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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was program.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Cape Breton—Canso (Nova Scotia)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 74% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada Summer Jobs Program June 17th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives like to say that politics are being played with the Canada summer jobs program, but politics are being played by them. We know the Conservatives have continued to mislead Canadians with regard to the Canada summer jobs program. They say that we are not funding any faith-based groups anymore.

Even in their leader's riding, the Raymore Baptist Church, Avonhurst Pentecostal Assembly and Echo Lake Bible Camp have received funding, if Conservatives check their list. That would be another aspect of this program they continue to play politics with.

Canada Summer Jobs Program June 17th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, my colleague knows we unequivocally condemn violence and extremism of any kind. It is unacceptable and is not tolerated.

We understand and share the member's concerns about this organization. ESDC is conducting a review of this matter through Service Canada Ontario. The member has long served in this House. He knows how this program works and that money will not be flowing if in fact this group is not compliant.

Points of Order June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I consider the member to be a friend. If his feelings were hurt, I certainly want to apologize.

He is right. The minister is from Ontario. He has done a tremendous job working with the people of Cape Breton to provide opportunities and I look forward to that relationship continuing.

Canada Summer Jobs Program June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, pending the outcome of the review, there will be action taken by this government.

However, I am amazed by the Conservatives' new-found interest in summer grants and summer students, because what they wanted to do when they were in power was cut the program out altogether. The member for Carleton cut $24 million from the youth employment strategy. The Conservatives are letting on now that they care about summer students. They are letting on now that they care about this program.

This is a party of action, this is a government of action, and we will take the appropriate action.

Canada Summer Jobs Program June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across has been involved in this program for a number of years and would know how the money rolls out.

There is a review. The officials are working on this review right now, and we await that review. Certainly if anything is out of the ordinary, there will be no money flowing.

Canada Summer Jobs Program June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, we unequivocally condemn violent extremism. Any kind of behaviour such as that is not tolerated. I know that my colleague across the way understands that and shares that view.

ESDC is conducting a review of this matter in conjunction with Service Canada in Ontario. They have been on site. The organizations approved for funding must adhere to specific terms and conditions, and we await the outcome of that review.

Transport June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, Cape Bretoners always appreciate when someone from Ontario who knows nothing about it sticks his nose in their business.

There is a private airport in Port Hawkesbury. There are no scheduled flights into that airport. The project in Cabot Links has put over 700 people to work specifically there. The unemployment rate was at 25% when I was first elected in 2000 and what is going on, on the west side of the island is absolutely spectacular. For the member to jump up and and let on he knows what is going on there—

Post-Secondary Education June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, as the member would know, it was our government that invested in opportunities for students to gain that education.

We doubled the amount of low-interest grants to all Canadians, to part-time students as well as full-time students. We have increased the amount of support in those non-repayable grants. Also, until students are making at least $25,000, they have a holiday on repayment.

We are doing what has been asked of us as a government to help support student access.

Impact Assessment Act June 13th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, let me first voice my absolute admiration for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. She has been an incredible champion for the environment. She has done an outstanding job in this portfolio. When I see the continued barrage of personal attacks, especially from the Conservatives, that is what is shameful in this whole debate.

Having been here for 19 years, I remember the Sydney tar ponds. I remember that being the worst toxic site in North America. With the greatest admiration for my friend from Saanich—Gulf Islands, if it were up to her, we would still be talking about the Sydney tar ponds rather than having it cleaned up. We took action. We put $280 million into that project, and that project is pristine now.

As far as the New Democrats go, I remember getting bellowed at every day about the Kyoto accord, “When are the Liberals going to do something about Kyoto?” When the vote came for closure on the debate, 13 out of 26 showed up. They voted against closure.

She is a minister of action. I support her wholeheartedly.

Members' Families June 7th, 2019

Madam Speaker, there are 338 members of Parliament in this chamber. That is 338 families that are directly affected by how this places operates.

I have been blessed. I have had the good fortune to marry a smart, hard-working, beautiful, caring, independent woman in my wife Lynn. Our three sons, Mitch, Scott and Brad, have grown into wonderful young men we are both very proud of. We receive tremendous support from my parents, Lynn's folks, our sisters, brothers and close friends. However, make no mistake, Lynn, for the most part, raised the boys as a single mom.

As I wrap up 19 years in this place, I offer a challenge to members from all parties who will return. On this specific issue, they should peel back the silly pettiness and gamesmanship. They should look beyond the scoring of any cheap political gain and make this place work for our families. I am certain that even first-term members here can see the inefficiencies in this place and the squandering of time and resources.

As incredible an honour as it is to serve in this place, each and every member's first priority has to be family. Let us make this place work for our families.