Can we make better use of the KP site by allowing tourists to visit?

Back in April I wrote Minister Stephen Blaney about the missed opportunity to re-open the Kingston Penitentiary site for tourism. It has been several months without a reply now and I thought we should publicly remind the minister that many … Continue reading

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Veterans Affairs Advertising – where was the sound economic management?

I responded to a letter from Minister of Veterans Affairs, Julian Fantino, to the Kingston Whig-Standard on Saturday, June 12: Here is what I wrote, published on July 15: Indeed, they had a choice, spend more money on advertising or spend … Continue reading

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Infrastructure funding falling into an abyss

Next week, on April 1, the 2014 Building Canada Fund will expire. The Harper Conservatives had the opportunity to put forward a plan for long-term, stable funding for municipal infrastructure. This is especially important because infrastructure projects require multi-year planning and substantial funding. … Continue reading

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Happy Anniversary, #ygk

I use twitter a lot. I’ve found that it’s a great way to communicate with constituents from Ottawa, and it’s really helpful for sparking important discussions with constituents. That said, sometimes twitter can be a bit overwhelming: I follow over … Continue reading

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My Bill C-578: Completed apprenticeships are crucial for a skilled workforce

Yesterday I introduced my new bill, Bill C-578, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (removal of waiting period for apprentices). The intention behind the bill is simple: I want to make it easier for apprentices to finish their … Continue reading

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I am going to go without refined sugar in March

The World Health Organization has just published a draft guideline with the suggestion that not more than 5% of one’s calories come from sugars, as compared to the more conservative “recommendation” that not more then 10% of calories come from … Continue reading

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Promoting Kingston Tourism

Travel and tourism are critical to the Kingston and the Islands economy and youth employment. I was pleased to speak at a recent event in Kingston hosted by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and the Canadian Tourism Commission … Continue reading

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Environmental Charities Threatened by Government

The Harper government is again showing that it will let nothing — including Canada’s democratic traditions — stand in the way of its headlong pursuit of an economy based on fossil fuel extraction with little regard for sustainability. Some of … Continue reading

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Propane Shortage not my Problem: federal Minister of Natural Resources

Update: Here is an article from the New York Times about the U.S. situation: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/us/as-propane-prices-rise-worries-grow-for-millions-of-americans.html Permalink: http://nyti.ms/1g2SiwO Three things we could do to prepare for the next time this happens: 1) Local Storage: one person I know owns a large … Continue reading

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Science Infrastructure Needs Operational Funding: The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope

UPDATE:I had a chance to  rise in the House and ask the Minister of Industry to provide this important operational funding:   Science requires an investment in infrastructure to build research facilities, but it also requires ongoing operational funding for those … Continue reading

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Dropping a Russian flag on the North Pole didn’t make it Russian territory and placing a maple leaf there doesn’t make it Canadian Territory either

Justin Trudeau is on the side of scientists. Update:  While Canada makes fanciful claims, Russia acts to secure its position in the Arctic, MATTHEW FISHER, POSTMEDIA NEWS Recently, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was asked if the North Pole is in … Continue reading

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Countering Conservative claims with a real calculation on real data

 Update: Thomas Kwon asks on Facebook why I did not ask the question in simpler terms. The answer is that the Government usually interprets Order Paper questions to minimize the information they have to give you. So I used mathematics … Continue reading

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Worried about Canada’s economic future depending on a PR campaign

Canada is spending $40 million this year on advertising to portray Canada as a “stable and environmentally responsible source of energy”. Canada is regularly labelled as a world laggard in action on climate change and recently won a “Lifetime Unachievement … Continue reading

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Canada’s race car in the world economy is in a year-long pit stop

November 7th, in Finance Committee, we learned that, while Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credits are already being withdrawn, the direct grants to replace them won’t be rolled out until later next year. This is like Canada’s race car … Continue reading

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Checking the government’s numbers on taxes and spending

“…we want to see taxes lowered in this country. That is why they are now $3,000 lower for every Canadian family in this country.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Question Period, May 7, 2013. “Earlier today the Prime Minister claimed, … Continue reading

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City budget burdened by expiring Federal support for affordable housing

It’s the time of year for City Councillors to do the difficult but critical job of setting priorities and determining the municipal budget and possible property tax increases. The federal government’s lack of attention to affordable housing is making this … Continue reading

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The Harper/Senate Ethics Scandal

