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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was billion.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Scarborough Centre (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 32% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Jobs and Economic Growth Act April 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I listened very carefully to the member for Trinity—Spadina.

The member talked about specific things, for example, affordable child care, public transit, affordable housing and student financial support. I agree with her. However, I am not going to stand up and criticize the Conservative government. It has an agenda. That is what it does.

I want to ask this hon. member a very simple question. If, indeed, she believes in this stuff, then why did the NDP betray Canadians in 2005 when there was a deal for child care?

We had the program and the provinces signed on. There was money for public transit and the provinces signed on. There was money for affordable housing, $1.3 billion. There was money for students.

Today, if these groups do not have money, the NDP members should be ashamed of themselves because they betrayed Canadians. They were in cahoots with the new government and good for them, but I do not blame the government for what it is doing. It told us what it would do. The NDP just simply agreed.

If the member does not like these cuts, it is her party's doing. How is she going to answer to the voters who support her?

Jobs and Economic Growth Act April 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the government seems to be either biased or very discriminatory when it comes to infrastructure or RInC applications. In my riding the Greek community has been snowed out. Could the member elaborate on why the Conservatives are being biased? Also, regarding carbon capture technology, what is the government's investment in comparison to other countries?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 15th, 2010

With regard to the Building Canada Fund: (a) what projects are being funded; (b) what federal electoral district is each project located in; (c) who applied for the funding for each project; and (d) what is the exact amount of money allocated to each project?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 14th, 2010

With regard to the Knowledge Infrastructure Program: (a) what projects are being funded; (b) in what federal electoral district is each project located; (c) who applied for the funding for each project; and (d) what is the exact amount of money allocated to each project?

Jobs and Economic Growth Act April 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the bank executives earning money, we should leave that up to the shareholders.

Does the member agree, given that this bill we are debating today is a jobs and economic growth bill, that the banks, even though there has been no move from the central bank, have the right to start jacking up interest rates? Does the member think it is right that with this bill the Conservative government is bringing in an EI employer-employee tax of over $13 billion? Will that help stimulate job growth and the economy?

Jobs and Economic Growth Act April 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, a quick comment on the same point of order. When we come to this Chamber, there is a specific issue. In the 17 years that I have been so blessed and fortunate to be here, we have shown that flexibility. I would hope that all of us, myself included, would show that respect to everyone when we stand up and speak. Sometimes we tend to go off to make a point. I would ask that we not interrupt each other. That is basically all I am asking for.

Jobs and Economic Growth Act April 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, as I said in my remarks earlier, it is sneaking in new rules in the budget legislation. Those are not my words. Those are words printed by the pundits and the media. In essence, this is a tactic or strategy of the government. It is always sneaking things in.

That is why two out of three Canadians in two elections did not vote for those people. First, they are scared. Second, they do not trust them. That is why they are not giving them a mandate. It has turned out once again, by some of the tactics that the hon. gentleman referred to, that they are sneaking things in like the airport tax, for example, just out of the blue.

Simply put, Canadians do not trust the Prime Minister or the government. That is why the Conservatives cannot get a mandate.

Jobs and Economic Growth Act April 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the question allows me to go back and remind Canadians that there was a formula between 1993 and 2006 that worked for Canadians. There was job growth and economic prosperity. We eliminated the deficits and lowered the debts. We somehow found a balance.

As we were generating those surpluses, we were doing it in a balanced way. The Conservatives are using our words, “balanced way”. We were saying one-third for personal tax reduction, one-third for corporate tax reduction and one-third in the programs that Canadians want us to invest in, such as health care, housing, the environment and our international obligations.

If we use that type of methodology or approach, we really cannot go wrong. That is what I believe and what my party is advocating.

Jobs and Economic Growth Act April 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I think our leader was very clear that we were going to just freeze it. He could not have made it any clearer. I know there is direction from the Conservative government to keep reducing from 18, as he pointed out, down to 15. That is not what our leader said. He said that we will leave it at that level. We will provide the opportunity for economic growth and stimulus.

All Canadians, and I personally, believe that companies must be in a healthy state. They need to generate revenue. That is how they hire people. That is how they reinvest in new equipment, retooling and expansion. They need to generate revenue. If they do not generate revenue, they will simply close their doors and lay people off and people will be unemployed. My parents raised me to go out there and work for a living, not to work for employment insurance.

In order for me and my generation to continue doing that, we need to have healthy corporate status out there. That is my view.

Jobs and Economic Growth Act April 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to voting for the budget, one thing I will guarantee this gentleman and one thing I will guarantee Canadians is that I will not use emotion to vote for this budget, but I will use logic.

I will vote against this budget and my party will vote against it in a responsible way because the last thing our country today needs is to be put into election chaos. The last thing we need to do is blow another $600 million or $700 million, if not $1 billion, for the sake of what?

Canadians today have told us very clearly, without any ambiguity, they do not want an election. So, it is incumbent upon us to be responsible and ensure that we keep the current government to account and we point out its problems, its shortcomings, and try to correct them. We do not want an election for the sake of wanting an election.

With respect to CANDU, I have the greatest of respect. I am glad at least it is in Canadian hands and not in other countries. Are there mistakes? There is no perfection out there. The point is, let us identify those problems and let us move toward correcting them.