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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was poverty.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour (Nova Scotia)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions May 1st, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of the early childhood centres of New Brunswick. They are concerned, I would say even angry, about the government's child care plan. They believe it represents a step backwards in relation to the child care agreement and that cancelling the agreement will have negative consequences for Canadian families.

These petitions are submitted by the Cunard Street Children's Centre and I thank them for their assistance in this important cause.

Petitions April 26th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I again have the pleasure to present a petition, in this case from Daydreams Childcare Centre in Nova Scotia. The petitioners are concerned and even angry, I would say, about the government's alleged child care plan. They think it will roll back the clock on the early learning and child care agreement and that the cancellation will have dire impacts on Canadian families.

They say a taxable $100 a month allowance amounts to a child benefit and it will not establish new child care spaces. Child care is an everyday necessity, they say, and they call upon the government and the Prime Minister to honour the early learning and child care agreement in principle and to commit to fund it for a full five years.

Post-Secondary Education April 26th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I recognize that the finance minister was not a member of the House in the last session, but he could have read a couple of newspapers and learned a few things

We know that education is not a priority for the government. The Conservatives have told us that. However, it is for Canadian families and it is certainly important for the future of our country. Our plan, which could have been adopted by the House, went way beyond Bill C-48. In fact, we committed $9.5 billion to student access, infrastructure, skills upgrading and other initiatives.

Will the minister commit today in the House to at least match that impressive record?

Post-Secondary Education April 26th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, increasing Canada's productivity was a priority of the former Liberal government. Canada now leads the G-7 in publicly funded research, and the fall economic update introduced measures that would drastically increase student accessibility, skills upgrading and literacy.

The Speech from the Throne did not even mention education, not a word. That is frightening.

What will the government do to maintain our strong record of research and what will it do to assist Canadian students to access higher education? How long will students have to wait?

Child Care April 25th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, that is not a vision, that is a fiction. Choice in child care exists only when child care spaces exist. A choice was made in Canada to provide real child care and better training and wages for child care workers. Over 60% of Canadians voted for parties on January 23 that supported real child care.

When will the government get serious about helping Canadian children and families?

Child Care April 25th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, last week I was one of a number of Nova Scotia MPs who received almost 10,000 signatures from Nova Scotia parents who are dismayed and angry at the government's plan to abandon child care in Canada.

Instead of honouring the Liberal child care agreements, a small taxable allowance will be given to parents and a tax scheme that has never worked before will now be used to create imaginary spaces and not real spaces.

Will the minister admit that this scheme will do nothing to create new child care spaces for Canadian children and families?

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply April 24th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about regional development because my colleague is the critic for FedNor and I am the critic for ACOA. It is very important in these parts of Canada that the Government of Canada play a role.

In my case, the minister for ACOA also happens to be the Minister of Foreign Affairs, a pretty busy portfolio. I believe that in his case the minister for FedNor happens to be the Minister of Health which is also a pretty busy portfolio. I think that shows a lack of respect. Nobody could really do both of those jobs and do them very effectively. Regional development in Atlantic Canada has played a very important role as I know it has in northern Ontario.

Could the member comment on how optimistic he is that it would continue?

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply April 24th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend my colleague for her speech and also her accurate answer to the question that was just posed. The whole issue of education in Canada surely has to be one of the top five priorities for all Canadians, certainly for Canadian families.

In post-secondary education we have made a lot of strides, as she knows. The hon. member was a member of our caucus on post-secondary education. Canada has become a leader in the world and the leader in the G-7 in terms of publicly funded research.

Last year, we had an opportunity in the economic update presented in this House to bring in sweeping new improvements for student finance to address the issue of access, especially for those Canadians most in need: aboriginal Canadians, low income Canadians, and persons with disabilities. We did not have a chance to pass that in this House. We would have if the New Democratic Party had supported it. It would now be in place, helping students. Also, in the election campaign, we came out with the fifty-fifty plan to help all Canadians.

I wonder if my hon. colleague might give us her thoughts as to how optimistic she might be about this government following through on those sweeping improvements in light of the fact that education was not mentioned in the Speech from the Throne.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply April 24th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech. I always enjoy listening to him in the House because he certainly gets a lot of words in during his speech in the House. He has mentioned a couple of things that I certainly agree with that are concerns about the Speech from the Throne.

The first is child care. I had a chance last week to visit three more child care centres in my riding which were really concerned that after years of hope we finally had made some progress. People had a real sense that something was coming that was going to transform child care in Canada and they were disappointed.

I want to ask the member specifically though about the issue of regional development. He touched on it briefly. In Atlantic Canada, there is a great deal of concern about regional development. ACOA is an institution that has made a big difference in the economic well-being of Atlantic Canadians.

In this Parliament, we have one minister from Nova Scotia who is the minister for both ACOA and foreign affairs. We believe in Atlantic Canada that Canada has a big role to play in the world. We also think it has a big role to play in Atlantic Canada. I wonder if the member could give us his view about how concerned he might be about the future of regional development in Atlantic Canada.

Petitions April 24th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure to present a petition again, as I have done on every applicable day of the sitting of the House, from people who are concerned about the government's lack of a plan for child care.

This petition is from a place called The Growing Place, a child care centre in my constituency, which I visited last week. The petitioners say, among other things, that 70% of women with children under the age of six are employed, that a taxable $100 a month allowance amounts to a child benefit and will not establish spaces and that child care is an everyday necessity in the country.

They call upon the Prime Minister and the government to honour the early learning and child care agreement in principle and to commit to fund it for a full five years.