House of Commons photo

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Selkirk—Red River (Manitoba)

Won his last election, in 1993, with 32.92% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Employment Insurance Act May 3rd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak on the report stage of Bill C-12 concerning employment insurance.

It is evident that a change is required to our unemployment insurance program. The old UI program is outdated and out of touch with today's working environment.

I have spoken with many of my constituents who are looking for employment. Some of my constituents have over 100 CVs floating around in the employment market. It is a very competitive market today.

Employers can pick and choose from an enormous number of candidates. It is not uncommon to hear that 200 or 300 people are applying for one job opening. That is incredible. It is why Canadians who are looking for work today need, require and deserve protection. It is why they require a safety net called employment insurance to help them during this critical time of job hunting.

A growing number of Canadians are holding down more than one job to make ends meet. In most cases, they are not permanent jobs. Chances are they are working just as many hours per week as the traditional full time single job worker. Their work is not insured under the old UI program. These jobs hold no benefits if employees are sick. They do not get maternity or other benefits. They do not qualify for many government employment programs if they find themselves out of work.

The reasons why this unfortunate situation occurs is because eligibility for UI benefits in any job is based on weeks of work, with a minimum requirement of 15 hours per week. One can work five different 10-hour per week jobs, totalling 50 hours per week, but as far as UI is concerned, it counts for nothing.

I am pleased that Bill C-12, employment insurance, will rectify the situation. Employment insurance eligibility is based on hours, and all hours count, whether one puts those hours in for one, two or five different employers.

Working counts with EI. Many people who work two or three part time jobs will get insurance protection for the first time. In fact, statistics show that some 500,000 more part time workers will be insured under the EI system than were under UI.

Another example of improvements under the new EI system is that a worker who holds down a full time job which pays $500 a week and also works at a part time job which pays $100 a week will now be better off. Under the previous program of UI only the first full time job is insured but under employment insurance both jobs will now be insured.

This will make a difference to a worker if he or she loses his or her full time job. In this situation the benefits under UI would be considerably lower than under the new employment insurance. That is because when UI calculates the insured weekly earnings, it ignores the part time job that pays $100 a week. That part time job is not insured.

The new employment insurance takes that extra $100 into account. When the calculations are done the worker ends up with $275 per week in benefits. Under the previous system the benefits would be reduced by $31, as a result of continuing to work while receiving UI benefits. Therefore the benefits would fall to $244 a week.

Under the new employment insurance system the worker will receive $330 and the benefits would be reduced by only $18. The worker would be able to earn up to $82 from a second job without reducing the worker's weekly benefits. Therefore the worker's cheque actually amounts to $68 more than under the old UI system.

Bill C-12, employment insurance, simply works better for all Canadian workers. I believe that this new EI system better protects working Canadians and addresses the problems that they face in a more realistic way.

Science Fair May 3rd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, recently I had the pleasure of attending the opening ceremonies of the Science Fair at River East Collegiate in my riding. I was impressed by the fact that some 20,000 students participate in science fairs at the regional level.

About 400 of Canada's finest will go to a Canada-wide science fair this month in Ontario and will compete for more than $100,000 in awards. Five students from River East Collegiate will be among them.

I would like to congratulate the moms and dads and the many volunteers for their time and hard work. I would also like to wish them the best of luck.

Flooding April 23rd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the people of the Selkirk-Red River riding and to commend the valiant efforts of the volunteers of the community of St. Andrews, St. Clements and Selkirk.

These people worked through the weekend to hold back the worst flood in Manitoba history caused by the overflowing waters of the Assiniboine River and the Red River.

The surging water forced some 250 residents to flee their homes. The damage could have been far worse had the ice jam not broken, allowing the water to flow toward Lake Winnipeg. Unfortunately the Selkirk Marine Museum suffered extensive damage during the flood. In addition to damage to the boats, documents such as

original captains logs and 13,000 photos were destroyed in the museum building.

This is a sad loss for the people of Selkirk-Red River riding and for Canadian tourists across this great land of ours.

World Meteorological Day March 22nd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, every year on March 23 we celebrate World Meteorological Day, commemorating the establishment of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization.

This year's theme is Meteorology in the Service of Sports as this year marks the 100th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games.

Weather is important in the world of sports. The safety of athletes, spectators and the staging of events all depend on weather forecasts and environmental information such as temperature, humidity, wind and air quality. The Department of Environment Canada receives 50 million calls per year on its weather lines.

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Canadian Weather Service, one of the oldest national institutes in Canada. It is fitting to salute Canada's 125 years of expertise in providing weather information to Canadians. Environment Canada, your window on the weather since 1871.

Employment November 6th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Last Friday new figures were published by Statistics Canada showing continued full time employment growth in the Canadian economy. Given the concern of some Canadians that the government is not doing enough to fulfil its jobs and growth agenda, could the Minister of Human Resources Development explain the latest changes particularly as they affect my province, Manitoba, and young Canadians today?

Committees Of The House October 27th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 21st report of the Standing Committee on Finance on Bill C-102, an act to amend the Customs Act and the customs tariff and to make related and constitutional amendments to other acts.

Fisheries June 19th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

On June 14, 1995 the government responded to the report by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans concerning the mandate and operations of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation.

Can the minister assure this House that the government will maintain and uphold the proposals that were announced last week?

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995 June 15th, 1995

Madam Speaker, on a point of order. I believe the hon. member across the way is speaking about something that has nothing to do with electoral boundaries.

Maple Leaf Public School June 6th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to praise the students of Maple Leaf Public School.

I have received two different projects from the students who expressed their concerns about the environment. I commend the work done by Jillian Morris and Maria Locht on their project entitled "Oil Spills".

I also commend the time and effort that Lauren MacKenzie and Jennifer Mairn put into soliciting names for their petition on acid rain.

Petitions June 2nd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, in the second petition my constituents pray and request that Parliament not amend the human rights code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include the undefined phrase sexual orientation.