A lot of people have been asking me about the Harper/Senate ethics scandal. I certainly agree that has hurt the trust that Canadians need to have in their federal government and indeed in all politicians. Members of the Prime Minister’s Office and Senators are being investigated by the RCMP and … Continue reading

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Statement of MP Ted Hsu on the Retirement of the Hon. John Gerretsen, MPP for Kingston and the Islands

I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to the Honourable John Gerretsen for his dedicated service, stretching over four decades, to the people of Kingston and the Islands and to the people of Ontario as an elected representative. There are … Continue reading

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The Big Chill

Yesterday the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) released The Big Chill, a survey posed to their 15,398 science-based members, including federal scientists, researchers and engineers. The survey looked at the scale and impact of “muzzling” federal scientists, and … Continue reading

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Kingston Penitentiary to close its doors after 178 years

On Monday, September 30, 2013, Kingston Penitentiary will close its doors after 178 years of operation.  I have already written about the problems arising from this unexpected closure and I have questioned the Conservative Party’s claims on the costs and … Continue reading

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Standing up for Science and Academic Freedoms

Last week, I was honoured to speak at the Stand Up for Science rally in Kingston, as well as to debate the subject of freedom of speech for government scientists with my Parliamentary colleagues on Power and Politics. I am … Continue reading

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Conservatives agree to freeze EI premiums

Today, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is announcing a three year freeze on increases in Employment Insurance premiums for both employers and employees. These premiums have been increasing yearly and I and the Liberal Party have been calling for just what … Continue reading

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Reading for Labour Day – from Liberal leader in the Senate, Senator Jim Cowan

On Labour Day 2013, I’d like to post the record from Hansard, April 16, 2013, a record of the speech by my colleague, Liberal Senate Leader, Senator Jim Cowan of Nova Scotia. Senator Cowan rose to speak to Bill C-377, … Continue reading

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My roles on the Liberal team in Ottawa this fall

The benefit of belonging to a political party in parliament is that working together as a team you can get much more done than working individually. I am happy to be working on the Liberal Party team. I have great … Continue reading

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Lake Ontario Park Re-Opening

Sunday, June 23, was the grand re-opening of Lake Ontario Park, which now features easy waterfront access, a new splash pad, a play structure, a beach volleyball court and a skating rink for the winter. I brought my daughters and joined the hundreds of … Continue reading

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House debate sparks experts to expose faulty government arguments on ELA

There was an excellent example recently of how true debate in the House of Commons should provide a fertile ground for the public to engage in and contribute to improved governance. The Society of Canadian Limnologists (scientists who study bodies … Continue reading

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Rideau Canal and Budget 2013 – an update

Background Funding cuts for the operation of the Rideau Canal were announced by Parks Canada in 2012. But the Rideau canal is a crucial piece of infrastructure for the Eastern Ontario tourism economy. Following an outcry, the cutbacks were scaled … Continue reading

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What if you are not satisfied with the answer you got in Question Period?

I am often asked, “Are you frustrated by the non-answers you sometimes get in Question Period?” Well, it turns out that there is actually a time, 30 minutes each day, when MPs can quiz the government for a longer period … Continue reading

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Why Liberals and Greens voted against the NDP climate change motion

On April 29, 2013, we voted on the following NDP opposition day motion which was debated the previous Thursday: Ms. Leslie (Halifax) — That this House: (a) agree with many Canadians and the International Energy Agency that there is grave … Continue reading

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Questioning Natural Resources Minister and staff on 2013-14 spending

I recently had the opportunity as the Liberal member of the Natural Resources Committee, to question Minister Joe Oliver and Ministry staff on their spending plans. Here are some videos of that session: Minister Joe Oliver Ministry Officials    

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Liberal position on NDP motion regarding Canada-China FIPA

The NDP Opposition Day motion of Thursday, April 18, is worded as follows: “That, in the opinion of this House, the government should inform the Government of the People’s Republic of China, that it will not ratify the Canada-China Foreign … Continue reading

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Electing House of Commons committee chairs instead of letting Party leaders have the power to appoint and dismiss them

I am pleased to have been the first MP to become a seconder of motion M-431 (see below). This motion proposes to have chairs of House of Commons committees be elected by a preferential ballot in the whole House, instead … Continue reading

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NRTEE: pretend it never happened?

