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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 June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, maybe it is because only 20% of Canadians are on Twitter that the Conservatives thought they could post that they would support the NDP proposal and then not. Maybe that is why they thought they could get away with it.

The reality is, the minister has talked about a myriad of ways for Canadians to engage, and of course those include digital means. We live in a digital age where many Canadians are in remote locations, have disabilities, or have other challenges that do not allow them to engage directly. The news is that Twitter is one medium but there are many media. We want to engage Canadians in every single one of them. That is the type of consultation they deserve. That is the kind of consultation they will get.

Democratic Reform June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the committee has not even met yet, so to say that the committee is not working effectively, I think is a little premature. The reality is we do not have a majority on that committee, the opposition parties do. For anything to happen at the committee, it is going to require the consent and work of the House.

Where I did see closed-room deals, where I did see Canadians excluded, was unfortunately on the unfair elections act, or the in-and-out scandal, or on the prorogation of Parliament.

We saw a decade of Canadians being locked out of our democratic process. We do not want to continue that. We turned over a new leaf that includes working with other parties, including the Conservative Party.

Democratic Reform June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite himself has said that first past the post is not the best system. The member himself and critic in the Conservative Party has said that we can do better. What I would suggest is let us get to the work of making a better system, of creating a system that works better for Canadians. Then, if he feels that the process of working together and having consensus is not good enough, then let us talk about the ways that we can engage Canadians further.

However, to give up on the process before it began, to not even have a dialogue on how to improve our democracy, I do not accept that. Let us get to work. Let us be positive.

Democratic Reform June 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member opposite say not very long ago, maybe a couple of weeks ago, that there was no way the Liberals would change their position. They are intransigent, they are forcing through a committee we do not agree with. There is a better proposal that we support from the NDP, why can they not work with that proposal?

Of course, we did that. We talked to the member and said let us try to find unanimity and now the members do not support that. I do not know their position on this and I am confused by their refusal to work with us. I would encourage that we put wording into the amendment that we move forward on the main motion that allows them to have the type of discussion they want at committee. Participate and let us get this process moving forward.

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.