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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is liberal.

Liberal MP for Winnipeg North (Manitoba)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 69% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Life Means Life Act June 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I apologize for the interruption of the member's speech.

At this point, there have been some consultations among the parties in the House, and if you seek it I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, at 2:30 p.m., the House not adjourn and instead be suspended until 3:30 p.m. or until a Minister rises on a point of order for the purpose of seeking unanimous consent to move a motion, whichever is earlier.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 186 to 188 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions on the Order Paper June 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 185 and 189.

The Environment June 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by many constituents of Winnipeg North. They are calling on the government to specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act so that the provincial and territorial governments will be entitled to funds under the Canada health transfer system to provide accessible hospice palliative care to all residents of Canada in their respective provinces and territories.

It is obviously something the petitioners truly believe is important to our health care providers.

Government Response to Petitions June 17th, 2016

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to seven petitions.

Income Tax Act June 17th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I totally disagree with the member. This middle-class tax cut is going to provide tax relief to over nine million Canadians, hundreds of millions of dollars. We are talking about farmers, teachers, and all sorts of professions.

Why does the member and the NDP choose to disagree in allowing for Canada's middle class, those teachers, manufacturing workers, that hard-working middle class, to have a tax break?

Small Business June 16th, 2016

Madam Speaker, as I indicated, I was somewhat expecting we would be talking about small business. I had a lot of wonderful things to say about small businesses. Instead, the member comes forward, has all these statistics and says that he wants me to use statistics.

If I reflect on statistics during the former Conservative government, the one that comes to my mind is the issue of jobs. Imagine the not tens of thousands but hundreds of thousands of jobs that were lost in the manufacturing industry, while the Conservatives had the reins of power over the last 10 years. Those are statistics, real statistics that affected people.

If a person is making $35 or $40 an hour at a manufacturing plant, is 45 or 50 years old and then becomes unemployed, he or she will have difficulty finding another comparable job. To what degree did the Conservative government assist that person? It did not. Instead, that person would have had a substantial shift from that $35 or $40 an hour job to a $17 an hour job, more often than anyone would like to see. Therefore, if we want to talk about statistics, I would invite the member to come back and hopefully I will be able to provide a response where we can do some comparisons strictly on statistics.

Small Business June 16th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I thought we were going to be talking about small businesses today, but I am very much interested in the subject matter that the member has raised.

It is always interesting. I enjoyed statistics courses. I did not have very many of them, but I did have the opportunity to have discussions with individuals who loved to talk about statistics. The numbers always look great and they can be twisted in different ways, no doubt.

However, I listened to the member when he said that the Liberal Party said this or that the Liberal Party budget said that and tried to give an impression that things were going in the right direction. Then he said the Conservative Party did this when it was in government and it appeared as if it were going in the right direction. Then, I think he went back to the seventies and early eighties where he said it was Pierre Elliott Trudeau that kind of set us back.

I would tend to disagree, especially on the latter point. I think that if we take a look at it and ask people what the difference is today, if we talk to our constituents, put the numbers to the side, and talk about the seventies and the eighties, I was a teenager back then. I can tell members that when I was a teenager, things were going along pretty good not only for me but also for my peers. We had a sense that we could move out of our parents' house. We could acquire assets and buy a house. We had these dreams and so forth. The general feeling, at the time, was that people had a disposable income and that disposable income was enabling them to fulfill their dreams.

How does that compare with the last 10 years? Check how many parents will tell us, “I love my son” or “I love my daughter, but they're 28 years old and still living in my basement”. They are still living in their homes. We love our children and we want them to be able to stay with us as much as possible, but the point is that the disposable income is something that is of critical importance, in terms of lifestyle and so forth. If members were to check with my constituents, I believe they would concur with me that it seems they have not had the same sort of money to be able to do the things they want, and their generation is feeling somewhat left behind at a very critical time in the last 10 years.

I think what we need to see is a government taking a proactive approach at trying to build hope and to demonstrate that it believes in the middle class. This Prime Minister and this government, more than any other government, even over the last 10 years, have put so much focus on the middle class and building the middle class. Two great examples of that are, first, the Canada child benefit program, a very progressive program that is tax free and that is going to lift literally hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty, and second, the first initiative that we took in terms of legislation coming into the House, the tax break from which over 9.6 million Canadians are going to benefit directly.

Both policies are going to see literally hundreds of millions of dollars of disposable income being put into the pockets of Canadians in every region of our country. That is going to benefit, I believe, all Canadians. Most important, I believe it will change the attitude and hopefully provide more hope for Canadians as they see a government that truly believes in the middle class and wants to support it.

The Senate June 16th, 2016

Madam Speaker, at the end of the day, it is the adjournment proceedings show, which means that we follow up questions that were asked at a previous time. If that is what the member really wanted to talk about, that is maybe what the question should have been when he originally posed the question, and then we would be able to have that discussion.

If the member wants to talk about the future of the Senate, or if he wants to talk about the future of democracy for Canadians, we just agreed to a wonderful all-party standing committee that is going to be taking in all sorts of ideas, in which we surrendered the majority of government so that the opposition would feel that much more empowered. If those are the types of things that the member wants to talk about, and in particular the issue of the Senate and the role of that institution in the years ahead, I would suggest that the member might have that discussion among his caucus colleagues and encourage maybe an opposition day on it, or encourage a question on it in question period.