House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was respect.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Regina—Wascana (Saskatchewan)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Corrections and Conditional Release Act February 21st, 2019


Motion No. 13

That Bill C-83, in Clause 10, be amended by replacing lines 2 to 7 on page 6 with the following:

in which an inmate is authorized to be transferred into a structured intervention unit indicating the reasons for granting the authorization and any alternative that was considered.

(3) No later than one working day after the day on which the transfer of an inmate is authorized, the Service shall, orally, provide the inmate with notice that the authorization was granted as well as the reasons for it and no later than two working days after the day on which the transfer of an inmate is authorized, the Service shall provide the inmate with those reasons in writing.

Motion No. 14

That Bill C-83, in Clause 10, be amended by replacing lines 25 to 36 on page 7 with the following:

37.11 If a staff member or a person engaged by the Service believes that the confinement of an inmate in a structured intervention unit is having detrimental impacts on the inmate’s health, the staff member or person shall refer, in the prescribed manner, the inmate’s case to the portion of the Service that administers health care. Grounds for the belief include the inmate

(a) refusing to interact with others;

(b) engaging in self-injurious behaviour;

(c) showing symptoms of a drug overdose; and

(d) showing signs of emotional distress or exhibiting behaviour that suggests that they are in urgent need of mental health care.

Corrections and Conditional Release Act February 21st, 2019


Motion No. 9

That Bill C-83, in Clause 10, be amended by

(a) deleting lines 25 to 30 on page 8;

(b) replacing lines 1 to 3 on page 9 with the following:

(3) Before making a determination under this section, the institutional head shall visit the inmate.

(4) The institutional head shall maintain a record indicating the circumstances of every instance in which, because of security requirements, a visit was not face to face or took place through a cell door hatch.

(5) No later than one working day after the day on which he or she makes a determination under this section, the institution head shall orally notify the inmate of the determination as well as the reasons for it and no later than two working days after the day on which the determination was made, the institutional head shall provide the inmate with those reasons in writing.

Motion No. 10

That Bill C-83, in Clause 10, be amended by

(a) replacing lines 11 to 18 on page 9 with the following:

registered health care professional shall provide advice to the committee established under subsection (3).

(2) The registered health care professional providing the advice is to be a senior registered health care profes-

(b) replacing lines 23 to 30 on page 9 with the following:

rank than that of institutional head for the purpose of making determination under section 37.32.

37.32 (1) As soon as practicable after the institutional head determines under subsection 37.3(2) that an inmate's conditions of confinement in a structured intervention unit should not be altered in accordance with the recommendations of a registered health care professional, the committee established under subsection

(c) replacing lines 34 to 36 on page 9 with the following:

(2) As soon as practicable after the institutional head determines under paragraph 37.3(1)(a) that an inmate should remain in a

Public Safety February 21st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, acts of hate are intended to drive wedges of fear and division. Such acts can be a jarring reminder that the inclusive and tolerant Canada we want is a precious and delicate work in progress that we dare not take for granted.

Canadians must be free to practise their faith and culture without fear. To that end, we have doubled federal funding for the security infrastructure program to help pay for security upgrades for communities at risk. We have significantly broadened access to the program. More new projects will be announced this spring.

Resignation of Member February 6th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, let me begin by simply saying that the member for Kings—Hants is rude. He has frequently criticized my speeches in Parliament and elsewhere as long, very, very long. He calls them, and I quote, “the Regina monologues”. Today, he will just have to sit and listen.

The member for Kings—Hants is a centennial baby, born in 1967, so he missed this country's entire first century. However, I think we all might agree that he has rather made up for all of that in the following 51 years.

Finance, the economy and business have always been of great interest to him. He got his education in these fields at Dalhousie University. He was already an entrepreneur during those university years. He rented small refrigerators to his fellow students. To their parents, he distributed brochures showing those little fridges stuffed with vegetables. To the students, he showed the brochures with fridges stuffed with beer. He liked to think of himself in those days as a “fridge magnate”, which maybe was a precursor to his later careers.

After university, he joined an equity firm, invested in a paint company, and moved to New York City. It was there that he was discovered by Jean Charest, who persuaded him to return to Nova Scotia to contest the 1997 federal election in the constituency of Kings—Hants as a Progressive Conservative. He was 30 years old at that time, and the Progressive Conservative Party had two seats in the House of Commons. I remember well because I was there. His political adventure had begun. Obviously, he was an optimist.

Over the intervening two decades, the member for Kings—Hants has been a backbencher, a front-bencher, in government, in opposition, a committee chair, a parliamentary secretary, an official critic, and a minister twice. He has been elected, resigned, been re-elected and crossed the floor. That diverse experience shows at least three things.

