House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was chair.

Last in Parliament May 2022, as Liberal MP for Mississauga—Lakeshore (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2021, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Mississauga—Lakeshore June 13th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, grassroots organizations and passionate residents are at the core of what makes Mississauga—Lakeshore a great place to live, work and play. From the Mississauga Waterfront Festival to the Paint the Town Red Canada Day parade and the Southside Shuffle, the champions behind our events are true community builders.

I would also like to thank members of our community who came together to tackle plastics pollution. The Prime Minister's recent announcement on single-use plastics is supported by the advocacy of people in my riding and across Canada who saw a pressing challenge and decided to be part of the solution.

In their efforts to build a more inclusive community in Mississauga—Lakeshore, local leaders also came together to found the Rainbow Sauga Alliance to create LGBTQ2+ safe spaces. This past weekend, they hosted the first Pride flag raising at Mississauga's city hall.

To all those who work tirelessly to make our community even stronger and more inclusive, I offer my sincere thanks. Mississauga—Lakeshore is indeed a better place because of their commitment and hard work.

Seniors May 30th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, seniors across Canada make invaluable contributions to our country and deserve to have the care and supports they need. Today, I would like to thank the housing subcommittee of the Mississauga—Lakeshore Council for Seniors for taking the opportunity to present a report reflecting its thoughts on housing.

In its report, the council emphasized the importance of aging in one's place of choice, being able to age while living close to loved ones in a familiar environment, and being afforded the choice to stay in their neighbourhood. The value of that choice is not be overlooked.

Its report explores ways to increase the inventory of rental housing units, minimize the stress and responsibility of home ownership, address retirement income and provide seniors with improved access to services, while being supported by loved ones in their community.

I would like to thank Jon Grayson, Amarjit and Daljeet Banwatt, Doris Cooper, Don McVie and Faye Schepmyer for their hard work and dedication to the issues that matter to the seniors in Mississauga—Lakeshore.

Business of Supply May 15th, 2019

Mr. Chair, could the parliamentary secretary comment briefly on the courage of our women and men in assisting in Canada with the flood situation that we are currently facing?

Business of Supply May 15th, 2019

Mr. Chair, last fall another Auditor General's report confirmed what Canadians already knew, which is that the Harper Conservatives mismanaged the jets file and misled Canadians for more than a decade. The report confirms the existence of a capability gap, which started under the Harper Conservatives.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence inform this House how, unlike the Conservatives, we will not compromise our ability to meet our NATO and our NORAD commitments?

Business of Supply May 15th, 2019

Mr. Chair, mental health issues are challenging, and much has been done to improve access to services and eliminate the stigma experienced by those suffering from operational or post-traumatic stress injuries.

Can the parliamentary secretary inform the House of what National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces have done to improve their mental health services for our women and men in uniform?

Business of Supply May 15th, 2019

Madam Chair, I am pleased to use my time today to tell you and the committee more about what the defence team is doing to support Canada's return to the world stage.

Our country is taking on new leadership roles and promoting the values that Canadians hold dear, such as peace, human rights and democracy.

Canadians have told us they want Canada to continue to be a leader in supporting peace and security around the world. They want Canada to contribute in concrete ways that have a direct and positive impact on the lives of people in conflict zones. They want Canada to do its part as a responsible international actor, with strong alliances and friendships around the world. That is exactly what Canada is doing.

ln our defence policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged”, Canada affirmed its steadfast dedication to these long-standing alliances and partnerships.

Through our renewed commitments to peacekeeping, international operations and the United Nations' multilateral efforts, we are showing the world that Canada is committed and demonstrating leadership. We are showing that we are a reliable and valuable partner to our allies and that we will defend democratic principles and a rules-based international order.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to see for myself how Canada is contributing to international peace and security in Mali. Through Operation Presence, Air Task Force Mali delivers vital airlift capabilities in support of the United Nations assistance mission in Mali. Last month, it transported members of the Dutch Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Task Group, enabling safe and efficient patrol far beyond their normal range.

That is an example of how our airlift capabilities are enhancing the safety of the local population. On April 24, this capability saved lives.

