Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was budget.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2006, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Appointment of Clerk October 7th, 2005


That the House approve the appointment of Audrey Elizabeth O'Brien as Clerk of the House of Commons.

Food and Drugs Act October 7th, 2005

moved that the bill be concurred in.

Business of the House October 6th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I understand from the member's question that he was obviously not at the last opposition House leaders' meeting where the entire agenda up to December 15 was laid out, including the seven opposition days to which he has referred.

In terms of background, I might also suggest to the hon. member that back in 1973 when there was a minority Parliament, the House opened on January 4 and all seven opposition days were held between March 5 and March 26. Back in 1979, when the House opened on October 9, opposition days started November 6. Opposition days clearly are the purview of the government to schedule. We have scheduled all of them for the opposition parties.

The House will continue this afternoon with the second reading of Bill C-54, the first nations oil and gas bill, followed by second reading of Bill S-38, respecting trade in spirits, and report stage and third reading of Bill C-28, the food and drugs bill.

Tomorrow we will begin with Bill C-28 and if it is completed, we will proceed with second reading of Bill S-37, respecting the Hague Convention and Bill S-36, respecting diamonds.

Next week is the Thanksgiving break week and I wish all hon. members a very happy Thanksgiving.

When the House returns on October 17, we will consider second reading of Bill C-63, respecting the registration of political parties, followed by report stage and third reading of Bill C-49, the human trafficking bill, second reading of Bill C-65, the street racing bill, Bill C-64, the vehicle registration legislation, and report stage of Bill C-37, the do not call bill.

As the week continues, we will add to the list reference to committee before second reading of Bill C-50, respecting the cruelty to animals, Bill C-44, the transportation legislation, Bill C-47, respecting Air Canada, the reference before second reading of Bill C-46, the correctional services bill, and by the end of the week we hope to begin debate on the energy and surplus bills that are being introduced this week. There is also ongoing discussions about a take note debate that week.

As members can see, there is a heavy agenda and important legislation. As I said and as I laid out to the opposition House leaders at our previous meeting, in the post-Remembrance Day segment of this sitting, we will consider the business of supply and we hope to be in a position to deal with the final stages of many of these very important bills before the end of the year.

Business of the House September 29th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to lay out the business for the next week.

We will continue this afternoon with Bill C-55, which is the wage earner protection program. Then we will proceed to the second reading of Bill C-57, the financial institutions bill, followed by second reading of Bill C-54, which is the first nations oil and gas and moneys management act.

Tomorrow we will consider report stage and, if possible, third reading of Bill C-25 respecting Radarsat. I understand as well that there are some ongoing discussions about the disposal of Bill C-63, amending the Canada Elections Act. We would also like to deal with Bill S-38 respecting the spirits trade and Bill S-31 respecting autoroute 30.

On Monday we propose to commence report stage of Bill C-11, which is the whistleblower bill. We would like to give this bill priority all week in the hope of completing all of the remaining stages.

We would then return to any business left over from this week and, if there is time, begin consideration of Bill C-44, the transport bill; Bill C-28, the food and drug legislation; Bill S-37, respecting the Hague convention; Bill S-36, the diamonds bill; and Bill C-52, the fisheries bill.

With respect to the business of supply during the present period, Mr. Speaker, I will reconfirm that you confirmed to the House that there will be seven allotted days during this period. In response directly to the opposition House leader's question, as per our discussion at the House leader's meeting this past Tuesday, we understood we would schedule the supply days after the Thanksgiving break.

In any event, it will be a topic that I look forward to discussing with House leaders at our meeting this coming Tuesday, so that we can in fact schedule all the required opposition days.

Government of Canada September 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that our agenda in this particular sitting will work toward emphasizing and building the priorities of a 21st century economy, protecting and strengthening our social foundations and continuing to ensure that Canada enjoys a role of pride and influence in this world. We will have an update from the Minister of Finance who will reinforce our well-earned reputation for sound fiscal management, moving forward on measures to enhance growth and prosperity and foster Canada's economic competitiveness. I could go on and on but I know my time is over.

Hon. James Jerome September 26th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, we were all saddened this summer by the passing of the former Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. James Jerome.

Mr. Jerome was an exceptional MP and Speaker of the House and an inspiration to Canadians.

Mr. Jerome was first elected to the House of Commons for the electoral district of Sudbury in the general election of 1968. He was re-elected in 1972, 1974 and 1979. He served as Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council and as Leader of the Government in the House of Commons from 1970 to 1972.

During the minority Parliament elected in 1972, he served as chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, a position in which he distinguished himself as a fair and impartial arbiter in a difficult and contentious committee.

Following the 1974 election, he was a natural and a popular choice to be chosen Speaker of the House. He was returned as Speaker following the election of 1979, becoming the first Speaker in history to be chosen from the opposition side of the House.

As Speaker, Mr. Jerome was responsible for a number of important innovations. First and foremost, it fell to him to preside over the introduction of the televising of the proceedings of the House. His pioneering guidance became the standard on which many other legislatures based their subsequent introduction of broadcasting, including the United States Congress and the British House of Commons.

Mr. Speaker Jerome also initiated the modernization of the administration of the House of Commons. Among his most enduring contributions was the development of the House of Commons page program.

Following the dissolution of Parliament in 1979, Mr. Jerome was appointed Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada, where he served with distinction until his retirement.

Mr. Jerome is fondly remembered, not only for his wisdom and impartiality, but also for his warmth and unfailing good humour, good humour which contributed greatly to making Parliament more effective and, perhaps more importantly, more civil.

To his wife Barry and his children and grandchildren, we offer our sympathies on their loss and our thanks for sharing him with us.

Softwood Lumber September 26th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is completely wrong.

