House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was particular.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Liberal MP for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame (Newfoundland & Labrador)

Lost his last election, in 2021, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Interparliamentary Delegations November 25th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association's first part of the 2020 ordinary session of the PACE, in Strasbourg, France, from January 27 to 31, 2020, and the report of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association meeting of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, which also took place in Strasbourg, France, from February 12 to 13, 2020.

Petitions October 8th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this time to introduce a very important petition, one that I agree with substantially.

The petition concerns our children in the midst of COVID-19, considering the arts in particular. Dance, drama and the visual arts are very important for our children, especially now with so many children out of school, throughout the summer of course. Even now it is hard for them to get back into the arts. For physical activity and social interaction, the arts in education, dance, drama and visual art, are very important.

This brings me to the petition I want to introduce, which is good for owner-operators of academies and studios, and provides financial assistance to parents who want the arts to be more accessible for our kids to partake in.

Here is the petition, precisely:

We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to classify children’s arts (dance, drama, visual arts) in the same educational category as music, and provide HST/GST-exempt status, retroactive to January 1, 2019.

This is a great proposal for getting our kids back into the arts so that they can flourish. I want to particularly thank Denise Vokey of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, and also Lee Newman and Tom Carter of the Stouffville Academy of Music and Dance for bringing this to my attention. We look forward to the government's response.

Interparliamentary Delegations February 20th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, presenting reports from the interparliamentary delegations, I would like to report from the Canada-Europe interparliamentary delegation. Pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, three reports of Canada-Europe.

The first concerns the parliamentary mission to Portugal, in Lisbon from April 15 to 17, 2019.

The second concerns the third part of the 2019 session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and parliamentary mission to Strasbourg, France, and Rome, Italy, from June 24 to 28, 2019.

We are busy folks over here, so the third concerns the fourth part of the 2019 ordinary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, from September 30 to October 4, 2019.

Canada-United States-Mexico Implementation Act January 31st, 2020

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his well-delivered, well-thought-out speech, and I agree with him on practically 95% of it. However, in a minority Parliament, God forbid that I dwell on the 5%, so let us take a look at the 95% that I agree with.

I have been involved with the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association and have been through the CETA negotiations with the EU, and one of the most contentious items I have dealt with over the years was dispute settlement. Let us be honest: A country of our size can punch way above its weight when it comes to international agreements on free trade and many other multilateral agreements.

I want to get the member's comments on the importance of having a dispute settlement mechanism in this agreement, as well as in CETA, in order for us as a small nation to go one step above.

Tropical Diseases January 31st, 2020

Madam Speaker, over one billion people around the world suffer from neglected tropical diseases, or NTDs.

They are diseases that we as Canadians do not always think about, but they have a major impact on some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. NTDs are complex and not always easily overcome. They can cause additional illnesses, disability, disfigurement, stigma and social isolation, and these can lead to lost opportunities for development in children and socio-economic problems for those infected and their families.

However, there is hope. Thanks to co-ordinated global efforts, progress is being made. Medicines and partnerships are available and advancements continue. Yesterday was World NTD Day. I would like to commend the devoted Canadians who are working diligently on behalf of those suffering from NTDs.

I know that Canada, and everyone in this House, will continue to play a leadership role in health policy around the world to end neglected tropical diseases and bring hope and health to everyone.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply December 13th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity, as it is my first speech, to thank my constituents in Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, central Newfoundland, for giving me this wonderful honour.

I want to ask a question of my colleague, but first I will congratulate him. He said he was going to tone it down, so he did. What we witnessed here was done with relative restraint. I have seen him in full oratory flight, and to say that he can shiver the timbers of this very hall is an understatement. I thank him for toning it down a little, as I am sitting just to the front of him.

On this past campaign, a lot of what I heard had to do with prescription drugs and their prices. The rise in prices, especially over the last five to 10 years, has been somewhat dramatic. That is understating it.

Over the past little while, the conversation has brought us to a point where we have to engage seriously with the provinces across this country, in a respectable manner, for us to provide relief, especially for seniors, who are most vulnerable.

I would like for my colleague, with his relative restraint, to get passionate this time and talk about how he cares for the seniors of his riding.

Interparliamentary Delegations June 17th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present in the House, in both official languages, a report of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association reflecting its participation at the 40th annual interparliamentary meeting between the European Parliament and the Parliament of Canada in Brussels, Belgium and Strasbourg, France from March 12 to 14, 2019.

Business of Supply June 3rd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for his intervention and for providing the history of his family, because I think it is very pertinent to this particular debate.

The only thing I have a question about is a fundamental difference in philosophy. I would say to put aside for a moment the Unifor debate, as he and I will disagree about that. However, when he talks about picking winners and losers in this process, the process is similar to what has been going on for years. It is similar even to what his government supported in the last Parliament, such as the Canada Media Fund.

Looking back at the golden days of cable television, the CRTC picked channels on basic cable to reap in funds because of subscriptions. We could say that, too, was about winners and losers. There were fundamental choices that we made to support those particular channels. The CBC is the ultimate example; the government provides a billion dollars a year to help fund it, although not fully. It has a newsroom. It is not a state broadcaster. It is a public broadcaster, similar to what is around the globe.

Is it this particular scheme, as my colleague calls it, that bothers him, or is it the fundamental practice of picking winners and losers? I think that is probably the wrong path to go down.

Business of Supply June 3rd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I respect the previous speaker for his experience in local media, which I have some experience with myself.

This reminds me of several years ago, about seven or eight years ago, when we were the third party at that time, or maybe even the opposition. I remember that there was an argument over the Canadian firearms advisory committee. One of the big beefs the Conservatives had at the time was that there was no representation from firearms owners. A lot of people on our side were saying no because, they said, those people were mostly Conservatives against the gun registry and so on and so forth. I remember a bunch of us on the other side saying, “No, that's not right. They should be involved. They are firearms owners.” Then on the other side, they were saying that a lot of law enforcement should not be involved because they were more pro-Liberal or pro-NDP.

I find it kind of odd now that all a sudden there is this voluminous amount of self-righteousness coming from across the way. I will say this, without being too nasty or putting too fine a point on it, and perhaps it is too late: let us take Unifor out of this for just a moment.

Quite frankly, Unifor did not always agree with me. I had many fights with Unifor, especially as its predecessor, when it was known as the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. However, it did a lot of work on behalf of journalist organizations.

If we take just Unifor out, and not the others, is it still a fundamentally sound program from which local media could truly benefit?

Points of Order May 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, on many occasions throughout the past couple of months, many people have commented on the level of decorum in question period. I do not want to add to that, but I want to talk about the level of decorum during Statements by Members, which precedes the most popular spot of the day in the House of Commons.

First, I will show a level of decorum and apologize to the opposition whip if my intervention is interfering with his random yelling.

During Statements by Members, we have one minute to discuss issues that we feel are important to our riding or certain individuals within our riding. Lately, I have noticed that some members are openly talking back and forth with each other in conversations, yelling and laughing. It may not be important to other members in the House, but it is important for the member who is giving the statement and for those who are either in the gallery or at home. Even if this is not important to other members, it certainly is important to someone.