House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was atlantic.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for Random—Burin—St. George's (Newfoundland & Labrador)

Won his last election, in 2006, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Equalization Formula March 28th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, it is regrettable that events have transpired the way they have. I have literature here from the Prime Minister. I have letters and brochures that clearly illustrate what he said to Newfoundland and Labrador, and I have read the budget.

If I were to stand here in my place today and tell the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that the Prime Minister honoured his commitment, I would be lying to them. I am not prepared to do that.

Equalization Formula March 28th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, on January 4, 2006 the Prime Minister wrote Premier Danny Williams promising to remove non-renewable natural resources revenue from the equalization formula.

The Prime Minister also sent Newfoundlanders and Labradorians a brochure promising 100% of oil and gas revenues. He promised no small print, no excuses, but most importantly, he promised no cap.

Regrettably, budget 2007 tells a very different story. Why did the Prime Minister lie? Why this betrayal?

Fisheries Act, 2007 February 23rd, 2007

He was.

Transportation between the Island of Newfoundland and Mainland Canada February 1st, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to the remarks of the parliamentary secretary. I want to thank him today for all the announcements that he has made on behalf of his government for improved transportation services in Newfoundland and Labrador.

It was very interesting when the member stood up and talked about Newfoundland's third largest city being Fort McMurray. This comes from a member who not too long ago said that those unemployed in Atlantic Canada should go to Alberta to look for employment. He said he would be supporting this motion put forward by my friend from St. John's East.

I wonder if the parliamentary secretary is supporting the motion to make Marine Atlantic services more effective in order to get more Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to go to Fort McMurray, or is he sincere about improving the transportation services to the people of our province which are so badly needed?

The parliamentary secretary speaks about the previous Liberal government. The Conservative government has been in office for a year. We do not see too many results in transportation services by water, road or by air for Newfoundland and Labrador. As a matter of fact, our services have decreased and the levels have gone down.

I say to the parliamentary secretary that if he is going to stand in his place representing the minister and the government, he has to be sincere about what he is saying. He has to understand the issues. He has to understand our province. Obviously he does not. It is obvious that he does not understand a Marine Atlantic issue as would the member for St. John's East and my colleague from Gander and myself. I say that out of respect.

I remind the parliamentary secretary that we are not proud about the thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that had to go to Fort McMurray to work. We want them to work in our province. That is why we want to improve this service, to get employment opportunities within our province. We do not want to improve it so that more of them go to the area he represents. If the member gets us worked up enough, in the next election we may have to get a good Newfoundlander or Labradorian elected in his riding. There are enough of them out there that they could probably defeat the member if we went out there and put on a campaign.

We are not proud of that. That is not what we are here for. We are here because we are sincere about seeing this constitutionally protected service improved. The government is sitting on enough reports, paid for in part by agencies of the federal government, by Marine Atlantic and stakeholders in Newfoundland and Labrador, that make concrete recommendations to the minister and to the government on how to improve the service.

The people want purpose built vessels. The service has changed over time. Transportation methods and modes have changed over time. The department has enough information now to make the decisions that the parliamentary secretary talks about without talking about further consultations for other strategies.

I have a question for the parliamentary secretary and the member for St. John's East. In the member's motion he references consultations with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. I am wondering if there have been any discussions between the federal government and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The parliamentary secretary has been on his feet a number of times talking about a cost-shared agreement. What is he talking about? Has the province of Newfoundland and Labrador now agreed to cost-share some transportation initiatives in Newfoundland and Labrador? Is this a total surprise to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador as it is for me and my colleagues from Newfoundland and Labrador? I would not be surprised if my colleague for St. John's East is just as surprised with that information as I am.

Transportation between the Island of Newfoundland and Mainland Canada February 1st, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize my long time friend from St. John's East. I was wondering what motivated him to bring this private member's motion before the House. I think he has explained that for us.

He is very right in that this is a constitutionally protected service under the Terms of Union between the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the great country of Canada. He alluded to the impact that the Marine Atlantic service has on goods and services coming to our province. He also talked about some indications that he has obtained from his colleague, the minister of transport.

I have a couple of things I would like to ask him. Does he have any guarantee from his colleague, the minister of transport, that the users of Marine Atlantic will not be facing any increase in user fees? The previous minister of transport and the previous government froze those fees for a number of years. We were then interrupted by the last election.

We froze the rates because we did not want the cost to the user and to the consumer in Newfoundland and Labrador to escalate. Therefore, I ask the member: does he have an undertaking from the minister of transport that those fees will not increase?

I am sure the member is very much aware that the former minister of transport also appointed a committee that did a total analysis and assessment on the Marine Atlantic services, and the requirements to make Marine Atlantic more effective and more efficient. That was chaired by none other than a former chairman and CEO of Marine Atlantic, Captain Sid Hynes.

Does the member think the minister has enough information now without undertaking another consultative process to make the decisions that are necessary for Marine Atlantic and give it the money to purchase purpose built vessels for the service?

Fisheries and Oceans June 7th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party's campaign policy manual made a commitment to establish an independent judicial inquiry into problems surrounding B.C.'s Fraser River sockeye salmon stocks. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is very much aware that these stocks had great difficulties, which caused great concern in British Columbia.

I have a question for the minister. When can we expect the government to appoint the much anticipated judicial inquiry and will he tell the House what will be in included in the mandate of the inquiry?

Fisheries May 18th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that the fisheries resources in Canadian waters are a common property resource owned by the people of Canada. They are not owned by Fishery Products International or any other fish company.

What I want from the minister today is a clear determination. Will the minister impose a use it in Canada policy or lose it? It is the minister's decision. He has the full authority. I want a full assurance from him today that this fish will not go to China.

Fisheries May 18th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, 1,000 fish plant workers on the south coast of Newfoundland and Labrador are facing an uncertain future because Fishery Products International plans to ship Canadian fish to China for processing. FPI's groundfish quotas are allocated by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on an annual basis. It is the minister's decision to allocate or to take away.

Will the minister remove FPI's groundfish quotas and protect them for employees and communities affected?

Fisheries April 7th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, since the election the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has been talking a lot about international cooperation. Those of us who follow fisheries issues know that he is really supporting the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, that toothless, useless organization to which the minister has referred.

Before the election the minister believed strongly in custodial management. He promised it to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Why has the minister changed his position? Why this jelly fish approach? When will we see custodial management?

Fisheries April 7th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made public commitments that he would establish a Canadian fisheries custodial management regime on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish cap.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has made similar commitments. The Prime Minister wrote Premier Danny Williams on January 4 stating his commitment and support for custodial management. The throne speech, however, made no reference whatsoever to fisheries or custodial management.

When will the government establish a custodial management regime?