Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was international.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as NDP MP for Burnaby—Douglas (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 32% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees Of The House June 3rd, 1994

Madam Speaker, I seek unanimous consent of the House, following consultations, to present the following motion:

That this House, taking note of the courage and valour displayed by war veterans of all religious faiths, urge the Royal Canadian Legion to reconsider its recent decision to allow individual branches to deny entry to members wearing religious headgear, including the Sikh turban and Jewish kipa, and that pending such reconsideration all branches of the legion be urged to respect the

fundamental principle of religious freedom in Canada and permit equal access to all members, including those wearing religious headgear.

I seek unanimous consent of all members to put this motion before the House today.

Tiananmen Square June 3rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the brutal killings of hundreds of innocent students and workers in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.

Let us pay tribute today to the memories and courage of those brave men and women who struggled for human rights and democracy in China and continue to do so today.

Tragically, grave violations of human rights continue in China as documented just this week by Amnesty International. Suppression of the rights of labour, denial of political and religious freedom, torture and widespread capital punishment are all continuing in China.

As well, China continues to ruthlessly suppress the human rights and religious freedoms of the people of Tibet and to supply arms to bloody military regimes such as Burma.

Finally, our government must be just as vigorous and publicly outspoken in defence of the human rights of the people of China and Tibet as they are in pursuit of corporate profits and trade.

South Africa May 10th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, today is a historic day for the people of South Africa and indeed for the world.

We join in celebrating the end of the evil system of apartheid, the election of the first democratic Parliament, an election I had the privilege of observing, and the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president.

Let us also remember the thousands who have faced exile and death on the long road to freedom, people like Stephen Biko whose grave and family I visited.

Let us pay tribute to all those Canadians who have worked in solidarity with the black majority in South Africa to help make this great day possible.

Most important, let us resolve to do everything in our power to support the new government of South Africa as it seeks to overcome apartheid's legacy and bring jobs, homes, land and peace to that beautiful land.

As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: "This is a day of liberation for us all, Blacks and Whites together".


Starred Questions April 28th, 1994

Does the government intend to submit a brief to the International Court of Justice in response to their request for briefs concerning the legality of the use by a state of nuclear weapons in armed conflict? If so, what position will the government take on this issue, if not, why not?

Global Parliamentary Appeal For Democracy In Burma April 12th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I think you would find unanimous consent of the House at this time for the motion which I would like to propose.

The motion has been drafted following consultations with members from all parties in the House, a motion that is seconded by the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands, the hon. member for Longueuil and the member for Kindersley-Lloydminster. I would seek the unanimous consent of the House to propose the following motion:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should urge the Secretary-General of the United Nations to do everything in his power to press the State Law and Order Restoration Council of Burma to take the following measures:

  1. The immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners, with guarantees for their complete freedom.

  2. The swift and complete implementation of a transition to civilian rule, as mandated by the May 1990 general election, as per resolution 47/144, entitled "Situation of human rights in Myanmar", which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 18, 1992.

I would like to thank all members of the House of Commons from all parties who have supported the initiative of the Global Parliamentary Appeal for Democracy in Burma which has been initiated by the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development.

Members have signed petitions and I thank them for their support on this fundamental issue. I thank them for their support of the motion this morning.

(Motion agreed to.)

Criminal Code February 16th, 1994

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-215, an act to amend the Criminal Code (aiding suicide).

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to introduce a bill that would amend the Criminal Code to allow terminally ill people the right to die with dignity with the assistance of their doctor.

People with terminal illnesses, some suffering terrible pain or indignity, are now being assisted to die but too often it is being done by secret physicians who perform secret acts or, worse yet, by family or friends with no safeguards whatsoever in place.

The current legislation which dates back to 1892 can be extremely cruel to those who are dying and to their families.

Sue Rodriguez, a woman who lived her life and approached her death with incredible courage and dignity, urged the Minister of Justice in her final declaration to introduce legislation into Parliament soon on this subject.

I hope this bill will be one step along this road, a road that leads to a more decent and civilized society for all Canadians.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Prince Edward Island Fixed Link February 15th, 1994

Public hearings.

Prince Edward Island Fixed Link February 15th, 1994

Madam Speaker, on January 20, 1994 I raised a question in the House with respect to the government's upcoming decision on the testing of cruise missiles in Canada.

This question dealt both with the substance of the tests as well as the credibility of the government and the promises it made when in opposition. Although the Liberal government of 1983 had signed the first testing agreement, in opposition it took a very different position.

The written commitment that was made during the last federal election stated it would bring this testing program to an end. It went on to speak about the importance of public hearings that would involve northerners, peace groups, aboriginal peoples and others.

What happened? There were no parliamentary hearings. In fact there was only one northern member of Parliament who spoke in the debate, the hon. member for Nunatsiaq. He spoke very eloquently against the testing of cruise missiles. He indicated that he was also speaking on behalf of his colleague, the member for Western Arctic.

I know my colleague from the Yukon has spoken eloquently on many occasions both in this House and outside on behalf of her constituents in the Yukon against the testing of cruise missiles. Of course the Reform Party was ready. It supported the testing of cruise missiles.

I must admit that I was really shocked and disappointed by the Bloc's position on this issue. At the same time, I was not overly surprised because Mr. Bouchard had gone to Washington to reassure the Americans that an independent Quebec would remain a faithful and loyal ally, that there would be no change in Canadian policy, that the policy would remain obedient to the United States.

The sad thing is that today, just two hours ago, I have heard a member of the Bloc Quebecois say: "Now, the Bloc is thinking as a block". If that is the case, it is sad indeed.

Quite clearly there is no legal obligation whatsoever to conduct these tests. In fact the minister himself said it was a courtesy that he was extending to the United States. I suggest there was an alternative. The alternative was to say no. There is a foreign policy review. There is a defence review.

Let us look at strengthening multilateral institutions. Let us look at working toward peace. Let us look at ending the tests of low level flights over Innu lands as some Liberals have called for on a number of occasions. Indeed today I met with Daniel Ashini and Elizabeth Penashue from the Innu nation who talked about the devastating impact of these tests over their lands.

Let us support the World Court project. The World Court project is a very important project in which Canada is being called on to join in submitting a legal brief to the International Court of Justice making the use of nuclear weapons illegal under international law.

Those are the kinds of alternatives that the government could have had. Those are the kinds of alternatives that would have meant that we had a truly independent foreign policy. In fact retired U.S. Admiral Eugene Carroll, one of the most respected commentators on this question, said that any decision by the Liberal government to end the testing would be viewed as "an assertion of Canada's independence" and have no negative ramifications.

That is what we thought the Liberals were promising in opposition. That is what they talked about in their red book. Certainly that is not what they deliver.

Let us hope these tests will be the last tests and that Canada will have an independent foreign policy based on peace and preservation of the environment and a respect for aboriginal peoples and northerners.

Privilege February 10th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, with respect, an apology of sorts is not good enough. An apology to all those who were offended by this is what is necessary and I ask the member for that apology.

Privilege February 10th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I gave notice of a question of privilege this morning to Your Honour with respect to certain statements involving the hon. member for Okanagan Centre and a quotation from Adolf Hitler.

However I did hear the statement that was made during the period for statements under Standing Order 31. If I might just seek clarification, if the hon. member was indeed extending an apology for these deeply offensive comments certainly I do not intend to pursue the question of privilege, but I would seek clarification from the hon. member.