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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was seniors.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada Post June 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post's plan to impose community mailboxes in our community of Hamilton, without municipal approval, was so flawed that the city went to court. Many residents there are so upset they are even blocking the installation of these boxes.

Canadians have had enough of not being consulted in cuts to services that impact them. It is no wonder that Canadians are ready for change.

Why is the minister not listening to our communities and telling Canada Post to withdraw its plan and restore home mail delivery?

Foreign Affairs June 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, this is an urgent situation. Mr. Badawi's health is at risk and his punishment is certainly inhumane. Advocating for human rights and democracy is certainly not a crime. Now the Government of Quebec has said that province would welcome Mr. Badawi and is prepared to deliver a certificate of humanitarian selection to Mr. Badawi.

The obvious question: Why is the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration not taking action to reunite Mr. Badawi with his family?

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats share the concerns that my friend has raised about consultation or the lack of it, but what is a little surprising to me is that the people of the north were asking for the Senate committee to go there for consultations, but the Liberals in the Senate did not support it. I am wondering if the member could enlighten us as to why.

Employment May 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, here is the news: If losing 400,000 jobs is the Conservatives' strategy, it ain't working.

Conservatives' mismanagement has hit southern Ontario particularly hard. Communities have been rocked by manufacturing-job losses. Under the Conservatives, Windsor lost 20,000 jobs; London, 7,000; Brantford, 3,400; Hamilton, 13,000; and Oshawa, 19,000. Those were good jobs that supported families and fuelled local economies.

Why have the Conservatives ignored an entire region so they can put billions in the pockets of their wealthy friends?

Employment May 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as we heard yesterday, another 1,500 jobs were lost, at Bombardier. Unfortunately, that is part of a much larger trend. On the Conservatives' watch, we have seen more than 400,000 good manufacturing jobs lost while they stood by and did nothing to protect Canadian jobs.

Hamilton workers will tell them that they are tired of a Conservative government that ignores their livelihoods. They want to see investments to help our manufacturing sector thrive. They are tired of the Conservative spin in this place. They want to see real action from the current government to protect their jobs.

Business of Supply May 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I will try to be brief. I have personally suffered from PTSD for over 40 years. I was a signal maintainer on the railway and I witnessed four accidents in which people driving cars were hit, and they and the car were completely destroyed. For 40 years I have had dreams about this. It was back in a time where this was not a diagnosed illness for anyone.

It is just unacceptable that our young men, who go into war and do horrible things because they have to in war, come home and do not have the support and have to band together because the government has failed them.

I want to thank the member for putting this motion forward to have this discussion, because there is nothing worse than to live with this by oneself.

Safe and Accountable Rail Act May 7th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Essex for providing some background on the development of the bill.

From 1965 to 1974, I worked on the Canadian National Railway in the signal department. Over that period of time, which is an awful long time ago to today, there has been a change in the maintenance of the track and most of the equipment. I can recall as boy my father was a section man. We could look down a track and see that it was completely level and the spacing between the rails was perfect. It was maintained to a very high degree. Today I do not see that.

In essence, we agree with the bill and the direction it goes in, but one of the things I found surprising, and it was illustrated to us by a couple of people from outside of the rail system, was the fact that tankers carrying chlorine were not part of this as well as some other very dangerous chemicals. I am very curious as to why it is only oil.

Iran Accountability Week May 5th, 2015

Mr. Chair, any time there is a sincere effort to reach an agreement to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, I tend to favour it. I have to call into question this particular set of negotiations, because it appears, and I want to stress the word “appears”, that Iran is outmanoeuvring the United States, and I am very concerned about that, as many other people are.

We had testimony before our committee about two years ago that Iran was at the development stage of yellow cake in its nuclear program, which is very close to getting it to the level where it could start to build nuclear weapons. There is evidence that it has built, under a mountain, a site where it can have a centrifuge and proceed. Even if it follows this agreement, it just pauses the situation. It does not eliminate it. We are troubled by that.

Yes, we think negotiation is good, but I am not so sure what we would gain by denouncing or supporting it in this instance, because there are two major nations that are going ahead with it either way.

Iran Accountability Week May 5th, 2015

Mr. Chair, I began my remarks by talking about how we worked on consensus within the subcommittee. The reason is that it is necessary, in this instance, for unanimity in this place in dealing with the situation in Iran.

I am very troubled by the negotiations of the P5+1, whose negotiations are ongoing, led by President Obama, the initiative to try to stop nuclear development. There are a lot of questions about it. It is not stopping development. This will just delay it. That is one serious problem that has distracted the international community from human rights. That requires us, the EU, the U.S., and other places to continually raise them.

Over the years, we have found that in instances when an MP writes a letter to the Iranian government about a particular prisoner, it can make that prisoner's life better, with that single intervention. Imagine if the international community came together to do such things to keep that pressure on. I still think there should be targeted sanctions for the people who have committed these crimes. We know who is in that guard. We know who the people are who have been doing this to their own people. Irrespective of the nation-to-nation sanctions, they should be targeted.

Iran Accountability Week May 5th, 2015

Mr. Chair, the harsh reality is that when the Americans withdrew from Iran, they abandoned these people. There is no other way of putting it. They turned the responsibility for their protection over to the Iraqis. As I said to the previous questioner, it appears that the influence of the Iranian government in this particular situation has put their safety very much in question.

As to why they are not being moved to other countries, I personally believe that it has to do with the MEK designation. There is controversy. There are moves in the United States to lift the designation as a terrorist group from the MEK. Until that happens, there are questions about who funds the MEK today and how much influence it has on parliamentarians.

I myself was invited to go to a conference in Paris, France, and the organization offered to pay my way. I said no because of the fact that we do not need to be influenced by any organization, and when it comes to that, we have to say no.

In the background someplace there are very powerful people who seem to be impeding this.