Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Carleton—Charlotte (New Brunswick)
Lost his last election, in 1997, with 25.70% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Endangered Species April 24th, 1997
Mr. Speaker, Atlantic Canadians are very supportive of endangered species. They know that preventing species from becoming extinct is an honourable purpose. At the same time, Atlantic Canadians want to ensure that endangered species legislation does not have an undue negative impact on our aquaculture and traditional fishing industries.
I believe that the proposed endangered species act has struck the right balance between the two objectives. The bill proves that we can integrate the needs of the economy and the needs of ecology.
The government has shown that we can both protect endangered species and still have secure jobs and healthy, growing economies.
The product of two and a half years of consultations, with many additions and changes, the endangered species act is fair, equitable and balanced. I congratulate the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans who have demonstrated that working together in order to achieve common goals is always a formula for success.
Petitions April 14th, 1997
Mr. Speaker, we are always saddened when a firefighter or a police officer loses his life in the line of duty.
I have a petition to present which calls on Parliament to establish a fund, known as the public safety officers compensation fund, for the benefit of families of public safety officers killed in the line of duty.
The Budget March 17th, 1997
Mr. Speaker, there is financial light at the end of the deficit tunnel, as we heard from the Minister of Finance during his recent budget presentation.
Canadians have a right to be proud of the accomplishments toward deficit reduction: proud of moving from being referred to as a third world country financially in the early nineties under the previous administration to today, once again, being the envy of the industrialized countries of the world.
Canadians are proud also that the deficit reduction accomplishments have provided the flexibility for financial investment in health care, student education, children and families, rural Canada, the tourism industry, the infrastructure program extension and programs to foster small business, economic growth and jobs.
This is responsible government. Canadians have a right to be proud of their accomplishments. God bless and long live Canada.
Supply March 5th, 1997
Mr. Speaker, hopefully I will be brief and the leader of the Reform Party will be brief in his answer.
I listened very carefully to the presentation this afternoon. My understanding is, along with some other things, he wants to expand the RRSP system.
I would like to pose a question to the leader of the Reform Party stemming from his presentation this afternoon. Does he realize and is he considering in his Reform program, the fresh start program, that the CPP which came into being in 1966 actually has several aspects? It includes not only the retirement benefit plan but a disability option, a death benefit, and a benefit for spouses and children in the unfortunate or untimely death of the contributor. Are these not important aspects to the Reform Party?
I note with regard to his comments that in comparison the members' pension program was changed a year and a half ago. There are three important aspects of that program. The minimum retirement age was reduced to age 55 or increased to age 55. There had never been an age limit before. The reduction in benefits of over 20 per cent saved over $3 million in one year alone. It also eliminated double dipping which is something the Reform Party could check its members on.
Petitions March 5th, 1997
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am honoured to table a petition today. The petition contains over 100 signatures from the St. Stephen area of New Brunswick. The petitioners request Parliament to support an immediate initiation and conclusion by the year 2000 of an international convention which will set out a binding timetable for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.
The Economy March 4th, 1997
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.
Last month, prior to the budget, the minister attended meetings with his financial counterparts from the G-7 nations. Based on budget projections, can the minister advise the House how Canada compares to the other G-7 industrialized nations of the world in economic growth and jobs and in bringing our financial house to order?
Public Safety Officers Compensation Fund February 12th, 1997
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted and honoured to join in the debate this evening on this very important Motion No. 306, brought forward by my hon. colleague from Mississauga South. I want to congratulate the member for bringing this motion forward. As we heard from the parliamentary secretary, it is important to debate these issues, to discuss them, to bring them forward and to study if necessary but at the same time to take an action. That is what this motion is all about.
What does Motion No. 306 do and what would it accomplish? Those are important questions that we might all ask ourselves.
First of all, it is intended to set up a registered charitable foundation to be established with a board of directors, possibly appointed by the Government of Canada. Subsequently the board would receive applications for assistance and assess the need case by case.
Who would it involve? It would certainly involve the opportunity for various peace officers, those employed or involved in voluntary firefighting. Under the Criminal Code peace officer includes police officers and jail and prison guards.
Having been involved for over 15 years in municipal government, I had the occasion to work with the police and fire departments on an ongoing basis. In my constituency which is more rural with a number of municipalities, we have a number of volunteer fire departments. Fires occur in those smaller towns, villages, communities and rural areas.
Each time the firefighters are called out there is a risk to them. Does that stop them from volunteering their time, talent and energy? No, it does not. They are still prepared to be volunteers because they see the need in the community for helping their fellow human beings. Whether it be a life and death situation or property damage, they are prepared to go and do their part.
Anyone who has personally experienced a fire in their home will agree it is quite a scare to be called from a meeting to be told: "Your house is on fire. You had better follow the fire truck because it is going to your home". It is a terrible feeling. I experienced that once.
I was the mayor of my municipality at the time, which the parliamentary secretary can appreciate. I was chairing a meeting when I was called and told: "There is a fire at your home. We just got the call". The furnace had blown up. By the time I had arrived, the fire truck was there and the firemen were doing their jobs. It is scary to see a red hot furnace chimney with the sparks literally coming from it.
I have a great deal of respect for firemen, especially those who volunteer their time and energy. Just to finish the story so I will not leave members in suspense, my home was saved. There was a tremendous amount of smoke damage but there were no injuries. The point I am trying to make is that it was due to the prompt and efficient attention of those firefighters who were there and I will never forget it.
Most of us would be lost and would not know the right thing to do in those situations. We would not have the coolness under the stress of those situations. But those firefighters just took it in hand as if it were an ordinary everyday thing. Of course for them and with their training and dedication, it was.
I have a great deal of respect for Motion No. 306 which has been brought forward. What might it do for those who would have lost their lives or what might it do for their families that are left behind, their children and their spouses?
We all know that the cost of education has increased over the years. In those situations where the lives of firefighters, police officers, jail guards and prison guards have been snuffed out just like that, the intent is to have a fund set up to receive bequests and donations.
It is not something the taxpayer would be burdened with but would be a fund to receive donations from those who have received assistance, like myself. For example, because of the tremendous service I received, I might want to donate to such a fund, not as a taxpayer but as a person who would like to make a donation or bequest. After receiving applications the board would decide the needs and the merits on a case by case basis.
That is what the motion is about. There will be no cost to the taxpayers, but there will be an opportunity to make bequests, donations or gifts which could assist the families of those dedicated persons who put their lives on the line day in and day out, night in and night out for Canadians. For us. It is an opportunity for us to set up a fund and a foundation so that we in turn may assist them.
I congratulate my colleague from Mississauga South for bringing this motion forward. I hope in the future the studies mentioned by the parliamentary secretary will be carried out. Then we might one day see the fund set up so that we can provide assistance when it is needed.
The Budget February 11th, 1997
Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Finance announced the tabling of the 1997 budget on February 18. I suspect this budget will be delivered in the same balanced fashion as the first three budgets of this government: balanced in order to protect the social programs respected by all Canadians yet building economic growth and jobs for Canadians while meeting the financial goals and obligations that will allow Canada to continue as a leader among the G-7 industrialized nations.
Today, Canadians are proud of bringing our financial house to order and no longer being referred to as a financial third world country, but instead being known as a world leader for building economic growth and creating over 700,000 new jobs for Canadians.
I am certain that once again the 1997 budget will focus on economic growth and jobs, the protection of our social programs and keeping our financial house in order.