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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was poverty.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as NDP MP for Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada Grain Act April 18th, 2005

Madam Speaker, organizations like the WTO, the United Nations and other international bodies can be good. They have the potential to do good things for us as long as they keep in mind the interest of the consumer, not only the big countries but the smaller countries, and create a level playing field where everybody feels that they have a say, that their say is important and that it will have some effect.

When one sees over and over again rulings made by the WTO challenged by countries like the United States against Canada, for example, and softwood lumber is the one that jumps most readily to mind, then one begins to wonder just how effective and useful the organization is. If it does not have the backbone to stand up to or have the vehicles available to bring into compliance countries as big as the U.S. and the effect it has, then one wonders where we are going.

The only balance to that is we as a government and as a country have to be willing to stand up and take advantage of the vehicles available to us similar to what the U.S. does so that somewhere down the line we can get the fairness I think everybody wants.

Canada Grain Act April 18th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise in the House today and put a few thoughts on the record concerning Bill C-40 and the protection of Canada's right to identify what grain is coming in, what grain is moving across our land and what grain is making its way into all of those industries in our country that make product and supply consumers. This is so that all of us are confident and convinced that our health is protected, our economy is protected and, most important in this instance, our farmers are protected.

Having been here for the last eight or nine months and having listened to debate in this House, I have to say that I get a very uneasy feeling that the government does not really understand in a fulsome way the challenges faced by farmers across this country, challenges faced by farmers in my own riding of Sault Ste. Marie, in constituencies across Ontario and in other provinces.

We have had at least three take note debates in this House about the issue of BSE and the impact it is having on producers across this country. People and families invest their life savings and every ounce of energy they have to bring their best game to the table, yet at the end of the day decisions are made at higher levels by governments and organizations that do not seem to understand the priority of the small farmer in this country, and they continue to make decisions negatively.

We have some concern that this is in fact what is happening again in Bill C-40. In some ways we are putting the cart before the horse here. In other ways we are being hauled around by the nose by these organizations out there on the world level, organizations that continue to protect the interests of the most powerful against the smaller entities, the smaller countries that simply want to have a level playing field where these kinds of things are concerned.

BSE continues to rage as a huge challenge to farmers and to farming. The family farm is affected very directly by this. We still cannot get our product across the border because, from everything that I have read, the Americans have decided that it is in their best economic interests not to do that. There is nothing in that decision about health or science or good farm practices. It is all about politics and power and influence. This concerns me. It concerns me in that instance and it concerns me in regard to Bill C-40. I will certainly talk more specifically about the bill in a few minutes.

Just a few minutes ago, we heard the member for Joliette talk about the impact of a decision that came down last week on milk products and supply management. Supply management is a very important vehicle in this country to protect farmers and to protect the dairy farm. In constituencies across this country and in my own riding, particularly out in East Algoma, supply management is what keeps producers viable where dairy farming is concerned. It is what keeps them from falling into the very difficult circumstances that we see in the cattle and beef industry at the moment in this country. As a matter of fact, dairy producers are certainly affected by it, both directly and indirectly.

Let us not start meddling with the supply management template that is out there now. As has been spoken of, 20% now is going to be taken away because of new imports coming in, a ruling by the WTO that affects Canada negatively, and this government does not have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and call on article XXVIII to be put in place so we can actually go to the table and appeal that ruling and decision.

All we have to do is look at the effectiveness of the United States, the American farmers. When they see absolutely anything coming down the pipe, by a WTO ruling or something the Canadian industry or government does, they immediately use every vehicle at their disposal to challenge those decisions if they think it will affect negatively their industry, their farmers, their economy and their communities.

In Canada we seem to always be timid, almost afraid, to stand up to the powers that be. In the instance of supply management, it seems the country we are most concerned about somehow insulting or affecting in some negative way is New Zealand. Apparently calling on the World Trade Organization to appeal the decision would somehow affect negatively our relationship with New Zealand.

What about our relationship with our farmers? What about our relationship with those communities that depend on farming as their prime industry? What about the relationship of the government with its economy overall, recognizing that farming is one of those pillars of the economy that has served us so well for so long? We now are so ready and so easily willing to say that there are bigger priorities that we have to be concerned about and that we have to play on a national playing field. We have to be concerned about the temperament of other countries and what they do.

