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

Petitions March 31st, 1995

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour to table two petitions signed by the constituents of Lincoln.

The first petition calls upon Parliament not to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act or the charter of rights and freedoms by the inclusion of the phrase sexual orientation.

The second petition calls on Parliament not to amend the Canadian human rights code to extend spousal benefits to same sex partners.

Rail Strike March 23rd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I have had many calls from small and medium size businesses that are absorbing additional costs because of the rail strike. Other constituents have called saying they will be laid off soon if the rail strike continues.

Can the Minister of Industry explain to the House and, in particular, to those Bloc members who are holding up this back to work legislation just what this strike is costing Canadian industry and what it is costing the business constituents in each and every one of our ridings?

Petitions March 23rd, 1995

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I wish to table two petitions. One is signed by the constituents of Lincoln and the second is signed by the constituents of Hamilton East.

The petitioners request that Parliament not amend the Canadian Human Rights Act or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms so they would provide for the inclusion of the phrase sexual orientation.

Canada Student Financial Assistance Act March 16th, 1995

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to debate the hon. member's motion.

I know the hon. member appreciates the value of a good education and wants to ensure all Canadian students are given every opportunity to fulfil their education potential. On that point I am sure all members of the House are in agreement.

Education is a provincial responsibility. It always has been and always will be. Even though that is a given, the federal government recognizes its role in helping to make the post-secondary education system accessible to all Canadians wishing to participate in it.

The government would be acting irresponsibly if it did not consider support for post-secondary education in the context of our fiscal framework.

I remind the leader of the Reform Party that when the government began reviewing our social security system, we made it clear federal support to post-secondary education would have to be put to the best possible use because of limited resources.

That is still the case. Nothing has changed in that regard. The budget proposes to bring together transfers for health, post-secondary education and social services into a single bloc transfer.

This is a simple recognition of reality, not only the reality of fulfilling the mandate Canadians have given us to bring down our deficit but the reality that in the 1990s this will be a much more effective way for the provinces to administer federal funds that support social programs.

The government also supports post-secondary education through the Canada student loans program. When the government passed the Canada Students Financial Assistance Act last June, it introduced significant reforms to the Canada student loans program.

Intended to help students complete their post-secondary studies without undue hardship, the act provides for the repayment of student loans on an income contingent basis.

My colleagues from the Reform Party actively supported this provision. As a result, I am confused why my hon. colleagues are proposing such an amendment at this time.

Since the act was passed the government has consulted many parties on the concept of linking repayment of loans to income levels and that such a measure is still very much a possibility.

In its report to the House, the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development said that during its nationwide hearings it received energetic and concerned input from many educators in colleges and universities.

We can get a good handle on the desires of Canadians regarding federal support to post-secondary education by examining the committee's findings. The committee's report stated the fiscal situation of all governments precludes additional public spending on higher education in Canada.

The committee pointed out that because the government is reviewing its support for post-secondary education at a time when educational institutions are under increasing pressures, fiscal and otherwise, it must ensure scarce resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible.

The committee noted that in debating federal contributions to PSE, it is essential to stress provincial jurisdictions over policies governing colleges and universities. It is important to help enhance the viability of colleges and universities while not interfering with provincial jurisdiction.

The committee's report reflects the broad views of Canadians on our post-secondary education system. I believe it is reasonable to ascertain from its input that the direction in which the government is moving has widespread support.

There is another aspect that I do not believe the hon. member's motion takes into consideration. Because of what I mentioned regarding the provincial jurisdiction over post-secondary education, the federal government, even if it had unlimited funds, has no authority to tell the provinces how they should spend current PSE dollars.

There is no equivalent to the Canada Health Act in this area. I would therefore urge the hon. member to make his views on improving the post-secondary education system known to provincial education authorities.

I assure him we would certainly welcome the support of the Reform Party and of all members in strengthening post-secondary education.

