House of Commons photo

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

Automotive Industry April 1st, 2009

Mr. Speaker, Canada's auto industry is on life support. The auto industry will only succeed when people start buying and leasing cars again. People buy and lease cars when they have jobs and access to credit.

Canadians are looking to the government for confidence in the industry and they are looking for credit. The government announced a loan guarantee facility in December. We are still waiting for it to become a reality. Waiting until May is not good enough.

When will the government show some real leadership on the issue and do its part to restore consumer confidence?

Automotive Industry March 31st, 2009

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the industry minister said that the U.S. president had “some new ideas on the auto industry that he's willing to look at”.

If the minister were truly at the table with the U.S., he would know these are not new ideas. Clearly, he is not there.

While President Obama is considering structured bankruptcy, with support for consumer confidence through warranty guarantees, the appointment of an auto reform director and decisive leadership, the Conservatives are doing nothing to support consumer confidence.

Why is the minister hiding in a shroud of ambiguity while our industry struggles for life?

Committees of the House March 31st, 2009

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to join the member for Wellington—Halton Hills in reporting to the House the findings of the subcommittee on the automobile industry in Canada, a committee created by the direction of the House at the behest of the Liberal opposition.

The purpose of the subcommittee was to help Canadians better understand the auto sector and the serious issues facing it and the government when dealing with the industry.

The opposition must note, however, its dissent with certain limitations of the report. These include opinions found in the report that were not, in every case, arising from opinions of the witnesses before the committee, such as the effects of a scrapage program or a tax holiday to stimulate car sales.

While drawing attention to the cyclical and structural issues facing the auto industry, what became obvious throughout the study was the government's lack of a comprehensive auto industry strategy.

Canada is part of a fully integrated North American auto industry. That in itself calls for the development of a North American auto forum that would more meaningfully and formally provide governments and industry stakeholders a venue to collectively monitor the industry and would, through engagement, enable governments to develop harmonized continental policies and regulations affecting the industry.

It is strikingly clear that the absence of such a structured meaningful engagement between all stakeholders has been detrimental to the industry in the past and, looking forward, such a forum is critical for the long term sustainability of Canada's share of the North American auto market.

In closing, the issue is about protecting Canadian jobs, the good jobs that are the lifeblood of communities right across this country. It is also about protecting taxpayer money and ensuring an investment in the auto industry today will provide results for taxpayers in the future.

Automotive Industry March 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, it would have been nice if he were at the table with them.

The Canada secured credit facility was announced by the government in December 2008, something necessary to make credit available to consumers through loans and leases. Conservatives keep referring to it but it will not be available until May.

Today the Minister of Industry said that we are very close to the fork in the road. We have been at this fork in the road since December. Why is the credit facility not available now? They have had four months.

Automotive Industry March 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the government has failed Canada's auto industry. The minister failed to provide leadership for a real plan for the auto crisis when it began long before November 2008.

Today, President Obama announced that auto warranties in the United States will be backed by the United States government to avoid a crash in new car sales. If the government were at the table every step of the way as it claims, why is it only beginning to look at backing General Motors and Chrysler warranties now?

Spread the Net Student Challenge March 27th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I ask the House to join me in congratulating John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute in Guelph, winners of the national Spread the Net student challenge. Through the hard work and dedication of students and staff, John F. Ross high school raised $59,340 to purchase bed nets to protect children in Africa from malaria-spreading insects.

Malaria, which kills 3,000 African children a day, is the single leading cause of death for children under the age of five. One bed net can protect one or more children for up to five years. Founded by Belinda Stronach and Rick Mercer, Spread the Net is a campaign designed in partnership with UNICEF Canada as a simple and affordable solution to the devastating impacts of malaria.

Congratulations and thanks to John F. Ross for its success and commitment to this worthwhile effort.

Automotive Industry March 12th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, it is not dependent upon the budget passing, and the member knows it.

I invite the minister to read his own report. Page 127 is clear evidence that the secured credit could have been deployed over three months ago when announced, when needed, and without a vote, and still the wheels have not turned.

Chrysler has threatened to go bankrupt or leave the country because car sales are evaporating. Conservatives are not getting the job done.

Why did the minister fail to get the wheels in motion when it was needed the most?

Automotive Industry March 12th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary study of the auto industry has revealed the inadequacy of the government's response to the crisis that is crippling Canada's auto industry.

Access to credit for consumers is a critical issue. The government could be providing eligible consumers with access to credit through the secured credit facility that was announced in December, more than three months ago, and repeated in the budget more than six weeks ago. Still it has not turned a wheel. Why not? Why the delay?

Human Rights March 10th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I ask the House to join me in congratulating the Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum for its efforts to draw attention to the violation of human rights and terrorist action in Swat, Pakistan.

Over the past two years, more than 300 innocent civilians have been killed and more than 800,000 have been displaced in the Swat Valley as a result of fighting between Pakistani Taliban groups and the military. In addition, more than 200 schools have been destroyed, depriving 120,000 girls of needed education. The peace forum held a successful rally in Toronto last month in a show of solidarity with the citizens of Swat.

I invite the government and, indeed, all of the House to condemn the killing of innocent civilians, the displacement of others and the destruction of schools in Swat, and request that it provide humanitarian aid to all those affected.

Automotive Industry March 9th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, what this member is aware of is the government waited until last week to go down to the United States and talk about integration.

The Conservatives sadly announced last year that they would not have a national auto strategy because they were not in the business of picking winners and losers. Now they have a crisis on their hands. Two years of inaction is leaving tens of thousands of workers without jobs and an industry on the brink of collapse.

Why has the government failed to work with the industry and auto workers to achieve viable long-term solutions through a national auto strategy?