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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was chair.

Last in Parliament April 2014, as Liberal MP for Scarborough—Agincourt (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Crisis in the Philippines November 20th, 2013

There's none.

Crisis in the Philippines November 20th, 2013

How much extra staff are you sending over?

Crisis in the Philippines November 20th, 2013

Extra staff? Nada.

Crisis in the Philippines November 20th, 2013

Staff?

Crisis in the Philippines November 20th, 2013

Mr. Chair, I would like to commend my colleague from the NDP for his thoughts and his words of wisdom.

I wonder what his take is and what his thoughts are on asking the government to extend the deadline from December 8 to the end of December, to the end of 2013, for the government to match individuals' donations dollar for dollar.

I know in the spirit of Christmas a lot of youngsters might not want to have presents. They might want to donate the money to their folks back home in the Philippines, from the Filipino community, or little children, Canadian children, from other ethnic minorities and from other walks of life might also want to join in on that.

I wonder if you would agree with me and our side of the House that the government should extend this to December 31.

Crisis in the Philippines November 20th, 2013

Mr. Chair, I want to thank my colleague for her presentation. I can sense in her voice the anguish of what she has been hearing about the difficulties the Filipino community in Canada are facing.

I noticed that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development just got up and thanked us for assisting them, but again, I think we can do more as Canadians. I think we need to extend it. I remember when the tsunami hit, it was close to a quarter of a billion dollars. I remember that for the Muzaffarabad earthquake, it was about $75 million. The previous Liberal government did this. Then there is the government of the day, and I acknowledge that, which also did it for Haiti.

We have to remember that there were two instances when the Conservatives did this. In one instance, they had the House prorogued because they were facing difficulty. Right now, we are facing more difficulty within the Senate. Although they mean well, maybe they are just doing it to offset what is happening. I would hate very much for that to be their point.

I was just wondering if my colleague could share her view with us of whether the government is doing enough.

Crisis in the Philippines November 20th, 2013

Mr. Chair, I would like to commend the government for taking swift action on the Philippines. It is usually not its style to do so. It was not when Washi hit the Philippines last time. Certainly when it did take action in China in 2008, it had to be brought there screaming and kicking. It was forced to do so. However, this time around the government is to be commended for the work it is doing.

My question to the minister is very simple. I think we are matching dollar for dollar, $20 million or $25 million. The government has allocated that money. Out of that $20 million or $25 million that has been allocated, how much are we allocating for DART? Is the cost of the DART above and beyond the announcements that have been made so far, or is the DART cost in that envelope? Can he give us clarification on that?

Priority Hiring for Injured Veterans Act November 20th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I rise on the same point of order as I did last night. I hope that when the parliamentary secretary quotes something, he quotes the whole thing. If he is not able to quote the whole thing, then maybe he should exercise the zipper right across his mouth.

Priority Hiring for Injured Veterans Act November 20th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, one of the things I am hearing from veterans right across the country from coast to coast to coast is that they want us to hear their stories and how it is affecting their families. I have been hearing from other veterans that we need to invite the wives of veterans to come to committee to tell us how their lives have changed.

One of the things I have heard also from a lot of veterans is that the government always speaks of a couple of scenarios like Helmets to Hardhats and the hire a vet program. They are saying it is a whitewash. They say there is nothing there. The government gives $150,000 in order to create a website for Helmets to Hardhats, and wherever they go they blow it up and blow it up. We need real answers and not hot air, as it comes from the House, especially from some people on the front bench.

Priority Hiring for Injured Veterans Act November 20th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from the NDP on being named “parliamentarian of the year”, if I am not mistaken. I am sure that everyone in the House will certainly join me in doing that.

We all bought into the new veterans charter. It was sold to all parties. We voted on it. No member from that time to now is to be excluded, myself included.

However, we have understood there are difficulties with it and we have seen that some changes are needed. I have heard from a lot of veterans that the old way was that they would be given a pension and there was no retraining, there were no other things available, and that maybe some of the things in the NVC should be kept, such as giving returning wounded soldiers a lump sum, but as well, giving them a monthly pension.

Just to clarify, the minister left out some of my comments when I quoted the executive director of Wounded Warriors when I was on Power & Politics.

In the letter that the Conservative Party sent out, it had “...” and left out some of what I said, which is a real shame on the Conservatives who tried to use that as a fundraising tool. Again that is certainly not respecting the veterans.

I am looking forward to working with the NDP, as well as the government, in order for us to come to some understanding that we need to make changes.

I proposed changes today. It is really a shame. Instead of hearing, “Yep, you got a good point there. We'd like to help you”, I got a personal attack again from the minister.