The government has a responsibility to have some backbone. It has a responsibility to stand up whenever a sector of our economy, our country, our industry is challenged and affected. It has a responsibility to say no, to hang on for a minute and look at it. It should not be afraid to appeal decisions by organizations like the World Trade Organization.

The purpose of the bill before us is to amend the Canada Grain Act and the Canada Transportation Act to bring them into compliance with the WTO ruling that decided Canadian grain handling and transportation practices violated Canada's national treatment obligations under GATT. Here we go again. The government wants the bill passed before the current crop year of July 31 in order to coincide with the WTO deadline of August 1. We do not want to attract retaliation from the U.S. We want to avoid paying compensation, but there should be some way for us to put on the table some of our very real concerns about the bill.

We have to understand that even though the purpose of the changes affect grain shipments west of and not including Thunder Bay, this is a national issue, something about which all farmers need to be concerned. It could be another block in that wall which will expose the Canadian farming and agricultural industry to all kinds of attack by big U.S. and European interests and organizations that do not readily, if we do not challenge them, recognize the impact all this will have on Canada and Canadian farmers.

Within the framework of the WTO ruling, these changes need to happen before August 1. However, there are a few areas of concern that are not addressed in the new legislation. Some concerns are on the implications in treating imported grain differently than Canadian produced grain.

The proposed amendments will repeal or amend existing provisions in the two acts which treat imported grain differently from Canadian produced grain. This includes removing the requirement that authorization be sought from the Canadian Grain Commission before foreign grain can enter licensed grain elevators. They remove the requirement that operators of licensed terminal or transfer elevators must seek Canadian Grain Commission permission to mix grain and extends the railway revenue cap to imported grain.

The first concern with the bill is with the provision of reporting U.S. and other grain imports into Canada. The proposed amendments allow for reporting, but there is little direction or evidence it will be effective as it now will come after the act instead of before. It is like closing the gate when the horses are already out

To fill the gap, the amendments to cause the process of reporting, the government has stated that it will put in place a regulation that will require elevator operators to report to the CGC, the Canadian Grain Commission, the origin of all grain and if they mix Canadian with foreign grain, to identify them as mixed.

However, it is our understanding that the CGC, CFIA and CWB are only now drafting the regulation. The timeframe allows for it to not be put in place until August 2006, a full year after Bill C-40 has gone through the House. This again brings us back to the point of closing the gate after the horses are out.

The second concern with the bill is the differentiation between imported grain and in transit grain. The legislation does not seem to be clear whether these will continue to be treated differently, or how the requirements might be different or if they will become one and the same. Currently, most grain coming into western Canada from the U.S. is simply in transit, being shipped to one of the ports. The WTO ruling seems to allow for in transit grain to be treated just as that so it does not need to receive national treatment. However, the legislation seems to redefine all grain coming in from the U.S. as imported.

Our party believes it is very important we define that in transit grain should not receive national treatment, otherwise we are left vulnerable and with very little recourse should American producers choose to take advantage of our rail line and our elevators.

Our party does not see a real problem with amending the two acts so we are in compliance with the WTO ruling. The government has already stated clearly that it will not appeal the decision. If we take too long, farmers might end up facing retaliation from the U.S. and WTO, which will not help them at all. However, the government should be making these changes with care. We do not want to leave western grain producers without regulations or protections. Those in the field have pointed out that previous protocols or regulations established by the CGC have had questionable results. This cannot be allowed to happen with the mixing of grain as it could call into question the quality of Canadian grain.

We are hearing that most producers are okay with the amendment to be in compliance, but are concerned that there be a defined difference between the treatment of in transit and imported. As well, there is the worry of the loss of reporting and what that will mean in keeping out unregistered varieties or even genetically modified grain or seed.

This brings me to another point that was raised in the House, which still has not been addressed by the government. It is an area where the government is being weak-kneed again and not taking a stand. What will we do about genetically modified seed and what is referred to as the terminator seed?

The WTO wants to allow big seed corporations and multinationals to introduce the terminator seed which will, after a seed is used once, render it useless again. The impact that will have on our own farmers, particularly small farmers who go from year to year wanting to reuse their seeds, and on developing countries and smaller third world countries, not to speak of a crime against nature, is it will decimate those economies and farming operations. We are afraid that Bill C-40 will have an impact too where we might not have the facility to recognize and know what is crossing through our territory, particularly where GM grain and seed is concerned.