After a passenger bus struck an IED, Task Force Mali members conducted an aeromedical evacuation, getting critically injured civilians to life-saving medical care as quickly as possible.

Our 250 women and men in uniform will remain in Mali until the end of July in order to fulfill the one-year rotation that Canada promised in March 2018. As part of our joint commitment approach, Canada is working with Romania, the United Nations and Germany to ensure the successful transition of this essential capability.

As I mentioned, I had the opportunity to travel to Senegal and Mali earlier this year, with the House Standing Committee on National Defence. My colleagues and I witnessed first-hand the professionalism, commitment and excellence of the Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to Task Force Mali. We owe them and all current and former members of our armed forces a profound debt of gratitude for their courage and exemplary service at home and abroad.

I would also like to take a moment to recognize peacekeepers from other nations who are serving or have served under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, MINUSMA: the women and men in uniform, as well as the UN civilian staff, led by the special representative of the Secretary-General for Mali, Mr. Mahamat Annadif, and the deputy special representatives of the Secretary-General, Ms. Joanne Adamson and Ms. Mbaranga Gasarabwe.

The United Nations team is working very hard to achieve peace and a stable future for Mali and the Sahel region in west Africa. The region is dealing with complex, ever-changing problems, such as drought, poverty, limited access to education, civil society's exclusion from politics, violent crime, drug trafficking, armed conflict and terrorism.

They also face significant personal risk. In fact, MINUSMA is currently the United Nations' most dangerous mission. I would like to thank them for their service and commitment to our shared values, as embodied in the United Nations charter.

Canada is also working hard to support peace and stability in the Middle East. The main estimates include funds to support the two-year extension of Operation Impact, until March 2021. This military contribution is a vital component of Canada's whole-of-government Middle East strategy, a strategy that includes security and stabilization, humanitarian aid and diplomatic engagement in Iraq, Syria and the region. That is because we need sustained, multipronged efforts to address the root causes of conflict and set the stage for long-term stability. The Middle East strategy supports the global coalition to ensure the lasting defeat of Daesh.

Extending Operation Impact includes the authority to send up to 850 members of our Canadian Armed Forces to support the global coalition, the NATO mission in Iraq, and enhancement activities with the Jordanian and Lebanese armies.

Canada is proud to have Major-General Dany Fortin leading NATO's training mission to strengthen the defence and security institutions in Iraq.

Across the globe, our Canadian Forces members are known and respected as highly trained and skilled professionals and leaders. They are being called upon to share this expertise through operations like Operation Unifier in Ukraine, where our women and men in uniform have trained more than 11,400 Ukrainian soldiers.

Roughly 200 Canadian Armed Forces members are helping to develop Ukraine's defence and security forces through combined arms training, military engineering, logistics, military policing and medical training. That training supports Ukraine by enhancing the ability on the part of Ukrainians to defend themselves and to contribute to regional and international stability.

ln fact, our Canadian Armed Forces have been supporting Ukraine through training efforts since Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014. By extending Operation Unifier for another three years, Canada will continue to demonstrate our unwavering support for Ukraine and continue to be a leader in securing the international community's support for the Ukrainian people. This capacity-building also strengthens global security, as it supports Ukrainian aspirations to become a NATO ally.

This is a good reminder of Canada's close ties to NATO. We were a founding member 70 years ago and today our commitment is stronger than ever.

At any given time, we have up to 915 members deployed on Operation Reassurance to support NATO's defence and deterrence measures in central and eastern Europe. That makes Operation Reassurance Canada's largest international military operation at the present time.

On the water, HMCS Toronto is deployed to Operation Reassurance as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two. The crew strengthens international and regional stability through surveillance and monitoring, capacity-building, regional defence and diplomatic engagement.

On land, Canada is a framework nation in NATO's mission to deter potential Russian aggression in the Baltics, and we are leading the enhanced forward presence battle group in Latvia.

This multinational battle group is sending a strong message of allied solidarity.

The honour and courage of every soldier cannot be overstated, each risking personal harm to help make the world safer and more secure, and sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice.

Canada joins Battle Group Latvia allies in mourning the loss of Major Klodian Tanushi and Corporal Zarife Hasanaj, two Albanian soldiers who recently lost their lives following a demining incident.

