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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as NDP MP for Victoria (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 42% of the vote.

Statements in the House

May 14th, 2019

Madam Chair, I will not ask again in the interests of time.

I want to go to another important matter facing Canada, and that is the implications of Quebec's Bill 21, a government initiative that would ban newly-hired public servants, including teachers, police officers, lawyers and judges from wearing religious symbols at work. Quebec will be the first jurisdiction in North America to do that.

According to the Prime Minister, this would legitimize religious discrimination. However, according to the Premier of Quebec, trainee teachers who wanted to wear religious clothing should choose a different career. We have something called the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but it seems that the Quebec government has chosen to invoke the notwithstanding clause to override freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

I very clearly would like to ask the Minister of Justice this. How does he intend to address this initiative when it comes before courts?

May 14th, 2019

Madam Chair, are code names acceptable under our Access to Information Act?

May 14th, 2019

Madam Chair, that is not exactly what I asked, so. I will ask it again.

Earlier today in question period, the minister informed us that the decisions on redaction of documents in the case were made by public servants. If it was public servants who used code names in an effort to avoid the statutory requirements of the Access to Information Act, as our Minister of Justice, is it is his view that this practice is legal?

May 14th, 2019

Madam Chair, from the perspective of the counsel for Vice-Admiral Norman, in her memorable phrase, the government put its fingers on the scales of justice in that case. The government contested the release of information, and National Defence staff avoided using the name of Mr. Norman as a way to keep records out of the public domain, as a way to avoid the legal requirements of the Access to Information Act. If that is accurate, does the minister consider that practice lawful?

May 14th, 2019

Madam Chair, in the context of the Vice-Admiral Norman affair, there was a comment made by the Prime Minister, who appeared to assume that a charge would be laid before a charge was actually laid. That was characterized by one of his colleagues, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement as “not the best framing of words”. What are Canadians properly to infer from her comments?

May 14th, 2019

Madam Chair, in the recording of the December 19 phone call between the former attorney general and member for Vancouver Granville and Michael Wernick, the former clerk of the Privy Council, over the SNC-Lavalin affair, the former attorney general warned the clerk that the Prime Minister was “interfering with one of our fundamental institutions [and] breaching a constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence” by trying to intervene in this case.

Does the Attorney General agree with that?

May 14th, 2019

Madam Chair, is it possible that if there was no political interference, if that is the case, the reason was that the former attorney general stood up to that pressure?

May 14th, 2019

Madam Chair, I would like the minister to comment on a statement by his parliamentary secretary, made in this House on February 8, in which he said that “at no point has the current Minister of Justice or the former minister of justice been pressured or directed by the Prime Minister [or members of his cabinet]”.

Is that accurate?

Yom HaShoah May 2nd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, today marks Yom HaShoah, the day we commemorate the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. We honour the more than six million Jewish children, women and men and so many others murdered by the Nazis, and those who survived.

The generation of Holocaust survivors is slowly leaving this world, and it is even more important now that we never forget what happened. They are warning us that history is repeating itself and now we must fight back against growing anti-Semitism, xenophobia and racism. Canada is not immune. B'nai Brith reports a record number of anti-Semitic incidents here in 2018 and a rise of anti-Semitism for the fifth consecutive year, fuelled by online hate.

It takes love and courage to move from hate to understanding, to stop being a bystander and to become an ally instead. It takes extraordinary courage and resilience to learn from past mistakes.

Let us uphold a stronger framework of human rights that will allow us all to say, “Never again”.

Questions Passed as Orders for Return May 1st, 2019

With regard to federal funding in the constituency of Victoria, between April 2016 and January 2019: (a) what applications for funding have been received, including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which they applied for funding, (iv) date of the application, (v) amount applied for, (vi) whether funding has been approved or not, (vii) total amount of funding, if funding was approved; (b) what funds, grants, loans, and loan guarantees has the government issued through its various departments and agencies in the constituency of Victoria that did not require a direct application from the applicant, including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which they received funding, (iv) total amount of funding, if funding was approved; and (c) what projects have been funded in the constituency of Victoria by organizations tasked with sub-granting government funds (i.e. Community Foundations of Canada), including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which they received funding, (iv) total amount of funding, if funding was approved?