We have some concerns about the WTO, an unelected body. Why does Canada have to endanger the quality of its grain because an unelected trade body says so and do so in a timeframe that is obviously too rushed for the government?

As well the U.S. consistently chooses to ignore WTO rulings, as well as those through NAFTA. Why do we have to follow through to make trade easier for American producers when the U.S. is violating such trade obligations, such as those under the GATT, with impunity?

Again I raise and point out what is happening with BSE and cattle. It is not a big stretch to talk in the House about the impact on our industry with regard to softwood lumber and the tough stand that the Americans have taken. Why can we not have that kind of backbone and intestinal fortitude?

The government is going along with globalization, but is not dotting the i 's and crossing the t 's. If we are not careful when we change legislation like this to create compliance, we could be allowing a back door where problems like unregistered seed and GM crops could get in and contaminate Canada's grain supply, which is certainly not something Canadian farmers need.

We have consulted with a fair number of western farm organizations, as well as with the Canadian Wheat Board. All in all, most producers are okay with amending to be in compliance, but are concerned that there be a defined difference between the treatment of in transit and imported, as well as the worry of the loss of reporting and what that will mean in keeping out unregistered varieties or GM grain or seed. The Wheat Board in particular believes that without regulatory changes that coincide with the implementation of the bill, Canada's reputation for providing high quality, value added grain will be diminished because imported grain will not be reported properly.

Question No. 87 April 11th, 2005

With respect to variations among jurisdictions in the application of the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS): ( a ) what mechanisms are in place to ensure equal support for all Canadians regardless of their place of residence; ( b ) where a province or a territory applies a benefit reduction (clawback) to a family's NCBS, does a family still receive, in any case, the same level of overall income support; ( c ) how does the government ensure that provinces and territories invest proceeds from any clawbacks in programs that are complementary to the NCBS; ( d ) by province and for each of the last five years, how have provinces reinvested any proceeds from clawbacks; and ( e ) how many families who see a clawback of their NCBS from a welfare benefit fit into one of the following categories, and for each category, what percentage does it represent of the total number of families receiving the NCBS: (i) working but not earning enough money to qualify for welfare top-up, (ii) disabled or unable to work, (iii) caring for a disabled child under the age of 6 years, (iv) caring for a baby under the age of 1 year, (v) living in a homeless shelter unable to find affordable housing, (vi) paying more than half their income on rent, and (vii) relying on food banks in order to feed their children?

(Return tabled)

Sault Ste. Marie April 5th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, Sault Ste. Marie has a tradition of recognizing citizens who make extraordinary contributions to our public life. In January we recognized with the highest honour bestowed by our community, the Medal of Merit, the Grey Sisters, Lou Lukenda, Dr. David Walde and Cathy Shunnock.

This Friday we will hold a dinner in honour of a previous Medal of Merit winner for his continuing contribution, particularly to higher education. Gerry Nori over the years served as a member and then chair of the board of governors of Algoma University. For the last few years he also chaired the Algoma University Foundation, raising money for scholarships and bursaries. He has been recognized for his efforts with the Algoma University College Senate Award.

Gerry Nori, appointed Queen's Counsel in 1969, has served our community in many other ways, through the Sault Ste. Marie Rotary Club and as a member of the Cancer Care Advisory Committee for northeastern Ontario.

Gerry, his wife Barbara and children, will be honoured at a dinner Friday night for their extraordinary effort on behalf of our community.

Pope John Paul II April 4th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, like many Canadians, residents in my Sault Ste. Marie riding this weekend mourned the death and celebrated the life of Pope John Paul II.

This Pope was an extraordinary man of faith, intellect and prayer. He inspired so many of us in working tirelessly for social justice and for peace throughout the world.

I will remember particularly his solidarity with workers as he spoke up for just, social and economic conditions in the workplace.

He was a voice for genuine fellowship with other world religions.

Pope John Paul II is credited with helping to begin the process of democratization of in eastern Europe.

I know Pope John Paul II holds a special place in the hearts of Canadians.

