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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is report.

Liberal MP for Malpeque (P.E.I.)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 62% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Royal Canadian Navy February 7th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, in mid-December I and three other MPs were fortunate to participate in the Canadian leaders at sea program through the Department of Defence.

Upon boarding the submarine HMCS Windsor and sailing out of Halifax, the Windsor submerged in the Atlantic, and we experienced life on a submarine under the sea. Remarkable is how I would describe the crew as they avoided detection from surface vessels and helicopters and performed various other military exercises.

After surfacing and being transferred to the frigate HMCS Toronto, we enjoyed some of that famous navy food, defended against mock night boarders, and had to be belted into our bunks to prevent being tossed onto the floor. On the Toronto we participated in and observed fire drills, the prevention of boarders, mock damage, electronic and air attacks, and general surveillance.

The highlight was getting to know the men and women on board and their expertise. There is no doubt that we are in good hands with our navy. We thank them for their dedication.

Business of Supply February 6th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have been thinking about this for a long time and this motion is the opportunity to bring it forward.

When are we, as parliamentarians, going to get over the gotcha politics on some issues? I know there has to be opposition, but the point I want to make is this. I do not care whether it is Stephen Harper, Paul Martin, Jean Chrétien, or the current Prime Minister. As a country, we should be proud that those prime ministers were and are secure when travelling. There is one reason 24 Sussex has not been fixed up for three decades. It is because if any prime minister did, it would not matter which party, the other opposition parties would stand up and say, “Look at the millions they are wasting.”

Two Parliaments ago, cabinet ministers in the House were flying commercially when they should have been flying on the Challengers. The reason they were was the opposition parties. We would do the same if we were on that side. Any other country would ensure that their parliamentary secretaries or cabinet ministers could fly securely, that they could carry secure documents, and be proud of what they do for their country.

We somehow have to rethink this. This is a matter of security for the Prime Minister. I am not going to get into the Ethics Commissioner's report, but this is a matter of security for the Prime Minister and we are belittling ourselves by the way we deal with some of these issues.

The Prime Minister is flying around in an Airbus that is how old? I remember when Brian Mulroney bought that Airbus, for which he was attacked, so he did not change it to a more efficient aircraft, like a C Series Bombardier plane, that would have enabled us to fly proudly around the world. The Prime Minister knows the minute he does it, instead of advertising our products around the world and ensuring his own security, he would be attacked for doing it.

I am saying that we need think about this and what we are doing to our cabinet and to our country with the way we handle these issues.

Interparliamentary Delegations February 1st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present, in both official languages, three reports of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group. The first concerns the 10th annual conference of the Southeastern United States - Canadian Provinces Alliance, held in Toronto, Ontario, June 4 to 6, 2017. The second concerns the summer meeting of the Western Governors' Association held in Whitefish, Montana, United States of America, June 26 to 28, 2017. The third concerns the Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance conference held in Washington, D.C., United States of America, October 1 to 3, 2017.

I want to thank all the participants from all parties, because we really worked together on the objectives of Canada in those conferences. It was really collegial on all sides.

Tobacco and Vaping Products Act January 30th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the member for Vancouver Kingsway on his remarks. It was a very frank assessment of the situation that we face with smoking, and a very frank assessment of the bill and some changes that may need to be made.

I, and probably many people in the House, have seen some of those little packages that look like cosmetics with the fancy little cigarettes in them. They are attractive. They do look nice. It is a marketing vehicle.

The member talked a little about illegal tobacco. I have met with people in the tobacco industry a few times, and they argue that there is an increasing amount of illegal tobacco with other impurities in it being smoked in the country. People do not know what is in it. They outline some concerns that this type of packaging would make it easier for illegal tobacco.

Could the member expand on that and how we deal with that problem? What would the member's response be to the tobacco industry in regard to illegal tobacco?

Questions on the Order Paper January 29th, 2018

With regard to the contract that was signed between Transport Canada and the City of Charlottetown and any of its agencies pertaining to the Charlottetown Port Authority: (a) what are the guidelines or conditions of use; and (b) do these include a provision for industrial use?

Recognition of Charlottetown as the Birthplace of Confederation Act December 11th, 2017

Madam Speaker, this is the moment we have been waiting for, and I will conclude with many thanks to all colleagues who have contributed to the debate and discussion of Bill S-236, an act to recognize Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation, including especially those who took the time during third reading to express their vision for Canada's future.