Environment Minister Peter Kent is not only defunding the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, but taking measures to make records of its work over the last 25 years more difficult for the public to access, including wiping out … Continue reading

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Prison Overcrowding Town Hall and Petition

On March 16th I attended a town hall on Prison Overcrowding hosted by the Kingston and the Islands Federal Liberal Association. The discussion was very constructive and the 150 people in attendance drafted a petition, copies of which I will present in the House of Commons … Continue reading

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Of Oil Spills and Black Holes

Update 2 (March 19, 2013): I was recently asked to discuss this issue with the Blacklock’s Reporter Digest, you can read my comments from that interview here.  Update (March 1, 2013): After I posted this blog, issuing a press release as … Continue reading

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Pending sale of former prison farm land: no information forthcoming from Correctional Service of Canada

Update April 5, 2013: We asked CSC directly whether the sale of the land has closed and today we received a response by mail. We were asked to seek follow-up with the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada, “who has taken … Continue reading

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Reducing taxpayer liability for offshore drilling and nuclear accidents

Canadian taxpayers may not realize it, but we are all collectively liable for billions of dollars in damages in the event of a major oil spill or a terrible accident at a nuclear power plant. http://youtu.be/SEqfJQYd5mw (link to video of my … Continue reading

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Skating at Market Square

My family and I took advantage of a sunny afternoon in Kingston to join skaters at Market Square. Photo Credit: Guillaume Nolet

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Committing to the polluter-pay principle – I applaud Minister Joe Oliver.

Last week, the Harper government said that it will be raising the liability cap for offshore oil drilling. This is the maximum amount that a company drilling offshore need be liable for in an accident. (they could be liable for … Continue reading

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Senate Reform – asking Supreme Court to rule on constitutionality of unilateral action is right thing to do

Yesterday, Democratic Reform Minister Tim Uppal announced that the Harper government would be asking the Supreme Court to opine on the constitutionality of the government’s plan (bill C-7) for unilateral reform of how Senators are chosen, and to limit their … Continue reading

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Idle No More

Aboriginal Canadians do not share fully in Canada’s prosperity. That is clear from the poverty and powerlessness that has been there for us to see, and the broken promises we know from our history. But what is the source of … Continue reading

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Statement on becoming the Natural Resources critic for the Liberal Party

I am honoured to be asked by interim Liberal leader Bob Rae to take on the role of Natural Resources critic for the Liberal Party until the new leader is chosen in April. Pipelines, oil and gas, and climate change … Continue reading

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A small step towards defending the rights of elected MPs from the Government of the day

[update, March 25, 2013: I have found one other instance in which the House votes by secret ballot. When a private member's motion is found by the Procedures and House Affairs committee to be non-votable, the Member may appeal to … Continue reading

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Minister Toews, I am reminded of this passage from the Gospels: “In truth I tell you, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury”

A story today from the CBC sheds some light on a recent story in the Kingston Whig Standard about inmates at Collins Bay Institution who, with their warden’s permission, donated their own money to the local food bank in a … Continue reading

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Let’s move on processing Record Suspension applications and reap the social and economic benefits

(see update with link to article in the Kingston Whig Standard at the bottom of this page) Canadians wait their turn in line. That’s what M., my constituent did, after applying for a record suspension for a 13 year old … Continue reading

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Should I have to resort to Twitter to get an answer for my constituents?

Yesterday, after getting the same story from two independent sources inside Correctional Services Canada (CSC), and no story from CSC officials who were not allowed to talk to me (they passed me on to the media relations people, who passed me on to … Continue reading

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Where will new jobs come from?

On October 24, 2012, I used a slot for member’s statements to congratulate Paul Webster, founder of a new company in Kingston and recipient of a grant from Ontario Centres of Excellence. Here is the text of my member’s statement … Continue reading

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Cutbacks to Prison Chaplaincy

The federal government has decided to eliminate all 49 part-time contracts for federal prison chaplains. This will not only reduce the number of chaplains, but will also have the effect of eliminating most non-Christian chaplains (79 of the remaining 80 full time … Continue reading

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Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement

Canadians have voiced significant concerns about the Canada-China Investment Agreement.  It is clear that this foreign investment agreement is different from any previous ones that the Conservative government has signed. There is a provision in this agreement that allows the … Continue reading

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Support for Private Members’ Bill C-427 (Artist Income Tax Amendment)

PRESS RELEASE For immediate release MP Ted Hsu announces his support for Private Members’ Bill C-427 October 4, 2012 – MP Ted Hsu (Kingston and the Islands) is pleased to announce his support for Private Members’ Bill C-427, An Act … Continue reading

