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Your Say


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is process.

Liberal MP for Ajax (Ontario)

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

Statements in the House

Democratic Reform May 30th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we are absolutely committed to ensuring that the support of Canadians is behind the proposals we bring forward.

The process we are going to engage, of talking to Canadians from coast to coast, not just about changing our voting system but looking at electronic voting, looking at the possibility of mandatory voting, recognizing that in a modern age our electoral systems, like the rest of the world, need to evolve, is something to which we are committed.

I would ask the member opposite to engage constructively in that process, to engage in that dialogue, and work with us to create a better electoral system.

Democratic Reform May 30th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, let me talk about what we will not do.

Last time major democratic changes were introduced, it was by the Conservatives. It was the Fair Elections Act, which disenfranchised many voters. There were no consultations that occurred during that process. They did not engage Canadians.

We want to do things differently. We want to ensure that the voices of Canadians are heard, that they are given the proper opportunity to be involved in modernizing their system. This was a clear campaign promise we made in the last election. More than 60% of Canadians voted for parties that said they wanted change. We are committed to making that change happen.

Democratic Reform May 30th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we are absolutely committed to ensuring that the consultations we have on a pan-Canadian basis hear from all Canadians on how they want to modernize and improve our electoral system.

I encourage the members opposite to participate in that discussion. I have not heard any ideas or thoughts about how they want to modernize that system yet, but it is important they put those forward. I really invite all members of the House to engage in that process.

Democratic Reform May 13th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I could not agree more with the member that this process should not be partisan and that we need to work across the aisle to find compromise and work together, but the fact of the matter is that more than 60% of the Canadian population said the status quo was not going to work.

I would ask members to start coming up with ideas. It is not enough to just say that they want the system to stay as it is. Canadians have not accepted that. They say they want our institutions to modernize. Be part of that process, give us ideas, make sure we are able to change the system so that Canadians are enfranchised and their voices are heard.

Democratic Reform May 13th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy that the member is going to be participating in the all-party process. He is going to have an opportunity to travel with the committee and pose questions.

We have gone further than our normal committee process in ensuring that parties that are not recognized as parties in the House are included, because we feel that the voice of the Bloc and the voice of the Green Party are incredibly important to have at the table. That is why we have taken that measure.

I look forward to that dialogue. I look forward to working on that with the member to modernize our electoral system.

Democratic Reform May 13th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, what weakened our democratic institutions and our democracy was the violations that we saw, the abuses that we saw, things that we saw in the Senate, the unfortunate scandals that took place with members abusing the Canada Elections Act. Canadians wanted that to end. They wanted something different. That is what they have asked of us. They have asked to end that way of doing democracy and have something more open, more inclusive. That is the process that we are engaging in.

If the member wants to see that kind of new way, if he wants to see that stronger democracy, here is his chance. He can participate in the committee and engage in talks with Canadians from coast to coast. Let us make it—

Democratic Reform May 13th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the party opposite is not advocating any new ideas. It is advancing the status quo. We had a referendum on the status quo during the last election. More than 60% of Canadians voted no. They did not want to continue with the status quo. They wanted change. That is exactly what we are going to make sure happens in this process.

I want to work with the hon. member across and with all Canadians on finding a system that is going to achieve exactly that, enfranchising Canadians, giving them the power to have their say in a more fair way. I am excited. Let us work together.

Democratic Reform May 13th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the opposition members should try consultations. They might like it. They may enjoy the process of engaging with Canadians and listening and having an exchange of ideas. That is what this process is about. I welcome the member to do that.

I have yet to hear a single proposal of how they would modernize or improve our electoral system. I do not even know what their question to Canadians would be. Instead, work with us on trying to find that better way, that better system, and ensuring that the Canadian population gets the voting system it deserves.

Democratic Reform May 13th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I have been very clear that the consultation process that is going to happen is going to reach out to every corner of this country. The idea that the only form of valid consultation is a referendum is an interesting concept to hear from the members opposite. They never advocated this policy before. When they created the unfair elections act, it was not as if they even consulted in many instances with their own caucus, let alone Canadians.

I would suggest that they give this a try and work on trying to find a better system, and that they engage with us in this dialogue with all Canadians on modernizing our electoral system and enfranchising Canadians.

Democratic Reform May 13th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, this is how a proposal is going to come. A proposal is going to come by our engaging Canadians in all 338 ridings, going coast to coast and listening to them, and working with the member opposite and all members in the House on compromise, middle ground, and in understanding how we can modernize this system. I do not accept the cynical approach of the member, saying from the outset that it is impossible to find consensus.

Let us work together. Let us find that better system. Let us ensure we find that right path and in doing so we will get a better voting system for Canadians.