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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was colleague.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Liberal MP for Kingston and the Islands (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Questions on the Order Paper September 19th, 2011

With regard to the operating budget freeze at Industry Canada: (a) what measures were taken to limit spending in the last fiscal year; (b) how many full-time and part-time employees were lost to attrition; (c) how many full-time or part-time employees were laid-off; (d) how many full-time and part-time employees were hired; and (e) what is the projected attrition rate over the next five years?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the government side believes, we are here today to talk about more than just the delivery of the mail. We are here to talk about the value of collective bargaining and fairness. Those are Canadian values.

We have some things to balance here and I am waiting, with good expectations, for the amendments mentioned by the Leader of the Opposition in his speech. I am wondering when they might be forthcoming and whether the hon. member has any ideas about what we might discussing in the hours to come.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, according to the hon. member, after the vote on the order of reference, which I am looking forward to, what do we need to do to make progress for Canadians?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member that in the last few hours we have heard many wonderful speeches in this chamber, especially on this side of the House. I also agree that what we are doing here reminds us of the movie Groundhog Day. Yet I remember that progress was made in that movie: Bill Murray's character decided he just could not live the same day over and over again and he tried to do something to improve himself.

I am wondering how we can do the same. I am wondering when we can start talking about amendments to this bill to further show Canadians how unreasonable and unjust Bill C-6 is and what a dangerous precedent it is.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Madam Speaker, we are currently debating the hoist amendment to this unfair and dangerous bill.

I would like to know whether there are any negotiations.

I know that In a few hours the amendment will be defeated by the majority over there, and I would like to know if there are negotiations going on for what is going to happen next and how we are going to make progress.

I am not aboriginal, but I know I share with aboriginals and other Canadians the feeling that we want to see progress. We have to make progress at some point. We cannot let this unjust, unfair and dangerous law--

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Madam Speaker, the hon. member opposite spoke of two parties with a history of not agreeing, and it seems to me that what we need to do in this chamber is to move beyond disagreeing and make some progress. We have a problem because we have a bill that is unfair and a dangerous precedent and we have a firm opposition on this side. On the other hand, we have a majority on the other side. So how do we make progress?

I think the way we make progress is something that the leader of the opposition mentioned, which is to look at some amendments where we can meet in the middle somewhere. Unfortunately, we are standing here debating a hoist amendment, which is simply to get rid of the bill. It is not talking about where we can meet in the middle. I have great hopes, because I trust the leader of the opposition that maybe some helpful amendments will be raised.

Does the hon. member know when we will start talking about those amendments to help us make progress so we could make this unfair bill more just and make this dangerous precedent not that way?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have received a number of comments by email. For example, I have received comments from people who are waiting for cheques by mail.

I visited the picket line back home in Kingston and talked to the president of the local. Workers there say they want to work but they are locked out.

Everyone finds Bill C-6 unbelievable and believes it is a bad bill. I think a lot of Canadians agree with both points. They have heard what we have said tonight, but they are waiting.

They are waiting and they are starting to hear the same things over and over again.

What more can we do for them tonight, or even this morning?

Resumption and Continuation of Postal Services Legislation June 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. If you put it to the House, I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion: “That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, Bill S-1001, An Act Respecting Queen's University at Kingston, be deemed to have been reported favourably by the examiner of petitions pursuant to Standing Order 133(3), and that the bill be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole, deemed considered in Committee of the Whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed”.

June 20th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I agree very much with what my hon. colleague has said. It is a great program. I like it. I have worked with companies that love it. However, imagine that I am a small business and I see that this program is going to be extended for just a year. I am going to have trouble hiring good people because I might be able to hire them for only a year due to not knowing whether this program is going to last more than a year. It has a history of being cancelled and brought back.

My real question is this. Why does the government not help itself by helping small business? He would really be helping his own government and the reputation of its stability by providing the benefits that come with stability and simply guaranteeing that this program lasts a number of years instead of just one. The member opposite would be helping his own party by making that commitment.

June 20th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to ask the Conservative government to be true to its word. The Conservatives claim to care about a stable government with stable policies, and as somebody who has worked a lot with small businesses, I understand that. Small businesses and individuals are worried about stable business conditions because they are worried about liquidity.

I am rising today to ask the Conservative government to help itself, to accept the suggestion from this side of the House from a couple of Liberal Party MPs to provide stability in a particular program, the eco-energy retrofit program for homes.

I will talk a bit about the eco-energy retrofit program. It encourages homeowners to do energy audits of their homes. These energy audits are done by trained professionals. The result of these energy audits give the homeowners information about how to invest a dollar in energy retrofits and how to get the most benefit from each dollar invested. For example, it will tell homeowners that they should invest in insulation in their houses first, or that they really need to fix particular windows and that will give them great value for their money. It helps homeowners save dollars in their homes at the same time as they save energy and also usually reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

I am speaking today on behalf of businesses, small businesses which are, for example, energy auditors, renewable energy companies, businesses that will come and insulate, or seal homes or provide heating and air conditioning. These businesses have been affected by the Conservative government's policies with respect to the eco-energy retrofit program for homes.

This program was killed in 2006 when the Conservatives took power. It was restarted about a year later and then it was allowed to run out last year. It was reinstated in budget 2011, but only for one year. The problem is a small business owner cannot run that small business when the policy changes. It is cancelled and brought back, cancelled and brought back.

I have had personal experience working with some of these small businesses, which were reeling from this change in policies. The government, the members opposite, recognize that this is a good program. It helps people save money and it saves energy. The best way to save money is to reduce waste. I know the government is in favour of reducing waste. This program helps reduce the wastage of energy.

Members of the Liberal Party ask the government to commit to a stable five year eco-energy retrofit program for homes. This is good for small businesses, good for homeowners and good for the environment.

Will the government be true to its words and support stability, stable policies and commit to a five year eco-energy retrofit program for homes?