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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is agreement.

Liberal MP for Sydney—Victoria (Nova Scotia)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 73% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House December 12th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on International Trade, entitled “Priorities of Canadian Stakeholders Having an Interest in Bilateral and Trilateral Trade in North America, Between Canada, United States and Mexico”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109 the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

I would like to add that we have a wonderful committee. We work hard together on trade for Canadians. I would also like to thank our clerk and analysts, and the good people when we travel, those in our embassies and consulates in the United States.

Petitions December 11th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from hundreds of constituents in my riding. The petition is to change the Canadian EI system for cancer patients. What they want to see is a change in the EI system, which is right now at 15 weeks. They want to see it at 40 to 50 weeks, because most patients need at least a year off to recuperate. Many people with heart problems, strokes, or cancer need that year. They are very productive citizens. Many of them never drew EI in their lives. They want us to help them get back on their feet, become productive citizens, and get back into society. It is a very good petition, and I have all the signatures here in good form.

International Trade December 8th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, Atlantic Canada is thriving on international trade. Our economy depends more than ever on the opening of new markets. Last September, our producers and fishers got to explore a whole new opportunity in Europe, with CETA.

Last month, I had a chance to talk with fishers of the Victoria Co-op Fisheries from northern Cape Breton, who are telling me that business is booming.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade share with the House how CETA has helped to shape the future of Atlantic provinces?

Cape Breton Regional Hospital December 1st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to commend the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, and all those who supported the annual Cape Breton Regional Hospital fundraisers.

On November 18, the Festival of the Greens raised $120,000 for Operation Heart. Because of these amazing donations, the hospital will have a new anaesthesia machine to ensure incredible results in all 11,000 surgical procedures that take place in the hospital every year. In addition to this fundraiser, a record-breaking $1,016,000 was fundraised in partnership with local radio stations on October 5, at the annual RadioDay event.

The contributions of Cape Bretoners to this cause go toward vital parts of the hospital: the Cape Breton Cancer Centre, which treats 150 to 200 patients a day; the neonatal intensive care unit, which takes care of the little ones; the pediatrics unit; the mental health services; and so much more.

I commend all the volunteers, organizers, businesses, and donors who make these events such a great success and who do so much for our community.

Remembrance Day November 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honour those who have served our country over the last 100 years. Over a million men and women have served our country to make peace around the world. Thousands have come from my home of Cape Breton.

Since I became a member of Parliament in 2000, I have had the honour of visiting gravesites throughout the world of the many who gave the ultimate sacrifice and did not come back. I have visited gravesites in Normandy, Vimy Ridge, the Netherlands, and Hong Kong. We must always remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.

It is important that we help those who come home, and it was an honour for me to be with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, and many of my colleagues in this House to reopen the Veterans Affairs office in Sydney at this time last year.

I commend all my colleagues in this House who will go home over the next few days and attend events in their ridings with veterans and constituents. Let us never forget the ultimate sacrifice our men and women made for us, and continue to make for us every day. All gave some; some gave all.

Canadian Heritage October 30th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Heritage, I made a fantastic announcement in Cape Breton last week. Cape Breton has a vibrant and thriving heritage and cultural industry. Our start-up companies are taking off, and we made major investments on Friday.

Can the minister tell this House what great investments our government is making, not only in Cape Breton but across the country?

Allan J. MacEachen September 18th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, along with many of my colleagues and the Prime Minister, we attended a wonderful ceremony celebrating the life of the late Allan J. MacEachen, who passed away last week.

In the years after I was first elected, I had lots of advice from Mr. MacEachen. Over time I got to understand and respect the work. Whether it was people on the wharf, here in the halls of Ottawa, or in the international community, whether it was on medicare, labour laws, or charter rights, he was remembered by all.

Mr. MacEachen always told me to make it a priority to get home to listen to my constituents. While I was attending a trade meeting in San Francisco a few months ago, I heard a story about Mr. MacEachen arranging a Middle East peace conference to wrap up on a Thursday so he could be home Saturday to meet with his constituents.

May we never forget the great contributions Mr. MacEachen made to Cape Breton, Canadians, and the international community. His legacy and dedication will live on forever.

Committees of the House June 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee of International Trade, entitled “The Canadian Steel Industry's Ability to Compete Internationally”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

I would also like to thank our clerk, our analysts, and especially our committee. We have a hard-working committee. We do a lot of travel across the country and internationally. We do well for this country when we do our business.

Anne Michelle Curtis June 14th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in recognition of the late Anne Michelle Curtis, an Alberta native and former resident of New Waterford, who lost her life two years ago at the age of 45 while saving a group of children from a riptide off of Dunvegan, Nova Scotia.

August 2, 2015, Michelle noticed her nine-year-old son was among a few other children being pulled out to sea in a strong riptide. Without hesitation, Michelle swam to help her son and then headed back into the deep water to help another child. All children were rescued. Michelle made it back to shore, but encountered difficulties. Despite efforts of medical professionals, she died on the beach.

As a palliative care worker, a hospice volunteer, Michelle dedicated her life to helping others during the most fragile times of their lives. Michelle was often described by those who knew her as ambitious, energetic, a nurturer and giver, and Michelle referred to her children as her greatest accomplishment.

This past Monday, Michelle's husband Karl Curtis accepted the Medal of Bravery from the Governor General on her behalf.

Petitions June 1st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, my riding of Sydney—Victoria, in Cape Breton, has one of the highest proportions of seniors in the country. I have the honour to present a petition that contains hundreds of signatures of seniors from Cape Breton Island.

The petition is in good order and the petitioners are asking the Government of Canada to review the Canada pension plan, which, at the present, is not funded sufficiently to allow seniors to survive in today's society.