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  • 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

Mother's Day May 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, today, I stand to recognize all mothers whom we will be celebrating on Sunday. It will be my first Mother's Day without my mom. She worked side by side with my father for years, building a successful farming operation while sharing the raising of the 10 of us.

From the moment we are born, our mothers help us through the difficult times and help us achieve our accomplishments. I would like to recognize my wife Pam, who not only did a wonderful job to help raise our four children, but also worked beside me on the farm and in politics. She now continues to help raise our six beautiful grandchildren.

When I look at my daughters, Mieka and Bethany, and my daughter-in-law Natalie, I see the new challenges young moms face and the strength they have to overcome these challenges. They work tirelessly for long hours in their jobs and at home to raise their children.

I would like to especially recognize the moms in Cape Breton for their hard work, compassion, and grit they give children to succeed.

I ask my colleagues to please join me in celebrating mothers across Canada: the ones who are with us now, the ones who have gone before us, and the mothers of tomorrow.

Committees of the House May 3rd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on International Trade. It is a very hard-working committee. We are working hard not only for key stakeholders on trade around the world but for Canadians. I am very proud of our team.

Our report today is called “Multiculturalism: its Contribution to Canada's International Trade and Investment Activities”.

Workplace Safety April 30th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday on our national day of mourning for injured workers, I had the honour of representing our government at a ceremony in Whitney Pier hosted by our local unions. I got to meet not only injured workers, but also families that lost their loved ones at the work site. Over the past two years, our government has brought in new measures to modernize the Canada Labour Code to better support Canadian workers and the businesses that employ them.

Could the minister tell the House what other steps our government is taking to protect Canadians in the workplace?

Committees of the House April 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report—that is how hard-working our committee is—of the Standing Committee on International Trade, entitled “E-Commerce: Certain Trade-Related Priorities of Canada's Firms”.

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

Eddie Parris April 19th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the late Eddie Parris, a performer, politician, and family man, who passed away in Cape Breton on March 31, at the age of 75. Eddie was a true community advocate. He spent a great deal of his life as a steelworker, and spent 11 years in politics as an alderman on Sydney's city council and one year as deputy mayor.

Eddie could be recognized in his brightly coloured African tunics, leading the Inspirational Singers in song and promoting cultural diversity through his music. He often performed at schools, but he also had a chance to perform for Queen Elizabeth II. In 2016, during African Heritage Month, Eddie was honoured to be presented with the Tom Miller Human Rights Award, an award named after his close friend and colleague during his time as alderman.

Eddie's commitment to cultural diversity and music was inspiring to many, and he will be missed in Cape Breton and throughout Canada. I encourage all members of this House to carry on Eddie's legacy and to give him a round of applause.

Cape Breton Voices March 27th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a group of passionate and determined women in my riding, called the Cape Breton Voices. They came together on March 15 in partnership with Equal Voice to host their first panel on women in politics.

In the panel, 10 women, representing different levels of government, put aside their political stripes and shared stories of their personal experiences since entering politics, and the issues that surrounded women's involvement in the political process. As our Prime Minister has said time and time again, if we want to change politics, we need to add women.

Aside from hosting panels, Cape Breton Voices regularly speaks up on topics such as inclusion, business, immigration, governance, accountability, and of course its communities.

Cape Breton has a long history of strong women. I commend the women of Cape Breton Voices for uniting together to stand for Cape Breton and all it has to offer the world.

Fisheries February 13th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, in my riding, fishing is one of our most important industries. Our tasty cold-water fish can be found on the plates of happy consumers around the world.

Cape Breton's fishing communities are very happy with the trade agreements our government is working hard on to reduce duties on our international fish exports, making these products more affordable to all and putting more money in our fishers' pockets.

Another good news story for our fisheries I would like to state in the House is the recent announcement the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard made last week in Vancouver. The minister's amendments to the Fisheries Act protect our much valued fish habitats, have more indigenous involvement, and most importantly, maintain the fabric of our communities by keeping the fishing enterprises family owned and operated.

I would like to welcome to Ottawa today fisheries representatives from the Atlantic region and Gaspé area, including John Couture of Cape Breton, and his delegation, to discuss these positive changes to this very important industry.

World Cancer Day February 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate World Cancer Day. All of us have a friend or family member who has been affected by cancer, especially in my home riding in Cape Breton.

Today, I would like to honour a very special constituent of mine, Erin Richard, who is fighting breast cancer but also standing up for those affected. Erin was diagnosed last August with stage 4 triple-negative breast cancer. Erin had to leave her job to undergo chemotherapy, radiation, lymph node removal surgery, and mastectomy. In the midst of all these procedures, Erin is standing up for all cancer patients to advocate for changes to the El sick legislation. She recently submitted a petition to this Parliament with hundreds of signatures.

I challenge all members in this House to get regular cancer screening, make healthy lifestyle choices, quit smoking if they do, learn about the warning signs, and educate and support others. Together, with courageous people like Erin, we can make a difference.

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.