House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was transportation.

Last in Parliament March 2023, as Liberal MP for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2021, with 54% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Lauren Small-Pennefather April 29th, 2022

Madam Speaker, Lauren Small‑Pennefather, one of my constituents, has been volunteering for the Terry Fox Foundation for a decade.

Lauren has organized the Montreal West Terry Fox Run for the past 10 years and has not missed a run in 24 years. Lauren lost both of her parents to cancer.

After celebrating a milestone 50th birthday, Lauren launched her 50 for Fox Canadian tour in support of the foundation, running 10 kilometres in every province across Canada once per month with the goal of raising $50,000 for the foundation. Lauren has already completed Quebec and Nova Scotia and will be running on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa on May 15.

Lauren will cap her national tour by running a marathon in Vancouver. She will run with Terry's brother, Darrell Fox. This special fundraising initiative is Lauren's way of highlighting the important work that the foundation is doing and honouring all those who lived or are living with cancer.

I congratulate Lauren and wish her well. We are with her.

Committees of the House April 25th, 2022

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs entitled “Barriers to Economic Development in Indigenous Communities”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Bjarni Tryggvason April 25th, 2022

Mr. Speaker, Canadian astronaut Bjarni Tryggvason died on April 5. He was a dear friend of mine for 38 years. He was the smartest engineer I ever met. He actually understood fluid dynamics and everything there was to know about how a plane flies. He was an accomplished pilot who taught me to fly and took me into the sky to do acrobatics until I was so disoriented that I begged him to stop.

Bjarni was very proud of his Icelandic roots. He was one of the original six Canadian astronauts chosen in 1983. He flew aboard the space shuttle on mission STS-85 and successfully tested a device he and his team had designed. It was a vibration isolation mount that allowed the closest thing to pure weightlessness, and it is still used today.

Canadian astronauts met for lunch last month and Bjarni was there. He told us about all his new projects. Two weeks later, his unexpected passing left us in mourning.

Bjarni Tryggvason made a significant contribution to the Canadian space program.

I invite all my colleagues to join me in celebrating his life and his contribution to our country.

Carey Ashton March 29th, 2022

Mr. Speaker, I want to bring to the attention of the House the passing of Carey Ashton, a dear member of our community of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and a beloved member of the NDG minor league baseball community. Serving as the head coach of the NDG Junior Lynx team from 2001 to 2011, he led the team to six consecutive provincial championship titles, but more importantly, Mr. Ashton became an inspiration to people around him by demonstrating courage in the face of his health condition through his dedication to his players and to the baseball field.

As a result of these impressive accomplishments, Mr. Ashton was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and named coach of the year five times.

I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to his wife Sharon, to his children Wayne, Rebecca and Taylor, and to the members of the community who had the chance to know this inspiring human being.

Committees of the House March 29th, 2022

Madam Speaker, I always enjoy listening to my hon. colleague, who is very logical in his approach.

I was not clear on one thing. The motion that the Conservatives have presented is to have visa-free travel to Canada for Ukrainian refugees. He also mentioned that if there was a way we could find to do the visas in a very short time, in days, as well as the biomedical data, that would also seem to be a solution.

I just want the member to clarify this. Which approach is he advocating?

Committees of the House March 29th, 2022

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs entitled “Main Estimates 2022-23: Vote 1 under Canadian High Arctic Research Station, Votes 1, 5, 10 and L15 under Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs and Votes 1, 5 and 10 under Department of Indigenous Services”.

Business of Supply March 1st, 2022

Mr. Speaker, I will try to clarify my answer.

I told the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley what my personal preferences would be. That is what he asked me and that is what I said.

However, we had a debate on what voting methods we should use. That went on for a long time after the 2015 election. As the Liberal Party very aptly put it, there was no consensus in Canada and no large majority in favour of one system over another. That is why we still have the current system.

Business of Supply March 1st, 2022

Mr. Speaker, I have always been very clear, as far back as 2013, that I personally favour a preferential vote approach. I have always said that publicly and that has been my position from the beginning.

Business of Supply March 1st, 2022

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

He raises an important point. Historically, no province has ever lost a seat. That is an extremely important consideration in this discussion between us and with all Canadians.

At the same time, as I said, we need to recognize certain historical facts and certain things that are unique in all the provinces. That has already been done in the Constitution Act, 1867. We need to debate it. I look forward to hearing from other members of the House, but also from Quebeckers and people from our other provinces.

Business of Supply March 1st, 2022

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to perhaps inform my colleague that I was one of the three people who first proposed that Quebec be recognized as a nation at a convention of the Quebec section of the Liberal Party of Canada in 2006. Two other Liberals joined me in doing so.

I am very pleased that, a few months later, the House gave its unanimous consent to recognize Quebec as a nation. I have always supported this important recognition for my province.

I also mentioned how the distribution of seats has an impact on the efficacy of representation. I look forward to hearing what all Canadians have to say about this issue, particularly in my province of Quebec. It is important to hear what they have to say, and we need to recognize Quebec's unique differences.