House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was question.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Vancouver South (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Questions on the Order Paper March 25th, 2011

With regard to the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS): (a) has the government achieved its goal to reduce overall smoking prevalence from 19 percent in 2005 to 12 percent by 2011 and, if not, what are the reasons the government has failed to meet this target; (b) has the government established new goals and objectives for this strategy for the period following 2011 and, if so, what are they and, if not, why not; (c) does the government intend to revise or renew the FTCS and, if so, what steps has it taken to consult with the public and key stakeholders in this regard; and (d) does the government intend to continue to provide transfer payments in support of this strategy in 2011-2012 and, if so, (i) what is the total anticipated amount to be transferred in that fiscal year, (ii) has spending authority for these payments been obtained, (iii) has a process been put in place to solicit proposals for activities funded through transfer payments?

Chinese Canadians March 22nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the work SFU's David Lam Centre, named after the much admired late Lieutenant Governor of B.C., David Lam, has done to educate and celebrate the many ways in which Chinese Canadians have enriched our country.

A group led by Dr. Paul Crowe of the David Lam Centre and David Choi of the SFU Chinese-Canadian Heritage Fund has produced a commemorative and educational chronology of Chinese Canadian history entitled “From Segregation to Integration” in English, French and Chinese.

This chronology, digitized by SFU and UBC, will be launched in Toronto on April 15 and will be available to the public.

Chinese Canadians have made Canada their home for the last 223 years. It is their story, our story, that will be captured and exhibited by this project, bringing to life the early Chinese settlers, including railway workers and veterans, and their struggles, sacrifices and contributions to nation building in Canada.

We are all very proud of the contributions of Chinese Canadians to the building of this country.

Anaphylaxis March 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I commend the member for Niagara West—Glanbrook for a very comprehensive statement on this issue. I rise in support of the motion that he has put forward and to raise some concerns about the exemption that the government has allowed in the regulations.

Obviously, the motion is self-explanatory. It talks about anaphylaxis as being a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and that the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure that Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life. I am assuming all members of the House would support that. I certainly stand in support of the motion.

There are approximately 1% to 2% of Canadians who live with the risk of an anaphylactic reaction. More than 50% of Canadians know someone with a life-threatening allergy. That is why, in principle, this is a very important motion and has my support. However, I want to voice some concerns with regard to the exemption the government has given to the brewery industry.

The government had promised to bring in new regulations with regard to food labelling in July 2008. Almost a year and a half later, in February of this year, the government announced that one sector if industry would be exempt from the new labelling regulations, which is the brewery industry.

As I said earlier in my question, groups such as Anaphylaxis Canada have raised concerns about the exemption of the brewery industry and I have a statement from Anaphylaxis Canada. I want to read two sentences from its press release of February 14 for the record. It commended the government, of course, and then stated:

After two decades of tireless advocacy by thousands of Canadians, our organization is very pleased to see the passage of important new regulations that will make food ingredient labels easier to understand. However, we are very disappointed by the federal government's decision to alter the regulations as proposed and provide a special exemption to the brewery industry.

I want to put that on the record because I believe the government should be moving faster to deal with that exemption, eliminate it if at all possible, and to do all of the other things that the member talked about in his statement. I do not believe I need to waste the House's time by saying anything more than that.

I rise in support of this motion. My friend made a very comprehensive statement, and I believe the House and all members must pay attention to it. It is a very serious condition, like many other conditions. The member has done an excellent job of putting it forward and I would encourage him to urge the Prime Minister to end the exemption of the brewery industry at the earliest possible time as Anaphylaxis Canada has requested.

Anaphylaxis March 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I commend the member for his statement.

The recent labelling regulations announcement exempted brewers from the need for labelling. Can the member, as a member of the government caucus, explain the rationale and motivation behind that?

I know groups such as Anaphylaxis Canada are disappointed with that. Perhaps the member could tell us something.

People with Disabilities March 3rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, 25 years ago, Rick Hansen embarked on a world tour to make the world more accessible and inclusive and to find a cure for spinal cord injury.

Inspired by a deep-seated belief that anything is possible, Rick's dream took shape in the form of the Man in Motion World Tour. I was there in Vancouver when he launched his tour. For 26 months, he and his team wheeled more than 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries raising awareness of the potential of people with disabilities.

The government must introduce a national disability act to promote reasonable access to medical care, medical equipment, education, employment, transportation and housing for Canadians with disabilities.

Rick's tour was a testament to his tenacity and his deep-seated belief that anything is possible when one is determined to live a dream. Rick has inspired and continues to inspire Canadians and people all over the world to live their dreams.

Seniors Centre February 14th, 2011

Madam Speaker, two years ago I spoke in the House on behalf of the senior citizens of Southeast Vancouver, the Southeast Vancouver Seniors' Arts and Cultural Society and the chair, Lorna Gibbs.

There is a dire need for a seniors centre in this area of Vancouver. There are at least 25,000 seniors living in the southeast quadrant of Vancouver in my riding. That is almost a third of the total senior citizens living in Vancouver. There are nine seniors centres in the city of Vancouver, eight of them on the west side, west of Main Street, only one east of Main, and none in this particular area.

In 2009, the park board had dedicated land at the Killarney Community Centre for the project. This year on February 1, Vancouver City Council voted for $2.5 million toward the project.

There is an urgent need for financial commitments from both the federal and provincial governments. I would urge the federal government to work with the City of Vancouver and the provincial government to make this senior citizens centre a reality for the senior citizens of Southeast Vancouver.

Questions Passed as Orders for Return January 31st, 2011

With regard to Canadian Development Investment Corporation, what contracts under $10,000 did it award from September 1, 2009, to the present, including the vendor's name, the date, the amount and the description?

Questions Passed as Orders for Return January 31st, 2011

With regard to Export Development Canada, what contracts under $10,000 did it award from September 1, 2009, to the present, including the vendor's name, the date, the amount and the description?

Health December 14th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, that means the government will do nothing more.

In his firewall letter in 2001, the Prime Minister wrote that each province should raise its own revenue for health care, replace Canada health and social transfer cash with tax points.

The tea party leader from Beauce advocated transferring the tax points to the provinces, and Brian Mulroney recently argued for some form of user fees. That would make it an open season for privatization and user fees.

Will the Prime Minister tell us what he really believes about the federal role in health care and his penchant for privatization?

Health December 14th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, in 1997, the Prime Minister said, “It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act”.

In 2005, just before he took power, he said that two-tier health care “would be a good idea”.

The Conservatives deny the federal government's role and speak openly about transferring tax points to the provinces. That would kill the Canada Health Act. The Prime Minister has done nothing since 2006 except flow the 2004 accord dollars to the provinces.

Does the Prime Minister believe he has a role in standing up for public health in Canada?