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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was rail.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for North Vancouver (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2008, with 37.37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions June 19th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present six petitions today: the first from Ruth and W.G. Powell, signed by 85 others; the second by Gloria Doubleday, signed by 26 others; the third by Dee Fitzpatrick, signed by 85 others; the fourth by John McBain, signed by 26 others; the fifth by Yvette Bos, signed by 26 others; and the sixth by Ken Fletcher, signed by 52 others. All are concerned over the disbanding of the CBC Radio Orchestra.

Based in Vancouver, the orchestra is a beloved Canadian cultural institution that has enriched the lives of Canadians for over 70 years by giving Canadian musicians and composers a place on the stages of Canada and the world. The petitioners call on the government to ensure a continued mandate and adequate funding for CBC/Radio-Canada to allow it to continue its contribution to the cultural life of Canada, including a strong and renewed commitment to classical music and to accord the Vancouver based CBC Radio Orchestra national cultural heritage status.

Ethics June 18th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, we cannot ignore the sworn affidavit that the Conservatives have distributed from Dona Cadman, who is the Conservative candidate in Surrey North. In the affidavit, she states that Conservative Party officials offered her husband a $1 million insurance policy on May 17, 2005. The Conservatives do not want to talk about the May 17 meeting; they only want to talk about May 19.

Why are the Conservatives trying to cover up the May 17 meeting that Dona Cadman is so anxious to talk about?

Ethics June 18th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, audio experts have stated that those are the Prime Minister's unaltered words on the tape where he talks about offering financial considerations to Chuck Cadman in exchange for his vote.

Stevan Pausak, one of Canada's leading audio experts, says that he was hired a long time ago to analyze the tape in question, but his report was never released.

We know it takes 67 Conservative candidates to launder over $1 million in advertising costs, but how many audio experts did they need to cover up this Conservative Cadman scandal?

Petitions June 5th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions today submitted by Gene and Maureen Ramsbottom of North Vancouver, and signed by 104 others who share their concern over the disbanding of the CBC Radio orchestra.

Based in Vancouver, the orchestra is a beloved Canadian cultural institution that has enriched the lives of Canadians for over 70 years by giving Canadian musicians and composers a place on the stage in Canada, and the world.

The petition calls on the government to ensure a continued mandate and adequate funding for CBC Radio to allow it to continue its contribution to the cultural life of Canada, including a strong and renewed commitment to classical music, and to accord the Vancouver-based CBC Radio orchestra natural cultural heritage status.

Aeronautics Act June 2nd, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I sat as a Liberal member on the transport committee that considered the bill. As the member for Charlottetown has stated, extensive time was spent on this. I am just wondering if he has any further comments on the fact that aside from wanting to ensure that this SMS is not replacing regulatory requirements but complementing safety regulations--

Tasers May 16th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, the government has been shamefully absent from the B.C. taser inquiry. Earlier this week, the only federal politician to go before the inquiry was the Liberal public safety critic who rightfully put the onus on Taser International to prove that tasers are safe. Even the chairman of the company admitted to the inquiry that tasers are not risk free.

It has been months since the RCMP Public Complaints Commissioner recommended that tasers be reclassified as impact weapons. When will the minister take action on this file?

Health May 12th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday the House approved my private member's motion, Motion No. 426, calling on the government to establish a Canadian policy on rare diseases. I have since received dozens of emails and letters of support from families whose lives are affected by a rare disease asking how this important issue that affects an estimated 2.5 million Canadians will finally be proceeded with.

How does the Minister of Health plan to move forward on Motion No. 426 and what will the next steps of the government be toward a rare disease policy?

Treatment of Rare Disorders May 6th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking those members of the parties who have supported this motion. I need to give particular recognition to the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, for the support he has given in helping to craft the amendments and work this motion through the government.

The inspiration for Motion No. 426 is found in the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders “Chance for Life Fund”. This is an action plan that CORD developed to address this issue and begin the process of establishing a made in Canada policy that will ensure patients with rare disorders have the exact same right and access to effective therapies or the same chance for life as all Canadians.

Durhane Wong-Rieger, president of CORD Canada, has been very helpful in drafting this motion also. I should mention that my son, Darren, is not associated directly with CORD but is in fact the president of Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada and has also been of assistance.

I am sure many Canadians can identify a family member or friend who suffers from a rare disorder. It affects one in eight Canadians as either a carrier or in fact a sufferer from a rare disease.

In my own riding, young Nicklas Harkins has MPS 1, an enzyme deficiency disease that is life-threatening. Eleven-year-old Szymon Cajmer from Toronto and young Trey Purcell from North Vancouver have MPS 2, otherwise known as Hunter syndrome.

Quite often, members are motivated by personal experience or tragedy to champion an issue. In my case, my grandson, Dylan Hunter Bell, was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension at the age of two. For the last 10 years, Dylan required continual drug treatment administered directly into his heart, delivered from an intravenous pump which he wore in a backpack on his back. He was able to lead an activity restricted but otherwise generally normal life. He attended public school, played with his dog Teddy, was a whiz with computers and enjoyed meeting people. He would visit and take plush animals, which he called “stuffies”, up to other children who were hospitalized in the Children's Hospital in Vancouver. He passed away July 14, 2007, the day after his 12th birthday.

I consider this motion to be a legacy to my grandson Dylan and to add meaning to his short life and the challenge he faced so bravely, as well as the many others, both patients and families, who continue to face personal health challenges in dealing with rare diseases.

I have heard it often said that a nation can be measured by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens, the elderly, the young and the sick. This is a way in which we can show that Canada is one of those nations that is to be recognized and honoured for the way it does treat its most vulnerable.

It is also often said that a long and difficult journey begins with a single step. I would suggest that this motion represents not only one but several steps in this journey for rare disease patients and their families.

I again thank the House for the support that is given for this and I look forward to the passage of this motion.

Treatment of Rare Disorders May 6th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, yes, I do consent. I am in agreement with the amendment.

CBC Radio Orchestra May 6th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, Thursday, March 27, was a dark day for the Vancouver-based CBC Radio Orchestra, when it was announced that its funding would be cancelled. Over one-third of the musicians in the orchestra are residents of my riding of North Vancouver. On April 20, I attended what may unfortunately have been one of orchestra's final scheduled concerts.

I urge the government to ensure that adequate funding is available to allow CBC Radio to continue its mandate to play an important role in showcasing Canadian talent and enriching our cultural heritage.

I also join with Canadians across the country to ask the government and CBC Radio management to confirm the heritage value and status of our 70-year-old CBC Radio Orchestra, and to ensure that it is able to continue to contribute to the cultural enrichment of Canadians.