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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

Petitions March 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present today signed by residents of British Columbia in my riding of Burnaby South.

The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to immediately prevent the Kinder Morgan pipeline from being built through their community. Dozens of people are being arrested in an effort to try to stop this pipeline, and many of them have signed the petition.

I am calling on the government to make sure it pays attention to this petition and to make sure it answers my constituents.

Health March 2nd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, this week we all saw what could be the fastest-ever Liberal broken promise. The government has clarified it will now just study, not implement, pharmacare, and any future program will not be universal, public, or free. Now the finance minister is facing conflict-of-interest allegations on his fake pharmacare proposal because of his link with Morneau Shepell, Canada's largest benefits consultancy provider.

Will the finance minister recuse himself from any pharmacare discussions because of this serious apparent conflict of interest?

Kinder Morgan Pipeline March 1st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have been in this place since 2011 speaking out against Kinder Morgan's plan to build a new bitumen pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby.

I have warned the Prime Minister that there will be dire consequences if he continues with his plan to ram this pipeline through communities and unceded first nations territories without consent. I have warned the natural resources minister that his threats to use the military against British Columbians will only serve to deepen the intensity of the opposition. Unfortunately, this is all coming true.

A recent Insights West poll found 10% of British Columbians were willing to engage in civil disobedience to stop this pipeline. That is tens of thousands of people who are willing to be arrested to stop Kinder Morgan, and it is coming soon.

In a few days, indigenous communities impacted by Kinder Morgan are beginning what they deem front-line resistance along the pipeline route and pledge to do “whatever it takes” to stop Kinder Morgan, including mass mobilization on March 10.

It is madness for the government to continue with its support for this pipeline. I urge it to stop.

Business of Supply February 12th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We are having an incredibly important debate today on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. As much as I enjoy the Olympics, the parliamentary secretary should be concentrating on that. I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to ask her to move to that topic.

Business of Supply February 12th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the natural resources minister was provided an opportunity to say whether he would use the military or police to push this pipeline through British Columbia. He previously said publicly that he could not guarantee he would not do that. The Minister of Infrastructure and Communities just did the same thing. When asked directly whether he would use the army or police, he went a little further and hinted that he would.

I am wondering if my hon. colleague could comment on that and what he thinks of these two very disturbing statements.

Business of Supply February 12th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources, in 2016, stood in front of a number of business leaders and said that he was willing to use the military and police forces to push this pipeline through British Columbia. I challenged him earlier in this House to guarantee British Columbians that he would never do that. I challenge this minister to do the same. Will he guarantee British Columbians that he will not use the military or police forces to ram this pipeline through our beautiful province?

Business of Supply February 12th, 2018

Madam Speaker, the company's web page is incredibly informative when it comes to describing this project. The web page says there will be 90 new jobs after this pipeline is built, 50 in British Columbia. One could open a White Spot restaurant and have more jobs in B.C.

I agree that the impact from this project would be different on Alberta, but, for British Columbia, the province I have been elected to represent and where my constituents are clearly saying there would be no benefits for them, it is my job to stand up in the House and say that. When the minister threatens to use the military against them, I also have to stand up and defend them from that.

Members on that side of the House are being unrealistic. They are not conscious of what will be coming if they try to force this pipeline through.

Business of Supply February 12th, 2018

Madam Speaker, sitting in this place makes one want to weep at times.

I just said there is plan for massive civil disobedience in my community on March 10. That member stated a bunch of rhetorical talking points because he is scared to answer the question of whether he is prepared to use military force to stop this.

What is this place for? It is bizarre that we are not talking about the core part of this debate. It is very discouraging.

Business of Supply February 12th, 2018

Madam Speaker, perhaps the member missed my point. We have to get beyond rhetoric. We have to see what is happening on the ground. There is a call for mass civil disobedience starting on March 10 in my community. This is real. This is well advertised. This is coming.

We have to get beyond rhetoric. We have to get out of the Ottawa bubble and see what this means to communities.

Business of Supply February 12th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Conservatives for putting this motion forward, because this is a debate that we are not having in the House of Commons. Nothing proves the theory of the Ottawa bubble more than our discussions about the Trans Mountain pipeline. We hear rhetoric, basically concerns about a line on a map, that does not look at the communities that are affected, so I invite the House to think about this project from the ground up rather than from Ottawa down.

This proposed project is 980 kilometres of new pipeline, much of which would go along another route, although the company has tried to disguise this and calls it “twinning”. It is new pipeline that would cross under the Fraser River and is a completely new route through Burnaby. This is a new pipeline. It carries bitumen, not for local use but for export, and the export is mostly to the United States. China has said over and over again that it cannot process this product. The only refineries that can handle this are in Texas.

The current TMX pipeline exports about 25% of what comes down the pipe. Where does it go? It all goes to California. There is so much rhetoric that is hard to counter because the pipeline companies and their consortiums put out false information.