As a Catholic, I was moved by his personal example of reconciliation in forgiving the man who tried to kill him and by his historic apology in 2000 for past misdeeds of the church.

I want to express my deepest condolences to Catholic Canadians, the faithful around the world and to people everywhere who have been touched by the exceptional life of Pope John Paul II.

Civil Marriage Act March 24th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the debate on Bill C-38, the civil marriage act, that proposes to legalize same sex marriages in Canada.

I believe there are defining moments in the life of a Parliament and the lives of members of Parliament, moments that help define who we are and who we want to be as a country, what we believe and what we will stand up for. I believe this legislation is one of those moments.

I, along with my party, will support the bill. This is not a decision I take lightly nor is it an easy one. I welcome the debate in the House and in our country. I welcome the participation of religious leaders. There are people of goodwill and strong faith conviction on both sides.

My own Catholic bishops have invited all married Catholics to participate in this debate. I welcome that invitation. I myself am celebrating the 22nd anniversary of my marriage this year. I want to go on record with three essential statements about my position.

First, it has been said by some in my own community and elsewhere that my position contradicts my Catholic faith, when in fact my faith very much shapes and determines my support for the legislation, and I want to say something about that.

Second, I also want to be clear, contrary to the statements of some in my riding that I am not listening to my constituents, I am here today speaking for constituents in my riding. It may not be all of them. It may not in fact be a majority, but they are my constituents and I want to give voice to their words too.

I believe that the demands of justice and human rights are ultimately the deciding factor in my discernment. However, I assure the people of Sault Ste. Marie that I listen very carefully to all my constituents.

Third, I hope by contributing here and elsewhere to a respectful dialogue on this issue together we can make happen here what did not happen with similar legislation in the Ontario legislature when I served as a member. It was about 10 years ago on a fateful day where I saw the betrayal of a group of people from the gay and lesbian community looking for affirmation of their rights and equality before the law. That did not happen then. I can never forget how destructive that was for them, how wrong it was for that legislature at that time and how upset I felt. This Parliament has to lead and not let the courts do our work for us.

I recognize we are not going to satisfy everyone. When I think back to where public opinion, laws and mindsets were as little as 10 years ago, we have come a long way.

In some media stories, reporting my position on the bill, it has been stated that I would be voting in favour despite my personal Roman Catholic beliefs. I believe same sex marriage for civil society is a justice issue, but I want it clarified that I believe this is so because of my personal Roman Catholic convictions, not in spite of them.

I have not dissociated myself from the church. I cannot because it is that same church, whose leadership disagrees with me today, that inspires me to say this. It is the right thing to do. It was the spirit of Vatican II that challenged me to inform my conscience and that informed conscience says that we must reach out to Bill, Scott, Libby and Réal and all members of the gay and lesbian community and say that they are as whole and as wholesome as all humanity and worthy of all the gifts life has to offer, particularly the gift to love and to be loved and to be creators and co-creators of life in all its forms. They know this already. Their communities know this. It is time that the law proclaims this reality.

I respect my church. I respect it and I love it enough to be able to tell its leaders when I think they are wrong. I know there are other good and faithful Catholics who think the same. I have done everything asked of me by my faith in giving great weight to its teaching, reflected on my lived experience, prayed and thus informed my conscience. I believe, as my church expects, that I am being morally coherent and not separating my spiritual life and my political life.

It has been important for me to recognize the balance in the legislation that upholds human rights for same sex couples and that pays great attention to the principle of religious freedom. We must do everything to work with the provincial authorities responsible for marriages to enshrine and protect this principle of religious freedom. I believe we have ensured that we will not have our churches dictating their views on marriage to the rest of the community and that community not interfering with the teaching, beliefs and practices of our religious communities.

Recently a Sault senior citizen asked me if I meant that the bill changed nothing about what the church could teach, believe or practise. I assured him that this was the case.

This issue is not about me. The most powerful moment in my almost 15 years at Queen's Park was when the government, of which I was part, brought forward a bill to extend benefits to gay and lesbian couples. I remember the sense of betrayal that day in the legislature when that bill did not pass. The gay, lesbian and bisexual community believed that they had rights, that they belonged. How disappointing for them. I do not ever again want to experience another day in Parliament like that day.