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Two more strong statements I’ll stand by

This past week I made two strong statements that I’ll stand by. You can watch them here: http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=763942&playlistId=1.961599&binId=1.811563 One was in response to the war of words on parliament hill this week which started as soon as we got back … Continue reading

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My position on MP pensions

Today I issued a press release on my position regarding reforming MP pensions.     In addition, in Question Period today, Liberal Party House leader, MP Marc Garneau, said that the Liberal Party would be willing to fast-track legislation to … Continue reading

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Trivia Night with Youth

Thank you to a group of youth in the riding who organized a fun night of trivia with questions on everything from Greek mythology to Justin Bieber!  My wife Tara and I enjoyed the challenge and the opportunity to meet each of them.

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Princess Street Promenade 2012

Princess Street was closed to vehicles for a day during the third annual Princess Street Promenade — an event where local businesses and organizations set up stalls, demonstrations, and fun activities. I took advantage of the opportunity to make myself … Continue reading

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Visiting the Queen’s University Biological Station

Thanks to everybody at the Queen’s University Biological Station for their hospitality during my recent visit. Students were studying how human development affects bio-diversity and aquatic environments. Here their T.A. introduces me to a baby gray rat snake.  

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The ‘Harper Government’ again, really? …

Welcome Minister Nicholson, but in this riding we call it the ‘Government of Canada’, like Sir John A. Macdonald would, not the ‘Harper Government’.   Media Advisory – Harper Government Will Make an Announcement About Culture in Kingston OTTAWA, July … Continue reading

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Happy Canada Day!

The Canada Day celebrations in front of City Hall offered a great opportunity to meet with constituents and, of course, celebrate our wonderful country.      

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High School Graduation Ceremonies

I attended three high school graduations this June at Bayridge, QECVI and LCVI. Seeing these students and their proud parents on such an important day is a very special experience. I was also able to present the new “Ted Hsu … Continue reading

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Veteran’s Appreciation Day

A relatively new event in Kingston, Veteran’s Appreciation Day at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 560 was a fantastic way for me to talk to and learn from current and past members of the Canadian Forces.

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Kingston Pride!

A very successful event promoting equality and diversity. I attended the Kingston Pride Parade with my family and was happy to speak about the importance of celebrating and embracing diversity in Canada.

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Visiting Local Firefighters

Visiting local International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Workshop on Hazardous Materials for First Responders at the Fire Station on Gore Road

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Successful first Facebook town hall discussion on funding for discovery research

This evening I talked online for two hours with over 50 researchers and we generated about 200 comments from across Canada. I hope it was useful to all participants and that they came away with some ideas on how we … Continue reading

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Discuss the 2012 federal budget!

Thursday at 4 pm, you can watch along with Members of Parliament as Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty unveils his 2012 budget.  To watch online, go to cpac.ca I have been working hard to prepare for this budget. Like many … Continue reading

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Visiting the India-Canada Heritage Day Celebration

Sunday March 25 marked the annual India-Canada Association Heritage Day celebration. An absolutely fabulous yearly event in Kingston and the Islands.

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Nominations being Accepted for Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS! Nomination deadline EXTENDED to May 15, 2012 Jubilee Nomination Form February 6, 2012 marked the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne.  To commemorate this historic occasion Canada created the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond … Continue reading

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Ted participates in SWITCH’s Green Profit Conference and Exhibition

On Sunday March 18, Ted spoke to the participants of SWITCH’s Green Profit Conference and Exhibition. He also spent time speaking with individuals in attendance. More photos from this event taken by volunteers for SWITCH are available on Flikr here. … Continue reading

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Why is this Conservative government against free speech for our tax-supported scientists?

First published in Kingston This Week and EMC, March 2012 Finding cures for deadly diseases, understanding weather patterns, protecting our rivers and lakes, slowing the pace of climate change — it all starts with science. Long before I was an … Continue reading

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Ted touring Kingston General Hospital

Ted tours KGH’s Human Mobility Research Centre and the Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit. Seen in first picture below is Paul St. John (Researcher), Leslee Thompson (CEO) and Ted Hsu in the Computer Aided Surgery Research Laboratory.           … Continue reading

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The LOCAL View with Ted Hsu: Sustainable Cement

Tuesdays at 6pm and Wednesdays at 12:30 catch The LOCAL View with Ted Hsu. This month’s episode is about Cement 2020, a Lafarge initiative to find fuel solutions for making cement. The show also highlights local green initiatives by Burt’s … Continue reading

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The government says it needs to cut services. Does it make sense then to add 30 new MPs?

