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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is question.

NDP MP for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Access to Information Act December 5th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I have to say that it is good to have the Conservatives onside in opposing Bill C-58, which rolls back access to information and would do nothing to eliminate delays.

However, being the festive season and to be charitable, I will say that the member for Edmonton West was not here in Parliament from 2006 to 2015 when the Conservative government did not take this issue seriously and did nothing to improve it. I know that the member was not here in 2011 when the Harper government got the lowest mark possible from Canadian journalists for free expression on access to information, which was an F.

I am being charitable to the member, because he was not here. I am glad to have the Conservatives onside, in some kind of conversion on the road to opposition from the Conservatives here, but, in this Parliament, if the bill is so bad, why did the Conservatives present zero amendments in committee?

Access to Information Act December 5th, 2017

Madam Speaker, having heard the previous Liberal question about this great bill, I will ask the member about four snappy quotes.

The first is, “The proposed reforms are just not good enough,” which was said by Toby Mendel, the executive director of the Centre for Law and Democracy.

The second is, “The bill take a step backwards”, which was said by Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch.

The third is, “Bill C-58 would actually make the Access to Information Act more difficult to use”, which was said by Mark Weiler, a distinguished librarian at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Finally, Bill C-58 “would result in a regression of existing rights.” Who said that? The Information Commissioner.

In the hon. member's somewhat broad-ranging remarks, he expressed his discontent with the bill. However, the Conservatives did nothing in 10 years in power and did not even introduce any amendments at committee. Have you no faith at all in the Liberals' ability to accept amendments, or are you reverting back to your pattern of not acting on this?

Access to Information Act December 5th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I hate to say I enjoy this phenomenon that happens in the House when the Liberals and the Conservatives stand and accuse each other of being worse at things. Here again, the Conservatives say Liberals are worse than them and the Liberals say they were terrible, but we do not get to a solution that serves Canadians.

Why is it that, no matter what political stripe, Liberal or Conservative, governments have found it so easy not to adopt the very obvious recommendations that we need so Canadians can get access to information in a timely manner?

Indian Act November 30th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I want to give the member an example from Vancouver Island that is even more egregious. We have 13 nations that make up the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, along with Ditidaht and the Hupacasath. Their cousins, Wakashan speakers, are Makah in Washington State, and when a woman married someone who was a non-status Indian in Canada, but was a Wakashan speaker in the United States, their cousins, they lost their status. The same is true in my riding of the Coast Salish people from the Songhees, Esquimalt, Scia’new, and the South nations. They have cousins living on the other side of the border. They are not literally cousins, but language families. If a woman married into those nations, she lost her status in Canada, whereas a man did not. It does not even have to be a non-native. It was a non-status person.

We have people who are very concerned, but I have to differ with the other member. All the people I have talked to in these nations have said we should change the law and they will make those decisions themselves.

Committees of the House November 30th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I always listen carefully to the remarks from the member for Calgary Forest Lawn. He has a lot of experience here, and although we do not always agree, I find his contributions very valuable.

Like him, I often have my office feeling besieged by people desperate to deal with their immigration problems. It is peculiar today that we have had speeches from the Liberal side of the House where they have not clearly committed to supporting this concurrence motion. I find that very hard to understand.

I wonder if the member would agree with me that one of the problems we have now is that because the waiting lists are so long to get answers from Immigration Canada, it sometimes causes people who are desperate to reunite their families and deal with these problems to maybe take leave of their critical faculties when dealing with some of these corrupt consultants. I really feel these delays fuel this problem of bad consultants who are out there because of the desperation of people to solve these problems.

Committees of the House November 30th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member for Winnipeg North speak on this for 20 minutes, although I have to say it does seem longer. I have the same question as the Conservatives. What is the position of the government on this concurrence motion? Is it that the government is unwilling or unable to give us an answer whether it is going to be supporting this motion? It was debated in committee. We have heard 20 minutes of commentary from the member on it. Why is it that the Liberals cannot give us an answer on whether they will be supporting this motion?

Human Rights November 29th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, after yesterday's historic apology to the LGBTQ community and with the answer we just had from the Prime Minister, we see an opportunity here to begin to address some of the unfinished business the Prime Minister has been talking about.

In order to do that, will the Prime Minister join us in seeking agreement from all members of this House to deal with Bill C-66 before Christmas, so that gay men with criminal records for same-sex consensual activity can have those records extinguished?

Human Rights November 27th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it would be ironic if the government makes a just apology to the LGBTQ community tomorrow, and then fails to act to address ongoing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Failing to act will mean that the government will leave itself open to having to make future apologies.

Will the government commit today to working with us and the LGBTQ community to remove ongoing discrimination from federal law and policy, starting with the unscientific blood ban?

Petitions November 21st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present petition e-1162 concerning Tibetan human rights defenders.

This petition was originated by Namdol Tenzin from Scarborough, and it calls upon the Government of Canada to urge China to fulfill its international human rights obligations, to create a comprehensive report on the situation of Tibetan human rights defenders, and to make public intervention on behalf of Tibetan human rights defenders, particularly the 11th Panchen Lama.

Foreign Affairs November 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that Canada will be welcoming the world to a conference on peacekeeping without making any specific commitment on a peacekeeping mission.

To make matters worse, United Nations officials believe that the things being considered by Canada do not even match the UN's priorities. Now, with this conference just a few days away, it is still not clear if or how Canada will contribute.

Again, will the government be announcing a specific peacekeeping mission commitment before the conference opens?