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Elsewhere

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Canadian Alliance MP for Souris—Moose Mountain (Saskatchewan)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 63.28% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Criminal Code April 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, at the outset I would like to remind my hon. colleague who has just spoken that another prairie boy recalls a time when it was illegal to lock a rural church or school simply because in blizzards and storms those were places one could get into. Things have changed.

We will not find one police force across Canada, including the RCMP, that will not support this bill, not one.

Let me tell members very quickly what is happening now. In the rural areas where I come from, break and entry is now so common that when the RCMP are called, people are told, “Sorry, but we won't be getting there because we're three days behind in looking at breaks and enters”. That is what it is like. It is a common thing.

Now another thing has developed. Some of the insurance companies now are asking, “Was your property properly secured? Did you have the right locks and buzzers?” I do not know. Then the insurance companies are saying, “You must have done something wrong because you were broken into before”. Again it is the victim who takes the rap. Again it is the victim who has to pay for everything.

We in Canada are not helping young people one little bit unless we have legislation like this. That is not going to stop them. I have a nephew on the police force and many good friends on the police force who are dealing with the same person up to five times on break and enter.

In Regina and other cities, we have another terminology: home invasion. It happens every night. Groups of three or four people get together and go into someone's home. And it is not what they take: it is the collateral damage. We have people who move to another area. The value of their house goes down. They lose thousands of dollars because the same gang that has already served terms for break and enter moves about. It is home invasion.

If only these young people would follow the law, if only they were forced to know the law and if only the judicial system would follow this bill: what have we got to lose? What does society have to lose by adopting my hon. colleague's private member's bill? What loss is it to society? Society has nothing at all to lose and everything to gain.

I urge the government to stop playing around with these issues, pass the bill and show Canadians once and for all that it can adopt a bill from this nasty party over here which the government claims wants to get tough on crime. Let us see the government get tough on crime and bring some law and order to this country on breaking and entering.

House of Commons April 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the 37th Parliament of Canada will soon come to an end. Many MPs will return to their homes in the various provinces with memories of having served their constituents here in the House.

My memories are many. I am grateful for the many friends I have on both sides of the House, but the friendships extend beyond that. What about the pages, the security staff, the personnel who help on committees, the people in the cafeterias and at the post office, and the bus drivers? The list goes on. They are all wonderful people who greet us daily with cheerfulness.

I will leave behind many wonderful people. As the MP of a huge rural constituency, I want to say thanks to them for their great support.

As I say goodbye, I offer my best wishes to all those people. I hope that perchance we will meet again somewhere, some time. If not, they will be part of my memories for the rest of my life.

Canada National Parks Act April 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, when my career ends, I will have spent 55 years in public life, and so far I have not had time to visit national parks other than to drive through them. Let us hope that the future does provide the opportunity for me to visit this one in particular. I have never been there, but I would like to see it.

I am proud, generally speaking, of what Parks Canada has done. I am proud of the procedure that it took in my province with the addition of Grasslands National Park, albeit in two sections. What Parks Canada did there was far more in the way of an attempt to satisfy everybody than maybe this one. Therein lies my concern, not against the parks. I hope that it does not come back.

I may appear as a ghost if things do not go right, particularly with this bill.

Canada National Parks Act April 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for responding to what I had to say. The fact is environmental groups such as Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, et cetera appeared before the committee. I do not know what their purpose was in doing that.

According to the information I have, the province of British Columbia holds some interests in the lands proposed for the expansion. Senior members have agreed to deal with this issue as the project moves forward. My understanding is the British Columbia government signed a memorandum of understanding. I do not think that signature is a rubber stamp that says everything is all well.

I want to make my last plea to the member opposite. Why do we not let this take its proper course and see an invitation go out to anyone who could be opposed to the bill so we can hear from them? Then when the bill is passed, we can say that we have covered all the bases. However, we cannot do that right now because of time. Therein is the problem. It is the eleventh hour rush.

Canada National Parks Act April 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, things seem to change very rapidly in the House and this being a Friday it is expected that things get juggled around. However I was a little disappointed with Bill C-30, which was listed first and dealt with the budget, because I wanted to address the concerns of some people in Saskatchewan who were hurt by an audit that took place on amateur sports and which was not addressed in the budget. I brought this matter to the House two years ago and nothing has been done since then.

Even though this will probably be my last day in the House and last activity, I will not be done with that infraction against the province of Saskatchewan. I will have to take that up in public life.

When I first looked at Bill C-28 I could see nothing wrong with it. I could see that the bill, as it was presented to me, was to take some land from a park and add it to a reserve, mainly on the west side of Vancouver Island, to provide for additional housing and the growth of that particular community. That in itself I do not think any Canadian would deny.

The bill also deals with the Riding Mountain National Park in the province of Manitoba. There was an error there but I think that can be corrected. I do not think we will find any opposition to that.

When I look at the map of this area I see a number of little pieces of land which are listed as being Indian reserve land, IR, but nobody lives on them. They are not a place to live, even though they are on reserve, but what the bill would do for these 10 reserves is to provide that these people have additional land, as my hon. colleague mentioned, for the building of houses and so on.

