House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was actually.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Winnipeg Centre (Manitoba)

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

Statements in the House

Indigenous Languages Act May 2nd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. member on his speech and interesting stories.

I was at the UN last week with the member and a number of my colleagues at the indigenous peoples forum. The national president for the Métis National Council, Clément Chartier, spoke there. He spoke about how we need to ensure that we save the indigenous languages of Canada. No other government has done more to advance the ideals of reconciliation, and this bill goes a long way. He was talking at a specific session related to indigenous languages.

I would like to hear the member's thoughts on the UN forum and what he heard while he was there as well.

Indigenous Languages Act May 2nd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member for Peace River—Westlock wanted to ask another oil-related question, which is very pertinent to indigenous languages. We appreciate those types of questions.

Indigenous languages are very important, and I hope we will have the opportunity to debate this, perhaps in indigenous languages, in the House at some future date. I hope there can be some concordance among House leaders to ensure that indigenous members can debate the indigenous languages act in an indigenous language, which is very important. I know we are just before an election, there is a bit of fever and people are getting a little excited, but it is symbolic, nonetheless.

I hear a lot of agreement with this bill. I know the Conservative member for Peace River—Westlock is very much in favour, as is the member for Edmonton Centre, who has worked very hard on this bill. This is a very symbolic and important moment in Canadian history, because it is the fulfillment of what it means to be Canadian and the fulfillment of our nation as truly one of the greatest nations in the world. However, we still have work to do to get there and ensure that we can all express ourselves in the way we feel most comfortable.

Business of Supply April 29th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I was wondering if the hon. member for Winnipeg North knew that the Conservative leader refused to apologize for participating in a day-long election strategy session with very wealthy oil executives at a luxury resort in Alberta. We only discovered this because of good work done by some journalists. This was a closed-door meeting with a group called the Modern Miracle Network. It included leaders of oil companies, Conservative election organizers and the president of one of the largest oil patch lobby groups.

Is this true transparency? When we talk about transparency, is this the transparency we want for our country? Is this what we want happening in our election? I would like to hear comments from the member for Winnipeg North, because I certainly know that it is not what we want in Winnipeg Centre. I spent my time today meeting with people who are local community people, people who came to Ottawa to talk about MS and came to talk and lobby about real community issues. That is what I spent my time doing. I know that we do not want from our government the type of transparency we are seeing from the Conservative leader.

Business of Supply April 29th, 2019

Madam Speaker, I am wondering if the member knows that on Friday, the leader of the Conservative Party went on social media to refuse to apologize for participating in a daylong election strategy session with wealthy oil executives at a luxury resort in Alberta. This was absolutely incredible to read about. He met and worked with four leaders of oil companies and with the oil patch lobby group, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, in order to impact the outcome of the next federal election.

This session was behind closed doors and was not reported to Canadian citizens. We only found out about it inadvertently.

Is this the type of politics we want from the Conservative Party and its leader?

An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families April 11th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, when I first rose in the House for my maiden speech, I discussed child and family services and the absolute crisis we face in Manitoba, with over 11,000 kids in care. I am thankful that the government, after a year and a half, started taking action and consulting with indigenous people and indigenous organizations, looking for consensus.

From what I understand, the bill is historic in that an awful lot of time was spent negotiating, discussing and working together to try to come up with a piece of legislation that had consensus, not only on the government side and in the Department of Justice but also from indigenous peoples.

While it may not be perfect, it is time for it to go to committee. I remember having the debate about the Champlain Bridge in Montreal. It was a Conservative motion, which was dilatory, on a report, and it wasted a lot of time on that day when we should have been discussing this bill. I had looked forward to the opportunity. However, now I look forward to the opportunity of actually getting it to committee so I can actually put forward some additional amendments to make the bill even better.

Petitions April 10th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a petition on a behalf of a citizen from my riding who recently passed away, Collin Kennedy. It is about ensuring that people have access to medical services and do not need to pay for parking when they go to hospitals. He spent over $17,000 in his lifetime to pay for parking to gain access to the facilities and cancer treatment he needed.

The petition is signed by many people from Winnipeg Centre and across the country. I have already tabled one petition on this issue. This is the final act of this gentleman, Collin Kennedy, and it is in his memory.

Criminal Code April 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I remember back in 1995 or 1996, as a young child, watching some of the news surrounding indigenous status and the status of indigenous women in this country. I remember listening to an indigenous woman who said, “I am not just simply a second-class citizen in Canada. I am a third-class citizen, because I am a woman.”