I believe we all have grown in our understanding of people who are perhaps different from ourselves in all kinds of ways. That is a hallmark of the tolerance that characterizes Canadians and Canada. We are not finished with this journey toward tolerance. We hope that we and our children move from labels, hateful language or stereotyping to putting names and positive experiences on people different but equal to ourselves.

The media in my home town has been filled with many legitimate views opposed to my position, but there are others. I heard from a young man from my riding named Andy who wrote:

So please, help me to grow my future family. You are the person that will dictate whether or not this will happen...Think of the love that you will be granting to the thousands of people who only ask to be normal like others and to be left alone.

I heard from parents of a gay son and a lesbian daughter, happy that their gay children might be on an equal footing with their heterosexual brothers or sisters. They do not want the orientation of either to bar their children from normal occupations, promotions or pensions.

Some believe a compromise on this contentious issue might be a civil union option for same sex couples. The Leader of the Opposition, with others, offers something sort of like marriage, except that it would not be marriage, no symbolism, no tradition, no social stamp of approval and acceptance. Courts have dismissed the separate but equal argument.

The question is this. What is the right thing to do in 2005 for human rights and for our society? How do we do this well, to move people and society along and not polarize one another? I see the progress people have made in their thinking on this in the past 10 years and I do not want it lost. I believe that access to civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples will add to the stability of Canadian families and Canadian society.

This is a world that needs more people who are willing to make loving, lifelong commitments to each other and who are willing to take full responsibility for their relationships. In a matter for all society, the Charter of Rights does matter. We cannot have two classes of people.

Social Development March 10th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the government rewards its corporate friends with billions in tax cuts while killing funding to programs that support people with disabilities.

The navigating the waters program that supports people to find work and to develop their skills is losing its funding, despite the government's repeated promises to increase the participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities. This national program puts millions into the economy. Clients leave social assistance and become taxpayers. Seven hundred people will lose their employment support.

Will the Minister of Social Development immediately overturn this--

Health March 10th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, on the same day on which we honour four RCMP officers, victims of a disturbed individual, I heard from a mother of a 32 year old man suffering from schizophrenia. He is doing well but relies on the Link Up program in Toronto, which for 12 years has helped people of all disabilities deal with employment barriers.

Link Up will close in two weeks. Why? Because HRSDC, as an answer to its billion dollar boondoggle, has rigid new guidelines that are killing community programs. Welcome to boondoggle chapter two. With the new rules, non-profits fight over contracts with other non-profits and better resourced private companies are winning competitions.

Not funding Link Up is outrageous. Shock waves are rocking the entire voluntary sector.

The government is so eager to stop civil servants from doing anything wrong that it makes it virtually impossible to do anything right. The human resources minister should listen to the community and announce a moratorium on this policy as the standing committee begins its investigation.

The Budget March 9th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I could not disagree more, practically or fundamentally, than I will with the member and with the Conservative Party on that front.

The reason we are in deficit in housing, in health care, with farmers and with students is because of the tax cuts laid on the people by the federal Liberal government and the Conservative government in Ontario, for example, a place where I served for a number of years. We do not have the money to help our farmers through probably the most difficult challenge that they face because we have given the money away.

For the member to suggest more corporate tax cuts when banks are making historically record high profits, when corporations, quarter after quarter, are announcing historically record high profits, and to continue to come here and say that they need more relief, excuse me, but I do not accept that nor do I go along with that.

The people in my community are struggling with an economy in northern Ontario that has been sputtering for about 10 years and it needs huge investment, such as the one the government made into the auto strategy or the one it made toward expanding the casino in Windsor. We want to see those kinds of investments in northern Ontario. We need that kind of money, not the piddly amounts that have been announced here by way of FedNor in the budget. The estimates show that in fact that fund has gone down significantly.

If we think for a second that will jumpstart the economy of northern Ontario and those parts of the country that need that kind of infusion to actually get people back to work and making money, then we are sadly mistaken.

We, as New Democrats, are committed to the kinds of things that create a level playing field for everybody. We would go a long distance to reducing the gap that is growing between the rich and the poor. Canada now has two societies. The hon. member has not seen the record of commitment, work and effort that New Democrat governments have put forth in province after province as we have balance budgets and have found money to invest in health care, education, social programs and infrastructure across the country.

