House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was manitoba.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as NDP MP for Elmwood—Transcona (Manitoba)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Salaries of CEOs March 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, according to Maclean's magazine, in the 12 year period between 1995 and 2007 there has been a 444% salary increase for the highest paid CEOs in Canada.

The following are just a few examples of how profits of millions of Canadian shareholders were spent. In 1995, the CEO for the Royal Bank received $2.2 million and in 2007, it was over $44 million. In 1995, the CEO for Petro-Canada received $1.3 million and in 2007, it was $17 million. In 1995, the CEO of Air Canada received under $2 million and in 2007, the CEO for ACE Aviation, which owned Air Canada, made $43 million.

It is time that the millions of ordinary Canadian shareholders are protected from such outrageous executive compensation and that CEO compensation be approved directly by a two-thirds vote of the shareholders who own the companies.

Anaphylaxis March 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the regulations are being put into place but I am concerned about the size requirements on the warnings. Many of us my age and older, and maybe some even younger, have difficulty reading the current labels on different products. We practically need magnifying glasses to read them. I just wonder whether any size requirements will be provided.

There is an 18 month phase-in period for these regulations. I wonder why it has taken so long to do that and where we are in the process of phasing in the regulations.

Business of Supply March 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I fail to see what anything the member has said has to do with the Bloc motion before us. I would ask you to call the member to order and direct the member to direct his comments toward the motion on the floor today.

Business of Supply March 10th, 2011

Madam Speaker, the election scandal of 2006 involved only one party being raided by the RCMP and being charged. No offences were committed by the Bloc, the NDP or the Liberal Party. And, guess what? It all stopped in 2006 because by the 2008 election even the Conservatives knew it was wrong and they did not do it again.

Business of Supply March 10th, 2011

Madam Speaker, the Elections Canada scandal, which we have been debating the last few days, is all about the Conservative Party overspending its limits in the 2006 campaign. In fact, only the Conservative Party had the RCMP raid its office to gather documents. No other party was charged in this situation, because the Liberal Party, the Bloc and the New Democratic Party did not overspend. This was peculiar to the 2006 election.

Since then there has been one other election, the 2008 election. There were no charges emanating against any party in the House. Clearly even the Conservatives can learn from their mistakes.

Why are the Conservatives wasting court time? Why are they wasting their donor donations on lawyers, fighting what appears to be a lost cause? Why not admit that they were wrong at the time and move on? They would not be in the mess they are in right now if they did not keep denying, acting like Richard Nixon. It is just getting them into more trouble.

Business of Supply March 10th, 2011

Madam Speaker, the government has been very carefully orchestrating, almost like a play, over the last few weeks. It is saying that it is not interested in an election. Yet, through accident, the only way to describe it, a document entitled: “Breaking Through--Building the Conservative Brand in Cultural Communities”, a Conservative ethnic paid media strategy, was delivered to the member for Edmonton—Strathcona.

In it the Conservatives clearly identify their program. They are trying to shake down riding associations in their party for a donation to the campaign. However, they do specify that the TV buy that they are talking about is pre-writ and it says “heavy deployment over two weeks starting March 15”. I presume in another few days we are going to be hearing ads on the stations on which they are advertising and the official launch is March 20 for the India cricket match.

Does the member agree that this presents a very compelling argument that the government really does want an election and it is simply working to engineer its own defeat?

Business of Supply March 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, there are 65 members who in the 2006 election spent over their limit and were able to claim rebates, illegally. This did not happen with any other party. It did not happen with the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party or the Bloc. It happened only with the Conservative Party. Interestingly enough, it did not replicate itself. It did not happen again in the election in 2008.

Why would a party whose candidates were caught red-handed five years ago continue to deny, sort of in a Nixon style, rather than try to settle? I know that it has been done in other jurisdictions. I am sure Elections Canada would be flexible enough that if a party came clean with its indiscretions, a settlement could be reached. But no, the Conservatives decided to deny, deny, deny. That has been their modus operandi in all aspects of government. At the end of the day, it is going to be their undoing. That is what I firmly believe.

I would like to ask the member whether she agrees with that.

Business of Supply March 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the member said that the motion talked about the economic action plan. If he read the motion, he would see that there is absolutely not one word on that. The economic action plan is not even mentioned in this motion.

Business of Supply March 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Clearly, the member has no intention of directing his comments to the motion at hand.

Perhaps I have to read it for him:

That this House condemn the government’s use of all the tactics and tools at its disposal to exercise unwarranted control over institutions that must remain independent of the government in order to aggressively push its conservative ideology, namely Parliament, by abusing the power to prorogue and belittling parliamentary committees—

That is what he is supposed to be directing his comments to. So far, he has not said one word that addresses this motion today.

Petitions March 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by machinists from the Air Canada overhaul base in Winnipeg. Over 500 full-time employees may be finding their jobs ending up in El Salvador. Air Canada failed in its duty to comply with the Air Canada Public Participation Act by selling its overhaul bases to Aveos, formerly known as ACTS, in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal.

On December 14, 2010, the Air Canada counsel at the transport committee claimed that Aeroman, the Aveos subsidiary in El Salvador, could not do Air Canada maintenance in El Salvador. This is totally untrue, as Aeroman performs maintenance on exactly the same aircraft as is overhauled in Winnipeg, namely the A320 series and the Embraer.

The El Salvador shops can maintain 87% of Air Canada's fleet. In a confidential J.P. Morgan information memorandum from February 2007, which attracted equity investors into the company, they detailed the expansion plan in El Salvador going from four to sixteen lines.

Just so members know, Aveos has only four lines in Vancouver, four in Montreal, one in Toronto and five in Winnipeg, for a total of fourteen. In El Salvador alone it will have 16 lines, more than all of Canada combined.

San Salvador overhauls the exact same narrow-body planes, the A320s, as Winnipeg and Montreal does. Page 28 states that the narrow-body aircraft can travel to Central America for service. The report states that aircraft overhaul schedules are months and years in advance, so it is easy to schedule the work in El Salvador.

When we consider that the machinists in Canada cost Air Canada $90 an hour and in San Salvador only $40 an hour, we can see where this is going.

Workers want Air Canada to comply with the Air Canada Public Participation Act by reverting to ownership of its overhaul centres.