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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is budget.

Liberal MP for Kings—Hants (Nova Scotia)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 71% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Democratic Reform May 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, there is only one party in the House of Commons which has paid a $250,000-fine for breaking election rules, and that is the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party and the Harper Conservatives had the parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister taken to jail in ankle chains for breaking election laws. We are cleaning up this mess, we are strengthening Canada's election laws, and we are going to ensure that we respect the integrity of our electoral system.

Social Development May 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, our government understands digital services should be based on user needs, not government processes. Earlier this year, my parliamentary secretary, the member for Vancouver Quadra, represented Canada as we signed the Digital 7 charter, joining leading digital nations from around the world in a mission to harness digital technology for the benefit of citizens. Working with our D7 partners, we are advancing the best digital principles and practices to put Canadians at the heart of digital service delivery.

Democratic Reform May 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, in response to questions about the future electors registry, in fact, the information of young people who actually become part of that registry would not be shared with political parties. I was clear on that earlier this week.

I am surprised that the Conservatives would be opposed to the future electors registry, because at committee, they actually voted to support it.

Democratic Reform May 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, once again, we are committed to increasing Canadians' trust and participation in our democratic processes. This bill will make our elections more accessible, make the electoral process more secure and transparent, and ensure that political parties protect the privacy of Canadians. We look forward to working with all members for a more open and transparent system.

Democratic Reform May 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is conflating two different things. One is a limit on all political parties in terms of their advertising spending, and we are putting in place a pre-writ period that would apply to all political parties. The other is on government advertising, and we have already eliminated partisan government advertising. We did that about two years ago, in response to the egregious abuse of government advertising by the Harper Conservatives. We have already fixed this issue, and we are doing the right thing to be an open and transparent government.

Democratic Reform May 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, leading up to the last federal election, in fact, in the years of the Harper government, it spent almost a billion dollars on quasi-partisan government advertising. We changed the advertising policy for the Government of Canada to eliminate that kind of blatant partisan advertising. We also imposed on the Government of Canada the same restrictions that apply, and have applied for a long time during the writ period, to the Government of Canada for 90 days before. We have already taken action to address the issue that the Harper government did not.

Elections Modernization Act May 10th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, that is a great question.

Again, it is very important to increase flexibility to help voters participate in the electoral process, just as it is very important to protect the integrity of our voting system.

To restore vouching, as an example, is one area of flexibility. The member raises a very good point about students having the opportunity. Their addresses are sometimes transient because they live in different places.

Again, vouching requires an individual to make a solemn pledge and take an oath as to somebody's identity. It's not something that is entered into frivolously. People can only vouch for one person. That is one example.

I would be interested to ensure that young people who are not living at their parents' address have that flexibility. I think that is one example of how voter information cards or vouching can provide a necessary and important flexibility to ensure that they have the opportunity to vote.

Elections Modernization Act May 10th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, again, we believe very strongly that having more Canadians active in the political process, including in elections, is really important and vital for our democracy. That really starts with young Canadians.

To have a registry of future voters and to engage young Canadians early by giving them an opportunity to work in elections is really important. We think restoring the ability and the mandate of Elections Canada to promote engagement and to do outreach makes a great deal of sense. That is why it is in this bill.

Elections Modernization Act May 10th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, one of the recommendations from Elections Canada, having had the opportunity to analyze the impact of the changes that the previous government made in eliminating vouching and voter information cards, was that we bring back voter information cards. In fact, I mentioned earlier that over 160 experts on elections felt it was the wrong decision, and Stats Canada has said that in fact 170,000 Canadians who ought to have been able to vote did not have the opportunity as a result of that. We believe democracy is stronger when more Canadians participate, and that is why we are bringing it back.

Elections Modernization Act May 10th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his engagement on the whole area of electoral reform. As he has indicated, he agrees and the NDP members have expressed in principle support for much of what is in this bill, particularly for the components of this bill that reflect the report of Elections Canada after the last election. Eighty-five per cent of that report is in this bill, in particular those elements that reverse some of the more regressive measures of the Conservatives' so-called Fair Elections Act.

The member also expressed a concern that I share, in terms of making sure that these changes are in place to be in effect for the next election. Given that there has been a lot of study—I believe 30 hours at PROC—around this issue, at some point we are sawing sawdust. The hon. member has expressed concerns of having this in place for the next election. If we put those two together, we would very much appreciate his support and the NDP's support for moving forward in good faith in a timely way to make sure that the new—