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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is report.

Liberal MP for Yukon (Yukon)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 54% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply June 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have a question, but it is for the ambassador of Iran.

I would like to thank the parliamentary secretary for bringing up the Baha'is. In previous administrations in Iran, there was terrible treatment of the Baha'i people. I am sure this government would like to see freedom of religion and open religion in Iran. It would be great to have a comfort letter from the ambassador of Iran to me stating that Iran is open to religious freedom and that the Baha'is can practise their religion peacefully.

Criminal Code June 5th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask the member what he thinks about the jury selection items in the bill.

First, I want to make a comment. I want to make sure that the public is aware, and I am a layperson, too. There seems to be some indication that some people think that this would reduce the maximum sentences. There is nothing in this bill that reduces maximum sentences. The judges still have access to all the same maximum sentences, and they still have access to indictment. In fact, certain summary offence penalties have actually increased.

My question is related to jury selection. Peremptory challenges are proposed to be removed. For the person in the street, a peremptory challenge means that when people line up to be jurors, the defence lawyer or the prosecutor can say, “Oh, I don't like that one” and throw them out for no reason at all. Does that sound like natural justice? This has been an issue for decades. It is being removed, and that could actually be used to increase diversity.

Also in the bill is that judges can stand aside certain jurors to obtain diversity, and they can decide on challenges for cause, to make sure that if the defence or the prosecutor is suggesting that someone leave for a certain cause, the judge can decide on that.

I think these are improvements, but I would like to hear the member's thoughts on these proposed changes.

Criminal Code June 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives often talk about their biggest objective being the protection of victims of crime and getting justice for victims of crime.

I would like to thank the member for his eloquent speech and for his answer to the first question about how this legislation would protect victims of crime and provide some justice. It was excellent.

I would like to ask him about something totally different in the bill. We have all heard stories about back in the middle ages when a starving child would steal a loaf of bread, and the justice was to cut off his hand, which obviously did not make any sense.

In the bill there could be an exemption to paying the victim surcharge if the court was satisfied that the payment would cause the offender undue hardship. I would ask if the member agrees. If people are poor and have no means to get along, and an undue financial hardship is added to that, it forces them into crime, into petty theft, to feed their children or pay the rent. Does that really make any sense? Does that help the justice system? Does he agree with that provision that no one has talked about yet in tonight's debate?

Criminal Code June 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, nothing shows the difference between Liberals and Conservatives more than this idea of hybridization of offences, which takes away the discretion and knowledge of judges, who have heard all the evidence, to make decisions. It has been a constant theme with the Conservatives, and of course we disagree with that. It does not give good decisions.

In cases where the level of the offence should be lower because of the conditions, sometimes the prosecutor has to throw out the whole case because it is not hybridized. The penalty would be too serious, and it would be cruel and unreasonable justice. Having that philosophy is actually allowing criminals to go free.

However, that is not my question. My question is related to the root causes. We all want to reduce rural crime and remove the root causes. For example, if there is broken glass in a rural kitchen and people keep walking across the floor and cutting their feet, putting Band-Aids on every time is not the way to deal with it. We need to deal with the root cause and clean up the glass. Therefore, I would like to know some of the suggestions the member is making to his party to remove the root causes of rural crime, which we would all like to remove.

Criminal Code June 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the member if he could elaborate more on administrative justice offences. I do not think the general public realizes what a burden these are on the system.

While he is thinking about that, I just want to express some thanks to him. One is to thank him for coming to my riding and talking to the various people in the justice system. He is right: it was a very comprehensive consultation across the country.

Second, I am delighted that this bill is reducing the overrepresentation of indigenous people in the justice system, and people with mental health issues. People have been talking about this for years, but finally someone is doing something about it.

I want to just give an example of people with FASD. They do not understand that they have to be at an appointment. They do an administrative offence and they are back in the system, taking up all sorts of time for absolutely no reason at all, because they should not have been in it in the first place, and it is slowing down the justice system.

Committees of the House June 4th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 64th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs entitled “Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Commons: Sexual Harassment Between Members”.

I would like to thank all the witnesses from the private sector, who appeared before the committee, for their valuable input. I would also like to thank our law clerk and parliamentary counsel, Philippe Dufresne, and chief human resources officer, Pierre Parent, for the excellent support they provided throughout the process. The following staff and their offices also contributed significantly to the development of the revised code: Carolyn LeCheminant-Chandy, Wendy Gordon, Alexandra Schorah, Gisèle Isimbi, Charles Feldman, Sarah Pentney, Jean-François Martin, Valérie Boudreau, Myriam Beauparlant, Sophie Hart, and Marc Gagnon.

I would like to congratulate the members of the committee. People think it is an excellent report. The members worked totally in a non-partisan fashion to come up with this report.

Committees of the House May 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 63rd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented today in the House be concurred in.

Committees of the House May 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 63rd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House.

If the House will give its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 63rd report later today.

Committees of the House May 22nd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 62nd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House.

If the House gives its consent, I move that the 62nd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be concurred in.

Petitions May 7th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition on behalf of one of my constituents, Anna Tölgyesi, a young leader in the Franco-Yukon and Franco-Canadian community and president of the Franco-Yukon youth association.

Anna is a Grade 11 student at the Académie Parhélie. As part of her social studies class with Mr. Gillis, she and her classmates are watching this petition being tabled today. The petition is signed by 30 people and recognizes that:

Canada’s francophone minority youth need post-secondary education options in their language in order to succeed, promote the language and maintain their francophone pride;

French-language post-secondary education plays an important role in minority communities and in their identities by ensuring youth from francophone communities can depend on a genuine continuum of education in French, from early childhood to the post-secondary level;

Distance, the lack of courses and programs, and linguistic insecurity are barriers that can prevent students from continuing their post-secondary studies in French; and

There is no francophone university west of Manitoba.

For all of these reasons, the signatories call upon Parliament to develop a national plan to increase the number of post-secondary institutions, programs and courses in francophone minority communities, especially in western Canada.