First published in Kingston This Week and EMC, March, 2012 Recently the Conservative government rushed through a bill that will add 30 new MPs to the House of Commons. While claiming this was necessary to maintain the democratic goal of … Continue reading

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New Queen’s University Lions Club

Ted gives the Canadian Flag to the new charter Lions  Club at Queens University.  Receiving the flag is the newly installed president of the Lions Club Hilary Hung.

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Harper’s government: Skip the debate, close the doors, we’ll tell you what you need to know.

Published first in EMC and Kingston This Week, February 2012 Because it’s not practical for 34 million Canadians to talk to the Prime Minister, you elect a member of Parliament to bring your concerns to your government. But when the … Continue reading

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Do you have a story about robo-calls or voter harassment during the 2011 election?

          I invite you to contact the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections. As outlined in the Canada Elections Act, complaints pertaining to irregularities, fraud, or corrupt or illegal practices that affected the result of … Continue reading

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GreenCentre: a home-grown model for unlocking the value of Canadian basic research

The following was published in the February 27, 2012 issue of The Hill Times: Canada faces an urgent challenge to increase the productivity of its workforce in the face of demographic shifts, budgetary pressures, and international competition. One weak link is … Continue reading

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Ted tours Kingston Home Base Housing

Ted  tours Kingston Home Base Housing. Here he is seen at Lily’s Place, which received a donation of a hot water heat recovery system. From left to right is Justin Potts of Lyman Potts Construction, Ted Hsu, Tom Greening, Nicki … Continue reading

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Homeowners, local businesses, environment – all losers under this Conservative government

Published first in EMC and Kingston This Week, February 2012 The Conservative government has once again brought the Eco- ENERGY Retrofit program to a sudden halt. This popular program — which offered homeowners grants of up to $5,000 to make … Continue reading

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Affected by the Conservatives’ changes to Old Age Security: Municipal property tax programs for seniors

I’m about to pay my City of Kingston 2012 interim property tax bill and noticed three programs to help low income seniors manage their property tax bills — the Seniors Property Tax Grant Program, Tax Deferral Program, and Tax Increase … Continue reading

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The leading edge of sociological research and Conservative cuts to research in the Department of Justice

I was flipping through an old issue of the Alumni Weekly from my graduate school when I encountered an article about a sociologist using a recently developed technique called Respondent-Driven Sampling (RDS). You can read about it online but for the … Continue reading

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Why the role of elected MPs is so important

MP Michael Chong, advocate for parliamentary reform, speaking in May 2014: In many democracies, such as the great democracy to the south of us, voters and citizens have three franchises. They have three votes at the national level. They vote … Continue reading

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Responding to Refugee Health Care Cuts

Update: The Federal Court has declared these cuts unconstitutional, saying that they constitute “cruel and unusual” treatment. Christie Blatchford denounced the cuts in the National Post, saying that they represent the “deliberate heartlessness… and… boneheaded ineptness” of the Conservative government. I recently had … Continue reading

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Happy Canada Day!

I had a great time this Canada Day! I started off by joining in the fun at the Red and White Parade: After the parade, we made our way to Confederation Park: I also had the chance to join the … Continue reading

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Happy Portugal Day! Feliz Dia de Portugal!

Today I was pleased to rise in the House of Commons to recognize Portugal Day. I’m proud to live in and represent a riding with such a strong and vibrant Portuguese community!   Today is Portugal Day, when Portuguese communities … Continue reading

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Let MPs elect Committee Chairs: a step toward democratic reform!

I was pleased to be the first MP to co-sponsor my colleague MP Brad Trost’s private member’s motion (M-431), which called on the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to review the way that committee chairs are elected. On paper, committees … Continue reading

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Let StatsCan do its job!

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Conservative government’s decision to do away with the long-form census is significantly affecting our ability to get the data we need. This data helps us intelligently plan our city strategies, our education strategies, our … Continue reading

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New Brunswick Conservative Government wants return of long-form census

Lately I’ve been hearing lots of responses to the termination of the long-form census. Even though the decision to eliminate the mandatory long-form census took place in 2011, stories have been coming out fairly regularly. This makes sense: it takes … Continue reading

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