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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Mississauga South (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Political Financing March 4th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, in order to distance himself from yet another breach of Parliament, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism apologized for the actions of an employee who sent out letters on parliamentary letterhead to raise $200,000 for the Conservative Party of Canada. This is another case of misuse of taxpayers' dollars.

For the minister, who gave the employee the information and the instructions for the improper mailing?

Business of Supply March 3rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think if you were to seek it, you would find unanimous consent to see the clock as 5:30 p.m.

Business of Supply March 3rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have some mixed views on the Senate, but on the proportional representation, I want to share with the member my concern. There are many types of proportional representation, but if we are talking about the system where there is a list provided by the parties so that if they are entitled to additional seats, they would take it off the list, the problem with that is that those members of Parliament who are added do not have a constituency. That means their jobs would be basically Ottawa work but no constituency work. It is a totally different job. Because they have been put on the list, chances are they are people who could not probably get elected on their own merit in the first place.

These are some of the concerns and I wonder if the member would care to comment on some of the problems.

Business of Supply March 3rd, 2011

Madam Speaker, my question has to do with the statement the minister made about leaving up to the political parties in their nomination process the issue of representation by minorities, et cetera. That is a wonderful dream, but it has not happened and it will not happen.

I would like the minister to have an opportunity to suggest another way that may be successful so that we have proper representation by those who may not be able to secure nominations because of their personal circumstances but who would make excellent members of Parliament to represent Canadians.

Enhanced New Veterans Charter Act March 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, this bill is extremely important and I am looking forward to a significant representation at committee of stakeholder groups to deal with these issues. It is very difficult for us here to appreciate the situations that people are in and I encourage the committee to do that.

One issue that comes up from time to time is the type of disabilities we are talking about. Neurological diseases seem to be orphans in this regard. To the extent that a veteran develops ALS, MS or even battle fatigue syndrome, which could very well be a permanent impairment, these are situations that Canadians would like us to look at and address in a fashion which is sensitive to the realities that these people were protecting Canadians' rights.

Does the member think that we need to be open to more suggestions from those involved on how to properly and sensitively address the issue of disabled veterans?

Strengthening Aviation Security Act March 1st, 2011

Madam Speaker, the member and I have worked together quite a bit on a few issues. One issue he has raised, and I have also raised it often, is the whole issue of legislation including a requirement to have regulations or subsequent information, which Parliament never sees after a bill has gone through the entire legislative process.

The point the member raises is that the disclosure requirements in this bill should have been fully negotiated, in my view, in advance. They are still in process and we will not know the final answer. It really makes it very difficult for parliamentarians to do a thorough job and make an informed assessment about whether there are in fact privacy breaches.

Based on what the Privacy Commissioner knows at this time, she has not concluded there are breaches. It does not mean that there may not be. The member has a point and I give him an opportunity to comment.

Strengthening Aviation Security Act March 1st, 2011

Madam Speaker, on November 18, when the Privacy Commissioner appeared before the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, she tried to clarify that the requirements under the no-fly list and that legislation did have some privacy concerns. She said:

However, C-42 differs from the measures listed above in that it will not result in the introduction of any new domestic aviation security programs nor will it involve the collection of additional personal information by Canadian government agencies.

Rather, it will allow American or other authorities to collect personal information about travellers on flights to and from Canada that fly through American airspace and this, in turn, will allow American authorities to prevent individuals from flying to or from Canada.

I think the Privacy Commissioner has added to the debate from the standpoint that the no-fly list issues, the Maher Arar issue, et cetera, are different cases from Bill C-42 and that there are no conclusions on behalf of the Privacy Commissioner that there are breaches of privacy rights of Canadians. I wonder if the member would want to comment.

Strengthening Aviation Security Act March 1st, 2011

Madam Speaker, we are getting to the point where we have heard some of these arguments before.

The Privacy Commissioner was before committee and the member referred to what was going on in committee. He is probably aware that the Privacy Commissioner raised some issues of concern from the point of view of how we can mitigate the risk of information getting out, such as in the retention agreement and how long information would be kept and with whom it could be shared with, et cetera. All of these things are still ongoing.

What she did not say but we would have expected from the Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, an experienced and excellent official on behalf of the Government of Canada, was that this was a gross violation of the privacy rights of Canadians. That was not her position.

Therefore, I ask the member, if the Privacy Commissioner does not think it is a gross violation, why does he?

Strengthening Aviation Security Act March 1st, 2011

Madam Speaker, I think the member's speech and arguments were quite well presented, but we do have a situation. The U.S. government and Canada have an agreement that is already in place which is directly related to the sovereign right to control their own airspace in the U.S. As the member knows, the thrust of the bill is to permit the request of the U.S. government for certain information, which, she is quite right, is still being discussed. The alternative is that the U.S. can say that flights would not be able to fly over U.S. airspace if they do not comply.

Given that the Privacy Commissioner before our committee on November 10 laid out some suggestions on how the security of the information could be safeguarded, she did not conclude it was an invasion of privacy and inappropriate disclosure. I wonder what the member's solution would be if Bill C-42 does not pass.

Privilege March 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I want to add one additional point.

First, I very much respect the member from Windsor—Tecumseh for bringing this to the attention of the House. I subscribe to his argument and support his request.

I am concerned that the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader somehow dismissed the matter simply because there was no reference to the estimates themselves, but just some numbers.

I apologize that I could not get to a copy of O'Brien and Bosc quick enough, but if you seek it, Mr. Speaker, I think you will find that something as simple as a committee report tabled in the House is subject to the same rules. It cannot be disclosed. To look even further, you will find that even if the committee was not meeting in camera, if it was in public session and dealt with a report, the contents of that report cannot be disclosed prior to tabling in the House.

This is how careful Parliament has been over the years to protect the privileges of parliamentarians. Not even things that are obviously in the public domain should be used in a fashion which would pre-empt the matter of having to table in the House before it could be used.

The parliamentary secretary to the government House leader has trivialized the matter. It is not a matter of the importance or whether it was used or not. The issue is the privileges and rights of parliamentarians must be protected to the greatest extent possible.