House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was parks.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as NDP MP for Kootenay—Columbia (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2021, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship February 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize the hard work of the constituents of Kootenay—Columbia, who are organizing to bring Syrian refugees to Canada.

Across my riding, we are blessed to have many groups of dedicated citizens working toward this important goal, including the Creston Refugee Committee, the Kaslo Refugee Committee, the Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group; in Cranbrook, the Hub for Refugees, the Catholic Refugee Group, and the Baptist Group of Friends; in Nelson, the Nelson Friends of Refugees, the Kootenay Refugee Committee, and the Cathedral Refugee Committee.

I also want to recognize the work of the Nelson refugee coalition, which are currently hosting two women from East Africa, and is working to bring their nine children to Canada.

I thank all of them for their tireless work, and I thank all of the groups across our country for demonstrating to the world the generosity of the Canadian spirit. We salute them.

Canada's Contribution to the Effort to Combat ISIL February 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his support for our Armed Forces. We all share in that appreciation.

Our party has consistently said that the way to defeat ISIS, which is an objective we all share, is to cut off its supply of money, arms, and foreign fighters. However, this mission, as outlined by the government, does not include any domestic action against ISIS. Does the government intend to introduce or support deradicalization efforts here in Canada as part of its strategy?

Canada's Contribution to the Effort to Combat ISIL February 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, what Canadians are looking for from the government is clarity and truth, so is this a combat mission or not? How is putting more boots on the ground not a combat mission?

Do you have an exit strategy? How long are you willing to put our men and women in the armed forces in harm's way? What criteria will you use to determine if you have taken the right approach? How will you know if it is not working, and why are you waiting two years to make that decision?

Canada's Contribution to the Effort to Combat ISIL February 19th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we truly are seeking clarity on the government's proposal to help Canadians decide if this is the correct approach, so I have three questions for my colleague.

First of all, stopping the flow of arms to ISIS is critical. It cannot fight a war without weapons. Why has the Liberal government not yet signed the UN Arms Trade Treaty?

Second, what criteria would the member use to gauge the success of Canada's mission, and, third, what is the government's exit strategy?

Canada's Contribution to the Effort to Combat ISIL February 19th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we all agree on the need to eliminate ISIL, which for all of us is the equivalent of removing evil. We also agree on the need to increase humanitarian aid. However, what resonated with my constituents in Kootenay—Columbia during the election was that in order to deal with ISIL, we needed to do three things: cut off its supply of money, cut off its supply of arms, and make sure that Canada is the kind of country where everyone feels welcome, thereby ensuring that no Canadians would ever consider joining ISIL.

My question to the hon. member is this. The citizens of Kootenay—Columbia want to know how the government's proposal accomplishes those three objectives.

Canada's Contribution to the Effort to Combat ISIL February 17th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his well-stated support for our Armed Forces, and I thank the Liberal government for bringing this question to the floor.

Can the hon. member explain why his party believes that bombing works, given the examples we have from the region that indicate that it does not contribute to a peaceful outcome; rather, it contributes to the refugee crisis?

Petitions February 5th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present a petition on behalf of the constituents of Kootenay—Columbia concerning proportional representation. There are over 700 signatures from Nelson, Cranbrook, Salmo, Golden, and Creston.

An important point is that this petition is for true proportional representation, not for the preferential ballot, which is really just a second past the post system of voting.

I look forward to hearing from the government at some point on this important question.

Parks Canada February 5th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the NDP supports giving all Canadians the opportunity to enjoy our natural and cultural heritage. We welcome the promise of free admission to our national parks in 2017. However, user fees are also a major source of revenue, and Canadians are worried about the serious funding crisis facing our national parks.

The Conservatives cut staffing, slashed Parks Canada's budget, and put the ecology and infrastructure of our parks at risk. Will the minister restore the Conservative cuts to Parks Canada and offset this revenue shortfall?

Business of Supply February 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the people of the Kootenay—Columbia riding sent me here to help build a better Canada, and I want to thank them for that opportunity.

Two days ago in our opposition day, the NDP put forward a motion to move Canada forward on the important issue of pay equity for women. I am very proud of that motion and the support of the majority of the House.

There are so many issues facing Canada, such as child poverty, health care, climate change, and the environment, to name just a few. With so many important issues facing Canadians and so few opposition days, why did the Conservatives decide to focus the House on this particular issue, which really has no future benefit for Canadians?

Business of Supply February 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, it is such a pleasure to see my Conservative colleagues supporting public servants through section (c) of this motion.

This certainly was not the case when they were in government. In my riding of Kootenay—Columbia, I know a number of federal public servants who lived in constant fear for their jobs with no faith in the Conservative government to support them in any way.

I have a question for my colleague. Does this motion indicate a clear change in direction for the Conservative opposition where it intends to support our federal public servants in the future?