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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was actually.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Welland (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2021, with 32% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Food Safety February 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, tell that to the 3% of ranchers across this country that have actually just lost their markets, that it is insignificant.

Beef boycotts have spread to five countries now, with exports worth more than $70 million. I do not think that is chump change. Maybe the minister does.

Keeping foreign markets open depends on a really strong regulatory system here in this country. The Conservatives have cut the Canadian Food Inspection Agency budget. They say they did not, but the reality is, according to the numbers, they did.

It is really simple. Why is the government putting that sector that is worth billions of dollars at risk, and when will Conservatives act on behalf of all farms across this country and stand up for farmers?

Food Safety February 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families expect the government to make sure that the food they are putting on their family tables is safe. New reports from a CFIA inspector are actually quite distressing. She said she was regularly intimidated by abattoir operators just for trying to do her job. When she brought forward her concerns, her supervisors dismissed them.

Is the minister aware of this situation, and if indeed the minister is, does she really think this level of oversight will keep Canadians' food safe?

Health February 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Welland Hospital, in my riding, is under threat of closure. Last month, about 70 people gathered at the Welland Civic Square for a meeting organized by the Niagara Health Coalition and launched a petition to save Welland Hospital.

I fully support the efforts being made to save Welland Hospital and the services people rely on. I would like to thank the many people who have taken the initiative and been involved in the campaign.

Welland Hospital serves 51,000 city residents, as well as the communities of Port Colborne, Fort Erie, Pelham, and Wainfleet, meaning that almost 100,000 people rely on Welland Hospital.

The Niagara Health System says it is too expensive to maintain the number of existing hospitals in the Niagara region. Having two hospitals or maybe just one will save millions of dollars in operating costs, it says. It might be true, but it shows that we are not making health care the priority it really deserves to be.

We are beginning to see in Welland and Niagara the impact of the continuing neglect of health care by successive governments, both Liberal and Conservative, here in Ottawa. The Conservative government's $36 billion cut to health care transfer payments is affecting real lives in my community.

We need better health care. We need to give it the attention it deserves. A healthy, productive community relies on easily—

Canada Post February 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, an 81-year-old man in Windsor received eight stitches around his eye because he fell when he went to pick up his mail from the community mailbox. The reason was that there was three feet of ice and snow around that community mailbox. In spite of numerous requests to Canada Post to come and clear it, which were ignored, that snow was there, and that gentleman fell and injured himself.

Does the minister understand that the plan to give us community mailboxes and get rid of door-to-door service affects seniors, or does she just agree with the CEO of Canada Post, who said that they should just get some exercise?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 26th, 2015

With respect to changes to Canada’s food safety laws: (a) what is the status of regulations requiring better labelling of food safety risks caused by meat tenderization and related processing techniques; (b) what communications and consultations have taken place with industry in the last year regarding these new regulations; (c) what compliance rates have been measured in regard to the new regulations; (d) what is the status of new regulations developed in regards to ensuring better traceability for Canadian fresh produce and meat products; (e) what is the status of the implementation of regulations related to Bill S-11, the Safe Food For Canadians Act; (f) what has been the cost of developing new regulations related to Bill S-11; (g) what is the status of the implementation of all of the recommendations to improve food safety that were outlined in the Weatherill report; (h) what are the names and costs of food safety programs that will sunset in the years 2014 and 2015; and (i) who was consulted with regards to new regulations related to the implementation of Bill S-11?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 26th, 2015

With respect to the interim Canadian Wheat Board (CWB): (a) what is the salary range afforded to the executive management of the interim CWB; (b) what information does the government possess as to the bonuses, benefits, fees, and other forms of compensation are the members of the executive management receiving; (c) what information does the government possess as to the bonuses, benefits, fees, and other forms of compensation will the members of the executive management receive upon the transfer of the interim CWB to new ownership; and (d) what commitments have been made regarding bonuses, benefits, fees, and other forms of compensation for the members of executive management after the transfer of the interim CWB to new ownership?

Julia Turner December 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, next Tuesday, December 16, the Welland minor hockey midget teams will join members of the community for a good old hockey game and to remember the life of Julia Turner. Julia tragically lost her life to cancer three years ago at the age of 15. She was an avid hockey fan and worked at the arena every Sunday night, where she would watch her friends play. Now, every year, her friends come together to play in her memory. They all wear purple, Julia's favourite colour.

Julia was committed to helping those less fortunate in our community. She was so young, but for much of Julia's life she gave selflessly to her community. To celebrate her life and work, those who attend are asked to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the HOPE Centre in Welland, a cause that was very special to Julia.

I would like to thank the organizers of Julia's hockey night in Welland, especially her family and friends, for their touching tribute to a remarkable young woman. I would also like to remind all members of the House and all Canadians to think of those less fortunate as we enter the holiday season, and perhaps to donate to a local food bank. I know Julia would be smiling on all of us.

Canadian Wheat Board December 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the idea that the folks who wanted to make the bid would impose timelines on themselves so that they could derail their own bid makes perfect sense, especially from this minister.

The Wheat Board's assets are public. They should be for sale and they should actually benefit farmers, but the board's management seems determined not to sell the assets to interested farmers. It seems it would prefer to give a sweetheart deal to a foreign multinational.

Would the minister state, for the House and for the record, if he is aware of any kind of bonus, special compensation, or incentive that would go to the executive management of the Canadian Wheat Board?

Canadian Wheat Board December 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in October, when Farmers of North America expressed interest in buying the Wheat Board's assets, Conservatives said, “Well, there's no time”, but then they changed their minds and said, “Oh, we'll give you a month.”

A month to put a bid as complex as that together was hardly enough time, so guess what? The bid was rejected.

However, when private companies were allowed to bid on it, guess what? There was no timeline.

The CWB is still considering offers from private companies, so why did Conservatives impose a timeline on farmers but not on multinational corporations? Why does the current minister not want farmers to own the Canadian Wheat Board?

Canadian Wheat Board December 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we are actually ideologically in favour of transparency, and we want to see some transparency from the government for a change.

Are the Conservatives going to give the assets away, yes or not?

Why is are the Conservatives giving out cushy patronage jobs? We would like to know why exactly the Conservatives' friends are actually getting these jobs in the first place, when there really are people out there who could do the job and who are not just simply patronage additions. There is actually no end in sight to the grey and black log, and my friend across the way knows that.

Will the minister for once give the rhetoric a rest and tell Canadians and farmers how much money the Wheat Board actually owes, how much it makes, and will the minister give the board away, or is he going to sell it and make money for Canadian farmers?