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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

Preclearance Act, 2016 February 24th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the point the members on the other side seem to be missing is that pre-clearance works just fine without these new powers for the American officials to use in Canada. These would include carrying firearms, detention, and conducting strip searches.

Why on earth do we need to add new powers in order to keep pre-clearance operating? There seems to be no justification for that, other than it must have been the price the U.S. demanded for the expanded agreement.

National Defence February 24th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, Canada must be a force for stability in this increasingly dangerous world by acting as a counterweight to the erratic and disruptive foreign policy of President Trump. Canada has already recommitted to NATO as an alliance that guarantees the defence of all its members, by offering to lead the NATO mission in Latvia, thus blunting Trump's assertion that the Baltic States are not defensible.

Canada should oppose Trump's cavalier remarks about proliferation of nuclear weapons and other advanced weapons systems by refusing to participate in the U.S. ballistic missile defence program. Our joining would risk setting off an arms race in advanced offensive missile capability as a response.

The New Democrats believe our troops should have the support, training, and equipment they need to do the difficult and dangerous work we ask them to do every day. We hope the Liberals will keep their promise of an increase in defence spending in the upcoming budget, and of allocating enough capital spending to sustain the national shipbuilding strategy.

Only with a well-trained and well-equipped military can Canada continue to play an independent role in the world in promoting peace and security.

Preclearance Act, 2016 February 22nd, 2017

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his comments on this, but I simply do not understand his position, and he incorrectly portrays the NDP position. We are not opposed to expanding pre-clearance, we are simply asking the question, when pre-clearance has functioned all this time, without granting what I would call extreme powers to the officials in the United States, why do we need those extra powers? Why do we need to say that American agents can detain Canadians? Why do we need to say that they can carry firearms? This has been working perfectly well without these provisions.

When the member says that they operate under Canadian law, that is simply not true. They do not apply Canadian law. They have no training in Canadian law. They know virtually nothing about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Simply saying that is true does not make it so.

Why do we need these new expanded powers for American officials at the border, especially at a time when gay and lesbian Canadians and Muslim Canadians are having a difficult time getting into the United States?

Human Rights February 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, almost a year ago, I stood with the government and celebrated the introduction of Bill C-16, which would extend the same rights and protections enjoyed by other Canadians to those in the trans community. Now this government bill stands stalled in the Senate. It has been over six years since this legislation was first passed in this House, but still transgender Canadians are told to wait even longer, to go on waiting for their rights.

What are the Liberals doing to get Bill C-16 passed into law? Has the minister communicated the urgency of this bill to senators, or will they let trans rights die in the Senate for a third time?

Petitions February 15th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present e-petition 608. This petition calls on the cabinet to exercise its authority under the Canada Evidence Act to designate the Military Police Complaints Commission as one of the bodies permitted uncensored access to documents. This issue is particularly important, given the Military Police Complaints Commission's ongoing investigation into the role of the Canadian Forces in the alleged abuse of Afghan detainees.

Access to uncensored documents in this investigation is especially important as the Minister of National Defence has refused to authorize an independent inquiry into the issue of complicity in the torture of Afghan detainees, which was a decision taken despite the apparent conflict of interest arising out of the minister's own potential role as a key witness in any such inquiry.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act February 8th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I will start by thanking the member for Essex for that amazing critique of the trade deal. She has raised a number of concerns that are widespread, in my riding as well, one being the impact of this deal on prescription drugs.

I also want to talk about what people generally call supply management, which I have been hoping to get people to think of as food security. Would the member agree with me that one of the possible impacts of this trade agreement would be the undermining of Canadian production, which makes sure that we have Canadian producers producing the food we need, and also makes sure that we have producers who produce the high standards of food that Canadians have learned to expect in our market?

Statistics Act February 7th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, again and again I heard the Conservatives refer to the protection of privacy with the 92-year rule for the disclosure of data, that it is not like it is going to be published.

I come from a family that had various twists and turns. My mother spent years of her retirement trying to trace our family history and one of the important sources for that information was the census. I wonder if the Conservatives have really thought about the impacts on families in the future who want to resource their origins and find out where they came from. The census has certainly been an important part of that.

Again, I do not understand how, after 92 years, it would affect anybody's privacy, but it may, in fact, affect the ability of future descendants to find out where they came from and who they are as Canadians.

Statistics Act February 7th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have to say that I am a bit confused. I was confused by the bill, and now I am a bit confused by the debates in front of us. I was confused by the bill, because the Liberals promised that they would bring back the mandatory long-form census, and that is not actually in the bill, and they promised in their platform that they would make Statistics Canada fully independent, and of course, that is not in the bill either. I do not think my confusion is just because it took me 48 hours to get back to Ottawa from a snowy Victoria in February. However, now I have listened to the debate on the bill, and one thing I can agree with the Conservatives on is the fact that the bill before us shows a paucity of proposals, on the Liberal side, for significant legislation.

I just heard the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa talking about the fact that Conservatives believe in the importance of data, but it was the Conservative government that eliminated the long-form census and interrupted the long chain of very important data that was important to researchers across the country. He say that he believes that privacy is really important and seems to be opposed to the fact that after 92 years, information from the census might be made public. He seems inordinately concerned that people are being asked about the amount of time it takes them to commute, which I think is important information for transportation. Finally, he is concerned about the protection of privacy through Shared Services, when it was the Conservative government that came up with the idea of Shared Services, which might result in the improper storage of data.

Maybe the member can explain to me how his position is consistent with what the Conservative government did before.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship February 1st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals said last year that LGBT refugees would be a priority among Syrian refugees as among the most at risk. Then they did exactly nothing. Now Trump's ban has placed LGBT refugees from seven Muslim majority countries at extreme risk. In all seven, being gay means living in fear of being put to death.

I want to ask the minister the same question which he ignored in last night's emergency debate. Will the minister take swift and specific action to facilitate asylum in Canada for LGBT citizens of the seven countries who are now excluded from the United States and who risk death if sent home?

Statistics Act January 30th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, while New Democrats are happy to see measures that would promote independence of the chief statistician, as usual with the Liberals, the devil is always in the detail.

I am not sure how having a five-year term that is renewable makes people more independent than having essentially a career long term. I am also not sure when a Liberal government in its previous incarnation started the privatization of statistic service, handing over control of data to private organizations. When we get to committee, I think we will have a lot of very detailed questions.

Is the government open to additional measures in the act to ensure that the chief statistician is actually independent and the privacy of Canadian data is protected?