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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is changes.

Liberal MP for Cape Breton—Canso (Nova Scotia)

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

Statements in the House

Labour October 27th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, this government certainly does recognize the challenges that are facing our workforce now, especially young Canadians.

The parliamentary budget officer, in his report, said that the changing job market was offering different types of positions for young Canadians. He recognizes that smart and necessary investments have to be made, and that is what this government is doing. We are hoping our investments will yield long-term, well-paid jobs for our young Canadians.

Youth Employment October 27th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, Canadians recognize, certainly the stakeholders I meet with do, that there is an evolving job market out there, particularly for young Canadians. That is why we have made historic investments in skills training and education. These, in turn, will yield good-paying jobs. We have made investments like $1.5 billion in student grants. We have provided almost $170 million for a youth employment strategy and $330 million for Canada summer jobs that created 80,000 summer jobs.

Canadians expect investments like that, and we are making them.

Canada Pension Plan October 21st, 2016

Madam Speaker, my colleague is a veteran member of the chamber and I would like his comments on this. The former prime minister, Stephen Harper, announced the increase in the age of eligibility for OAS from 65 to 67 when he was not even in the country, but abroad at the World Economic Forum. It was not even announced in his campaign in 2011. There was no mention of it. Therefore, he just heaped this on some of the most disadvantaged in our country. In this case, it was central to our campaign. Canadians knew what this government was offering and voted to support our party in the last election because they knew what we were offering, which is transparency and openness.

Does the member not see the contrast in the way that both situations were handled? I am sure that Canadians see the contrast.

Labour October 21st, 2016

Madam Speaker, as the member well knows, the Canada Labour Code requires employers to implement preventative measures to ensure that employees are not exposed to dangerous conditions. A danger directive was issued back in May to Arva Flour. The labour program's health and safety officers are working with the employer to ensure its compliance with the code. It would be inappropriate for me or the minister to speak anymore about the matter.

Hurricane Matthew October 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, last Monday, the province of Nova Scotia was hammered by the remnants of Hurricane Matthew. Parts of Cape Breton Island received over 240 millimetres of rain, in an eight-hour period, driven by 120-kilometre-per-hour winds. The result was widespread flooding, washouts, road closures, and extensive power outages.

My colleague, the member for Sydney—Victoria, and I welcomed the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness on Friday past to tour some of the hardest-hit sites. We were joined by provincial Minister of Transportation Geoff MacLellan and area MLAs.

To see the loss and destruction first hand, to speak with the people whose lives have been devastated by this event, was moving, to say the least.

We applaud the hundreds of first responders and the armies of families, friends, and neighbours who helped out. They should know that their actions were noble and appreciated. Together we can share the burden and the work of rebuilding our communities.

Premier Stephen McNeil has pledged to make assistance quick, efficient, and unencumbered.

The people of Nova Scotia must know that this government will be there as a willing partner to help our people through this terrible ordeal.

Petitions September 29th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I stand to present a petition on behalf of approximately 150 residents from Cape Breton—Canso, Southwest Margaree, Belle Cote, East Lake Ainslie, and Scottsville, areas that I know the Speaker has been to and has enjoyed many times and that the member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound has travelled to as well.

These good people are calling on the Government of Canada to specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act so as to provide accessible and available hospice care for all residents of Canada in their respective provinces and territories. I present this petition on their behalf.

CANADA LABOUR CODE September 26th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I guess I can put my friend and colleague from the class of 2000, the member for Battle River—Crowfoot, down as undecided.

Today the Conservatives, speaker after speaker, have said very similar things. My friend from Battle River—Crowfoot said that it was about the bullying tactics of organized labour, the big union bosses intimidating and bullying people to sign up. He said that in his comments.

Let us check what the Canada Industrial Relations Board said. It was asked how often this happens, how many grievances it had had about the card check system. There were six: four against employers and two against organized labour.

Conservatives say that the Liberal government is not doing enough for the economy. When their government took over, oil was at $1.16 a barrel, and when it left, it was at $32 a barrel, but the thing they were motivated about was bringing in a bunch of legislation that hurt organized labour in this country.

One can say that this is about openness and transparency. These two bills were about an attack on organized labour in this country, plain and simple.

CANADA LABOUR CODE September 26th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I was not certain, but the hon. member knew that we won the last election, did he not? Is that a point of order?

CANADA LABOUR CODE September 26th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the member across has tried to dismiss what Bill C-377 was about. He tried to say that we ask the same of charities, so why can we not ask this of organized labour?

The highest degree of revenue by any charity in the country is a hospital in Toronto. They file a form of about 24 pages. One of the smallest filings we are going to see, if we let Bill C-377 go forward for organized labour, will be about 400 pages. The member should try not to mislead the Canadian public, saying that it is looking for the same. Everything over $5,000, every salary over $5,000, will have to shown.

My hon. colleague said that members of Parliament would have to do this. I would ask the member if he posts the individual salaries of his staff on his website?

CANADA LABOUR CODE September 26th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments and the speech by my colleague across, although I may not agree with much of it.

It is essential to know, for people who follow this debate and these issues, that during the course of Bill C-377, the government said that there is a benefit to unions, because one has to join a union to work on particular sites, and there is a tax benefit, a tax deduction. However, we know that if one wants to practice law in Ontario, one has to be a member of the the Ontario Bar Association and pay to be a member, and that membership is tax deductible. We have a number of lawyers here who are nodding.

If this is about openness and transparency, then let it be open and transparent for everybody. However, when we put forward the amendment to include lawyers and medical professionals, the Conservatives at the time voted against it. Does my colleague not see the contradiction in that? If it is good for the goose, it should be good for the gander.