House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was fishery.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Avalon (Newfoundland & Labrador)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 56% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Environment June 17th, 2019

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague across the way for his commitment to getting it right. I listened to his speech quite intently, and he was talking about the continued investment in the fossil fuel industry.

Let us say that we stop production on any fossil fuels within the next year, two years or five years. What would the member say to all of the workers involved in that industry? I am not saying that it should not be looked at, but there are thousands and thousands of people across the country employed in that industry, who maybe cannot be retrained into a tech or green type of industry.

What does the member say to those tradespeople? For me in Newfoundland and Labrador, my riding is a large riding. We talk about using electric cars. I use a gas vehicle. An electric car is no good to me; I have too far to go and nowhere to plug it in.

How do you justify saying that you have to do better? End all these subsidies right away. Let us get away from fossil fuels.

Committees of the House June 17th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I have the the honour to present, in both official languages, the following two reports of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

The first is the 25th report, entitled “Aquatic Invasive Species: A National Priority". I want to recognize the member who put this forward for study, the member for North Okanagan—Shuswap and thank him for that.

The second is the 26th report, entitled “In Hot Water—Lobster and Snow Crab in Eastern Canada”. I want to thank the members for West Nova and Egmont for putting that study forward.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to each of these two reports.

I will take this opportunity to thank all the members for their work over the past few months as we get ready to rise for the summer. I also want to thank the table staff, translators and everybody involved in making the committee work so efficiently.

Fisheries Act June 13th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, in 2012, one thing that was entrenched into the so-called changes was something called “self-assessment, that developers and contractors could self-report any damage to fish or fish habitat.

Could the minister talk about how important it is to ensure that it is not left up to people themselves to report doing something wrong? The changes to this bill would change that. To have self-assessment is like putting a fox in charge of the henhouse.

Member for Avalon June 12th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, our 42nd Parliament is soon coming to a close as we approach the federal election this fall. I want to take this time to thank the people of Avalon for allowing me the great honour of being their member of Parliament. I hope to once again earn their vote and the privilege to continue to represent them in October and well into the future.

None of us would be able to do our jobs as MPs without the support of our family and our wonderful staff, and I am pleased to have some of those people here today. My wife, Trudy, I am sure deserves a medal for putting up with me. Her love, support and patience has been unwavering. I thank Marg, Raquel and Shannon, who work in my constituency office, for making me look good each and every day. As for Vanessa, who works in my Ottawa office, all I will say is that any one of us should be so lucky as to have a person like Vanessa.

I thank each and every one of them. I would not be here without them.

Fisheries Act June 11th, 2019

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. minister for introducing this in the House today. As he said, it is time to get it done. He is right: It is time to get it done. It has been long enough.

I also want to thank the former minister as well. During the committee's review of the legislation, one thing we wanted to have enshrined in the Fisheries Act was the owner-operator policy, which I know many fishers in my province wanted to see in the Fisheries Act. As well, union representatives and organizations, such as the FFAW and FISH-NL, wanted to see that there as well.

Would the minister comment on how important it is to see that policy enshrined in the Fisheries Act?

Business of Supply June 10th, 2019

They voted against it.

Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act June 10th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, as the chair of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, I am proud to speak in support of Bill S-203, an act to amend the Criminal Code and other acts, also known as the act for ending the captivity of whales and dolphins.

I also realize that I am speaking to the bill two days after World Oceans Day. Canada has the longest coastline in the world, and this past weekend, Canadians across the country raised awareness and celebrated our magnificent oceans. I took part in two community cleanups in Conception Bay, where I live.

While our oceans are vast and full of life, we also recognize the peril many of our ocean friends and marine ecosystems face due to threats from climate change and, of course, pollution. More than ever, we must work together to ensure that our oceans are clean and healthy for the many species that call them home, and to support our communities that depend on them.

Let us imagine whales and dolphins, which are used to having the ocean as their playground or feeding ground, being put in a cage not much bigger than a large outdoor swimming pool. Let us imagine the effect this would have on their ability to survive and flourish if they ever were released again. Let us imagine ourselves being put in a room which is 10 feet by 10 feet and being told that is where we have to live out the rest of our days. It certainly would have drastic effects on anyone, or on any animal, for that matter.

The bill has been strongly supported by my constituents of Avalon, and several members of the House have also supported the bill moving forward. I would like to thank the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, who has been strongly advocating for the bill to move forward in the House, and all the other members who have spoken on the necessity of the bill for the protection of our whales and dolphins.

As many members know, the bill comes to us from the Senate, first by retired senator Wilfred Moore, who originally brought the bill forward in 2016, and then sponsored by Senator Murray Sinclair. The work of these senators cannot go without mention. I would like to thank them for their leadership when it comes to the protection of our oceans and the species that call them home.

Whales and dolphins are part of our Canadian wildlife, and we are very lucky to have them live in our waters. In Newfoundland and Labrador, whales are a major tourist attraction. We see many visitors each year and if they are not coming to see the icebergs, they are coming to see the whales.

Canadians know how important it is to preserve our marine wildlife. That is why our government is not only supporting Bill S-203, but through Bill C-68, making amendments that also strengthen the bill.

Over the years, we have come to learn more and more about the nature of whales and dolphins and the conditions required for their livelihood. Research has told us that these animals undergo an immense amount of stress when taken into captivity, and this stress persists throughout their life. That is why Canadians and this government support the bill banning the captivity of whales and dolphins.

I want to thank the House leadership team, especially the member for Waterloo, for working so hard to get the bill through the House at this time. Again, I commend the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, Senator Moore and Senator Sinclair for their leadership on the bill and this issue, which is important to so many Canadians. I support the bill and look forward to its passage.

Committees of the House June 6th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 24th report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, entitled “Bill S-238, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (importation and exportation of shark fins)”.

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendments.

I would like to thank all members of the committee and the staff for getting this done so quickly. I would like to recognize Senator MacDonald, who sponsored the bill in the other place, and of course the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam for his tenacity in getting this done in this House.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1 June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, something that comes to my mind when we talk about the budget and what we have done to help middle-class families is the Canada child benefit, which we changed when we came into power. We started to send it to people tax free. We stopped sending it to the wealthiest people.

Could the member expand on what that has meant for her riding and the people in it? In my riding of Avalon, each year approximately $48 million go to needy families, which is spend on their children and the necessities they need. It is tax free. Could she please comment on that?

Committees of the House May 28th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I thank the House for granting me leave to do this.

I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 23rd report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, entitled “Striped Bass in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and Miramichi River: Striking a Delicate Balance”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.