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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was seniors.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as NDP MP for Hamilton Mountain (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2019, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2020 April 14th, 2021

Madam Speaker, a year ago, the government, after much pushing by the NDP, realized that seniors and people with disabilities needed financial help because of the higher costs they were facing. One year later, they are facing even higher costs. Food has skyrocketed as have the costs of rent, heat and hydro. Now we are into a third wave, and in Ontario we are in a complete lockdown. Does the member not agree that there has to be something in there, immediately, for our low-income seniors and people with disabilities until we find a permanent resolution?

Business of Supply March 25th, 2021

Madam Speaker, I thank my friend and colleague from Timmins—James Bay for all the work he has done in the House of Commons.

Canadians have seen too many Liberal scandals over the past few years, like at the Aga Khan's island and the SNC-Lavalin scandals. The Prime Minister was found guilty of breaking ethics laws in both of those cases. Now we have serious allegations about sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces and, of course, we have the WE scandal.

Earlier today, the government House leader stated to the House that today's motion is nothing but petty partisan politics and that we are undermining the public service.

Does the member believe that we should just move on and that this is nothing but petty politics?

Business of Supply March 25th, 2021

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my good friend and colleague for all the work she does. She mentioned students, and when the government rescinded the $912 million it promised because of the WE scandal. The government failed students, even though it supported my friend's unanimous consent motion to have the loan repayment moratorium extended until at least May 2021.

Can she tell us about the NDP's plan?

Business of Supply March 23rd, 2021

Madam Speaker, as we are talking about a plan in today's motion and the member mentioned paid sick days, can he elaborate a bit more on what the importance of the current two weeks having to be taken in blocks, and not as individual days? What is the importance of that? The government continues to say that it has already put that in action, but it is not working and Canadians are asking for it to be different. Can he speak on that?

Income Tax Act March 11th, 2021

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-275, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (travel expenses deduction for tradespersons).

Madam Speaker, this bill, an act to amend the Income Tax Act, would accomplish three things: eliminate a long-standing tax unfairness for building trade workers, improve labour mobility, and give businesses access to an effectively larger pool of qualified tradespeople.

Currently, paragraph 8(1)(h) of the Income Tax Act generally allows an income tax deduction for employees who have work-related travel expenses that have not been reimbursed. However, a CRA interpretation continues to deny that to those working in the building trades because of the nature of the work on what are called “job sites”, often making it difficult to avoid social programs such as employment insurance. My bill would fix that by allowing a tax deduction for travel expenses for tradespeople or apprentices who are required to secure or maintain employment in construction activity at a job site.

The passing of this bill would project a net savings to the government and is the right thing to do.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Business of Supply March 9th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I want to touch on what the parliamentary secretary said about the wage subsidy and the way that is happening. Public reporting suggest that between the start of the pandemic and, I believe, September 30, Air Canada has received about $492 million. That would make it one of the largest recipients of the wage subsidy in Canada. Despite this, workers who have been laid off have not been offered the wage subsidy.

This is happening not only at Air Canada but also at WestJet. Does the member know why this is happening, when the money was supposed to be going to protecting workers' jobs?

Business of Supply March 9th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Courtenay—Alberni for all the great work he has done on this file. It has been tremendous.

A previous speaker mentioned the Association of Canadian Independent Travel Advisors and the importance of including travel advisors in the transportation recovery plan. Not only do they work completely on commission, but they are being told now that if the airlines have to pay back consumers, their commissions will have to be paid back. This work was done about a year and a half ago and the money has been spent. If they are not included in the recovery plan, it will create huge hardships on their families and will possibly result in thousands of personal bankruptcy cases.

Does the member agree with me that it is imperative for them to be included?

Long-Term Care Homes February 25th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, we are in the midst of a global pandemic that has shone a bright light on the deplorable conditions in some of our for-profit, long-term care homes in Canada, and in Hamilton.

The site of the deadliest outbreak of COVID-19 in our city, Grace Villa long-term care, exemplifies what is wrong with the for-profit model. There were 234 cases and 44 of the 156 residents, or 30%, have died due to the virus.

We have heard stories of poor sanitation, lack of personal protective equipment, bad working conditions and understaffing, resulting in woefully inadequate care. We recently learned that not one single long-term care home has had resident quality inspection by the Ontario Ministry of Health since 2018.

It is time for the federal government to work with our provincial and territorial partners on long-term care. It is time to improve the working conditions to allow for better care. It is time to develop national care standards and regulations, and step up the Canada Health Act. It is time to take profit out of long-term care.

Business of Supply February 25th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for all the work she has done on the restructuring bill, which is the same as mine. I think there will be a lot of support for it.

This motion deals with an increase that would be in the next budget, but we do not know when that will be or when it will be enacted. It could be a year from now. Does she believe that, because of the hard times people are facing, there should be another one-time payment to help our seniors and people with disabilities alleviate some of the hardships they are facing at this time?

Business of Supply February 25th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I asked that question earlier to my Bloc colleague. We would anticipate that of the GIS threshold, so that none of this would be clawed back and the benefits would not be reduced. Basically, everything would have to be moved up a bit because there is no sense of giving an increase to the OAS when we are just going to claw back the money. It does not make sense. I would anticipate that, yes.