The government has been fighting for softwood right from the inception. It will continue to do so through the acting minister of natural resources, through the international trade minister, through the Prime Minister, and through this cabinet. We are fighting through every member of this caucus for softwood, while the opposition continues to play politics.

We look forward to finding a solution to this problem that includes the United States respecting the NAFTA agreement.

Civil Marriage Act June 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I expect you will find consent of the House to see the clock at 12 midnight, but just before you do, pursuant to the special order of June 23, 2005, I move:

That, when the House adjourns this day, it shall stand adjourned to September 26, 2005.

Ethics June 27th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, like other ministers, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development is required to file a comprehensive disclosure statement and to abide by any directions, as the Prime Minister said, the Ethics Commissioner may make. The Privy Council Office also works closely with the Office of the Ethics Commissioner to identify agenda items for cabinet that may require the recusal of ministers.

So in fact a direct response to the member opposite who asked the question is that the PCO will be working directly with the Ethics Commissioner. Where there is a requirement for recusal, the minister will be required to recuse herself.

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to make Certain Payments June 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-48, a bill that deals with several very important issues.

As hon. members know, the bill contains a commitment to pay down at least $2 billion of debt on an annual basis. With the additional money we will investment in affordable housing, in transit, in foreign aid and in post-secondary education.

The bill has had a lot of debate and discussion and there have been different perspectives on it. However I think all of these areas, it is fair to say, are coherent, complementary and follow the same theme to what was presented in Bill C-43 and preceding budgets, which are investments built on sound fiscal strategy. We can go back to budget 2003 and to budget 2002.

The bill also reflects the priorities of Canadians. When we look at the examples that are in this bill in terms of the types of investments that are made, we look at the investment in affordable housing. Over the past number of budgets the government has put significant sums of money into affordable housing. We think of the significance of the $1.6 billion that will be invested in affordable housing and the fact that in this particular case it is not attached to matching funds and that it also includes aboriginal housing.

We can look at some of the previous funding that has been made with respect to affordable housing. We had a program in place where we had matching funds from the provinces and other entities. Therefore the investment that we are making in Bill C-48 to affordable housing is on top of the previous investments that the government has made in affordable housing. It is very important to ensure that Canadians have an opportunity to have a household and prosper in this great country. It also builds upon the $2 billion that has already been put toward homelessness and affordable housing over the last number of years.

The investments made do a couple of things. They certainly look to address a specific number of challenges and problems that may be faced by people in our society. We think of the additional funds that the bill proposes to put toward an increase in accessibility to post-secondary education, the $1.5 billion, which again builds upon a whole other set of initiatives that have been put in place.

We can think back to previous budgets, budgets that have been called education budgets where there were all types of different incentives and investments for Canadians to receive additional training and to gain further access into post-secondary education and to assist with the cost of that further education. We know that with training and education we can further improve our economy and people have an opportunity to further prosper in this country.

We can think of the $900 million that is being proposed to be invested in public transit and energy retrofit. Again, when we look back to previous budgets, Bill C-48 builds upon Bill C-43 with a number of different initiatives.

Finally, we can look at how the bill contemplates the additional investment of $500 million in international assistance, again a priority of the government and certainly a continued priority and a future priority of the government.

These investments, along with those made in Bill C-43, were made possible not only because of the performance of the economy but also because of the financial management provided by the Minister of Finance in ensuring that we do have the ability to pay down debt and we do run balanced budgets, which is the cornerstone of budget-making, in that the government takes the approach that we need to pay our way.

Like Canadians in their own households who earn money and try to live within their means, governments need to live within their means. It was in the decades previous to 1993 when governments were living beyond their means and saddling citizens of this country with debt, debt interest and debt payments.

The cornerstones of the budgets that the government has put forward going back to 1993 are certainly balanced budgets and looking at continuing to make debt repayment, not because debt repayment is the goal but because debt repayment frees up additional money and reduces the burden on future generations. It frees up additional money to make smart investments to ensure our country can continue to prosper in the future, to ensure Canadians have an opportunity to participate in this economy and to ensure the country can lead the G-7.

As the Minister of Finance said earlier today in question period, while we lead the G-7 in terms of our balanced budgets and our budget making, we need to now focus on leading the G-7 in terms of the productivity of our country. The Minister of Finance has taken some steps and articulated that in his speeches.

I know in the future, in working and speaking with Canadians and working in the House, there will be an opportunity to exchange ideas and focus on initiatives and programs that deal with the productivity question. At the end of the day, it is about ensuring Canadians the opportunity to participate in the economy, to prosper and to create wealth. With that opportunity, we think the country will be a better place.

Providing opportunity for all Canadians at all different socio-economic levels is important. That is why government makes investments in different areas to ensure there are opportunities for people. It is not only an ideology that might exist with certain parties in the House. It also is an approach that benefits Canadians. Canadians need an active government, a government that will support them and enable them to participate in areas of the economy, where they, their children and their children's children can benefit.

I would hope hon. members in the House reflect upon what the bill is looking to accomplish. I hope they know that the bill is in the interests of Canadians and that it will advance those interests.

When members get the opportunity to vote on the bill, I hope they support it. Then they can spend the summer in different parts of the country talking to Canadians about what has been accomplished in passing the bill. They can talk about the investments we have made.

In closing, an agreement has been reached under the provisions of Standing Order 78(2) with respect to the third reading stage of Bill C-48, an act to authorize the Minister of Finance to make certain payments. I move:

That in relation to Bill C-48, an act to authorize the Minister of Finance to make certain payments, not more than one further hour shall be allotted to the consideration of the third reading stage of the said bill and, at the expiry of the time provided for in this order for the consideration of the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage shall be put and disposed of forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.