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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was regard.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Windsor—Tecumseh (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 50% of the vote.

Statements in the House

National Defence April 5th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, it would be really nice if we just stayed on topic.

It would be nice to see the Conservatives take responsibility for this fiasco and to see the ministers show some regret or remorse. The F-35 debacle did not just happen on its own.

Will there be any consequences at all for those who deliberately gave inaccurate information to this Parliament and to Canadians?

National Defence April 5th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, is that not typical, again no responsibility and no true information coming to this House.

The government is dumping it over to an F-35 office, and it has already been found by the Auditor General that those people did not do due diligence.

What the Canadian people want is value for money. They want a plane where the specifications have not been rigged in advance. They want a government that actually takes responsibility for its failure.

What is wrong with having a competition? Why will the government not hold a simple, open competition to replace the F-18s?

National Defence April 5th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has identified a never-ending litany of problems with the F-35 program: Ministers failed to be accountable and key departments failed at their jobs.

This morning, the Auditor General said that the responsibility for the misleading information that came to this House about the cost laid directly in the cabinet of the Conservative government.

Will the Prime Minister stand today in this House and tell us whether in fact the cabinet knew what the true costs were going to be for the F-35s?

Criminal Code April 3rd, 2012

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-414, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals).

Madam Speaker, this private member's bill deals with an issue that is scandalous in that it was not put into law many years ago. This bill, in a somewhat different form, has been through this House twice and then stopped, once by prorogation and another time by the Senate.

The bill is quite straightforward. It is to address the reality that our criminal law dealing with animal cruelty has not been changed for over 100 years. This bill would bring us into the 21st century where other countries, which I would argue from a criminal justice standpoint are not nearly as advanced as Canada is, have moved on this issue.

The bill would do two basic things. It first recognizes that animals are sentient beings as opposed to a piece of wood or a piece of furniture, which is the way the Criminal Code currently treats them. The other thing that it would do has a very clear consequence. The number of convictions for animal cruelty would increase dramatically under the Criminal Code. We have estimates that only one in a thousand cases of animal cruelty can result in convictions under the Criminal Code, and this would address that issue.

It is a bill that I have worked on for a very long time and this is the third time I have had it as a private member's bill. It has been before this House for well over a decade and still has not become law.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Criminal Code April 3rd, 2012

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-413, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (judicial discretion).

Madam Speaker, this is a fairly straightforward bill to amend the Criminal Code. It is a provision that first appeared in the English criminal justice system.

Given the role that the government has played in increasingly dumping more mandatory minimums on to our judicial system, it is a way of moving back to what should be the case in this country, which is allowing each conviction and sentencing to be dealt with on the facts before the court at the time. What England did was to give to its judiciary the discretion to override mandatory minimums in appropriate cases, and that is what this private member's bill would do.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Points of Order April 2nd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I would ask you, in particular when you are looking at today's statement, to take into account the statement that was made last Thursday. How can a member possibly call someone a hug-a-thug and say that is about his philosophical underpinnings or about a policy issue? It is not. It is a personal attack. It is name-calling at its basest level. Therefore, I would ask you to look at both the statements, not just the one today.

Points of Order April 2nd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, earlier today, you interrupted the statement that was being presented by the member for Mississauga—Brampton South. As there is some confusion, I am asking for some indication from the Chair as to how you intend to handle this.

Mr. Speaker, you will recall that last week the member for Toronto—Danforth had raised a point of order with regard to the statement, again presented by the same member on the government side, in terms of the nature of the statement being a personal attack on him, which is a violation of the long-standing tradition of this House and any number of Houses in the Westminster system, and more specifically, it is in violation of the rulings of your predecessor, Mr. Milliken in the last Parliament where he ruled that personal attacks against other members during the course of an S. O. 31 statement is improper.

We are not clear, Mr. Speaker, whether in fact, by cutting her off today, you were expressing your intent as to your ruling or when we might expect a determination from you on the point of order that was raised by the member for Toronto—Danforth last week.

Business of the House March 29th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, before I go to the question, I have a point to make. As we know, we will have the budget later today. What we have seen repeatedly is a breach of the long-standing tradition of the Westminster Parliament of not putting out in advance information that is in the budget. However, we have seen it repeatedly done by the government, not just in this budget but in prior ones.

My first question for the government House leader is whether that will be a continued practice and, if it is, why do the Conservatives not just do away with the sham of any confidentiality around the budget.

My next question is this. Could the government House leader confirm which four days will be dedicated to debate the budget? We have had various indications from him. If he could, we would ask that he be more specific at this time, assuming that it will start tomorrow.

Also, the government should accept the fact, as expressed by all Canadians, that Bill C-31 would dismantle our immigration and refugee protection policies and that the minister obviously does not understand the impact of that legislation.

Can the hon. member opposite confirm that the government is dropping that bill, yes or no?

We also have Bill C-30 outstanding, which is the so-called lawful access bill. It was up for debate at some point but it seems to have disappeared off the radar, along with Bill C-4. Both of them are quite misguided pieces of legislation. I am wondering if the House leader can tell us if the government will go ahead with these bills or come to its senses and either send them back for rewriting or just drop them completely.

Finally, there is a motion, which all parties in this Parliament accepted, with regard to the voter suppression scandal and it calls on the government to rapidly look at amendments to various pieces of legislation that would prevent that type of scandal and abuse of the democratic process from happening in the future. Is the government proceeding with any legislation and, if so, when will we see it?

National Defence March 16th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the 700 complaints came from Canadians, not from New Democrats.

The Conservatives have also been careless and haphazard with the F-35 file.

The Conservatives have really messed up the plan to replace the CF-18s. The Auditor General is about to release a report confirming that the Minister of National Defence misled Parliament on the subject of the F-35s. That is very serious.

Has the government seen the report—we know that it has—and did it mislead Parliament?

41st General Election March 16th, 2012

If that were only true, Mr. Speaker.

Here are the facts: Elections Canada received 700 legitimate complaints concerning fraudulent calls. People whom the Conservatives had previously identified as non-supporters were called back and told to go to the wrong place. That is a system. The Conservative government cannot deny it. Blaming the Liberals is not good enough.

When will there be a public inquiry to uncover the details of systematic electoral fraud?