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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was forestry.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Thunder Bay—Rainy River (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions May 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls on the Government of Canada to reverse the cuts and services announced by Canada Post and to instead look for ways to innovate in areas such as postal banking. It is signed by constituents from the riding of Kenora.

Petitions May 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have three sets of petitions. The first petition calls on the government to restore funding and to reopen Veterans Affairs Canada offices. It is signed by my constituents from Fort Frances.

Folklore Festival May 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, I was pleased to attend Thunder Bay's 41st annual Folklore Festival. This world tour of nations highlights our multicultural diversity and showcases the wonderful, tolerant, and supportive residents of Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario.

There were two days of fabulous entertainment, including traditional dance groups from Bangladeshi, Chinese, Japanese, Scottish, Irish, Portuguese, Indian, Caribbean, first nations, and Filipino communities.

There was the Community Arts and Heritage Education Project, the ever popular Macgillivray Pipe Band, and of course the Zorya and Chaban Ukrainian dance groups.

Special thanks to Walid Chahal, president of the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association, and to Folklore Festival chair Jim Squier, and to the volunteers, sponsors, exhibitors, and artists who have done Thunder Bay proud yet again.

Forestry Industry May 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Resolute Forest Products is closing its paper mill in Fort Frances after a century of operation, which is a devastating blow for workers, families, and our local economy.

Canada has lost over 134,000 jobs in the forestry sector since the Conservatives came to power; almost 30,000 jobs in northern Ontario alone.

Why have Conservatives stubbornly rejected the NDP's call for a national forestry strategy, rejected a permanent adjustment fund for communities hit by these losses, and rejected greater pension and severance security for all Canadian workers? Why?

Petitions April 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise and present two petitions. The petitioners are asking that the sexual preferences of people not be an instant refusal of their right to donate blood and blood products. They are asking the government to return the right of any healthy Canadian to give the gift of blood, bone marrow, and organs to those in need. They point out that no matter their race, religion, or sexual preference, the right to give blood or donate organs is universal to any healthy man or woman.

Petitions April 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to bring forward this petition, signed by constituents of mine from Fort Francis and Rainy River and also some constituents from the riding of Kenora. They are calling on the government to restore program and administrative funding to Veterans Affairs Canada and to reopen the Veterans Affairs Canada offices in Thunder Bay, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor, Sydney, Charlottetown, Corner Brook, and Prince George.

Petitions April 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present three petitions, all on the same subject matter. They call on the government to reinstate the federal funding that allowed for the operation of the Algoma Central Railway. These petitions are signed by residents of northern Ontario from Wawa, Manitouwadge, and Sault Ste. Marie.

The Algoma Central Railway provides the sole point of access for many businesses, homes, and communities along its route, and cancelling this railway would be damaging to the economy, the health and safety, and the accessibility of residents of northern Ontario.

Petitions April 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of petitioners from Sault Ste. Marie, Thessalon, and Wawa, who are concerned that the government is cancelling the federal funding for the Algoma Central Railway.

This railway is the sole point of access for many businesses, homes, and communities along its route. Cancelling the funding for this railway would be damaging to the economy, health and safety, and accessibility of the area.

Petitions March 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition signed by many people in Northern Ontario who are trying to save the Algoma Central Railway. It is a very important part of Northern Ontario, particularly around Sault Ste. Marie. It is the sole point of access for many businesses, homes, and communities along the route. The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to reinstate the federal funding that allowed for the operation of the Algoma Central Railway.

Democratic Reform March 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the minister talks as if the only solution to eliminate fraud is to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters. All he needs to do is to simplify the vouching paperwork. Mr. Maynard said it, Jean-Pierre Kingsley said it, and Mr. Neufeld said it.

When will the minister realize that voters are not the problem in our electoral system? When will he understand that blocking my constituents in Thunder Bay—Rainy River and thousands of other Canadians from voting will not solve anything?