I want to quote a member from each of the parties. The member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, with the official opposition, said:

This bill gives us the wonderful opportunity to remember and honour our national history, to recall the humble beginnings and soaring dreams of the first of our leaders, who dreamed of a united Canada.

I cannot think of a better way or better time for us to celebrate our accomplishments, both at home and around the world, than by passing a bill like this in our sesquicentennial year.

The member for Victoria, with the third party, said:

Being proud of a country's heritage and commemorating important historical events is worthwhile for most countries, but I think it is especially so for Canada. We should feel proud of our accomplishments. We are a country comprising remarkably diverse regions and remarkably diverse people.

As Canada moves forward to the next 150 years of nationhood, I hope we can strive to be more inclusive of other voices and cultural narratives so that they might also be celebrated and acknowledged.

The member for Charlottetown said:

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we can see the evolution of our country, our democracy, and our values. Our very roots, as evidenced by what took place in Charlottetown, were not about conflict or war: They were about finding mutual ground and working out our differences.

Those three quotes, from different parties in this House, sum up to a great extent what Canada is all about. The passing of this bill means a great deal to Prince Edward Island and to our provincial legislature, which passed an unanimous motion encouraging the support of parliamentarians, and to the Atlantic region as we share and develop the Confederation story. For Canada, this has been a chance to recognize and honour Confederation, and reflect on important ways in which we must work to shape the future of our country.

To close, it is the character of Canada, that vision founded in 1864, some of the things coming out of that meeting, that we are a country that works by negotiation. We are seen on the world stage in that light as well. It is that idea of coming together in common cause that has shaped our history since its founding.

The Charlottetown Conference certainly may be viewed as the watershed moment in the story of Confederation, the point at which Confederation turned from idea into prospect. This is what Bill S-236 is all about, recognition of Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation.

My colleagues and I humbly ask for this House's support in this year of Canada's 150 celebration. It seems quite appropriate to do it at this time. Simply put, I ask the House to get it done and pass Bill S-236.

Committees of the House December 8th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 21st report of the Standing Committee on Finance entitled, “Driving Inclusive Growth: Spurring Productivity And Competitiveness In Canada”.

I want to especially thank committee members of all parties for their long hours and diligent work, and the public for their input, with over 400 submissions made and over 300 witnesses appearing. Finally, I want to thank the clerk of the committee, Suzie Cadieux; the analysts, Brett Capstick and Andrew Barton; and the research assistants, Shaowei Pu and Stephanie Stark.

I am hopeful that the summary of this report, which includes some 92 recommendations, will assist the government in moving forward to assist the business community and persons in this country into becoming more competitive and productive so that we become a more prosperous society for Canadians well into the future.

Partnership for Peace Consortium December 7th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, last May, I was a guest at a partnership for peace conference in Budapest, Hungary, where I presented the Canadian perspective on intelligence reform and best practices. A specific focus was given to areas of improvement and the need to integrate commonly understood ethics with intelligence practices.

The conference was sponsored by the Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes. Canada is an active member of the organization. The consortium promotes multinational collaboration on security and defence reform. Canada's membership in such multinational organizations helps shape future global security decision-making and promotes Canadian interests and values.

May the House recognize the Partnership for Peace Consortium's contribution in promoting stability, security, and democracy.

Employment December 5th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, those of us on the government side ran on a platform of investing in Canadians, creating jobs, and growing the economy. In fact, last week the reports coming out showed that the economy is doing very well, meaning more Canadians are working in productive work and adding to the economy. But there are others who are not participating in the economy and are still looking for work. Can the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour tell me what she is going to do to build on—

Recognition of Charlottetown as the Birthplace of Confederation Act December 4th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, as often happened in the early years, whether in the United States or here, there were the leaders who came together. They were certainly there. There were no big crowds in the streets, as we would find today at many such gatherings, but it was mainly the representatives of the people who came together, debated, and discussed. They made the decisions that encapsulated the vision that became Canada.

As I mentioned in my speech, those were different times. Indigenous people were not invited to the conference and neither were women. We do live in different times 153 years later, and that reflects the errors of the ways in those times. However, it is part of our history, and because of that we are now able to build on it as we move forward to be a much more inclusive, all encompassing, and open society.