House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was infrastructure.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Parkdale—High Park (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Points of Order April 13th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. A week and a half ago I sent out an email concerning the business of the transportation and infrastructure committee. Since then some members of the committee have expressed the opinion that it was in breach of privilege and therefore I apologize unreservedly to the House.

Epilepsy Awareness Month March 30th, 2010

Madam Speaker, March is Epilepsy Awareness Month in Canada.

Epilepsy is not well understood despite afflicting 300,000 Canadians. The public's lack of knowledge creates fear, discrimination, and stigma surrounding those with this condition.

Each day 42 of our fellow Canadians learn they have epilepsy; 60% of them will be either young children or senior citizens. They face no formalized diagnosis system.

There is a need for an effective and improved means of control and a need for accurate diagnoses. They face the prospect of having behaviour and emotional issues simply from a condition that is so little understood. One-third of people with epilepsy do not yet have an effective treatment.

I invite my colleagues to join with my constituents Margaret Maye, Gary Neumann, and their son Thomas of Epilepsy Cure Initiative, to help give thousands of Canadians control back over their lives.

Ukraine December 8th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, under a previous government, Canada has had a special relationship with Ukraine, including assistance with free and fair elections. For the presidential election in January, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress has asked for 300 observers, as in the past, but the Conservative government only wants to send 60.

I have seen first-hand trained Canadian volunteers play a crucial role in the Ukrainian elections. Last week, Mr. Davidovich, the former head of the electoral commission, told MPs how important a strong international force is for a fair result or democracy will be threatened.

Will the government now change its mind and properly support the right number of Canadian observers for the next Ukrainian elections?

Human Rights December 3rd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, Dhondup Wangchen, a Tibetan filmmaker, has been imprisoned since March for making a documentary about the treatment of Tibetans and their views.

Mr. Wangchen has contracted hepatitis B during his incarceration and there is a question as to whether he is receiving any medical treatment for his condition.

Thirty prominent Canadian filmmakers have signed a statement calling for his immediate release in recognition of the right to free speech.

During his current trip to China, will the Prime Minister specifically raise this issue with the Chinese government and call for Mr. Wangchen's release?

Infrastructure December 2nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the minister has a greater duty than clowning around in this chamber. He has billions of dollars of borrowed taxpayers' funds, taken to supposedly create jobs for Canadians out of work, and he has failed.

His budget has been cut because he could not get his own job done. Thousands of Canadian families are paying the price.

My question is simple. Will the minister come to committee today, be accountable and release all the information he has about the failure of his job creation program, or will he just continue to clown around in this place?

Infrastructure December 2nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities admitted for the first time that he has failed to create jobs in a timely way. Buried in his fairytale update today on page 71 is a reduction of 36% in spending plans for this year, over $1 billion less compared to September.

The minister has done such a poor job of getting infrastructure stimulus funds into Canadian towns and cities, his budget has been slashed.

Will the minister now apologize to Canadians, and the families of the unemployed in particular, for having misled them over these many months?

Infrastructure December 1st, 2009

Mr. Speaker, let us try this again. The government has misled Canadians with advertising claims on job creation without any proof. Tomorrow's report will be just another expensive fairytale.

The Conservatives have information about their promised infrastructure stimulus projects, detailed information. There can be only one reason why the minister is afraid to release it, because it proves he is an enormous failure in creating jobs and helping ordinary Canadians.

Will the minister stop trying to hide his incompetence and release all the project status reports today without delay?

Infrastructure December 1st, 2009

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for infrastructure. I have in my hand the status report every project promised federal dollars has to send in. It is a report that the minister and his officials denied even existed.

Will the minister finally tell the House how many actual jobs he has created to date with federal infrastructure stimulus funds and will he release the status report replies to the House so Canadians can see for themselves?

Economic Recovery Act (Stimulus) November 16th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, university presidents are going to say thank you even when they get less on a per capita basis if they happen to be in the riding. Forty per cent more money goes to Conservative ridings. The thumb is on the scale even there, even for students, even for people we should look to because they do research and so on. There is 40% more.

As far as the idea goes that we would somehow stop projects, they have to be started first. When was the Spadina subway promised by the government? It was in 2007, two years before the recession started. The government stands up again and again and pretends there is fairness. Eight billion dollars' worth of transit is planned for the Toronto area and only 10% will be paid for by the federal government. That is the lowest amount by any federal government for a major transit expansion in the country.

There is no fairness. There are no jobs being created. There was a colossal failure and a colossal cover-up and each member opposite unfortunately knows that and chooses to do nothing about it.

Economic Recovery Act (Stimulus) November 16th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that the member was cut off in mid-sentence because his enthusiasm shows how desperate he is. The provincial government in Ontario did not take political advantages. There is an analysis in the paper today showing that they did not do what your government did. Municipalities had no choices. They put in their projects. You chose the ones you wanted. You put them over a barrel. You made them do it, and look at the result. It is clear.

The universities receive funding on a per student basis--