I have heard about equality in this debate. What does equality mean in this country, when the outcomes are so different? What does equality mean when we see the Gladue case in Alberta, where a woman in the justice system was treated very unequally? She was essentially cut up inside, with a six-inch gash in her vagina, and the judge let the perpetrator off. Only after an outcry did the prosecutor in Alberta actually take it back to court. That is a difference in outcomes.

I have heard lots of interesting comments in the House. One of the comments I heard was that because this bill does not deal with all of the justice issues related to the Criminal Code, then it should not apply, that it has no importance, that we need to deal with all of it at the same time. Well, let us take that first step.

I do not mean to get emotional about this, but I think this impacts a lot of people I know.

Bill S-221 was an act to amend the Criminal Code with regard to assaults against public transit operators. Now, from 1997 to 2011, there were 23 taxi driver homicides. Parliament modified the law.

In 2013 alone, just in RCMP jurisdictions in Canada, there were 42 recorded female homicide victims, and 17 of those were indigenous. That is 40%. That is a fact. Is that equality? We talk about equality, but the outcomes seem to be so different.

What are we actually doing? It is great to have some programs and spend some money. I wear the moosehide patch all the time, but what does that really change? I have people asking me all the time what it means. No one seems to know. It is about indigenous men and boys taking a stand against violence against indigenous women and girls, and children, How many people keep asking every day what I am wearing that for and what it means? Yet we have handed out a million of them across the country.

Do members know we also had a bill called Bill C-35, the Justice for Animals in Service Act? It was known as Quanto's Law. Quanto was a police dog. He was killed while on duty. This bill created a specific new offence prohibiting the killing or injuring of a law enforcement animal, and it created a minimum sentence. Who is worth more: Quanto, Tina Fontaine, Gladue, Helen Betty Osborne?

There are lots of organizations that support this bill. I could list them all. The First Nations of Saskatchewan and the Assembly of First Nations have passed resolutions in support of this, and there are women's groups across the Prairies that have asked for legislation on this issue. It deserves a full and wholesome debate in this House.

I hope the government takes this bill and moves forward, because I am sure the missing and murdered indigenous women's inquiry will have something about the justice system. I hope we actually go ahead and change some of these laws so that equality means the equality of outcomes, so that people walking around the streets of downtown Winnipeg will know that they are just as valued as anyone else, no matter what their birth in this country.

Jaime Adao Jr. April 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take few moments to recognize the life of Jaime Adao Jr.

Jaime was a 17-year old. The people who loved him most nicknamed him “Jimboy”. He was soft spoken, shy, loving, courteous and dutiful. He was the pride of his mother Mel and his father Jim Sr. He was set to graduate from Tec-Voc High School in Winnipeg Centre. He dreamed of going to Red River College to become an executive chef. His family ran a Filipino bakery, which eventually it was planned he would one day run himself.

On Sunday evening on March 3, Jaime was killed during a home invasion by someone high on meth. He died defending his grandmother. He was at home studying for school exams.

Over the past month, thousands of community members have come together to remember a life that touched so many and to demand an end to the violence reaching across Canada. This is a call to action for a safer society. We need more addiction treatment and greater security. The memory of “Jimboy” deserves no less.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act April 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I disagree with the hon. member.

This is giving life to UNDRIP in an actual bill before Parliament, Bill C-88. It ensures that UNDRIP is fully respected. UNDRIP, in Bill C-262, is a document that governs all of the Canadian government, ensuring all policies and laws come into accordance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and also with an annual report. I remember putting forward a private member's bill of my own that would require reporting to the House of Commons on an annual basis.

Nonetheless, I still believe that the bill is a good way forward. It was negotiated in full accordance with all the indigenous peoples concerned by the bill. That is what we call respect. That is what we call self-determination: sitting down, having a conversation, talking. That is how we make treaties.

The difficult part will come in the future when we need to make sure that these treaties are respected. That involves the government of the day and making sure that we have a good government that will respect those rights into the future.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act April 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I was very proud to have the opportunity of trying to get Bill C-262 passed in the House of Commons. It was a great opportunity. I remember speaking with many of my colleagues, the indigenous caucus, and trying to work with the member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, to ensure that UNDRIP passed in the House of Commons. I know it is before the Senate and the document is not yet law. The senators in the other place have to decide on what will actually occur with that bill and I hope they are able to come to a final conclusion on that.

For me, I think the bill already does incorporate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the law. It ensures that there is respect and self-determination of government. I talked about principles 1 and 5, which recognize self-determination and the right to self-government, which I think is central to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This goes, part and parcel, with all the other policies we have been doing in the budget, for instance, with water, health, education, economic prosperity, a new fiscal relationship with urban indigenous peoples, and even with emergency management. All of these things are about ensuring that we have an implemented UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, human rights for all peoples across Canada.