What we need in the budget is a commitment to invest in those programs and services that we know will create a level playing field for all our citizens, including the citizens of Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie and northern Ontario.

The Budget March 9th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate speaking to the federal budget on behalf of the constituents of my riding of Sault Ste. Marie. I am also happy to be sharing my time with my colleague for Windsor West.

Budgets first and last should be about people. The test of any budget is what it does for every Canadian in every walk of life. Budgets are not only a statement on the economy. They also are intended as a statement of vision, where we want to go as Canadians.

Frankly, this budget vision becomes a nightmare for too many Canadians. The people in my riding of Sault Ste. Marie heard the Prime Minister warn them during the election about the Leader of the Opposition and his party's politics and how they needed to vote Liberal for a progressive agenda and stop the Conservatives, but the budget delivered Conservative priorities.

Promises made; promises kept. The refrain of the Liberals last week is more like promises made; promises delayed. So much of the spending on urgent issues such as cities, child care and the environment are back loaded to the end of the five year funding cycle. Farmers and students get nothing in the budget.

Anything progressive that the government has promised and is delivering on, after not doing so for three consecutive majority governments, is due to this minority Parliament and especially the work of our party.

For two decades federal budgets have forced working Canadians to make sacrifices to eliminate the country's deficit through stagnant wages, cuts to health care and other social programs, and through insecure pensions. We have to move away from rewarding wealth and back to rewarding work in the country. It is time to reward hard-working Canadians for the years of sacrifice they have made.

Instead the government delivered a budget of which the Conservatives are proud. The Liberals delivered $4.9 billion in corporate tax cuts. The Liberals have put $28 billion away in the consolidated revenue fund, and the Liberals have built up a $46 billion surplus in employment insurance.

People in my riding have shared their disappointment. Progressive voters wanted relief from tuition fees. The Liberal-Conservative budget delivered nothing.

On housing, progressive voters wanted to restart a 20 year national housing program to build 200,000 affordable and co-op housing units, a commitment to renovate 100,000 existing units and to provide rent supplements to 40,000 low income tenants. The Liberal-Conservative budget delivered nothing.

As the social policy critic for my party, I cannot begin to tell the House how disappointed I am and how disappointed many advocates are in the lack of a comprehensive vision and social policy.

As important surpluses are predicted by the government for at least the next five years, the budget could have been the one which really began to chart a brave new course to making poverty history. Some of that $28 billion rainy day fund could have been allocated more productively to increase social investments.

No new money is added to the child tax benefit, which is far below the $4,900 per year per child which is needed to help many poor families escape poverty. The scandalous clawback of the child tax benefit supplement continues.

No new improvements are made to employment insurance, in spite of major recent recommendations by a parliamentary committee to do that.

On child care, over the next year $700 million of the funding will go to the provinces without any need for accountability as to how they spend this money. What kind of deal can the federal government sign with the provinces in the next month which can ensure the real application of the QUAD principles to the building of a quality national system?

On FedNor, I am disappointed with the place of northern Ontario within FedNor and FedNor's place within government. FedNor is the regional development agency that was created, initially, exclusively for northern Ontario. I have nothing but praise for FedNor, its staff and the projects in northern Ontario that do a lot of good. However over the years its budget has been reduced. What was truly FedNor, an economic development agency for northern Ontario, has now become in fact “FedOntario”.

The minister from northern Ontario has been upset with our party's criticism questioning the government's claim that the FedNor budget has increased 250%. We have yet to see that claim backed up.

The northern Ontario development fund gets reduced from $36 million according to the supplements in 2004-05 to $9 million for the next fiscal year. The community futures partnership program that funds rural development corporations in southern and northern Ontario has its spending estimates reduced from $20 million to $10 million in 2005-06

New Democrats in northern Ontario are fighting for the north and I am fighting for Sault Ste. Marie. My party is not here just to be in opposition. Our platform in the recent election laid out a different social democratic vision for all Canadians. Our commitment to a balanced budget is the record of the NDP governments in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

This minority Parliament budget beats the past majority budgets of the government but Canadians deserve much better. We will never tire of fighting for working Canadians to get their fair share. All Canadians should matter. The Soo has to matter to the government.