House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was fact.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Ottawa Centre (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canadian Heritage May 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, no one disagrees with the idea of the memorial, but what is with the high-handed attitude of the government?

Putting the monument in front of the Supreme Court actually violates the national capital plan that the government and this Parliament approved. The minister is ignoring the plan. He is also ignoring the concerns of architects, he is ignoring the Mayor of Ottawa, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and local citizens.

How hard is it for the politburo over there to actually listen to people, change its mind and change the location of the monument?

Canadian Heritage May 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the government has a real problem listening to communities, not just in Montreal, but here in Ottawa.

Here in Ottawa, city council is poised to vote on a motion that will formally request that the federal government relocate the victims of communism memorial. The request is very simple. The council wants the government to respect the long-term plan for this piece of land.

Is it not ironic, though, that the Conservatives are willing to ignore democratic voices in order to build a monument honouring those who fought for democratic rights?

Families in Ottawa Centre May 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, today is the International Day of Families. Families are the foundation of our society and come in many forms. From our first day until our last, our families give us support, love, and a sense of belonging.

Families in Ottawa Centre could use some help making ends meet these days. Ottawa has some of the highest child care costs in Canada, at over $12,000 per child, averaging more than 25% of a woman's income. Meanwhile, housing prices continue to rise, and too many Canadian seniors are struggling to retire in dignity and security.

The NDP has a plan to make life easier for families in Ottawa Centre and across the country by creating a million child care spots priced at no more than $15 a day, ensuring access to housing for all Canadians, expanding the Canada pension plan, and restoring old age security.

Families in Ottawa Centre deserve quality, affordable child care; quality, affordable housing; and a quality, affordable retirement. This October they can vote for it.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to hear my colleague speak up for unions. They are important and, as he mentioned, they help us with disparities. Unions allow people to have wages bargained in a way that is representative of their work, and allow employers to also accommodate and put forward their issues. I would hope his party will continue to support unions, and that means e on Parliament Hill when unions are able to have collective bargaining with their employers, say with the NDP caucus in affording its members the spaces they need to do their work, but that is for another day perhaps.

I want to circle one of the issues the member mentioned, which is very important, particularly for those of us who represent public servants.

What is so wrong with this budget is that it builds on the government's track record to torque the power relationship between the employer and the employees, in other words, the government and public servants. That was in Bill C-4, as the member mentioned, which we opposed. However, in this bill, the Conservatives, instead of sitting down and saying that they are going to look at modernizing, in this case, sick leave, that they are going to look at the different changes in the workplace, knowing different things happen in the workplace, they have circled a number and have said that is it, that is all, that now it will sit down and negotiate. This is troublesome. It not only is bad faith bargaining, because the Conservatives have already come to a conclusion before they have sat down at the table, but they are talking about things that have already been agreed to.

Could the member comment on the change in the relationship between the employer and employees and what that does to the workplace, in other words, the place in which people do the work to provide services to Canadians?

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 13th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully, particularly to the beginning of my colleague's speech. He said something about how budgets should be crafted, which I thought was interesting. I then listened to talk about what was in the budget.

Here is the problem with what has been put forward by my colleague. He forgot to mention that the Conservatives took the approach of a fire sale to balance the budget. They cut public services, veterans, meat inspection. As a result of that, 19,000 jobs are gone. The Conservatives then had a fire sale on General Motors, which they had to be pushed and shoved to respond to it in 2008 when they denied there was a recession. The member forgot to mention that. Then they have put a cap income splitting that will only benefit 15%. I know the member's riding well. A lot of people are hurting and suffering. They will not benefit from income splitting.

I would like the member to address the fact that this budget will leave many people behind and the fact that the Conservatives have approached this balance by selling off assets, raiding employment insurance and are not helping everyday people.

Public Service of Canada May 13th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court has ruled that free and fair collective bargaining is protected by the charter, yet Conservatives are trying to use their budget bill to undermine this fundamental right. The government wants to give itself unprecedented powers to dictate the outcome of negotiations with the public service.

The question, then, is this: why are Conservatives attacking the rights of public servants to free and fair collective bargaining? After all, these are the women and men who provide public services to all Canadians, even to the current government.

Petitions May 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand today to present a petition signed by hundreds of my constituents against Bill C-51. They are calling on the House of Commons to stop this attack on civil liberties by joining the official opposition to stop Bill C-51.

Questions on the Order Paper May 11th, 2015

With regard to Canadian military operations in Iraq: (a) did the letter sent by the United States Department of Defence, received on September 19, 2014, proposing options for an additional Canadian contribution to the military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq, specifically propose the deployment of Canadian air strike capabilities; (b) what alternative options did this letter propose; (c) how many direct requests for Canadian assistance were received from members of the US-led coalition against ISIS prior to October 3, 2014; (d) of the requests identified in (c), how many specifically requested the deployment of Canadian air strike capabilities; (e) has the government undertaken legal consultations regarding the potential deployment of Canadian Forces personnel or equipment in Syria; (f) what are the incremental costs of the military mission in Iraq to date; (g) what are the full costs of the military mission in Iraq to date; (h) when did the Government of Canada receive formal authorization from the Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government to conduct ground operations on Iraqi and Kurdish territory; (i) do these authorizations enable Canada to engage in ground combat operations on Iraqi or Kurdish territory; and (j) does Canada have a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq governing the operations and liability of Canadian Forces on Iraqi territory?

Petitions May 7th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I too have a petition from men and women across Canada asking that the government remove the GST on menstrual hygiene products.

Iran Accountability Week May 5th, 2015

Mr. Chair, we need to understand that any protocols that curtail abuse are important. We should strengthen the sanctions on members of the Iranian regime who are involved with human rights abuses. We should also look at the nuclear question and what we can do in a positive way to achieve the goal that we all want to see, and that is to stop the proliferation.

This is not just about of Iran of course. This is also about Canada's export of technology to other countries, as well as fuel. There is also the issue of the nuclear safety agreement. I know the Prime Minister was involved a couple of years ago in the international conference, which is so important. Frankly, we could strengthen our resolve there a bit by being engaged in the IAEA for instance.

We should do everything we can to hold the regime to account. We should be vigilant, ensure parliamentarians are engaged, as we are, and do everything possible for Canada to be engaged in stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The last thing the Middle East needs is another player with a weapon of mass destruction.