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Last in Parliament November 2005, as Conservative MP for Peace River (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 65.13% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Points of Order November 25th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, on the point of order I raised earlier, I did not determine a response from the member, whether the government has a position or it has not.

Points of Order November 25th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, November 23 the hon. member for Edmonton—St. Albert raised a very important point of order with regard to form and substance of the supplementary estimates (A) for 2005-06.

The parliamentary secretary to the government House leader responded that he would get back to the House with the government's position in due course.

Given that this Parliament may be short lived and that the government may seek to use Governor General special warrants during a dissolution for spending that the member for Edmonton—St. Albert argued was not properly before the House, I would like to know if the government has determined a position yet?

Income Trusts November 25th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, a deathbed conversion, but it will still not give seniors back all the money they lost in their income trusts as a result of the Minister of Finance.

The parliamentary secretary was absolutely clear. He said, “The trusts will be taxed going out or starting, I think, around 2007”. When will the minister reveal his hidden agenda and admit that the Liberals are on the same track? If they are re-elected, seniors and Canadians saving for retirement will be subjected to a new tax on their income trusts in the future.

Income Trusts November 25th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, after months of dithering and indecision, the finance minister signed on to the Conservative Party plan to leave income trusts alone and instead cut the double taxation on dividends. However, on the same day, the parliamentary secretary was on national television telling Canadians that the Liberals had a new plan to slap a new tax on income trusts.

Why does the government continue to threaten seniors and Canadians saving for retirement with a new tax on income trusts after the election?

Member for Peace River November 25th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, today being November 25, it is 12 years and one month since I was elected to Parliament along with many others here in the chamber. It is with mixed feelings today that I rise and say my farewell to this place and to my constituents.

I have certainly met some wonderful people on both sides of the House as well as wonderful people through my jobs as international trade critic, finance critic and industry critic in the last 12 years.

It is a time to say a special thanks to some wonderful people, the constituents of Peace River who have elected me in four elections. I will be going back there to spend time in retirement. I also want to thank my colleagues for the tremendous support that I have enjoyed in my 12 years in this place. I want to thank as well my family and my wife Bernice. Without their support I could not have done this job.

History will judge us as to what kind of a commitment we made. I just want to say it has been a great privilege to have had this job for 12 years.

Bank Act November 23rd, 2005

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to speak to Bill C-57. The Conservative Party will be supporting this bill. We believe in strong corporate governance and rules around that sector. We believe they are essential to ensuring that shareholders' rights are protected, that consumers are served properly, and that Canada's financial sector is able to be strong and vibrant.

The Conservative Party will continue to look out for the best interests of consumers and shareholders while ensuring that the regulatory environment contributes to a strong financial sector.

This bill would bring the financial sector under the same rules as other business corporations that are currently under the Canada Business Corporations Act which took effect in 2001.

However, this Liberal government should walk the talk. While it is busy bringing in Bill C-57 on corporate governance, cleaning it up and making it transparent, what do we see from the government itself? Canadians have been subjected to another year of false projection, junk accounting and misleading government spin. The Liberals continue to hide behind phoney numbers and false forecasts.

The Liberal budget of 2005 projection of $3 billion was a lowball figure, as we now know. The government would have presented a budget surplus of $6 billion if it had not been engaged in unbudgeted spending and junk accounting which served to reduce the surplus numbers close to what the budget projection then was.

Parliament's numbers, the work done by the four forecasters hired by the finance committee to check on what the projections were from the finance department and, more important, the finance minister, revealed early on that the Liberals were sitting on billions of dollars more than the budget 2005 projections that were claimed.

In April Parliament's numbers projected a surplus of $6.1 billion and most recently, in July, a surplus of $.64 billion. Now those same fiscal forecasters are continuing on and we hope to get a budget for them to continue their work.

This points out the Liberal government's questionable budgetary practices that underscore the need for a parliamentary budget office, as was presented in the new Conservative federal accountability act. Canadians deserve honest and independent forecast projections, so that Parliament can engage in a debate as to how surplus money should be allocated and in fact, whether those kinds of surpluses should be allowed to build up. In any event, maybe we need to lower tax rates, so we do not run those massive surpluses. We see sometimes that the government gets carried away just before elections and all kinds of crazy spending is coming out most recently.

We are in agreement with this. It would help several sectors. It would help The Co-operators, I know, which is a big cooperative financial institution. We have some concerns for other sectors, like the chartered accountants. We are willing to explore those further. I think it is important to get the financial sector under the same rules that other corporations are under in this country and that shareholders have the transparency they need to make investments in the sectors that are involved under this legislation.

Extended Sitting Period June 22nd, 2005

And in conclusion.

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments June 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like my colleague from Souris—Moose Mountain to address the issue. I know he is on to the Liberals in this business of Bill C-48 providing the funding that the NDP wants for bankruptcy protection.

It sounds like a noble goal. I was on the industry committee for a number of years. We heard a lot about small and medium sized businesses not being able to get the kind of credit they wanted from the banking industry. If somehow they are not to be ranked as secured creditors, if wage earners are to be ranked ahead of them, I think it will be more difficult.

Could the member for Souris—Moose Mountain comment on that?

Finance June 17th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister and his Minister of Finance were caught lowballing the surplus again last fall, they were sufficiently embarrassed and concerned about their lack of credibility that they appointed Tim O'Neill to study the situation.

Meanwhile, the finance committee has also considered the merits of having an independent fiscal forecasting office and is ready to report back to Parliament. The problem is that we still have not heard from Mr. O'Neill. The minister has the report, we understand, but will not release it. Is that because it is telling him something he does not want to hear?

Finance June 17th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, in his 2004 budget, the Minister of Finance set the surplus at $1.9 billion, only to admit a few months after the last election that it was really $9.1 billion. This was a continuation of the previous finance minister's sorry record of consistently lowballing the surplus.

The minister finally decided to buy some time by appointing Tim O'Neill to do a comprehensive, independent review of the government's economic and fiscal forecasting. The press release announcing the appointment stated that the review was to be completed by early 2005. I would remind the minister that it is June 17, 2005. Where is the report?