First of all, he cannot keep a steady job. Second, he has broad experience in, and I think from what we have seen today, the deepest respect for the institutions of parliamentary democracy. Third, to continually win and retain the loyalty of his voters, no matter what partisan hat he might be wearing at any given time over all of those elections, it is obvious that he has never forgotten for a second where he came from and where his roots are.

Indeed, the people of Cheverie and Nova Scotia are probably the most frequently referenced demographic group in caucus and around the cabinet table, because he makes sure they are always mentioned.

He ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party, and after reinventing himself he also ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party. He was quite a kingmaker. After dropping out of the PC race, he then backed Jim Prentice, thus cementing a victory for Peter MacKay, and after dropping out of the Liberal race, he backed first Bob Rae and then Michael Ignatieff, cementing a victory for Stéphane Dion.

He did not win the leadership but he has, throughout his career and again today, proved himself to be a smart, funny, principled, decent, devoted trailblazer, with friends on both sides of the House.

The member for Kings—Hants embodies and helped drive some of the biggest social changes our country has ever seen, becoming Canada's first openly gay cabinet minister.

That mattered, not just because of the benefits that we know diversity brings to every organization and society that embraces it, but it mattered for a generation of LGBTQ2 people to see themselves in those holding some of the highest offices in the land. Representation matters, democracy matters, and there could have been no better role model.

On many other fronts, he worked human rights protections into free trade negotiations, even though he was not in government at the time but sat in the opposition. In government, he got the estimates process changed to help MPs follow the money in government spending; he championed regulatory reform to augment Canadian competitiveness; he concluded 17 collective bargaining agreements with public servants; and he has led the drive toward digital government in the modern economy in Canada.

The member for Kings—Hants has been blessed with excellent staff, as he mentioned a few moments ago, throughout his parliamentary career. Today, for all of us who serve in this place in whatever capacity, I am sure we would want to take this opportunity with him to recognize those devoted people who work with us. Those on many sides of the House have had the opportunity to work with Tisha, Dale, Edward, Adele and the others he has mentioned. How they endured all of those years, how they put up with all of that aggravation, is hard to believe.

We also want to thank Max, Claire and Rose for sharing a spouse and father with all of Canada. Whether on that side of the House, this side of the House or outside of Parliament, just by watching this man, we could tell the moment that Max and then Claire and Rose came into the life of the member for Kings—Hants. Something fundamental changed.

The member for Kings—Hants has done more than most in our chamber for diversity and inclusion; for accommodation and respect; for young people and role modelling; for making Canada a more fair, decent and wonderful country where more and more people, whatever their colour or creed, whatever their gender or orientation, whatever their ethnicity or heritage, whatever their abilities or exceptionalities, where more and more people of all kinds can be and are equal, first-class Canadians. All of us together live in a country that is the finest example of pluralism that the world has ever known. This is the cause to which the member for Kings—Hants has devoted his parliamentary life, and together we say, “Thank you and Godspeed”.

Public Safety February 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, wherever the evidence exists, charges are laid and prosecutions are pursued. I would note that of the very small number of returnees who have come back to Canada from the Syrian, Iraqi and Turkish theatres, four have already been charged and at least three have been convicted. None were charged or convicted under the previous government.

Public Safety February 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, we condemn the horrific and cowardly acts of Daesh and take with the utmost seriousness the threats posed by travelling extremists and returnees. Those who leave Canada to fight for terrorism are utterly reprehensible and our goal is to arrest, charge, prosecute and convict.

All Five Eyes and G7 allies are working together to help collect and preserve the necessary evidence.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police January 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP and its employees deserve to feel safe and respected at work. To that end, we are implementing all 13 recommendations from the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission and from Sheila Fraser, including immediate steps to establish a management advisory board to provide Commissioner Lucki with expert advice and support in leading the force through a vital period of transformation and cultural change. Maintaining a modern, healthy, inclusive workplace is not a single event. It is a process that must be relentlessly pursued and we are.

Justice January 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, there is a legal proceeding before the courts. The courts are being managed by very distinguished judges. Both sides have competent counsel to represent them in the proceedings.

Under our Constitution, those matters are dealt with in the courts of Canada, not on the floor of the House of Commons. This is not the court of Star Chamber.

Justice January 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the official opposition continues to defy the advice of Mr. Van Loan. He said that the practice, which is called the sub judice convention, applied to debates, to statements, to question period. It is deemed improper for a member in posing a question and improper for a minister in responding to a question to comment on any matter that is before the courts. The previous Harper government took that position 300 times.

Justice January 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, on May 11, 2015, the Hon. Peter Van Loan said:

Members are expected to refrain from discussing matters before the courts, or under judicial consideration, in order to protect those involved in a court action or judicial inquiry against any undue influence through the discussion of the case.

Minister Van Loan was saying “avoid undue influence”. Apparently, the opposition is in favour of it.