House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was terms.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for Miramichi (New Brunswick)

Lost his last election, in 2008, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply May 4th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest both to the minister and to the hon. member. I think they forget that six out of ten voters did not vote for their program. In fact, looking at the entire population, seven out of ten who could have voted did not vote for them.

I think we have to recognize that under the EI system we allow parents to take one year off work and be supported by EI during the child's first year of birth. We also have to recognize that we are hearing a philosophy coming forward which seems to say that most Canadians have good family incomes and can make a decision as to whether or not one of them wants to stay home and look after that child during the first five or six years.

We have to recognize the fact that about one child in three is born to a single parent family. A woman quite often has to make a decision about what she has to do. Unless we have adequate, well funded, well organized child care, we do not have a good program for those single parents.

I would ask the hon. member to please reflect on the poor, those people who are trying to support children on their own, that 30% of our population. Would his program work for those poor mothers who are trying to get the economic opportunity to work, to be part of society, to be responsible and to see that their children are well looked after in a well organized, definite day care program?

International Bridges and Tunnels Act May 1st, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure how the member relates bridges and tunnels to the gun registry, but he said that he has solutions.

I am from the Miramichi where we have the processing centre for the gun registry and the people are doing an excellent job with their work.

Perhaps he has solutions but when we brought in Bill C-68 in terms of the difficulties that we are having in this country with peace and with guns, it was a bill that was sponsored by a great number of Canadian organizations. I say to the hon. member that he should be very cautious in terms of his so-called solution. We are looking for peace and good government in the country. We are looking of course at our law enforcement people to have adequate inventory in terms of the risks they have.

I suggest that the member has to be very careful in his statements.

International Bridges and Tunnels Act May 1st, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the parliamentary secretary and I have a little difficulty with his description of governments, namely the previous government. This has been a long work in process in terms of the difficulties with the tunnel and bridge legislation.

If the parliamentary secretary would ask for the unanimous consent of the House we could simply pass the bill at second reading and send it to committee. If the parliamentary secretary would do that I am sure we on this side of the House would concur to send the bill to committee immediately and pass it into law as soon as possible.

Federal Accountability Act April 27th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest in terms of the hon. member's attention to the situation in Vancouver Kingsway. I would like to mention that this is a unique situation in terms of a person accepting a nomination and receiving support for one particular party and before arriving at the House to change his stripes.

I know we do have floor crossing. Sometimes members who sit on one side of the House decide that the policies of their particular party are not what they believe their constituents need and do cross the floor.

Would the member comment on not even crossing the floor, but representing and being elected under false pretenses of being a Liberal and coming to the House and accepting a cabinet position with another party? It certainly is a very bad reflection on all of us. Constituents across the country want us to introduce some measure to restrict this so it will not happen again. It is a very dangerous precedent. Maybe the member, who has a good knowledge of this and of the situation in Vancouver, could comment on this further in the House.

Federal Accountability Act April 27th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, first, we welcome our new member to the House. I was impressed by his first speech until the last few minutes. In his introduction he brought the attention of our House and of our nation that Abbotsford is a very fast growing community. With that, we note the affluence and so forth, but in his speech he referred to certain problems in Abbotsford.

With that, I am disappointed that his coloured glasses do not reflect on the true situation in our country. We are very proud as Canadians of the civil service, the public servants in our country. I believe, and I think most people in the House concur, that they have worked very well for Canadians over the past generations and in fact since our country began.

Would the hon. member briefly comment on this? I am disappointed to hear of the crime in Abbotsford, the grow ops and it crystal meth problems. Could he perhaps reflect to the House some further information on how Abbotsford is dealing with this and if we, as a nation, can work with Abbotsford to see that these problems are corrected across the country?

Agriculture April 6th, 2006

We will talk about Nova Scotia later. We will talk right now about the province of Quebec.

I want to recognize in the House again the tremendous response that the province of Quebec has had for our farm community. If all provinces had the interest in farming that they have in the province of Quebec, we probably would not have the crisis that we have right now.

I spoke to a number of farmers on the Hill the other day. Above all, they are concerned with the supply management. They are concerned about the protein substitutes that are coming into our trading system. I am glad to hear tonight that the minister will do something to shut off those protein substitutes.

Second, I am very glad to hear the minister will put more money in our budget. We know what money was put in the budget in 1994 and 1995-96. I am glad to see the minister is getting that money out, and did it in the month of January.

Above all, I want to emphasize tonight that a report was done. The minister's parliamentary secretary was part of that report from the standing committee.

The minister talked about a crisis, distress and the amount of money set aside for very particular problems. I am glad to see he is committing himself to that.