There is something that trumps flashy commercials on television, and that is our Constitution that is also the law of our land. In British Columbia, although it seems beyond notice here, almost all of the territory in British Columbia is unceded. There are no treaties in British Columbia, so that makes negotiations with first nations very different. Although we hear lots of rhetoric about how many first nations have been consulted and how many have agreements, it only takes one nation to stop this pipeline.

This pipeline goes through about 80 different territories, and there are overlapping claims, but not all nations and people within the territories have signed off on this pipeline, not by a long shot. This pipeline also goes through first nations reserves. These are the last places for many first nations territories that were almost obliterated by colonialism, so there is a lot of anger and a sense of betrayal. When this pipeline was first built in the 1950s, first nations people could not vote or hire lawyers. The reason the pipeline was put through reserves in the first place was because it was the easiest place to put it. We can imagine having a pipeline put through our backyards without being able to hire a lawyer or participate in the process to get it built. There is a lot of residual anger over this, and I feel it is warranted.

The existing pipeline that goes through first nations reserves and territories, as well as many municipalities, has leaked a great deal. On the company's own website, we can see that 40,000 barrels have already leaked out of the existing pipeline. There was a very big spill in my community in 2007, and all along the route, if anyone would care to look, which no one usually does. This pipeline has already leaked. Therefore, we know the new pipeline will also leak, as they do all over the place. There is concern. These are not a bunch of hippies saying they do not want a pipeline; these people are concerned about their community.

I see how this project is going to go. In 2014, there were thousands of people on Burnaby Mountain when Kinder Morgan went into a conservation area without permission. These people placed their bodies in such a way as to prevent any future work. There were 125 people arrested. Gary Mason, from The Globe and Mail, likes to call these people professional protesters, but it shows that he is also out of touch. I was on the mountain. I went there 10 times. I crossed police lines to make sure that people were safe.

The people crossing the lines were local property owners, school teachers, university professors, hairdressers, regular people. The debate here has tried to taint normal people, people with property rights. In other cases, I am sure the Conservatives would fight for them, but, in this case, they seem keen to ram this project through. I am pleading with the House to look at it from the perspective of the people in the communities through which this pipeline would pass and to not believe what the companies are telling them.

The day after I was elected in 2011, I was called by Kinder Morgan. I have met with the company four times. I told them that I did not think the pipeline would ever get built. They walked me through the plan. I also said not only would the pipeline not get built, they would have to clean up the existing pipeline which leaks so much.

The current buzz in the media is the fight between Alberta and British Columbia, or really between Canada and British Columbia. British Columbia has said it is going to study the effects of bitumen, and well it should. I spoke to the environment minister. He is very well aware of the Royal Society of Canada report from 2014, which has many questions about the properties of bitumen. The natural resources minister has been wheeling out one scientist who has non peer-reviewed research that says it floats in certain conditions, but this is the Royal Society, which I think had about 30 prominent scientists on its panel. This is not a science-driven approach to pipeline building, because they are ignoring the Royal Society report.

There are many things wrong with how this pipeline has been approved and what people in the House are saying will occur if it is built.

The Province of British Columbia is right to conduct these studies and hearings, and it is right to protect its constitutional jurisdiction. That is what all provincial governments should do. However, I am afraid of the rhetoric in the House and in the media.

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for New Westminster—Burnaby.

I am very concerned about something that no one in the House is talking about. That is what I saw in 2014 on Burnaby Mountain. I have evidence that I would be happy to table in the House, polling information and other information. People who are opposed to this pipeline do not believe in the process anymore. They have written their petitions. They have sent their letters. They have marched in their protests. They say that no one is protecting their interests. Where does this take us? It takes us to a very familiar route in British Columbia, which is civil disobedience. This makes me very nervous. It keeps me up at night. I think it is not being looked at seriously in the House of Commons.

We have a lot of rhetoric from this side, and that is why I asked the minister if he is prepared to back up his previous statement and say he is prepared to use the defence forces and police forces in order to push the pipeline through British Columbia. I plead with him, I plead with the government, not to consider this.

Since being elected in 2011, I have talked to all sides. I have talked to CAPP, Kinder Morgan, all pipeline companies, provincial ministers, both Liberal and New Democrats. I feel that this part of the debate is being left aside and we are in a bit of a denial as to what would occur. What does it look like when we put a new pipeline, carrying 600,000 barrels a day over 980 kilometres, through communities that do not want it?

The minister, I think flippantly, boastfully, and with arrogance, said at a meeting that he would be prepared to use defence and police forces in order to push this through. However, we should think about what that would look like. We have reserve land where they do not want the pipeline. If we put bulldozers in, we are putting the workers in danger.

The minister said that we will use the military to make sure the pipeline gets built. It is irresponsible. No one here is talking about that, and they need to. A core part of this debate has to be about section 2 of the Emergencies Act and whether either side of the House is purporting that we use that. This is probably one of the most serious decisions we have to make in this Parliament.

I thank the Conservatives for bringing the motion forward, even though I do not agree with it and I will be voting against it. However, we need to have this debate, and the government has to make its intentions clear.