Here is the new reality. Beginning in the 1996-97 fiscal year we will consolidate the current transfers under the established programs financing and the Canada assistance plan into a single block fund to be known as the Canada social transfer.

In the first year the CST will be $26.9 billion. That is a drop of $2.5 billion. If we also consider the equalization payment, total major transfers will be only 4.4 per cent less than the current total. However cuts in all other areas of federal spending will be 7.3 per cent compared to the current system. In other words the government is doing what Canadians have asked us to do. We are getting our own house in order.

Equalization payments are not affected by the budget. Hence total cuts to those provinces with greater need will be less than the average cuts to all provinces. While councils that distribute research grants will be doing their share to help meet our deficit reduction targets, universities will still benefit from research grants totalling $900 million for research on medical issues, science and technology and the social sciences and humanities.

The government appreciates that the hon. leader of the Reform Party has brought forward the issue for debate. I assure the hon. member that the Minister of Human Resources Development will work in collaboration with the provinces to establish the shared principles and objectives for CST.

Post-secondary education will not be shortchanged by us or the provinces. We all recognize, as does the hon. member, that colleges and universities play a vital role in training a highly skilled workforce.

Therefore I would like to move an amendment to the motion:

That Motion M-291 be amended by deleting all the words after the word "system".

I urge the House to support the proposed amendment that would endorse the continued investigation of the feasibility of the ICR concept in the broader context of helping students cope with the debts they incur by investing in their own future.

The Budget February 24th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, this Monday our government will be tabling its second budget. It is an opportunity to restore fiscal soundness and integrity to the Canadian economy. However, it is equally important that this not to occur at the expense of the middle class who already pay a disproportionate share of taxes and on whose backs much of the Canadian debt rests.

Our party's history is one of providing Canadians with hope and opportunity. Unless we begin to reign in our debt and deficit, hope and opportunity will be lost. This must be unacceptable to all members of Parliament.

The ultimate goal is to eliminate the deficit entirely. Three per cent of GDP by 1996-97 is an interim target and a very important one. It is a red book commitment and it will be met. In restoring soundness to our economy we will be able to continue one of the proudest legacies of the Liberal Party, to preserve social security, a system that would be the envy of the world-

Petitions February 22nd, 1995

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of tabling a petition pursuant to Standing Order 36 which asks that Parliament ensure that the present provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada prohibiting assisted suicide are enforced vigorously and to make no changes in the law that would sanction or allow the aiding or abetting of suicide or active or passive euthanasia.

Petitions February 22nd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am tabling a second petition requesting that Parliament not amend the Canadian Human Rights Act or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relations.

Petitions February 22nd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure to present three petitions to the House today. Pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the pleasure to present to the House a petition signed by the constituents of Lincoln which reads: "The courts of Canada have deemed that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to all people in Canada regardless of status. We request that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply to Canadian citizens and people of landed immigrant status only".

Employment February 15th, 1995

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

Young people in Canada experience the highest rate of unemployment due to the legacy of nine years of Tory mismanagement of the economy. What has the minister done to make sure there is hope, opportunity and jobs for our young people in Canada?

Venture Capital December 14th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, our government must be committed to assisting innovative small and medium sized enterprises. An industry which may help us to meet our objectives is the venture capital industry which searches out businesses that are young, innovative and operating in a growth market.

The FBDB recently concluded a baseline survey of 259 companies which secured venture capital financing. Despite the effects of the recent recession these venture backed companies still increased the number of people they employed at an annual compounded rate of 40 per cent.

The global economy is becoming increasingly specialized. High tech firms once considered the wave of the future are here today. In order that Canada not be left behind it is essential that the government assist in creating a positive environment for the venture capital industry to support small and medium sized businesses which will have a positive impact on our economy as a whole. The venture capital investment industry is an important

means by which we can support young companies while ensuring that Canada remains competitive in the global market.

Clearly the venture capital industry provides a great potential. As our government is committed to rejuvenating the economy this is one vehicle that should lead the way.