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

Mental Illness Awareness Week October 4th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, this week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Millions of Canadians suffer with mental health issues. On top of that, they must also deal with the stigma associated with mental health. Nearly six million Canadians are likely to experience some mental illness in their lifetime.

About 4,000 Canadians commit suicide each year and it is the most common cause of death for youth aged 15 to 24. Some communities in rural and remote areas of Canada have rates of suicide and addiction that are among the highest worldwide; many of these are aboriginal and Inuit communities.

There are significant gaps in service. Two-thirds of homeless people using urban shelters suffer from some form of mental illness. By 2020, it is estimated that depressive illnesses will become the second leading cause of disease burden worldwide and the leading cause in developed countries like Canada.

The economic and human costs of mental illness are mounting, yet less than 4% of medical research funding goes to mental illness research. We need to do more and we need to do it sooner.

Citizenship Act September 28th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am actually pleased with the response from the House. I do not want to waste any more time. I believe that the bill should go to the committee. I am looking forward to the constructive amendments the government has promised, and we can deal with all those issues before the committee.

Alzheimer's September 21st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, today is Alzheimer's Day. The theme for the 2010 campaign is “Dementia. It's time for action!”.

Dementia affects 20% of seniors by the age 80. Dementia affects over 40% of seniors by the age of 90. Today, 500,000 Canadians are living with dementia. Every five minutes, another Canadian develops dementia. In 20 years, the total number of people living with dementia in Canada will be 1.1 million.

Dementia costs Canada $50 million a day. In a few years, it will triple. Imagine not just the financial cost but the human cost of doing nothing or not much. We need a plan to support the millions of Canadians living with this disease and their families who care for them. We need more investment in dementia care and better treatment.

A national strategy for dealing with dementia must be a priority for our country. Alzheimer's Day reminds us that we need to act, and act quickly.

Afghanistan June 9th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, we all support our troops, but the refuge that this member is seeking is the refuge of the scoundrel. Ultimately, these are the same documents that Parliament is seeking, pursuant to your order, Mr. Speaker, and the government is currently in discussions with the opposition to make arrangements for that access.

Does this obstructionist application in the courts with respect to the commission mean that Parliament is not going to have access to these documents, contrary to your order, Mr. Speaker?

Afghanistan June 9th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, this has really nothing to do with transparency, accountability or national security. It has to do with the obstruction of justice by the government. It has been obstructing the commission since February 2007. Now, it wants to obtain a court order to prevent the release of the documents recently found in the shipping container in Kandahar.

Why is the Conservative government hiding things from Canadians? I would like to know what it is hiding in those shipping containers in Kandahar with respect to those documents.

Business of Supply May 27th, 2010

Mr. Chair, the last time I checked, the minister is a minister in the government. We are just the opposition. The question I have concerns the lack of clarity on this issue. The minister has said certain things and the Prime Minister has said certain other things. The minister just now opened the door to the presence of troops in Afghanistan and indicated that it is to be determined whether we will engage in training of the military personnel. Why are we not sharing that information with Canadians and the opposition and having a dialogue? Are we sharing any of that information with our allies as to our future plans?

Business of Supply May 27th, 2010

Mr. Chair, that really does not tell me whether there would be any troops in areas other than Kandahar and the minister specifically referred to Kandahar in terms of the answer.

The question that I really have is this. Will any of our military personnel be participating in the training of Afghan national army personnel after 2011?

Business of Supply May 27th, 2010

Mr. Chair, obviously the minister quoted Bill Graham favourably. Bill Graham also indicated to the media that there ought to be a public inquiry. Perhaps that should be considered.

My questions will now move to post-2011 and they will be very short and specific questions. I know there is lack of clarity on this issue. The government has at some point said that we would engage in military and other training at other times. The Prime Minister and others have said that Canada would not have any troops in Afghanistan other than perhaps what might be stationed at the embassy itself.

First, will Canada have any Canadian Forces military personnel in the country following the end of the combat mission in 2011, other than those who might be attached to the embassy?

Business of Supply May 27th, 2010

Mr. Chair, I do not believe that was a response to my question. I asked when the minister first became aware of the general allegations of torture and abuse in Afghan jails and when was any complaint relating to Canadians being tortured brought to his attention.

Business of Supply May 27th, 2010

Mr. Chair, I have a very general question for the minister about the detainee and torture issue. When did the minister first become aware of the general allegations of torture and abuse in Afghan prisons? When did he first become specifically aware of any Canadian transferred detainees being tortured, or at least a complaint being made in that regard?