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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is system.

Liberal MP for Ajax (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 56% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Democratic Reform June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, certainly we want to work with not only the member opposite but with all members of the House to ensure that all Canadians are included in this process, particularly those who traditionally have been disenfranchised.

That of course will mean travel and going directly to talk with these groups. It will mean using innovative digital means to ensure that Canadians can engage, particularly when they are remote or where that connection physically is otherwise difficult for them.

I think the spirit that Parliament shows is incredibly important. In this, I turn to all members of the House and specifically to the Conservative Party to say that there is an opportunity to take the issues they have, the concerns they have, to focus them through the committee process. We have opened that door. Work with us and let us improve our democracy.

Democratic Reform June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite, not just for the motion but for the collaborative spirit with which he has been operating on this file. It is my hope that will pervade this entire process.

If we are going to change our electoral system, if we are going to ensure that Canadians have a better way to express their democratic will, then it is going to take everyone in this House working together. In terms of how we move forward from this point, I am glad that the motion has a clear date for when that committee is going to be set. It will be a maximum of 10 days after it is approved. The committee does need to be resourced so it can travel across the country. We need to support every MP to have town halls in all 338 ridings.

Democratic Reform June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party said online that it supported the idea of all parties working together without a Liberal Party majority. Now the Conservatives are against that. There is an opportunity here, and I hope that the Conservative Party will work with us, to discuss the issues in committee and improve our voting system.

Democratic Reform June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, what we saw yesterday was certainly surprising.

It was definitely surprising that all parties of the House of Commons were able to work together and reach a consensus. I hope that the Conservative Party will work with us and that we will somehow reach a consensus on how to improve our electoral system.

This is a huge opportunity for Canada. It is time to get to work.

Democratic Reform June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, they categorize reaching out to every single party and asking what their ideas are and trying to find unanimity as a backroom deal.

The reality is that the Conservatives had every opportunity in this process to move amendments yesterday. Did they move a single amendment? No. They had every opportunity today to talk about how they could improve this committee process to engage Canadians. Did they take that opportunity? No.

We provided an opportunity in the amendment we moved for them to discuss these issues. The forum is there in the committee. If the Conservatives want to discuss how to engage and get the support of Canadians, they can participate in the process and help improve our democracy.

Democratic Reform June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, in the last Parliament we saw exactly how we do not want to deal with an issue like electoral reform. We saw the Conservatives bring forward an election act that did not consult Canadians at all. In fact, they did not even consult Elections Canada. They accepted no amendments. They refused to work with other parties.

What we saw yesterday is a new approach, reaching across the aisle and saying, “Let us find middle ground”, giving up a majority even when we have one, saying that we have to compromise to ensure that we improve our electoral system and make it stronger for Canadians. That recognizes that more than 60% of Canadians voted in the last election to have a new electoral system.

Democratic Reform June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we showed exactly how Parliament can work together by reaching across and finding common ground. The reality is that we reached out as well to the Conservative Party and asked if we could make this unanimous. I still hold out that hope, particularly when I read a tweet that the Conservatives sent on May 12 that says to the NDP, “this is one issue we can agree on” with respect to the motion that was put forward yesterday.

I am confused. If they agreed with it on May 12, if they thought it was a good idea on May 12, and if they thought this was a productive process, why are they not working with us now?

Ramadan June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, next week there will be hundreds of thousands of Canadians who will be celebrating Ramadan. In my own riding, there will be many thousands, and of course across the world, hundreds of millions. I want to take this opportunity to wish all those who are celebrating Ramadan, Ramadan Mubarak.

Last year, I had the opportunity to fast for the entire period of Ramadan. It is something I am going to do again in support of a charity called Give 30. People take the money that they save from fasting every day and give it to those who are more needy, particularly food banks.

When I fasted, it was an incredible experience to feel what it was like to be hungry. Of course, I got relief at the end of the day, but for many children, unfortunately, in Canada and around the world, that relief never comes. They have to make it through a day and try to learn and prepare for their future without the aid of food.

This charity gives an opportunity to reflect upon that and use the power of Ramadan to help others.

Business of Supply June 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the member opposite. There were a lot of conspiracies there. I do not think I have heard that many conspiracies anywhere, maybe not even at an alien convention.

The reality is that when the member talks about backroom deals, I am confused. There were many conversations that took place with the critic for the member's party, that took place with all of the critics for the different parties. We have had a debate on this particular matter for weeks around what the composition of the committee would be, with members from the Conservative Party saying that the proposal that was put forward by the NDP was a good idea. I heard that many different times. We have tried to work constructively to build that bridge and pull people together and say, “Let us find middle ground, a place to work together”. I am confused here today that there is no movement from the Conservative Party.

There is a channel to have a debate as to how best to engage Canadians. That is the committee, and that is the motion that we have in front of us. Given the fact that there was such a clear iteration in the last election that the status quo was not acceptable, will the member not work with us in the way that the Conservatives were talking about before, and ensure that we have a method to productively modernize the Canadian electoral system?

Business of Supply June 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, maybe it would be helpful if we could get from the Conservatives a list of promises that they feel constituents were listening to when we made them, and a list when they were not. We can then know which ones we will be criticized for keeping and which ones we should not keep that we made. It is a little confusing.

However, on the issue that the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley raised, absolutely, there is an imperative need to hear from all parties in the House and to ensure that they are given a proper voice in this process.

The minister will be speaking after me and she has some comments on this. However, I think the spirit of what the member said of ensuring that all parties have a voice and are heard at the table is an important one, and I thank him for the motion he proposed today.