House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was perhaps.

Last in Parliament September 2018, as NDP MP for Burnaby South (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Resignation of Member June 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is with mixed feelings that I rise today to give my final speech here in this place.

I was elected on May 2, 2011, under the leadership of Jack Layton, who will forever live in my heart as one of the greatest political leaders Canada has ever seen. I was elected with 102 other NDP MPs. We formed the first New Democratic official opposition in the history of this country, and I am very proud of that.

The day after my election, I was called by the Kinder Morgan president, Ian Anderson, who informed me of his plans to build a new bitumen export pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby, and so began my odyssey of fighting what I view as a terrible project for my community. I will not give up. I will not give up fighting even after I leave this place, and I hope that the government sees sense and cancels this pipeline.

While my life here in Ottawa has been centred on fighting Kinder Morgan, it has been much more than that. I have made great friends, both within my own party and within others. Each time I stand to vote with my NDP colleagues, I know we are the party that fights for all Canadians, the party that exists to protect and further the interests of workers and marginalized people. I urge my fellow New Democrats to never give up and to keep working toward the day when we will form the first NDP government in Canadian history.

I have also enjoyed co-operating with others, including you, Mr. Speaker, to improve democracy. I was very grateful to members of other parties who voted for my motion to bring electronic petitioning to the House of Commons, a program in which now approximately two million Canadians have participated.

I also very much enjoyed working with those who contributed chapters to our book Turning Parliament Inside Out, and I challenge others to look for ways to make Ottawa more democratic, especially working to ensure that women come to hold 50% of the seats in this place in the not too distant future.

I wish to thank all those who have travelled with me on this journey and, of course, the voters from both Burnaby Douglas and Burnaby South, who granted me the great privilege of representing them; my current and past staff, who are second to none; the outstanding NDP staff team here in Ottawa; those who have volunteered in my campaigns; and my local executives.

Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends for always sticking by me and forgiving my absences and the stresses of this job. Most of all, I want to thank the love of my life, Dr. Jeanette Ashe, for her support, wisdom, and patience. It has been a great adventure here, but it would have been nothing if I could not share it with her.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this indulgence and for your good work in the Chair. I will miss this place very much, but I hope everyone will wish me luck in my new political adventure as I seek to become Vancouver's next mayor and bring the lessons and values I learned in this place to Vancouver City Hall.

Natural Resources June 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, while the Trans Mountain expansion project might only look like a line on a map to the natural resources minister, the impacts on those living in Metro Vancouver are real and potentially devastating to our community. That is why there is so much resistance to this project and why people are getting arrested to stop it.

The minister acknowledged his threats to use the army against protesters were reckless, so will he condemn former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge's comments that we need to somehow ”understand" people will die protesting this pipeline?

Petitions June 18th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, this is my last week in the House of Commons, and this will be my last petition that I present on stopping the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Citizens of Burnaby have signed this petition, immediately calling on the government to prevent this new pipeline from proceeding through British Columbia. They are especially upset about the risks to the environment and our local economy. The signatures really started to pick up after the natural resources minister threatened to use the army on British Columbians to force it through.

I urge the government to pay attention to this and all the other petitions I have presented on this.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 1st, 2018

With regard to the letter addressed to the Prime Minister dated November 2, 2017, from Canadian artificial intelligence experts, calling for an international ban on the weaponization of artificial intelligence: (a) when will the Prime Minister respond to the letter; (b) since Canada has not yet announced a national policy on these future weapons beyond a single sentence in “Strong, Secure, Engaged”, is the government working on a national policy and, if so, when will Parliament be consulted on this policy; and (c) what is the government doing to ensure Canadian artificial intelligence will not be utilized for the development of autonomous weapons, both domestically and in other countries?

Natural Resources April 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it looks like we have two pipeline ministers.

Today, the Government of British Columbia submitted a reference question to the B.C. Court of Appeal. It seeks to affirm its constitutional right to protect B.C. from the threat of a diluted bitumen spill.

Will the federal government join this new case? If not, why not? If so, why did the government refuse to launch its own reference case regarding federal jurisdiction in this matter?

Natural Resources April 23rd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, 26 minutes into his April 15 news conference, the Prime Minister guaranteed Canadians that construction will finally begin on the Kinder Morgan pipeline within weeks, but he needs to explain how this is possible. The company has met fewer than half of the 157 required National Energy Board conditions, one-third of the final route has not yet been approved, and now the company is begging for relief on many conditions and wants to delay detailed route hearings.

Is the Prime Minister now going to override the authority of the National Energy Board so he can force this pipeline through British Columbia?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 April 23rd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, over the last two weeks, there have been debates about pipeline construction. I am wondering if the finance minister can tell us whether he supports Alberta's legislation to throttle pipelines within that province.

The Environment April 19th, 2018

Madam Speaker, the Liberal government needs to stop threatening British Columbians and admit that the Kinder Morgan pipeline is not proceeding due to the company's own failings. I have a news flash: the pipeline construction cannot begin because Kinder Morgan has not yet received final permission from the National Energy Board. One-third of the route details have not been approved, and two days ago, Kinder Morgan formally asked the National Energy Board to delay all future route hearings, meaning final approval will not come until at least 2019. Of the 157 required National Energy Board conditions, the company has ticked only half the boxes, not even filed paperwork for 50, and been rejected by the NEB on some of its efforts, including those pertaining to caribou habitat restoration. At the provincial level, Kinder Morgan requires 1,187 permits from the B.C. government, yet the company has not even filed paperwork for 600 outstanding permissions.

Instead of threatening to use the military against British Columbian coast protectors, the Liberals should just admit that this zombie project is days away from collapse.

Natural Resources March 22nd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to new pipeline projects, in 2014, the Prime Minister stated, “Governments may be able to issue permits, but only communities can grant permission.”

My community of Burnaby, first nations governments, and the Province of British Columbia all oppose the new Kinder Morgan pipeline and do not grant permission for it to proceed. Will the Prime Minister honour his words and not force this pipeline through communities without consent?

The Budget March 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member's speech with interest. She mentioned pipelines and indigenous people and how the top priority of the Prime Minister was to re-establish and rebuild a relationship with first nations. Talk is cheap.

In my province of British Columbia, the government has approved a pipeline without the consent of first nations. The Minister of Natural Resources has even said he would use military force to facilitate the construction of this pipeline. What does the member have to say about that?

With respect to true reconciliation with first nations people, is it really her government's plan to threaten the use of force to facilitate its projects through communities without consent?