House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was families.

Last in Parliament August 2011, as NDP MP for Toronto—Danforth (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 61% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Taxation October 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, it is quite clear that the Liberal government is simply incapable of counting Canadians' money. That is how much the Liberals care about it. The money they found could have provided three child care programs.

We support balanced budgets and achieving good debt ratios but not an artificial target that the Prime Minister never talked about in the election.

It is time to end the Liberal mentality of Enron on the Rideau. It is time to put an end to it.

Will the minister support the NDP proposal for an independent budget office, yes or no?

Taxation October 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, today we hear once again that the Liberals' budget figures are pure fiction. The budget surplus is four times higher than what was forecast. That is incredible. To date, a total of $84 billion has been manipulated. Every cent of the surplus is put toward the Prime Minister's artificial target.

Will the Minister of Finance announce today that he will let this House decide of the use to be made of this surplus?

Health October 12th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, it is clear why the minister was out in the hallway while the health accord was being discussed, that is for sure.

The fact is there is absolutely no plan to stop privatization of health care in this country. All we are hearing is rhetoric and we know what rhetoric means.

We see a similar case more tragically unfolding in the case of hepatitis C. The past president of the Hemophilia Society has said that hundreds of people have died because there has been no plan to ensure that the funds that were set aside are reaching those in need.

Could the Minister of Health tell us why there is no plan to ensure that patients get the money they need?

Health October 12th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, a veritable hurricane of health privatization is sweeping across our country and the latest touchdown was in Montreal where a major private clinic has just opened. We see the extension of for profit medicine once again and the Liberals have done absolutely nothing about it. This perhaps would not be a surprise, except that when they were seeking votes they promised to stop privatization.

When will the health minister, who while campaigning spoke out against privatization, actually take some action to stop it?

National Defence October 8th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the Prime Minister does not believe that the Russian ambassador is telling the truth. It is clear that he does not want to come clean on the relationship between missile defence and the weaponization of space despite all evidence to the contrary, coming from sources that are as credible as can be found. The weaponization of space is not the only reason to oppose missile defence.

Does the Prime Minister not believe that this new weapon system will cause a new arms race, cost billions and will not work? These are all good reasons to say no to George Bush. Why do we not--

National Defence October 8th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister prepares to visit Russia, I would like to ask him about the comments of the Russian ambassador to Canada last week. The ambassador indicated that he opposed the missile defence plan. One reason he gave was that the plan would involve the weaponization of space and that he had been briefed by American officials accordingly.

The U.S. is clear on its plans. Russia is clear on the U.S.'s plans as well. The U.S.'s plans are clear for all to see.

Does the Prime Minister think that the Russian ambassador was telling the truth about George Bush's plans to weaponize space?

Elizabeth Weir October 8th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, today New Democrats are celebrating the political career of an extraordinary woman. I would like to pay tribute to the fantastic contribution Elizabeth Weir has made to political life in New Brunswick and Canada.

Elizabeth Weir received her honours degree in sociology from the University of Waterloo and her law degree from the University of Western Ontario. In 1978 she was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada.

A former teacher at the University of New Brunswick, she went on to become the leader of the New Democratic Party in New Brunswick in 1988 and became the first woman to be chosen as leader of a political party in New Brunswick.

She was the first woman leader elected to the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly and the first elected leader of the provincial New Democratic Party. She was first elected to the legislative assembly in 1991, and was re-elected in 1995, 1999 and 2003.

We are very pleased to see that, even though she decided it was time to pass on the torch as leader, she will continue to serve the people of her riding of Saint John Harbour.

Municipalities October 7th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister were intending to live up to his promises, he would have put it in the throne speech. The fact is that he did not.

Nothing prevents the Prime Minister from listening to the mayors right now and sharing more of the fuel tax. Nothing prevents him, except that he has decided to put far more money against the debt, while cities build up an $11 million per day debt.

Why will the Prime Minister not come through with his commitment that we all heard?

Municipalities October 7th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the government is about to say no to Canada's mayors. This is not very surprising because after all the Prime Minister did not even include the commitment to the fuel tax in the throne speech.

Mayor Miller told me today that the government is in the process of transferring the national debt on to the shoulders of the municipalities. This is unacceptable.

Will the Prime Minister honour his promise? Why can he not make that promise today and commit 5¢ per litre of the fuel tax?

National Defence October 6th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, we join with everyone in this House, at this very serious moment, to offer our condolences to Lieutenant Saunders' wife, his family, and his comrades.

It is a terrible moment. It is a moment in which we are thinking of a lost Canadian and thinking of the family. We are thinking of the comrades who risk their lives on our behalf, as so many have done before, as Lieutenant Saunders has done, to protect the freedom we have, to protect our quality of life, to allow us to have these debates in these chambers, and to have the kind of society we have.

Any time that a life is lost among our armed service personnel not only do we need to be thankful for the sacrifice that has been given and not only do we need to let the love and support simply flow without hesitation to the family, the community and the friends, but we also have to recall that there is an entire complex of service personnel there who will carry on with the work that needs to be done even in the face of such a tragedy, and it is for that we need to be thankful.

We join with the other party leaders in expressing our deep and sincere regrets. We will assist the government in whatever way we are able to follow through in the appropriate fashion and in the memorial to this man's life.