to the adequacy of the educational program that the government has frankly failed to engage in during the last number of months, knowing at least in June of this year that the pandemic was forthcoming .

Particularly, with respect to his comments about the people stopping him in the streets, without exception I am being stopped in the market, in the bank, and in the grocery store and asked the same questions.

I appreciate that the member's comments tonight are much more tempered than they have been during his comments in question period, but I am wondering if he could comment on the adequacy of the government's education program in informing the public about the preparedness that they ought to have undertaken by--

Economic Development October 29th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, it has also been over two months since the Prime Minister announced the so-called headquarters for the FedDev Ontario agency in Kitchener. Yet its staff offers no guidance to applicants other than directing them to a call centre in Toronto, which only offers information from the website, no advice, and we are told in briefings that it is costing a staggering $28 million for staff and office space.

FedDev applications are crucial to the livelihood of southern Ontario businesses. Should $28 million not provide more help to businesses than just directing them to a website?

Economic Development October 29th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, ailing southern Ontario businesses have waited nine long months to see applications for FedDev Ontario funds, yet not all the funds from the agency's core program have been made available, already spread thinly from Ottawa all the way to Windsor. There is silence from the government on its remaining $60 million commitment to southern Ontario, despite the looming March spending deadline.

When will the minister tell suffering southern Ontario exactly when it can access the rest of the money, instead of getting ready to just rush it out late, with the usual misguided, self-serving fanfare?

Stephen Lewis Foundation October 26th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would encourage my colleagues in the House to join me in supporting the Stephen Lewis Foundation “Dare to Remember” challenge. The foundation supports grassroots community-based organizations and their efforts to turn the tide of HIV-AIDS in Africa.

Since 2003, the foundation has funded over 300 projects in 15 African countries, focusing on women, grandmothers, orphans and people living with HIV-AIDS. It is a remarkable accomplishment and one that has improved the lives of countless people suffering from the effects of this terrible disease while giving them hope.

Guelph has a long-standing commitment to this issue and a lengthy tradition of global citizenship.

Today I dare members of the House and local and national media to join me in making a donation of $50 to $100 to this very worthy cause and to view for more information. Every dollar donated will provide care and enhance the well-being of those in desperate need.

Retribution on Behalf of Victims of White Collar Crime Act October 22nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the member for Etobicoke North. As we all know, that period of time at the end of one's sentence, when the person is let out on probation, is often to allow the convicted person into a program of transition back into the community, that they are not just simply released into the community, that they go into a transitional program to help them better prepare for a life in the real world again, as opposed to just releasing them unprepared.

I am wondering if the member for Etobicoke North has any feelings about the value of this transitional period at the end of a sentence as opposed to simply being thrown out into the street.

Criminal Code October 20th, 2009

Madam Speaker, I also have presented a private member's bill with respect to identity theft that would reverse the onus onto the accused to establish that he or she is in possession of another person's identity with the permission of the person whose identity is being carried.

I was not at the committee meetings and I am wondering if the member opposite could tell me whether the idea of reversing the onus onto the person charged to establish that he or she is in possession of that identity with permission was discussed in committee.

Right now I understand the law to be that the police must establish that the stolen identity is in a person's possession for the purpose of committing a crime. I believe the onus should be reversed onto the person who has been charged. I wonder if the member opposite can answer that question.

Canadian Forces October 1st, 2009

Mr. Speaker, during the week of August 17, I and seven other members of the House were embedded in the operation maple defender at the Canadian Manoeuvre Centre in Wainwright, Alberta. As elected representatives of the House of Commons, our shared goal was to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences and conditions of our troops, as they undergo training for combat.

This is a 620 square kilometre site, where full-time soldiers and army reservists prepare for the theatre in which they are about to do battle. Units from across Canada and the U.S. come here to properly integrate with each other before they are deployed.

This important experience has given us deeper insight into the courage and professionalism of the Canadian Forces, the conditions in which they train and fight and, ultimately, the sacrifices they make in the name of our country.

I ask my colleagues in the House to join me in expressing our support for the men and women of our Canadian Forces and supporting our troops before they leave, while they are overseas and especially when they return home.

Automotive Industry September 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, that is contrary to what has been said by the Business Development Bank.

In today's Financial Post, the VP of the Business Development Bank stated, “I don't know when a deal will happen...But I think”, she thinks, “we will see something before Christmas”. That is one full year since it was announced.

The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association says, “That's one of the biggest problems facing the industry”.

Car dealers cannot borrow money for cars. Auto jobs and taxpayer loans to the industry will only be protected if sales increase.

If the finance minister does not want this money out the door, why does he not just say so?