House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was military.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Sackville—Eastern Shore (Nova Scotia)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Questions on the Order Paper April 24th, 2015

With regard to Veterans Affairs Canada and its contracts with Medavie Blue Cross Inc. (Medavie): (a) what services did Medavie provide from 2006 to 2015 inclusive; (b) what is the total value of all such contracts for all services provided, from 2006 to 2015 inclusive; (c) what is value of all such contracts for each fiscal year from 2006 to 2015 inclusive; (d) what are the values of such contracts from 2006 to 2015 inclusive, broken down by service provided; and (e) what are the details of each such contract signed in 2014, including (i) total contract value, (ii) description of work and services, (iii) contract period, including the end date?

Veterans April 22nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, on a quick trip to the Memorial Chamber people will understand the phrase that growing old is a privilege denied to so many. However, on page 274 of the budget, for the veteran who makes $62,000, when he or she turns 65 that goes to $27,000. The Conservatives' budget would increase that to $43,000.

My question is for the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada.. When veterans turn 65 years old, why will they still lose money under the Conservative government?

Veterans Affairs April 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the recent legislation brought forward by the government, when it comes to caregivers for our veterans, is, unfortunately, woefully inadequate.

The Conservatives identify that possibly 250 caregivers by 2020 may be able to receive a $7,000 grant. However, if a woman has to quite her full-time job to provide 24-hour round-the-clock care for the heroes of our country, she requires more financial resources than a $7,000 stipend.

Would the parliamentary secretary for veterans affairs please advise if the Conservatives would be willing to not only change their criteria of the definition of a caregiver but also increase the amount--

Veterans March 10th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to thank the government for actually moving the other day on one of the recommendations of our report. However, the committee had asked that all recommendations be implemented immediately, not just one or two at a time.

The fact is that many veterans out there are questioning the age 65 limitation. Will they still be losing money under this system when they turn 65?

According to their own chart yesterday, when a veteran who is disabled turns 65, even under this new system, there is a possibility that that person would end up losing money when they turn 65.

Can the minister guarantee that no disabled veteran, when they turn 65, will lose any income whatsoever?

Veterans February 26th, 2015

The problem, Mr. Speaker, is that yesterday, in the House of Commons, the parliamentary secretary said, “The minister...will do everything and commit everything to helping her through this crisis”. This morning, the family got an email from the lieutenant colonel in Victoria saying that they are not prepared to do anything to help her in terms of her accommodation or food allowance when she gets there. In fact, they even questioned why she is coming to Victoria in the first place.

The reality is that it was DND that did the misdiagnosis. It did an operation on her that was not required. It has ruined her life. Now she is asking for basic help to get her life back together.

Will the Minister of National Defence now tell the House and the family that he will ensure that she gets all the help she needs when she gets to Victoria?

Veterans February 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the reason the Conservatives do not do the survey is that they do not want to hear stories like that of Robyn Young, one of the bravest young women I have ever met in my life as a member of Parliament. This woman has gone through pure hell with the Department of National Defence, and so has her mother. All they are asking for is basic dignity and basic responsibility from the department to ensure that they get all the help and services they both need to get their lives back to normal.

DND should not be reviewing this itself; rather, the minister should be reviewing it. Will he stand up and tell the family they will get all the benefits they need so they can get back to living their lives in a normal way?

Parliament of Canada Act February 19th, 2015

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-654, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (omnibus bills).

Mr. Speaker, I have been an MP now for seventeen and a half years, and I have to be honest with my constituents and the people of Canada that I am here under false pretenses, and so is every single one of the members of Parliament in this House.

Our number one responsibility, when it comes to legislation, is the fiscal scrutiny of all legislation that leaves this House. However, when legislation comes forward with 418 pages that would change 50 statutes and laws, nobody in the House of Commons reads it. Nobody in the House of Commons properly does the job we need to do to have fiscal scrutiny of the government.

My bill would stop omnibus legislation from coming in. Legislation could only be introduced if attachments were related to the subject matter. One could not introduce legislation that had nothing to do with the subject matter at hand.

This practice has to stop in the House of Commons. We have to restore democracy to the Canadian people.

I am proud to say that we in the NDP want to stop the bus when it comes to omnibus bill legislation.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Veterans Affairs February 17th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister stated in the House of Commons that when it came to cuts to the DVA, only backroom jobs would be cut.

Just recently 44 front-line jobs have been cut in order to transfer that work over to backroom private service insurance companies to deal with insurance benefit claims for veterans. Now we find out that Medavie Blue Cross will cut off the benefits of veterans if it cannot reach them by phone.

My question for the minister is very clear. This ideology that the government has regarding cutting public service jobs and transferring that work over to the private sector will not improve benefits for veterans. In fact, it will frustrate them even more. Will the minister reverse his decision and bring those jobs back to the public service?

Veterans Affairs January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, 83-year-old disabled veteran, Basil McAllister, of Burton, New Brunswick, fought the Department of Veterans Affairs through the review board for 10 years, along with 2 court decisions, to finally realize his compensation benefits because of the chemical spraying at Gagetown.

In 2005, the Prime Minister, then the opposition leader, said that everyone affected by this spraying would be cared for. Thousands upon thousands of military personnel, their families and civilians are without proper compensation and care for the terrible injuries they suffered from the chemical spraying at Gagetown.

Will the government now do the right thing and ensure that all of them get the proper dignity they so rightfully deserve?

Veterans January 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, every Canadian knows that there is a moral and social obligation to care for those men and women we ask to put themselves in harm's way. However, it is only the Prime Minister and the Conservatives who do not believe that there is a moral and social obligation to care for them, especially now those in Iraq.

My question, very simply, is for the Minister of Veteran's Affairs. Does the government believe that there is a moral, social, legal, and fiduciary responsibility to care for the heroes of our country who the government asked to put in harm's way?