Also, I want to say that the figure the minister quoted in terms of five years is far, far short of the figure that most farm groups see. To think that only an extra $500 million is being put in over each year is certainly far short of their objectives of seeing a massive amount of money being put into the farm community that would get us beyond this crisis and that would alleviate our problem.

I hope that when we see the budget next month, the minister will see more put into the budget, as he indicated tonight.

Agriculture April 6th, 2006

Mr. Chair, first, I congratulate you on your appointment. I know you have had a great interest in our government for many years. It is certainly good to see you here as a member of our House and with the important position that you have.

I have listened with great interest to the Minister of Agriculture. I want to wish him every success as he approaches this farm crisis that we talk about today.

I am very glad he has recognized not only the problems that exist, but the various problems that have been created as a result of the partnership that farmers have had among three different stools of their so-called milking machine.

We know that the farmers who came to the Hill this week have great problems. We know what response they have had from governments in the past years. Not only has it been our federal government, but just as important it has been our provinces and territories, which were part of the CAIS program.

I know our minister certainly recognizes that before the Liberal government came here in 1993, there were certain international agreements on trade which affected the subsidy situation and that Canadian producers, as a result of those agreements back in the 1980s and early 1990s, have been affected by what governments can do to help them. I am glad he recognizes that.

I am glad above all tonight to hear some solutions from the leader of the Bloc.

Transportation Amendment Act November 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his comments on Bill C-44. He comes from that great island of Cape Breton which is part of Nova Scotia. Being an island area, we have a ferry service going from Cape Breton to Newfoundland. We realize the importance of having a good transportation system.

The hon. member has done a lot of work to ensure we have good connections between our provinces and also the great province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Maybe he would like to comment in the House just what he has done and how important it is to Canada, and especially to the people of Atlantic Canada.

Transportation Amendment Act November 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if time permits me to give a full answer to both very complex questions which the hon. member has posed.

I will attempt first to deal with Pearson Airport. We would have to go back to nearly 10 years ago when various airports in this country received through corporations the control of airports over a given period of time, usually 50 years. With that, these groups took over those airport facilities and began to operate them as non-profit corporations.

We in turn turned over to them some valuable real estate. We turned over facilities that had been paid for by the people of this country over a long period of time. Rents were developed and signed for. Agreements were made. Leases were determined. In good faith the Government of Canada signed leases with all the major airports across the nation.

Pearson International Airport began a very extensive period of redo, remake and buildup. In fact Pearson Development Corporation set up a program by which it borrowed nearly $6 billion to improve the airport facilities. In terms of the rents that were agreed upon, we reduced those rents recently, but Pearson still contends that it has a problem trying to meet its rental obligations.

If we look at the annual report of Pearson airport, the Toronto transport group, we will find that the rent paid is a very small portion of the overall business allocations. In fact, it is paying more than $350 million a year in interest on the money it borrowed. The government and I know our Toronto members tried to address this problem, but above all, it is a financial problem that Pearson airport has created for itself. We want to help that group because it is a great airport but it does have problems that are much greater than the rent that is being charged this past year of approximately $130 million.

In response to the member's second question, it was the farmers who took over the freight car allocation. For a long period of time they worked to take over those cars. It is our belief that they are working for farmers, with farmers, in the best interests of farmers. They will be given those 12,000 cars if they agree with the agreement. It will be in the best interests of the agricultural communities that supported their taking over the cars through the negotiations that we had with them over the past eight years or more.

Transportation Amendment Act November 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, as members already know, we have made a major initiative with Bill C-68 to further expand the Pacific gateway. That is only one of a number of initiatives that our government is working on. We are a trading nation. If we are to succeed as a trading nation, we have to have a very successful method of transportation to get those goods and services from our own country to others. I would like to commend the member and other British Columbia members for their work on Bill C-68 and the Pacific gateway.

It is not only the province of British Columbia but all of our western provinces and into the central heartland of Canada are looking at this initiative. We have a similar program at least being talked about in terms of the east with an Atlantic gateway and the big gateway going from our central provinces down to the Midwest in the United States.

Transportation is needed to get services from place to place. The hon. member talked about other factors that are so important to us in terms of our Canadian economy. He talked about opportunities for Canadian businesses, not only opportunities to make sure that they do get markets, but more important, opportunities that they see which must be protected by our various Canadian departments.

I can assure the member that in terms of foreign affairs and our international trading relationships, we as a government want to encourage the development of opportunities in other areas around the world, whether they be in Asia, Europe, or more important recently, in South America. With that, our government and the various departments are certainly working toward those initiatives.