House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was money.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply March 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We have vigorous debates in the House and from time to time things get out of hand. I would ask the hon. member to please retract the statement she just made, because she just gave a long diatribe of complete untruths to the House and to the Canadian public. I will give her a chance to retract her statement.

Business of Supply March 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the in and out issue here. A larger issue that voters may want to know about is that of third party advertising, where groups were encouraged to give large sums of money to support Conservative candidates across the country, which created a massive uneven playing field. If that does not violate the law, it certainly violates it in spirit.

Given the member's current position, does she not think that one of the government's top priorities has to be a plan to get back to balanced budgets? The Liberal Party did that when we were in power. Would the member not agree that her government should lay out to the Canadian public a deficit reduction plan to get the country's finances back into a surplus as soon as possible?

Retirement Congratulations March 4th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, in a few days, André Boivin, our Assistant Deputy Sergeant at Arms, who is sitting at the back of the House, will be retiring after 37 years of service, 31 of them here in Parliament.

André began his career as a police officer with the Vanier police department.

He was awarded the medal of bravery for courageously diving into freezing water to save the life of a man who had jumped into the river in an attempt to commit suicide.

Mr. Boivin's most enduring legacy, apart from his extraordinary length of service, is the love and respect that his colleagues have for him. This was earned through his kindness and compassion, his dedication as a public servant and his outstanding leadership.

On behalf of all members in the House of Commons and the people of Canada, I extend our deep gratitude to André for his dedicated service to this institution and to Canada. May he have a long and enjoyable retirement doing stone masonry work and riding his collector T-Bird through the highways and byways of our great country.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act March 4th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have a few questions.

I know where the minister is coming from on this, but the message he is giving to the public on how he is going to protect citizens in a number of circumstances perplexes me. The first is protecting the citizen who is engaging in a false arrest. The second is protecting the person who is being falsely arrested, Does he not think he is encouraging an environment for vigilantism? Also, how does the person engaging in the arrest of a citizen know what reasonable force is?

The minister mentioned that a person could do this when a police officer was not around. However, does this not run counter to what the police are telling individuals, that they should be very careful in trying to engage in an arrest when individuals possibly engaging in criminal activity could use force and hurt the person trying to intervene? We have seen many cases where this has happened.

I would be very interested to learn how the minister is going to deal with those issues under those circumstances.

Abolition of Early Parole Act February 15th, 2011

Madam Speaker, Quebec has done some innovative work in crime prevention. Some of the work has taken place in Montreal. In our province of British Columbia, Dr. Clyde Hertzman has also done some great work.

We see the challenges of members of the prison population. They have committed crimes, but we want to prevent that from happening and we want to reduce the prison population.

Some of the work in Montreal has been really outstanding, particularly in drug policy, as has happened in the University of British Columbia with Dr. Julio Montaner at the Centre for Excellence.

I have a question for my colleague. Should the government not adopt science-based principles that work to reduce crime, thereby reduce victims and save taxpayer money? By doing that, there is a virtuous cycle that we will not eliminate all crimes, but the government has it within its hands to dramatically reduce the amount of criminality within our society, save taxpayer money and reduce the number of victims. Should the government not be adopting those principles, policies and investments that actually work and ultimately achieve the goals of the government?

Abolition of Early Parole Act February 15th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his defence of a position that most people in the House can actually support because it is based on fact.

My colleague raised the issue of Mr. Gingrich in the United States and the fact that all of us are in favour of reducing crime. However, in terms of cost benefit, one of the most effective and science-based approaches to reducing the number of criminals, reducing the number of victims and reducing crime is through early learning programs.

In Ypsilanti, Michigan, there is more than a 35-year experience with the head start program that showed that for youth crime there was a 60% reduction in youth crime, massive declines in welfare rates and improved access and outcomes in school. All of those work dramatically and effectively to reduce crime and the cost is merely a fraction of what it takes to incarcerate somebody, which can be anywhere upward of $120,000 a year for somebody in a maximum security prison.

The government literally annihilated a plan that we had put forward, which was signed with the provinces, for an early learning head start program. Will the hon. member comment on the effectiveness of early learning programs from the prenatal stage to age five, which, I might add, would also address one of the major problems that we have in jail, which is the issue of fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects?

Would my colleague inform the government that it would be well advised, for the safety of the public and for the wise use of the public purse, to support a national early learning head start program?

Abolition of Early Parole Act February 15th, 2011

Madam Speaker, on a point of order, it is one thing to have a constructive discourse in this hallowed hall, but it is another thing entirely to utterly misrepresent the positions of another party and to tell untruths.

I ask the hon. member to retract the statements he has made. He is misrepresenting this party. He is telling untruths to the public and he is doing a disservice to his party, our country and this House.

Ensuring Safe Vehicles Imported from Mexico for Canadians Act December 6th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague comes from a city where organized crime has taken root, as it has across our country. It is a very serious problem in her city, as it is for all of us.

Does my colleague think that the Government of Canada should be taking a much more intelligent view with respect to crime, particularly organized crime? It is not doing as much as it ought to be doing to address organized crime, which is a very serious problem.

Police agencies, particularly the RCMP, try very hard to deal with this problem. They are labouring under some fairly archaic rules and regulations. One thing the government could do is work with the RCMP more closely and ask front-line officers what they need to conduct proper, effective investigations to build cases against these individuals and bring them to trial.

Does my friend think that the Government of Canada should be taking a smarter view to deal with crime? Does she think that one thing it could be doing is listening to the grassroots RCMP officers on the ground about the challenges they are facing and deal with their unmet needs?

Ensuring Safe Vehicles Imported from Mexico for Canadians Act December 6th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my colleague a question that relates to trafficking of cars, which is often related to organized crime gangs and trafficking of drugs. These are products that organized crime gangs use to generate funds for their illicit activities.

There is an enormous need for the government to work more closely with the not only the RCMP in Canada with the RCMP but also with Interpol to deal with the trafficking and activities of organized crime gangs.

One of the issues is the sharing of information. Interpol has indicated that it would like Canada to take a much greater role, to work with Interpol to share information. Only by sharing information will we be able to have a more effective approach to dealing with the transnational organized crime gangs that are so parasitic in our world.

This is not only a role which we can do with Interpol, but also internationally, with Canada taking a lead role and trying to encourage other members of Interpol to work more closely together with the information sharing aspect.

Does my colleague think we should ask our government to take this opportunity to work more closely with Interpol and help it overcome some of the structural barriers it has in being able to be a more effective agent to deal with organized crime gangs?

Ensuring Safe Vehicles Imported from Mexico for Canadians Act December 6th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I have two questions for my colleague. First, does he not think there are better standards that could be applied for vehicle emissions that could be utilized?

Second, does he not believe that vehicle emissions standards could be done in a way that would provide better North American standards for our country as well as for the United States and Mexico?