In our defence policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged”, Canada reiterated its commitment to the principle of collective defence, which is at the heart of NATO's founding treaty. Our Canadian Armed Forces' participation in NATO's enhanced air policing missions as part of Operation Reassurance is another testament to that commitment.

Since 2014, Canada has joined in four air policing missions, and our most recent participation ran from September to December of last year.

Air Task Force Romania includes approximately 135 women and men in uniform and six CF-18 Hornets that are helping to deter aggression by potential adversaries in the region. Last October they intercepted and escorted a Russian SU-27 Flanker out of Romanian airspace. That is only one example of how our people help safeguard the integrity of the alliance's airspace. The next ATF Romania will deploy in September for another four months.

Canada is also showing leadership and commitment to maritime security in Middle Eastern and East African waters.

From December 2018 to April 2019, Canada was proud to command Combined Task Force 150. About 40 Canadian Armed Forces members served in the CTF 150 headquarters on Operation Artemis, our mission being to stop terrorism and make the Middle East waters more secure.

In April alone, the HMCS Regina made three narcotics seizures, intercepting and destroying more than 7,000 kilograms of hashish and more than 1,500 kilograms of heroin.

Canada is proud of its role in advancing global peace and security. We believe in democracy and in protecting a rules-based international order. Our government will continue to work across borders, across disciplines and across party lines, taking a whole-of-government, multilateral approach to advance our cherished and critical Canadian values.

We continue to live in turbulent times, but through all of it, our deployed women and men represent Canada with professionalism, leadership and excellence. For that, we owe them again our unwavering support and our most profound gratitude.

Again, a very happy birthday, Mr. Chair.

I would now like to ask a few questions to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence.

Mr. Chair, over a year ago, our government launched the innovation for defence excellence and security program, also known as IDEaS, which is helping to spur new research to solve important challenges, thanks to an investment of $1.6 billion into our innovation community over the next 20 years.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence update the House on the progress made over the course of the last year?

Mississauga—Lakeshore Council for Seniors May 2nd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the health subcommittee of the Mississauga—Lakeshore Council for Seniors, which has worked tirelessly on a report reflecting the ideas and concerns of our community. The committee members connected with home care providers, health care administrators and professionals, hospital executives, and seniors in Mississauga—Lakeshore. The council also had the opportunity to meet directly with the Minister of Seniors.

In the report, the council addresses important issues like the need for national pharmacare, wait times for essential diagnostics, hallway care and the negative physical and mental health effects of not being able to age at home. The council further points to the growing proportion of seniors in our population, the high cost of hospitalization and the need to focus on affordable, comprehensive home care. The council also stressed the importance of transparency and accountability in our health care system.

I would like to thank Madeline Edwards, Andrea Lloyd, Frank Stendardo, Probir Chatterjee, Robert Harrick, Roy Cornish and Tim Tibbs for their inspiring work in advocating for the seniors of Mississauga—Lakeshore.

Petitions May 1st, 2019

Madam Speaker, I rise to table a petition that has over 60 signatures from people in the Clarkson community. The petition concerns the storage of rail tankers containing industrial materials, including petroleum products, in the middle of a densely populated neighbourhood adjacent to a major commuter hub, the Clarkson GO Station. According to residents, the tankers are shunted on a regular basis, causing serious safety concerns and noise issues for adjacent homes. The petition calls on the federal government to ensure that changes are made to move the rail yard from their residential neighbourhood to a nearby rail yard in an industrial area.

I thank Dora Bailey for her continuous efforts in advocating on behalf of her community.

National Defence April 30th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, we are proudly acting on our NATO commitments in Latvia and Iraq and we are supporting the peace process in Mali by providing life-saving medical evacuations to UN peacekeepers.

Could the Minister of National Defence please inform the House how, in addition to these efforts, our government has recently been contributing to international peace and security in the Middle East?

National Defence April 30th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, where the Conservatives stepped back, we promised to step up and re-engage on the world stage, and we are doing just that.

Canada is proudly acting on our NATO commitments to Latvia and Iraq, and we are supporting the peace process—