What bothers me about this is that we have not heard anyone in the House talk about it. However I have not had this assignment long enough to know if indeed there has been any other action or opposition to the bill. I have never had the opportunity, and maybe that is my fault, to know if any environmental groups are opposed to it. I have not had the opportunity to know if all the other politically elected people, including in the province of British Columbia and the local municipal people, are totally in agreement with it.

One of the problems we have with the bill is that we are being asked to support the bill on the eve of an election and yet I, for instance, do not have all the information that I would like to have. I understand that access to the ocean and the beach will remain public but that point is one of the points that is under the memorandum of understanding and a memorandum of understanding is not a legal document. It can be cancelled at the snap of a finger. That causes me concern because, not only does that national park belong to the first nations who live there, but it belongs to everybody. Therefore, a memorandum of understanding, in my opinion, is not sufficient.

I do know that the Canadian Parks, the Wilderness Society and other groups have supported this but the Province of British Columbia has interest in the lands and I do not know for sure if it has totally given us the green light to go ahead with it. It concerns me a great deal when a piece of property within the province of British Columbia does not have the total okay of the provincial government. I think we should stop for a moment.

For instance, I know a family who lives just miles away from the Grasslands National Park in southern Saskatchewan. If there were to be a change or alteration, that would affect them a great deal.

Therefore, the first people who would be affected and consulted would be the RMs of Mankota and Glen McPherson, and then it would go on to affect the provincial government. I cannot find if it has the total consent of the province of British Columbia. That concerns me.

Second, there are also concerns with the land use agreement. To bring the land use agreement up at the eleventh hour, which we are in now, bothers me a great deal. We have only heard from the groups supporting the agreement. We have not heard from any groups who are opposed.

If there are no groups who are opposed, that would be great. However, I have been around this place long enough to know that there is always someone opposed and always someone from which the committee and the House should hear. from. We have not done that and that makes me walk very gingerly on this bill. We have not heard from those who are in opposition. I have not and I understand that others have not.

I hope, hidden in this beautiful piece of legislation about a beautiful part of Canada, with a great idea for expansion for native housing, that I do not pick up the paper five years from now or even two years from now and see that the bill had a bit of a cynical trick to it. I have concerns that this bill is coming before the House at the eleventh hour.

On its own, I can assure the House that I would have no reason to object to this, nor would my party. However, the procedure is questionable and I worry about that.

This could be one of my last speeches in the House and I would not want to dare say that I suspect there is something wrong on the other side. Do not clap yet, because I will come back, even as a ghost, to haunt the House if this changes. I will be like MacArthur. I will be back because the bill is too important.

The bill will go through the Senate. Knowing what the Senate did with Bill C-250, I do not trust it either.

In a report of the Auditor General it states, “To promote accountability for implementation measures, we support the annual reporting of treaties and land claims consistent with the recommendations of chapter 9”.

The bill does not do that and therein lies my concerns. Does the bill have to pass right now? Is it really necessary for the next election? I cannot see any reason. I do not know any reason why I should not support it, but we have some very deep concerns.

On comes the bill with very little discussion. I have not been assigned to this long enough to even know if it has been discussed in committee, let alone having the opportunity to invite people so we could have this discussion in committee. We have not had that.

In conclusion, I hope, as I have said, that I do not have to come back here, even as a member to appear before the committee. I hope the government does not deceive me, or the House or my party, on any of the things I have mentioned, including taking away access to the beaches. If that portion of a beautiful national park is destroyed, all on the basis of a memorandum of understanding, that is not good enough for me, and I do not believe it is good enough for the people of British Columbia or the people of Canada.

Is it possible to hold the bill for a short time until it goes through the legal process?

Supply April 27th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, my colleague gave an excellent speech with a lot in it.

What I have heard today is that the baseball season is on and three strikes have come my way. Strike one, that if we were to have a fixed election date we would have left democracy. Strike two, that it would need a constitutional change, which is nonsense. And strike three, that it would create a republic, which is also wrong.

My hon. colleague who just spoke did not miss anything. He hit a home run with every statement.

Supply April 27th, 2004

Most of them. All except one.

Supply April 27th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, now that we are drawing analogies, I would like to draw one for the hon. member. In this particular case, the goal tender is indeed the Prime Minister. I refereed hockey long enough to know that one does not give the whistle to the goal tender which is exactly what the government is. It has the whistle and it can stop the shots but only it can blow the whistle.

Supply April 27th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I have two comments that I think Canadians deserve to hear.

First, when listening to the members opposite, they are saying that we have less democracy when we have fixed elections. I heard that over and over this morning. Second, a fixed election demands constitutional change.

Those two points are dead wrong. Canadians from coast to coast know their government is dead wrong. Could the minister explain why many countries have fixed election dates and because of that they have no democracy?

Supply April 27th, 2004

Madam Speaker, I hope all Canadians are listening to the analogy coming from the opposite side. Members opposite are trying to say that we cannot have fixed election dates and have a sovereign Governor General and Queen. That is nonsense. I hope people heard that.

In the member's province of Ontario, there are five million people in the greater Toronto area and they must have an election on a set date. In Prince Edward Island, which has a population less than that of a small city, elections can be held at any time. Fixed election dates make sense today. There is nothing wrong with them.