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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 November 1st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from residents of Burnaby South, and of course, residents all across British Columbia. The petition is entitled “Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline is not in our national interest”.

The petitioners go on to list that they are opposed to increased tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet as well as that bitumen is very hard to clean up. They are especially upset because Kinder Morgan has installed anti-salmon spawning nets and fencing all across rivers in British Columbia. Kinder Morgan has not removed this fencing, and the petitioners are calling on the government to make sure it is removed. I call on the government to make sure it takes action.

Petitions October 30th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from constituents all over British Columbia. The petition is entitled “Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipeline is not in our 'national interest'”. The petitioners are strongly opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline, mainly because of the extra tankers that will come through our waters and the fact that bitumen is very difficult to clean up. The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to reject the expansion of the proposed pipeline and to have a national energy plan. They also stand in solidarity with those who were arrested this weekend.

Natural Resources October 27th, 2017

Madam Speaker, Kinder Morgan plans a massive expansion of its Burnaby Mountain oil tank farm.

The project poses serious risks to the environment and the surrounding population, which includes Simon Fraser University. Local residents, the university, and the City of Burnaby all oppose the expansion because they believe the risks are just too high.

This week local residents wrote a letter to the Minister of Public Safety demanding that he suspend the project until his department undertakes a thorough and public review.

Will he listen to British Columbians and immediately order this review?

Science October 24th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, one of the first actions taken by the Minister of Science was to recruit Professor David Naylor to review federal science funding. That is a great move. Our leader, Jagmeet Singh, who has a degree in biology, supports the Naylor report, as does most of Canada's scientific community.

Can the minister tell us how many of the 35 report recommendations the government intends to implement, and most importantly, will it bring forward legislation to establish an independent national advisory council on research and innovation?

Diwali October 19th, 2017

Mr Speaker, Diwali is the festival of lights, signifying the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Diwali represents a time of new beginnings, optimism and renewal.

Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists around the world, including in my riding of Burnaby South. During this special time, families, friends and communities come together to celebrate, enjoy entertainment and of course enjoy delicious food.

In Canada, celebrating Diwali enriches our multicultural society as people of different ancestries and religions take time to share their traditions and contribute to Canada's ever growing diversity.

On behalf of my NDP colleagues, for all those celebrating Diwali across Canada, I wish them and their families happiness, prosperity, and peace.

Diwali mubarak. Happy Diwali.

Housing October 17th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, last week I met with residents of the Post 83 Co-operative in my riding, and they are very worried. Forty-five families could lose their homes when the federal government pulls funding from co-operative housing next year.

Given the looming expiry of co-operative operating agreements across Canada, will the government agree to make this funding permanent and protect the housing for low- and middle-income residents?

Oil Tanker Moratorium Act October 4th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to my colleague's speech. I agree with her that this moratorium is a good idea. However, all the facts she is reading out actually apply to the south coast as well. If we have a bitumen spill in the waters right off her riding, there will be devastation to all kinds of recreational areas and areas that are worked by local first nations.

How does the member square the circle? How can she and all her colleagues from British Columbia stand with the Prime Minister while he approves the Kinder Morgan pipeline, while there are 19 court cases now pending, many from first nations that do not want this, while tens of thousands of British Columbians say that they do not want the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and while the British Columbia government says that it will use every tool in the tool box to stop this pipeline? How can she square the circle?

How can she say the facts in her speech about this northern gateway pipeline, agree with the moratorium, and then turn around, with her B.C. colleagues, and support the Kinder Morgan pipeline?

Oil Tanker Moratorium Act October 4th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I feel pretty lucky today, because the other day when the minister was making his speech, I was in the House and I happened to be able to ask him a question. It appears that I am going to be one of the few who are going to be able to ask a question of the government, because it is shutting down debate.

The problem with that is that I asked the minister a question, and he deliberately evaded it. I represent a west coast constituency that has the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline set to run through it. We are talking about protection of the west coast.

What the minister would not answer was whether or not he agreed with his colleague that the army should be used to ram this pipeline through British Columbia. I am giving the minister a second chance now to answer that question. Is he going to use the defence forces to ram the Kinder Morgan pipeline through communities and through first nations reserves against the will of British Columbians?

Oil Tanker Moratorium Act October 2nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, protecting B.C.'s coast is very important to all of us, but British Columbians have perhaps a different idea of protecting our coast.

This minister was part of a cabinet that approved and signed off on the Kinder Morgan pipeline that runs to our west coast and to which this moratorium does not apply.

A minister within that cabinet, the natural resources minister, said that he would send in the army to facilitate the construction of that pipeline. I wonder if this minister agrees. Is he willing to violate the rights of British Columbians in order to build pipelines to the west coast?

Further, the Union of British Columbia Chiefs has said it has 25,000 people signed up to protest, using any means possible. I wonder if this minister feels comfortable using army and defence forces to arrest first nations people on reserves just for trying to protect our coast.

Indigenous Affairs September 28th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, this summer I had the pleasure of visiting the Coldwater reserve near Merritt, British Columbia. Chief Lee Spahan showed me where the existing Trans Mountain pipeline cuts through the reserve and its water supply. He reminded me that this pipeline, now owned by Kinder Morgan, is a strong symbol of our colonial past. It was rammed through Coldwater and other reserves in the 1950s, when indigenous people were prohibited by law from voting in elections or hiring lawyers.

Yesterday the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the federal government failed in its duty to protect the interests of the Coldwater band by granting new land access rights based on old, unjust colonial arrangements, thus jeopardizing Kinder Morgan's future pipeline expansion plans.

The Prime Minister portrays himself as the champion of reconciliation. A reconciliation champion would not appeal this ruling. A reconciliation champion would not contemplate using the army to force new pipelines through reserves by arresting first nation people and their allies. A true reconciliation champion would reverse the decision on Kinder Morgan.